Monday, April 19, 2010

Finding Our Feet

Getting Started
So, the homeschooling got off to a bit of a rocky start. We had a couple of good days and then a solid week of awful plaguey puking death germ. One after another we all went down. Then my mom came over to help us pick up the pieces (read: do the dishes and wash more sheets) and the next day SHE got it. It was baaaaaad. So no homeschooling that week. But the funny thing is that Elliet's not behind! No "five packets of eight pages each to do *if we can* so she gets caught up". Nope, we just pick up where we left off. It's a beautiful thing. Sometimes I drive past her old school and I can't believe the relief I feel at not having to drive there. Even greater, the relief that Elliet isn't sitting there doing those eight page packets every day.

I found this journal at Target that she uses almost every day. Each sheet is blank on top and then lined (for early writing) on the bottom half.

(picture stolen from Mead)
When we read through the book about the White House and the Obama family she used the notebook to write down words she didn't understand. We used the list of words to learn how to use the dictionary and then reviewed the words for vocabulary. She also drew a picture each day to illustrate something she learned. She loves art and I love being able to incorporate it into her learning experience! As we progressed in the book and had already uncovered most of the new vocabulary, Elliet started writing about what she learned instead of writing words. She wrote about why it would be cool to live in the White House and drew a picture of herself bowling. She drew a picture of Bo the dog and wrote about how he likes to play with people's feet. She's reading about Clara Barton now, she reads two or three pages and then we talk about what she read. We are going through ABeka Math, I'm still undecided about this curriculum but it's pretty nice. I LOVE the Primary Language Lessons book.

(These images stolen from Amazon)

She uses her journal to do a lesson each day. I usually break them in half though because they are written for 2nd grade and up. The lessons are rather quaint and the grammar is very traditional. I like this, I think that much of today's curriculum is "dumbed down", particularly in the language arts.

Our "Schedule"
My favorite part of this whole thing is our schedule, and I use that term very loosely. We get up in the morning and do breakfast, no yelling, no rushing, no packing. The girls get dressed and usually go play outside for a while. I use that time to do the dishes, play with Ziva and check-in online. The girls are in and out, I may take Ziva and go out with them for a while, fill the bird feeders, somewhere in there the kids have a snack.
Lunch rolls around and the kids eat and then Kenai and Ziva go for naps. During naptime, Elliet and I do her school work. This usually lasts two to three hours with a few breaks mixed in. When she starts to feel overwhelmed she can go outside for a while. On rainy days she likes to play the Wii or watch a movie.
When everybody is up from naps there's another snack followed by something pretty similar to our morning. Sometimes there is schoolwork to be finished, sometimes Kenai wants to do a page from her pre-K writing books. Sometimes we go to the library or the grocery store. I think I could do this forever but our plans are totally up in the air and will be based on what each child needs each school year. Kenai will be in Kindergarten this fall at the same co-op that Elliet attended. I really love the teacher and I think it is important for Kenai to get out and be around other kids in a structured setting.
This is what is working for us right now, who knows what the future holds!


  1. That sounds like a schedule I could live with!

  2. It really is heavenly. Except it almost never goes that way! Two therapy visits a week for Kenai, plus getting her to preschool three days a week. Between the four of us we run at least two dr appointments a week. Thank God for my mom who usually gets down here once a week. A good time to schedule my appointments.

  3. Sounds like you are doing just the right thing for your kids. I'm hoping to homeschool my boys as they get older (I guess we kind of do that already). I'm sure it won't always go smoothly, but it sounds like you are willing to make adjustments as the girls need them.

  4. I have bookmarked so many of your posts in my homeschooling file!

  5. Awww, thanks! Glad to hear someone is using them.