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I’m happy to say our first week of officially homeschooling was a success!
I’m excited for our new adventure, but I also felt a little hesitant to start. After two homeschooling conferences and a year and a half of researching, reading books, blogs, and just about everything I could get my hands on, it’s exciting to finally be moving forward. I still feel a little hesitant because this whole, “I’m responsible for teaching my kids everything they need to know” thing occassionally overwhelms me. (Someone please pass a paper bag.)
We had a very laid back first week. I think I was partially in denial that we were finally starting. This endeavor has been a “one day” thought for so long that for “one day” to be “today” was surreal. I had planned on starting Monday, but my oldest was still home from school (he’s attending a local charter school. We may homeschool him one day, but for now he’s doing well where he is. Honestly, this could be about 80 blog posts on its own so I’ll try to avoid a tangent and stay on track).
We decided to join a local Classical Conversations group, and our first meeting was Tuesday so I let that be our official first day. Of course, mommy brain was in full effect, and we showed up without any supplies because I completely forgot we needed any, but we had a nice time nonetheless. My daughter (5) joined her five classmates in learning some Latin, geography, counting by twos, and science and art projects. It was a fun, learning-filled three hours.
I chose to sign up for a Classical Conversations group because I like the idea of having a community and support system. Will we go through the entire program? I have no idea, but the more I learn about the classical method of education, the more I like it, and the first day was great.
My husband took our oldest and youngest with him for the day, but #3 (our second son) accompanied us to CC. He went to the toddler room where he worked on drawing an A, colored a palm tree, and probably spent a large portion of the day playing with trucks. He’s obsessed! They also had story time and probably snacks as well. It’s hard to get a lot of information out of my boys, especially at two, but he must have had a great time because he’s ready to go back.
Here he is (plaid shirt) on a little trip down the hall to see some fish.
I love seeing his little hand holding that rope. On their way back, he saw me in the classroom. He looked surprised, but he stayed with his group, which made me very proud. I was momentarily terrified that I was about to have a screaming toddler on my hands.
At home, we’ve mainly been focused on my daughter’s reading. We’re using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, and so far I’m loving it! We’re on lesson 24 (not all done this week, don’t worry), and she’s really catching on quickly. We done 1 or 2 lessons each day (the second is always at her request), and we usually skip the writing portion. I read in The Well Trained Mind that it’s best to teach children to write the upper and lower case letters together at the same time so we’ll take that approach soon.
While we work on reading, #3 likes to play with the Handwriting Without Tears Wood Pieces Set to make letters and sometimes other things…
I couldn’t figure out why he was saying monkey until I looked up from helping my daughter to see he’d made a monkey! I love that he’s learning to play with shapes to create all kinds of things.
For math, we’re giving Math-U-See a try. My daughter loves playing with the blocks, and on our first day she completed 31 pages in the workbook! I’d like to make sure everyone knows that I am, in absolutely no way, pressuring her to do a ton of pages or read extra lessons. I’m just bringing up doing the work, and she’s running with it.
I’m keeping the baby entertained with crayons and a coloring page taped to the table. It’s worked well for two days, though the color page usually goes untouched. He seems to enjoy removing crayons from the crayon tower and putting them back more than anything. Thankfully, our kitchen is right next to the family room so he sometimes plays there with his big brother too.
I know things probably sound like sunshine and roses by now, but I did get a little push back at one point. I’ve read in a couple of different books focused on classical education that it’s a good idea to read to kids and let them write a short summary of what they’ve heard and draw a picture. Since my daughter doesn’t yet write but loves to draw, I thought she’d love this activity. Not so much. I let her choose a story from the children’s Bible, and this is the drawing I got back.
If you’re guessing the parting of the Red Sea… you’d be wrong. This would be more accurately titled, “Educational Mutiny.”
I’m all for creative expression, but blatant disobedience not so much. I told her she had to do it again, and the second attempt was much better.
Can you tell which story she drew?