Saturday, August 11, 2012

We made it!

Well, we have week 1 under our belts and I still have enough energy to blog about it!

As most of you know, we chose Sonlight as our curriculum this year.  After tons of research, I thought it was the perfect fit for our family and I am feeling very happy with our decision so far!  A quick overview of what I will be teaching.  I started the girls on the pre-k core which includes bible, geography, history and science. I put them both on K language arts. Addison on 2nd grade readers (she is currently reading at 4th/5th grade level, but I wanted this to be fun. She stills likes pictures in her books, after all, she is only 4) and Laney on 1st grade readers. Addison on 1st grade math and Laney on Kindergarten math.

Over the past weekend, my husband and I gathered supplies and got organized for the week.  I planned absolutely nothing for Monday (no errands, no out to lunch, no play dates, nothing) I wanted to see how the day would go and get a feel for this "homeschooling thing."  Let the week begin!

Monday was a great day, but a learning experience as well.  I am sure it is no surprise to anyone, but Addison was totally into it and Laney was only into it when something sounded interesting to her.  We did get everything accomplished I wanted to, but some minor changes needed to be made.  I thought we would start by reading stories on the couch (I was so excited about this.  I had a happy picture in my head of me and kids cuddled under a blanket reading our books) however, that came to a screeching halt when Max kept jumping around on everyone and no one could hear or see the pictures.

Change #1 - Read stories while having meals/snacks

I was starting the Language Arts section for the day and the concepts seemed so simple.  They wanted me to spend an entire week on the letter F.  They both understood the concepts, but the writing part was the problem.  Addison was great writing what I asked, but Laney wasn't much into it.  I tried helping her and she seemed frustrated, so I just let it go, she just doesn't have the motor skills yet.  Later that night, I was thinking to myself, "what in the world am I doing?!?  She is only 3, why would I try and make her write?"

Change #2 - Let Laney join in on writing when she wants to.  We also started writing letters on the chalkboard which she loved, plus Max can join in.  DON'T try and have Laney sit down and write on paper!

As far as the reading and math are concerned, they are both doing great.  They think it is so special when it is their turn to read to baby Ella and they actually can't wait to hear what comprehension questions I have for them.  The only thing I have had to adjust here is allowing Addison to read more.  Since the day we got her readers, they have been up on a book shelf and she has been dying to read them.  I have been attempting to follow the reading schedule, but she still wants a variety.  I think she has already done 3 weeks worth of reading.

Change #3 - Let Addison read at her own pace even if it is faster than the "schedule" we have.

Once I made my minor adjustments, the rest of the school week went great.  The kids were into everything we did.  If they would be playing, I would ask "who is ready for more school" and they would come running.  We did lots of crafts and art projects, sang songs, danced around and just had plain old fun. 

There was 1 major improvement I would like to note.  I usually have the kids play in the basement (that is where we keep the majority of our toys) for a while in the morning.  It was just recently that I let Max go down with the girls and it has always ended in crying.  I could maybe get 10 minutes out of it.  However, during school, I call it "free time" and they will all happily go down and play without any arguments until I call them back up.  I haven't let them play for over 30 minutes by themselves yet, but this is a vast improvement!

All in all, a great week!  I am feeling positive about what we're doing and where we're going.  One of the best parts about it is that we were still able to do all the fun stuff we normally do.  We went to gymnastics, play dates, park, pool, and even ran some errands.

I'm off to prep for week #2!

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