In which we take a break from the cliff-hanger Home Management Binder Series to give a glimpse into our homeschool…Binder tips will resume when the desktop gets out of the hospital. (Good news – diagnosis has been made and parts are in the mail!)
Our School Day I look forward to 10 am every day, for that is when I leave my chores, call the kids from their play, and we cuddle on the couch with a pile of books to read. I get to ask questions of my boy that make him screw up his lips in thought, or point things out that cause his face light up with understanding and wonder.
After a page of this and a chapter of that and “one more story, please, mommy?” we head to the kitchen table where I dole out fun activity pages to each of them, passing out scissors and an open a box of markers. They cut and past and trace the letter of the week and, thanks to the colorful Kumon books, it’s all like a wonderful game.
By 11 Jesse is in full creativity mode, and Claire has wandered off to check on her favorite doll, “Sophie-Baby” so I leave them to start lunch or tend to Seth. Our ‘Formal’ schooling is done, but all through the day we dialogue and refer to things we’ve been learning. We know Jessse’s little mind is in full Seek and Learn mode as he continually surprises us with random questions and statements…
“It’s bedtime for Africa right now.”
I knew I’d love homeschooling, but I never thought it would be this fun.
|After reading about the biggest animal, a blue whale, we went out in the snow and paced out the size of the whale in the backyard. Wow, they are really big! Mommy got a good workout. Note: I am not this creative every day. LOL|
|Claire making a snow angel.|
Our Routine We love us a good routine around here. It changes frequently as the needs of the kids change, but right now our mornings usually look like this…
8:00 – we eat breakfast and get dressed. If I have slept well, I get up before the kids, but otherwise, not much happens around here before 8.
|Geometry in the kitchen…Jesse makes a house out of a square and a triangle cut from purple cabbage leaves. He’s also learning knife safety.|
9:00 I call the kids from play into the kitchen and we do our chores. They clear their breakfast dishes then empty the dishwasher. Claire does the utensils and Jesse everything else. Then we may do some food prep (this morning I attempted sauerkraut for the third time) and usually have a load of laundry to wash or fold. Once we’ve done the chores we can do together, I release them to play and I finish tidying the kitchen.
|The sauerkraut Mommy was working on next to him.|
10:00 I call the kids to the couch for school. I put Seth in his play pen with a new-from-the-cupboard toy and he is right next to us while we read on the couch. He’s usually happy in there until we move to the diningroom for ‘table school’, then I transfer him to the johnny-jump-up with some good ‘Jumping Music’ so the kids can do their writing and cutting without Seth eating their markers (Literally)
|Seth’s favorite school activity.|
The kids respond well to the routine, and are learning to tell time because each of our morning activities starts with the chime of the clock. You may notice our morning involves a good measure of free play time, too, because we feel that is so important for this age.
|A Robin’s nest Jesse made during an afternoon with playdough.|
Our afternoons go many different ways, and I’m still working on my tendency to get caught up in a project and leaving them to their own devices till dinner time. I’m asking the Lord to help turn my heart toward my children and away from other passions that steal my attention from them. Revamping my binder yesterday morning in prep for the next post on that subject reminded me how little time I can afford to spend on other things (computer, sewing, pleasure reading) if my goal is to invest well in my children in this most formative season in their lives.
|sprouting avocado seeds for science|
The Kids’ Books The curriculum we’re loving this year is Sonlight’s Preschool 4/5 Core. It includes lots of story books to grow attention span, tales from around the world (geography), books about animals (science), jobs people do, and the world we live in. We’re reading through the Bible with”The DK Children’s Everyday Bible”, and have a short weekly memory verse. We’re also using the “Get Ready for the Code” workbooks. Our focus right now is letter recognition, counting, and increased awareness of the big world around them. Claire is tagging along, enjoying the stories and proudly saying her verse each day. Jesse is 5 1/2 and Claire is 3 1/4 years.
The Teacher’s Books My homeschool philosophy is being greatly impacted by the books of Raymond and Dorothy Moore. Right now I’m reading “Home Grown Kids” – the book that inspired both my parents and my in-laws to begin homeschooling almost 30 years ago – before the word ‘homeschooling’ was even in use. Their writing is giving me confidence and joy as I embrace the privelidge of teaching my own children at home. This quote is both convicting and inspiring to me…
“The unqualified parent or teacher is one whose attitude is indifferent to a youngster’s real needs, or whose motives place his or her own freedoms above those of the child. We firmly believe that the greatest teaching talent in the world lies in the warm, responsive and consistent parent whose love makes the needs of his children his highest concern…Parents’ daily on-to-one example amounts to master teaching at the highest level.” – “Home-Grown Kids”
I also recommend “Educating the Whole Hearted Child” by the Clarksons, and “A Charlotte Mason Companion“, both on the list in the “Mother” tab of my Home Management Book, waiting to be read. (Note: the only thing I can’t recommend about the Moores’ books is their health advice. It’s very dated and doesn’t encourage good fats!:()
What are your favorite homeschool or parenting resources?