Well the first 6 weeks of homeschooling has flown by! So far it has been about adjusting to schedule changes, organizing, searching for resources and ideas and wondering if this is really going to work out. Guess what? I think it will!
|A walk in the woods on a fall day|
I’m a work from home mom and my workload has doubled recently and I’ve also had to make the adjustment of going into the office twice a week. My husband works Tuesday – Saturday, so I go into the office on Mondays while he’s home with the kids. This gives him some great one on one time with them and lets him do fun stuff like take them swimming or go out to lunch. I also go into the office on Thursdays and I have found a great homeschooled teen that comes to our house to babysit. The girls love her and have fun going to the park, playing games and doing puzzles with her.
|Climbing wall at a local park|
In terms of the style of homeschooling that I chose, I would say we are 80% unschoolers, 20% traditional parent led. We do a couple worksheets a week and I help her learn how to read, write and do math, but for the most part I let her explore on her own and answer any questions she has. She’s in some registered activities like choir and dance and loves socializing on the playground. She went to a drama class hosted by our homeschool board and had a great time meeting other kids and learning about body language and role playing.
|Checking out some art at Borden Park|
But then she will also come up with things on her own like counting to 100 (and then 200!) while driving in the car, or asking random questions that will lead to a 5-10 minute discussion and looking up information on the internet. She asked “How do people get coats if there is no city”? This led to a discussion on shipping goods on a national and global scale, and where her clothes and food might come from. We were able to relate the discussion with a visual experience on the way back from the drama class when we seen transport trucks lined up to go into the container yard and then the train full of containers head down the track.
We joined a group of homeschool families that enjoy swapping postcards and have received quite a few so far. We plot the locations on a wall map and briefly discuss the topic of the postcard. We received one from Kentucky and talked about the horses that were on the postcard and the Kentucky Derby. That led to a video of a horse race, looking at images of fancy hats, and then it took a turn and we moved into a discussion on the Queen of England (she loves her fancy hats too!), real princesses and the famous landmarks of London!
|Our postcards since the beginning of September, except for one from Australia that was being used as mail in their playhouse. We have sent 20 out so far and need to get more postcards!|
One of my daughter’s favorite pass times is puzzles, an activity she usually saves for when her 2 year old sister is napping. Puzzles have many benefits in early childhood education. Hand-eye coordination, fine and gross motor skills, problem solving, memory, goal setting and patience are some of the things she’s working on and learning each time she sits down to do one.
|A fairy 48 piece|
|Hello Kitty 50 piece|
Not a day goes by in our house that crayons, marker or colored pencils aren’t pulled out and the kids are sprawled all over the floor, at a table or on their bed coloring or drawing. She’s learning more hand-eye coordination and patience, practicing how to hold writing tools and also discovering color, hue, patterns and more.
|Drawing, coloring and practicing some numbers|
Playgrounds are a weekly must , usually getting out to one a couple times a week. We are also lucky to have a small one in our town home complex and C usually spends all of her weekend afternoons hanging out there and catching up with the neighborhood kids. We missed one week because it snowed (yup, SNOWED IN SEPTEMBER!) and we weren’t prepared for it. But new snowsuits and mitts were purchased so that won’t be stopping us next time! There are also lots of fun indoor playgrounds and activities around us that we will be hitting up once the temperature drops.
|Checking out a new playground|
Then there’s also the fun stuff they haven’t seen before or only comes out once in a while (due to high mess factors). Play doh, painting, crafts, I made up a batch of moon sand and C spend half an hour playing with it while younger sister napped and I made supper. She loved the feel of it (so did I) and used play doh accessories to mold it and scoop it.
|Scooping up some Moon Sand|
8 cups of all purpose flour
1 cup of baby oil
You could also add a couple drops of food coloring to the oil before mixing
Mix well! It can be stored and used again, just put it in a air tight container or cover with plastic wrap
I halved the recipe, but will make another batch when both kids are awake to play with it.
|Painting outside on a sunny day|
There’s been so much to do and keep us busy since the school year started and I am excited for what’s to come! Thanksgiving crafts this weekend, drama class part 2 next week and Halloween crafts, decorating and parties coming up soon.
What activities are your kid’s favorite and keep them busy?