September 9, 2012

getting our learn on...

OK, I have a confession. And I really don't mean to sound snooty when I say this, but homeschooling looks so much harder than it is. Sometimes I actually feel like I'm cheating or something. I mean, when you look at the pictures below it looks like I'm some crazy super-mom but in all reality, after the hours of preparation before the school year starts and despite some planning/prep each week, it doesn't take that much time. I block out about 1 1/2 hours each day (split between the morning and afternoon) but I find that we can bust through math, reading and handwriting in about 45 minutes. The other time is left for a fun little art project, play dough/block time, reading, or just playing. 

Being a teacher, one would think I have an advantage at this schooling stuff, but actually I have had to let go of a lot of the "teacher" in me in order to make school-at-home fun and successful. We do calendar time, but other than that our lessons are integrated into our normal day. After a math lesson, the kids will go play in the sandbox. During lunch we'll do some reading practice. Science is built in to hot-wheel time. Art is sandwiched between nursing a baby and snack-time. And social skills are being formed all throughout the day as Avila and Max learn to play and love one another throughout it all.

I know it'll get more intense as the kids get older, but for now, it works. We had a crazy illness pop up at the end of our first week and, because life is simple, we were able to adjust and move some school-things around and not lose ground. I feel God so present in this endeavor and I love seeing the kids soak up all the stimulation and extra one-on-one time with me. 

BUT, I'm still telling you I miss those cute uniforms. I just may break down and buy some......

Reading curriculum: Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and Bob Books.
Math Curriculum: Singapore Math
Handwriting Curriculum: Handwriting Without Tears
Religious Formation: Liturical Year Activities (I put this together), Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, frequenting Mass and Adoration whenever we can in addition to Sundays.
Science: experiments found online and in different science workbooks
Social Studies: A theme each week with corresponding art/coloring/activities
Other: Piano Lessons, Ballet

From fighting over tracks to being human tunnels and playing together all afternoon. 

Overheard: "Max, you are my best friend."

Avila is a drawing fool. These were collected over a two day time frame. And every detail has some crazy meaning. If I ever want to know what's in her head or why she's grumpy, I just look at these.

Our Morning Offering, framed. For the project click here.

From this......

To this......

Need to do handwriting at the kitchen table but it's too high for a kid to reach?
Highchair. Problem solved.

Avila playing teacher.

At the end of the day, this is what it's all about.


Erin said...

love your homeschool ideas/plans and pics! good luck mama! Quick question: I am looking at the Singaport Math as well....have you noticed a better version of the two tehy offer? the essential or standard? just curious if someone knows....thanks

Michael and Kristine said...

We have the Standards edition and I'm actually not quite sure what the difference is between the two since I bought it a year ago and am just now getting to it! But so far we really like what we have!