Saturday, August 16, 2014

Weekly Recap (August 11 - First Week!)

The first week of homeschooling is finished, and I wrote a little bit about my back-to-school emotions on my other blog. My goal on this blog, however, is to somewhat journal about and keep track of our school year. I'm guessing future "weekly recap" posts won't be as lengthy, but wordiness is my gift. :)

My list of "things to do" went a little faster than I anticipated, and there were moments when I wanted to freak out about that.  I had to remind myself that a homeschool does not look like a classroom because Bubby and I don't have to wait on twenty-five (or thirty-three) other students to finish/understand/stop horsing around before we move on to the next thing. Each day we covered a lot of things in a short amount of time.
first day self-portait, survey, handprints, and silly picture

What We Did:
This week we read Night of Moonjellies by Mark Shasha, and Bubby really enjoyed it. (I hope to do a separate blog post about this soon for my Five in a Row section.) We also read about jellyfish, read some other science books (not textbooks) that we will make our way through this year. We covered the "th" sound in phonics, which was probably the hardest thing Bubby has encountered so far in reading, I think because he doesn't do well with the "th" sound in his speech. Math was a review of triangles, and I also threw in positional words and a short introduction to money.  We did a little bit of handwriting each day (not our favorite subject), but by Friday attitudes and ability had improved for both of us.

We started our first series of Spanish phrases "Tomo el libro. Abro el libro. Cierro el libro." We did one easy art project and there were a couple of other times to just paint. We had our first field trip - meeting up with other homeschoolers (whom we did not know) to a local farm/park to learn about goats. We played outside in the water table some and at a couple of different parks. Bubby loves calendar time (which includes a lot of other things besides the calendar), and I love everything about calendar time except the calendar/"Today is..."/"What is the weather?" portions. There was lots of time at different parts of the day to read together, and plenty of time for Bubby to just play.

Bugaboo LOVED seeing the goats (He kept calling them "Dog!")

Bubby's turn to pet the goat
I had listed things on my planning sheets for Bugaboo to do during our school time. I wasn't sure how this was going to go with two kids of different ages, abilities, and needs. Bugaboo joined us for calendar time. (Well, he wandered around and watched us do calendar - and joined in for his memory verse each day.) He usually sat in on the books we were reading on the couch or on the floor in the boys' room, though not always. He participated in art and our field trip. A couple of times during math he was content to play with some manipulatives (one of which is good for his fine motor skills). The rest of the time during school he was pretty content to do puzzles, "read" his books (he could sit for a very long time looking at every picture book on his shelves), playing in his pretend kitchen, and on two occasions watching the shortest Veggie Tales DVDs we own. I'm sure that not every week will go as smoothly as it did with Bugaboo this week, but I think it will help that he will be at preschool two mornings a week while Bubby and I do school.

Bugaboo's first day of preschool. We both did well.
Such a hard decision for this mama.

My favorite thing from this week was Bubby saying on Wednesday, "You mean I have to do school EVERY day?" I don't think he quite understands what the next thirteen years of his education will be like. Lucky for him, he gets to start off in a gentle way.  My other favorite thing was Bubby asking me to reread certain books that were new to us at the beginning of the week.

What I Learned:
This is going to be a good year. On Monday there were a couple of times when I thought, "This was the wrong decision. We are going to butt heads all. year. long." The middle part of the week I saw pictures of friends' kids going off to school and struggled a bit with that as I: a) worried that Bubby was missing out on something wonderful by not going to a school building b)thinking about all the things I could get done around the house if I sent him to school every day (or a couple of days) each week.

But now, at the end of the week, I know that this is the right decision for us for this season. I love the flexibility. We went outside in the mornings a few days this week and did school before and after so that we could enjoy the nice weather and meet up with friends. I love that I am picking what he learns right now. I love that there are times when Bubby, Bug, and I are sitting on the couch or at the table learning together. I love that I don't have to push him on handwriting too much yet, and I love that he isn't being held back in his reading by a predetermined kindergarten curriculum. Yes, this is the right fit for us right now.

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