Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Homeschool Lately

We sit down for breakfast and do our memory work. We memorize a poem and a verse each month. This month’s is Romans 8:39. I prayed that God would give me a verse that they’ll get a lot out of someday and that verse immediately popped into my head/heart. Then I read them a devotional, currently from Indescribable or What Every Child Should Know about Prayer. We’ve also started learning a sign language word each week. Mostly, this is for my personal benefit in teaching Baby D sign language but they’re all getting something out of it too so why not?

After breakfast we do a few daily chores and if I’m caught up in something really time-intensive (like yesterday, when I accidentally spilled sausage grease all inside the hot oven and had to clean that out… still bitter), they can usually sneak in a little playtime right here. A and I do a math lesson (The Good and the Beautiful’s Math K) and then everybody gets a snack + play time while I start lunch. If I still have a lot of time here, this is where I’ll fit in B and C’s preschool activities.
Preschool activities are pretty lax. For one thing, I still think playing is the most important form of learning in these early years… but they’re also participating in a lot of A’s activities and lessons so I don’t want to overdo it. We usually choose two, but of course that number is pretty flexible… workbooks (especially Wipe-Off books) // Melissa + Doug spelling puzzle // color or shape matching // starts-with-the-letter-___ scavenger hunts // counting activities // ABC puzzle // letter/number magnets // making letters and numbers out of Floam // Hoot Owl Hoot, Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders, Eric Carle’s ABC Game, a Winnie the Pooh card game.

I usually do a chapter of our read-aloud (currently Pirate’s Promise) after I finish eating my lunch, and lately we’ve been finishing that up by holding up our Spanish word book and letting them find nouns they recognize from the chapter, then reminding them of any words they can’t remember. This has turned out to be a really great method and they’re all very happy with it. Our last read-aloud was about forest animals and this one is about a boy and some pirates so it’s keeping nearly everything very well in the rotation.

After that, my girls are usually still eating so A and I start on language arts. He’s doing the Level K course book now, still through The Good and the Beautiful. The K course is a bit more time-intensive than the K-primer course was (phonics cards, sight words, spelling words, poetry memorization, pages in the course book, and reading practice) but it’s easy to break these up if I need to so it doesn’t feel like too much. He also usually does a handwriting page, either during naptime or while I make dinner.

After lunch I read a bible story (currently from The Story for Kids) and a picture book or two, then it’s naptime/quiet time while I finish up any tasks and then write.

After naps we sit down together for science twice a week and history twice a week. Right now for science we’re using the My First Super Science Kit my mom got him for Christmas last year. She bought it because it came with a microscope, one of his big wishlist items, but he wasn’t really feeling the kit itself just yet. He seemed to be more ready a couple months ago so I brought it up again and this time he was thrilled with the idea. He loves this thing, and this weekend we’re going to do an extra experiment because he’s dying to check out the fizzy color tabs. We do geography when we do history and this kid is a geography whiz. He loves to color places in on a laminated map any time we read about them. He knows all 50 US states and many countries. For history, tells me what he’s interested in and I find library books about it. We last focused on Abraham Lincoln, now George Washington, and then we’re spending the rest of February on black history.

We often squeeze an elective in right here (computer, art, music, safety, service project) and then the kids all play while I work on any other chores + start dinner. After dinner they play with Dad, then we get ready for bed and read another picture book or two.

The fifth day of the week is usually a lot more lax and now we’re going to make that fifth day our big elective-with-friends day instead… inviting a friend over to cook/bake with us, attending a music/dance/art class, library story time + computer practice, trying a new sport, hiking and exploring with friends, etc.

I think that’s it. I have to admit that all of this is A LOT in one day, especially because I am also caring for all the little ones + managing a home + attempting to bring in a lot more writing income right now. The other day I seriously considered moving some things to the weekend just to make each day a little calmer but I ultimately decided not to. I CAN handle it all, I just don’t stop moving most days until I go to bed verrrry tired. =]

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