Monday, August 30, 2010

Our first day back to homeschool!

What a wonderful start to our HSing year! We started on time, there was no whining or complaining, and the kids actually even enjoyed our first day! The teacher was quite pleased as well.  So - what did we do? 
After the kids finished their morning routine and breakfast, and after they tended to the animals (while I cleared the table), we all took our seats in the kitchen classroom.  The funny thing is that the kids happened to remember that last year's teacher had a very strange name (I forgot all about it).  Mrs. Kronable...  Yep, that's me!  They insisted that I introduce myself before beginning and so I did.  I introduced the schedule of the week and month to the kids and they seemed rather pleased.  It looks a bit like this -
M-F  Journal
M-TH  Math
MWF  Word of the Week (aka character study)
TTH   Poetry Memorization
M-TH Spelling
M-TH Writing
M-F  Music lesson and practice (The kids will be learning the recorder)
M-F     1 hour of daily quiet/reading time

Our Fridays aren't as academic

Journal and Math are still required, but then the remainder of class time will be spent on Life Skills.  We will be starting with cooking lessons.  The kids already have a long list of things they are ready to prepare.  Mainly cake, cookies, candy and chocolate.  They may be disappointed to learn that they will be learning more than just baking, but I won't tell them just yet.

Something I am doing different this year is incorporating one week per month of concentrated Art, History, or Science studies.  I had a difficult time before fitting adequate time in for these on a daily basis, so rather than have it all spread out, we will take a solid week to work on a unit study.  The kids       
thought this was a great idea.  I'm liking the idea too.  It just seems to make sense. 

SO - After explaining the schedule and the things that will be expected of the kids, the kids started with their first journal entry.  They were reminded to use neat handwriting, and were discouraged from writing the same entry over and over again for each day (something my DD did at daycare Public school).  (I had to laugh at myself over this issue.  At the end of PS, my daughter brought home her neatly bound and beautifully decorated journal from first grade.  It was a work of art which I eagerly looked forward to reading.  In anticipation of finding profound words of wisdom that only a seven year old could fathom, and glorious insights into the mind of my little princess, I opened her journal and began to read.  I turned the pages with mixed emotions.  I was glad to find that she really really likes our dog and our two cats.  But an entire journal dedicated to the subject was a bit disappointing much.  Out of approximately 25 or so entries, all but two introduced our dog and cats... over and over again... sigh.  So much for my profound reading experience.)

Next, we moved into some basic math review.  I figured I better make sure they remembered place values, and how to add, subtract, carry and borrow before starting with multiplication.  Thankfully they did remember (dd needed a little reminder but was quick to pick it up again).  We practiced a few questions on the white boards and then moved ahead with some basic worksheet practice.  It was quick and easy.  And a great confidence and enthusiasm builder.  ;)

We took a short break and returned to do some penmanship practice.  My son has always had messy writing and any bit of dedicated practice is of great benefit.  We didn't get into any language art instruction today mainly because I still need to figure out what to review and where to begin anew.  Tomorrow is another day, and I have another few hours to dig into our spelling lessons and figure out a starting point.  Anyyyywayyyy, once they finished their penmanship, they were free to have lunch and recess, followed by Quite/Reading time.  This seemed the perfect way to end our first day back to homeschool.  And so it was.

My son tonight told me he was happy to begin learning again and that the first day back to HS was "fun".  It makes my heart smile.

No comments: