Friday, September 4, 2009

Weeks 1 & 2 in Review

We have now completed 2 weeks of school. We did a lot and had a lot of fun!!

Last week, I tried to focus on getting back into a routine - we really haven't had much of a routine for Norah and Lucy since Daphne was born over 7 months ago. Daphne has been on a great schedule for about 4 months, but poor Norah and Lucy have had to just go with the flow.

We wait until around 9 to start school - which is perfect because Norah has been sleeping until 8:30 and Daphne goes back down around 9. We start with a little circle time (requested by Norah). We read some books, do our calendar, sing some songs, practice Bible verses, review sight words, and sometimes do something special depending on what we are reading that day. Two mornings a week, I am also do some preschool stuff for Lucy so we add in a Montessori activity demonstration and a number of the week. I am not exclusively using the Montessori methond for Lucy, but I am doing a lot. As the second child she likes to do things independently and she likes to have quite a bit of say over what she does. In order to keep things running smoothly while teaching preschool and kindergarten at the same time, Lucy has quite a bit of independent learning while choosing things from the Montessori shelf. Norah has actually enjoyed some of the new activities, too. They both beg to do something from the Montessori shelf on the days that we are not actually doing preschool.

We are reading a couple of pages every day from the Usborne Internet-linked Children's Encyclopedia and then getting online to find out a little more about the topic and doing some related activities. Okay, if you have never seen or heard of this encyclopedia, it is FANTASTIC!!! Today, we read about castle life and then got online to learn a little more. There was a picture of a castle and you could click on different areas of the castle for more information and to do an activity specific to that area. For whatever reason, Norah was interested in the dungeon. This was the activity they wanted to do. We read the little story and then click on "You say what happens" to get here to create a personalized escape plan. Very fun. The girls wanted to do it multiple times. I am planning on having an Usborne Books party in October or early November so if you are interested in this book, check back later.

After circle time Norah usually does some table work which includes copywork or a journal page and a page from Explode the Code. Right now for her copywork we are practicing writing her whole name (she has been able to do this for awhile, but has gotten VERY sloppy), and our address. She may journal whatever she wants, but then she writes one sentence describing her picture.

Next we do a math lesson. Each day she does 4 or 5 practice addition problems using our math drawers. Okay, I could take a picture of ours, but I took the lazy way out and just linked to the inspiration. Norah LOVES this activity. I am also using it with Lucy, but instead of addition problems she just gets a number card and has to count out that many counters. The past 2 weeks we have focused on sorting, graphing and describing different groups of items. We used bear counters, m&m's, pasta, and people counters. We have also started talking about sets of 10 and describing numbers with how many tens and ones. We also reviewed patterning, but Norah told me that was "waaaay too easy!"

For science we are focusing on nature studies. We are trying to take a nature hike at least once a week and we use our findings as a springboard for our science lessons. Also, some of our read-alouds are science related. We will also do some experiments along the way - magnets, sink-float, etc.

At rest time (naptime for Lucy and Daphne) Norah is reading a book to me and then I am reading a couple of chapters from our read-alouds to her. We have finished 3 chapter books in just a couple of weeks. The great thing about homeschooling is that if Norah wants me to read ahead - we totally can. I don't have to stick exactly to the lesson plan.

Using Foreign Language Friends, Norah has completed the shapes activities and is working on body parts. We are also doing some extra activities to help her review the Spanish words that she has already learned.

We are also doing art and music - more on that later. We are busy, busy in the mornings, but the girls have been excited to get started. It helps tremendously that Daphne usually takes a decent morning nap.


Kyle Luke said...

I'm so impressed, Heather. That's a lot of work to keep up with, along with the normal responsibilities of having three children and you make it sound so easy!

Good job. :)