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Monday, September 21, 2009

Coracles, Mummies & Meatballs

Last week flew by and I learned how to adapt the schedule with out becoming too stressed out. I never knew that I preferred to be a scheduled person... and maybe this is only a recent development in my life, out of necessity, but I operate better with a structured plan and I am usually a little irritated when it doesn't go as I expected. I have a schedule up on the classroom wall and the first week I strayed very little from that schedule. It's a good thing because it laid the foundation of our routine and the kids learned in the first week that homeschooling is not just playing and doing our own thing, that there are still things that have to get done, challenges they have to overcome, and tasks to do that they may not particularly enjoy doing. This second week was a little different for a variety of reasons, but all in all, I learned how to make adjustments to the routine, adapting the day to what we needed it to be, and still feel like I accomplished something, even if it wasn't everything I originally wanted to accomplish.

Here's a glimpse of our week last week...

KaiKai is really enjoying Intro to World Cultures.. we spent this week learning about various aspects of the first people.. what they ate, how they dressed, modes of transportation... we made a coracle out of pipe cleaners and plastic and it really did float, we started learning about Ancient Egypt and KaiKai really enjoyed learning about the mummification process. He said to me, " Mommy there are a lot of interesting things in this book!" That was music to my ears!

LiLi and Buttercup finished up the letter A.. the grand finale was an apple pie that they all helped me to make.
We moved on to the letter B. We made juice box boats, they helped me make bread and made their own bumble bees!

I am working with LiLi on recognizing and spelling his first and last name. He has known the first and how to spell it for a while now so I am using this little activity I found to help him practice both names. The letters are written on bottle tops so he has to find and match the letters with name strips I wrote out for him.

They continued with triangles and the colours red, green and blue so i tied it all together with some triangle sponge painting... of course KaiKai didn't want to be left out of anything... I try and make him my helper, to assist me with the younger two.

On Thursday the boys had the first of their monthly homeschool group class at BAMZ. This month they learned all about reptiles and can not wait to go back next month! LiLi wanted to go the next day for another class!

We went on Friday to see "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" after reading the book with them on Thursday. It was highly entertaining! This was the first 3D movie they had been to so it took a little getting used to.. LiLi had the 3D glasses off for most of the movie!

It was great hanging out with just the boys for the afternoon...Daddy got some quality bonding time with Buttercup.

On Saturday we went to the Children's Reading festival... here are my budding Picasso's

Ma came over and spent one afternoon... I love this picture of her and KaiKai reading together.

So 2 weeks down and I am still standing! I am continuing to take this one day at a time and finding strength and peace in God. As the kids learn, I am also learning... not just facts but so much about myself as well!

thanks for visiting! come again!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

SO what made you do it?

One question that comes up whenever I tell anyone that we are homeschooling is how we made that decision. Especially by people who know that KaiKai spent one year at public school. I guess the assumption is that we were not happy, which is completely the opposite. We had a wonderful experience for KaiKai's Primary one year.. he had an amazing teacher and a great year. If you had asked me prior to about 6 months ago if I would homeschool I would have have said NO WAY.. not me!! Not that I had anything against homeschooling, it just didn't seem like anything I would or could do. I admired people that did but I didn't think it was for me. All that changed this past spring... I was up one night surfing the web, I think I was looking at scrapbooking websites and somehow I found myself on a homeschooling website... a few hours later I had read several articles, blogs, discussions regarding homeschooling and after that I could not sleep. I heard God clearly saying to me that we needed to homeschool our kids. It was one of those times that you could without a doubt know it was the voice of God. When JDF woke up the next morning, I told him that I thought we should homeschool. "Let's do it" was his response.. no discussion, no questions... it just seemed natural. Every step we took after that continued to confirm that this was a door that God had opened. Since I have made that decision, it has felt so right, I feel like it is my calling, and it is the most fulfilled I have felt regarding work. It is the choice we didn't make, but the choice God made for us. We are raising His kids so we have to obey the path he sets for us!

Our first week went well. The kids seemed to have enjoyed it. KaiKai and LiLi are using Horizons curriculum as well as Sonlight's Introduction to World Cultures. We were learning about Creation, the existence of God and Jesus before the world was created, the first people to live on the earth.. where they may have lived, what they ate, what they wore, it has been fascinating! I am learning tons of things too!! Buttercup doesn't want to be left out, so she was learning letter A with LiLi as well as the colours red, blue and green and the number 1. Of course she will not take it all in at once but the exposure is great! I managed to put her Tot School trays out one day and let her work on some activities with me.

Tot Schooltray 1- put the bears in the right colour section of the egg carton
tray 2- I got paint sample cards from the hardware store and coloured corresponding colours on clothes pins and Buttercup had to clip the right peg to the card. (fine motor skills)
tray 3- various letter magnets- Buttercup and LiLi had to identify the letter A's

this one was a favourite although Buttercup had some difficulty opening the pegs.
(note.. her hair is a mess because I haven't quite worked hair combing into our schedule!! it will come :)

for links to more Tot School ideas click here

Some other activities that we did altogether:

We went on a colour walk (inspired by this blog )

I made them "Letter A" bread for a yummy afternoon snack

we "cave painted" with grass and sticks and twigs
We are also reading through the Boxcar Children. KaiKai gets upset when we get to the end of the chapter and I close the book.. one more please is always his plea! I love that they love books.

Thanks for joining us on our adventure... come again!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Home School journey has begun

After my second day of homescooling I am exhausted... a good exhausted... so far I am having a blast! My plan was to start this week.. on Thursday.. for no extremely good reason but on Saturday this was the conversation at lunch:
KaiKai: Mommy can we start school tomorrow?
Me: Tomorrow is Sunday, we have church.. then Monday is a holiday.
KaiKai:So then can we start on Tuesday?
Buttercup: yay! me too me too!!! {jumping up and down}

What was I going to day to that! SO Tuesday it was! Of course the child not named in the above story wanted to stick with Thursday.. and he probably meant a Thursday next year sometime!

Monday evening I stayed up and put the final touches on the room as I wanted it to be special for their first day... I was pleased with the result.

Tuesday morning the kids woke up more than excited... and the day went well. We are using the Horizons Preschool program for LiLi and Sonlight and Horizons Grade 1 for KaiKai. I am trying to do Tot School with Buttercup at least a couple times a week but for the most part she just joins in with her brothers and tries to do what they are doing. Because they are all so close in age, a lot of what they are each doing are suitable for the others so there is a lot of crossover, which is good.

KaiKai kept saying "Mommy I like homeschool!" LiLi is enjoying it as well. Buttercup is learning that she can't always have mommy's attention. We have had 2 good days. I am trying to take as many pictures as I can so Daddy can be part of the experience as well.

It may be my imagination but the kids are so much more settled and obedient... and I am much more relaxed than I thought I would be. I know God is giving me strength and patience!!

So here is a peek at our first 2 days of school...

Letter of the week for LiLi

Play time

A look at God's creation

LiLi's project

Kai Kai busy at work

LiLi working on A's...

with leaves...


blades of grass.

Highlight of the day... Daddy home for lunch, giving rides on the bike!

we made chalk paint to end a perfect day!

Stay tuned for more adventures...