12.03.2015

homeschool. ish.








that little spinner calendar was my attempt at getting us into a set rhythm of sorts.  some days for science and language, other days for handwriting and math or handwork or geography or what-have-you.  honestly though, most weeks we follow it a couple times and wing it in between.  as much as I acknowledge the beauty of a set rhythm and all that it brings (and truly I do aim to stick with a set rhythm more often, at least I think I do),  sometimes it just doesn't seem to carry much weight around here.  maybe I lack the discipline or follow-through, or maybe it's just that she is five and I usually prefer to just follow her lead and see what she wants to do.  often, she wants to sit on the floor and draw as she listens to audio books.  or she wants to go for a walk or do garden chores or help me in the kitchen and really, isn't that all good work?  I think it is.  I know it is.  I find the beauty of homeschooling is first and foremost that everything we do is really a learning opportunity.  which is not to say that we have to actually make it such in any formal way but rather that it just....... happens.

when we do our 'school-work', which is to say, when we actually stick with the little spinner calendar, it is often at the dining table.  sometimes she will practice a little bit of reading and then choose a sentence or two to copy to practice handwriting.  or we'll get out number rods and practice the teens, or adding together larger numbers and trying to figure out the ones, tens, and hundreds places......  we've got puzzle maps for North America, and for the world, and she'll trace those onto paper and create her own maps.  we'll play games and read, read, read together.  for handwork, she loves to finger knit and to sew, stitching pictures onto cloth or making little pockets and bags, presenting them to me as a new purse.  lately she's been asking Mike to help her carve with a little knife.  often she will sit and write a story of her own, then bring it to me, so proud, as I work to decipher what it says.  usually, I can figure it out.  it helps that I know her common letter switches.  often putting a "U" where a "W" would be, and interchanging "Z"s with "V"s.  I don't correct her mistakes unless she is adamant about it, which, thankfully, she is not these days.  she just drew a picture of thanksgiving.  it says: "HAPE THACS GIVIG", and has a drawing of a "TRCE", some "CRABRE SOS", and some "MACHT PTADOS", the three things that were, she says, her favorite parts of dinner. I'm betting you can probably figure out what they are.  the other day I was cutting apart some old educational cards for a new work I want to make for her, and she wanted to join.  so, I gave her a stack and she cut out the little pictures and created her own little work- those two papers in the last photo.  I think that my favorite is easily the "MEYOOZICHIN!".  and apparently I need to teach her the difference between a basket ball and a soccer ball.....

recently we've made plans with friends to get together once a week to do a project of some sort.  so far, we've made nature journals and done some experimenting with baking soda and vinegar, which of course is always a hit.  tomorrow we'll make solar systems, and there are plans for more science experiments, some adventures, and who knows what else.  I'd like to start studying the continents with her, maybe choosing one every couple months to focus on.  I'd like to teach her a bit about the human body, and together we can learn more about astronomy.  I want to make her a geo-board and some fun fraction works, and some hand-painted cards displaying cursive letters.  there is so much fun to be had, so much exploring to do.  the possibilities are endless.

but there's no rush.  in fact, right now..... she is listening to audio books in her room.


16 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this, the early learning process is so fascinating and I like to hear how others homeschool. We've just put my daughter into JK (for 4 year olds) and it's alarming how much academics and desk work they are focused on every single day. Where's the play time and exploring?! it's upsetting that parents have so little say in what kids do at school.

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    1. I too enjoy peeks into others' methods/what-have-you. And yes, it is SO fascinating! I love getting little glimpses into how her little mind is working things out....

      I agree- they don't need rigorous academics at such a young age, but rather loads of time for play and exploring, which is, of course, hugely educational.

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  2. Sounds like a beautiful way of teaching your child, just go with the flow they usually let you know when they need more.

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  3. love this!! where did you get your beautiful montessori supplies? i love the homemade cards ;) we should do something like that!! thanks for the inspiration.

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    1. thanks Jenny :)
      most of our montessori materials I've gotten online through montessorioutlet.com. I did find some great sandpaper letters and numbers through etsy a few years ago, and there are many things that I print onto card stock and create works out of myself.

      the handmade letter combination cards were fun- I plan to do a set with cursive next.

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  4. my kids love audio books too! (hello, Christmas!) such a great help when I need a few minutes of peace and quiet. Our days were very much like yours when i was schooling the kids at home. I love your Montessori materials by the way!

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    1. oh they are so, so good! we were forever just bringing home the short storybook ones and then I found the shelf with all of the longer ones. she is so enjoying listening to the little house books (we've already read them all), Sarah, Plain and Tall, Peter Pan, The Penderwicks.... I'd definitely take suggestions if you've got others that you've loved!

      thank you~ I hope you are all settling in well with the new little babe, by the way
      xo

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  5. I love this Amanda and I think you are one smart mama. Yes, your girl is only five, let learning be informal and interest lead, there will be time for more structure as she grows.

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    1. thanks, Tracey~

      my thoughts exactly.

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  6. sweetness. love it. pretty much sums up our schoolish experiences thus far, as well. i was just talking with byron about how s.l.o.w. our days have become since not hosting a school in our house. we have, oddly enough, created this quaint little bubble around our days and i sometimes have mixed feelings about that. undeserving. lazy. sheltered. at times stir crazy. grateful. but then again, this is what we've worked hard to cultivate. and it hasn't come without a lot of thought and effort. i do wish we could crash your weekly group meet-up.

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    1. you know I'd be so thrilled if you could! it's Lisa and I and our kiddos :)

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  7. Love that you are doing this with her and that she is having fun, that is what learning is all about.

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  8. Nice job! Your (Claire's) homeschooling work looks great!

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thanks for taking the time to read and comment~