oh we are having such fun. SUCH fun. we spent her kindergarten year in a definite 'unschooling' pattern - mostly playing and going about our daily business and simply taking the time to turn lots of day-to-day experiences into the learning opportunities they always are anyway. this year though, for first grade, we've got a more dedicated school rhythm. she seems to want and need a bit more order and rhythm to her days, and my goodness we're certainly leaps and bounds more ordered now than we were before. what with her binder and my homeschool planning notebook I am feeling quite organized. we start the day with some language arts (she reads aloud to me and practices some handwriting, or she works her way through her Explode the Code workbooks- I wasn't sure about the workbooks at first, but she really loves them- I think partly because they look kind of like what her buddies at art work on at homework time- and she zoomed through and finished the first one already!) and move through some math (not using a curriculum at this point, but we've done all sorts of things from skip-counting with coins, practicing < and >, place values, measuring, studying patterns and shapes, ordinal numbers, practicing reading clocks, etc) and then some science/nature studies (so far we've done lots of monarch life cycle observations, read about and drawn food chains, talked about habitats, and studied the layers of the Earth), and geography/history (we've done the world puzzle map to review the continents and oceans, talked a little about the Ice Age and are now focusing on North America- she completed the North America puzzle map and we've been reading about the crossing of the land bridge, Native Americans, and will move on to lightly discuss colonization and settlers/pioneers moving west, and then discuss each country and talk a bit about food, culture, art, native animals, climate, etc- I'm guessing we'll be studying NA for at least 6 weeks or so). there is art as well of course, a bit of music (these days in the form of learning simple chords on her ukulele), harvest days at the farm and weekly horseback riding lessons. and of course still plenty of room for exploring and seeing where life takes us and what we can learn from it.
threshing our little buckwheat crop (in pillow cases) ~
we had about 8 bundles and may grind enough for a couple batches of pancakes.
|monarch babies! how fun to watch them grow from tiny caterpillars to big fat caterpillars and then form their chrysalids! we even got to watch one as it formed it's chrysalis- so cool|
|working on the North America map|
we've now got four chrysalids hanging in the enclosure! they are so beautiful~
|I asked her how many different ways she could make a triangle, and a hexagon. she had so much fun with it and she came up with quite a few!|
mama's little homeschool planning notebook
a handful of our favorites resources and reference books from these first weeks
we recently gave the office a makeover with a giant IKEA shelving unit to store most of our homeschool materials, a rolling cart for her most-used art supplies, and a new (and very long!) desk/sewing and craft table for papa and I- made from a 98" birch butcher block slab and some steel legs~ I am loving the way the space feels brighter, more organized, and way more open. I still need to get the world map back up on the wall and do a little fine-tuning, but I think it will work very well for us.
I am feeling pretty great about this homeschool adventure so far, and I think she is, too. Now I just need to get on top of things and file with the state and pick a school name!