Monday, August 30, 2010

Pacing Ourselves

Phillip at the park.

First grade has begun with a bang. It feels like so much to cover and it's such a challenge to juggle the toddlers with meaningful instruction for the first grader. James is getting jealous of all the time I'm spending on Hannah, and Phillip tries to steal markers and colors on the walls and I barely even notice. Thank God for Magic Erasers. It's fun though too. Our lessons are enjoyable and we go at our own pace. Math is fun, and I'm really hoping it stays that way. I always had allergies to math as a kid so I'm delighted Hannah finds her lessons enjoyable yet challenging. We've begun Pollyanna which I'm reading more than her. She'll read for a little while and then request that I take over so I do. She loves the story and I like that she's trying to read it even though it's a stretch for her. I'm also feeling like a much more productive person in general and less likely to resort to time-wasting.

A few of our favorite homeschooling things so far are:

Magic Tree House Books

Park Days!! We have two a week now! This is key because my boys need to run and my girl needs to play with friends!

Charter School Classes. MMMMHHHM.

Story of the World activites. The easy ones that you tear out of the work book to be specific.

Copywork paper with a blank spot on the top of the page for illustrations.

Draw Write Now

Colorful math blocks for making number stories.

Spanish!!! S-O-C-K-S!

And a few of my not so fave things:

Antics of jealous younger siblings

Less house cleaning time which is only exacerbated by the younger sibling messiness.

Not being able to find certain recommended books

Crafts. I really kind of hate crafts. It's the gathering of all the supplies that gets me. And the increase of mess. I'll get over it.

Friday, August 13, 2010

There's good news...

And then there's good news and even then, there's more good news. For some of you this will be old news. Let me break it down for you:
1. Our house sold. (!!!)

2. Jason is working again. :D

3. We got this beautiful hutch for waaaay cheap on craigslist. I know that's not that big of a deal to most, but it is to me. It's actually real furniture. Like the kind that is NOT from Ikea and does not require assembly. Not there's anything wrong with that kind...
So I'm pretty darn happy right now. And thankful. So much stress is gone. I'm sure we'll find a way to obtain some more stress at a later date but for now I'm just smiling.
On another note, we start first grade soon. For my homeschool peeps (I always enjoy seeing these) here is our curriculum and loose scedule and sorry for my lack of linking - if you have a question feel free to ask:

Power-Glide Spanish - A gift from a homeschooling mom who's kids are almost all grown. So fun!
Singapore Math
Story of the World History - Ancient Times
WTM Early Language Lessons
Sequential Spelling
Handwriting Without Tears
Science - Hannah is taking a physical science class at her charter school as well as another class based on The Magic Tree House books. Of course some good old fashioned nature walks are planned for observation. Note-taking and sketches encouraged.
Poetry - A Child's Garden of Verses - Robert Louis Stevenson
For fun: Art/Drawing - Draw Write Now & Usborne Big Book of things to Draw
For our Faith: daily scripture readings and some copy work and memory verses. We have a great program that a friend from our parish has created called PATH that she works on as well.

Some unit study/themes with Lit. picks we are planning to read:

Theme: A Good Attitude - we'd like to start the year out glad! ;)
On the Banks of Plum Creek

Theme: A.A. Milne
A couple of Pooh stories
Now We Are Six

Theme: E.B. White
Stewart Little
Trumpet of the Swan

Theme: Wintertime/Nativity
A Christmas Carol
Prepare O Bethleham
Chronicles of Narnia - The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Theme: Animals
James Herriot Treasury for Children

Theme: Kenneth Graham
Wind in the Willows
The Reluctant Dragon

Theme: Spring/Garden
The Secret Garden

Theme: Art
Camille & the Sunflowers
Katie Meets the Impressionists
Come Look with Me: Enjoying Art with Children

Theme:Lewis Carrol
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Jabberwocky and other poetry

So God willing we'll do at least half of all this! :)