Monday, October 12, 2009

Homeschool Progress

For now Handyman and I have decided to home school our kids. Although I have taught music to little kids for the past eleven years, teaching my own children to read has been very, very different.

Peter is still five, so is officially in Kindergarten, although he will be six at the end of November. (This has the added advantage of making him about three inches taller than anyone else he knows that's also in Kindergarten. Of course he gets his height from me.)Peter and I embarked on our scholastic journey when he was three, but haven't really declared it "official" until this year. He's somewhere between Kindergarten and 1st Grade, so I'm (gently) trying to get him ahead to 1st grade so we can start using that curriculum.

Right now, we're using the Learning At Home curriculum, which I love. It's cheap. ($13 on and the book includes everything for science, reading, math, writing, and social studies.)

It's hands-on, which is especially important for boys, I think, as boys tend to (usually) be more tactile and wiggly.

Here's an example; the second week in, we were reviewing the letter B (which Peter already knows, but we're still covering it so Breanna can learn something too.) With this wonderful idea from the book, we sprayed some of Handyman's shaving cream on the table, and squished it around and made letter B's with our fingers. It wasn't nearly as messy as I thought it would be, and the shaving cream lathered the table nicely. When I washed down the table afterwards with a sponge, the table was cleaner than it's ever been!
(Which tells you something about my house cleaning abilities. Knitting is my hobby, not house cleaning.)
I've really enjoyed the opportunity to use everyday things about our family to teach practical schooling. We made letter S's while baking bread:
(Just look at that intense level of concentration!)
We also got into the relative aspects of vacuum suction technology and the physical science consequences of trying to vacuum an apple through a small tube.
What is it about men, that they will perform the most arduous task as long as it requires the use of machinery? If I'd asked Peter to sweep this same mess, he would have moaned and complained to no end.
(The real reason why men don't like doing the dishes - they can't operate power tools at the same time.)


beadlizard said...

We would have homeschooled, but I got my first cancer when she was 6 months and they found the second cancer when she was 9. We've had to make do with what we call supplemental school when I've been able, taking the lessons she does for class and adding some depth at home.

Your kids are so lucky to have you working with them!

I just realized the hat in the bottom right corner is the same one I've been trying to find for a girlfriend -- did you crochet yours or do you have a source?

Ellen said...

Hey Rach,
I'm having trouble reading the type through the blog background. Love the pics. Boo is too cute. Can't wait to squeeze those cheeks! The ant farm and books have arrived. No room for clothes in my suitcase but oh well... See you soon!

Flipfloppingmamma said...

You will do anything to make your kids taller won't you?? Including giving them Nov!

Ellen said...

LOVED the pics. I've never heard of this curriculum, but need to check it out. I've used shaving cream on the table a lot and it is amazing! Kids LOVE it and it does clean the table up so nicely! ;) You can even mix shaving cream w/ reg. tempera paints to make them a little puffier. It's kind of fun.