A typical homeschool day

We all want the same thing – the best for our family…but how to define “the best” is a little more difficult to determine. An elite private school surrounded by privileged peers and endless resources? Perhaps public schools, which in our area are highly rated and provide more exposure to diversity and “the real world” plus are, you know, free? Or homeschooling which provides the opportunity for you to spend more time with your kids and take full responsibility for their fostering their curiosity, knowledge, and values, but also means that, oh no, you have to spend more time with your kids and take full responsibility for fostering their curiosity, knowledge, and values!?

The bad news is that there is no right choice, but the good news is that there is no wrong choice. Each option has opportunities, pitfalls, and seemingly endless tradeoffs. But for us, home schooling was worth a try – why not?

Fast forward 2 months and we are regularly following our curriculum, it seems like we are getting into the swing of things.  So far it has been a great experience, and my son says he loves it, which is so awesome to hear.  Today was a great homeschool day, you know, one of those days where nothing goes wrong and everything just seamlessly flows together (a very rare occurrence I might add).

We are using Mother Goose Time curriculum, and each month has a different theme.  This month, the theme is Down on the Farm, which is perfect for us since we are surrounded by farms in the midst of harvesting season.   Today in particular, we were talking about cows and the letter ‘C’.  I tend to change our schedule around each day depending on everyones mood and energy level. Today we started with our arts and craft project and made cow masks.  I let my 4-year-old work independently  and he did a great job!

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I  have been involving the baby in the daily craft project over the past 2 weeks, now that he is 17 months and is showing interest, and he did well as well, although he required a little more help. In the end he preferred our dress up mask to the one he made.

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After craft we played in our letter ‘C’ sensory bin.  We used cornmeal and small cow manipulatives (which are included in the curriculum pack we get each month).  I also put a laminated letter ‘C’ card underneath the cornmeal, which my son used to trace the letter ‘C’ with while he played with the cows.  We emphasized all the things in the bin that started with ‘C’ and also worked on our sorting, separating the manipulative by shape and color.  My son loves the sensory bins, and I love that the curriculum we use gives suggestions about what to use in the sensory bins each month.

We took a break from school briefly, because my son, was dying to make donuts.  WE had even made a special trip to the grocery store that morning to pick up all the ingredients, so we got to work.  The end product was amazing and my son even pointed out that once you took a bite out of the donut, it made a letter ‘C’.

We finished the day with our journal work, and practiced writing and stamping the letter ‘C’.

 

 

 

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Getting outside

With four kids, it is an inevitable fact that someone is going to be upset at any given point in time.  It is very rare that all our kids are happy at the same time.  Although after several years of parenting, I have discovered the magical cure to cure “grumpy kid syndrome”, and its called NATURE.  Getting our kids outside has some sort of magical effect on them, any fussing, whining, or crying seems to cease almost immediately upon entering into nature.  They love exploring the woods, creeks and meadow around our house.  They can spend hours collecting bugs, studying them, and then releasing them back into the ‘wilderness’ of our backyard.  I can probably go on and on about the benefits of nature and children, as many experts have done in numerous studies, books and documentaries, but I find it better just to show you what I’m talking about. These are a few pictures, of us all out and about, exploring what nature has to offer.

 

My Crew

Since this is my first post, it seems only logical to introduce my crew.  I have four kids, 2 girls and 2 boys, in that order.

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My Brainiac 8 year old

My oldest is eight years old, and is my brainiac.   She loves dinosaurs, science, legos, and art.  She loves to explore the world. Frequently  she can be found with a cage containing some sort of creature, that she has found, while romping in the woods near our house.  She loves all animals, and would adopt every stray, hurt or wounded animal out there if I would let her.  She knows everything about everything, and loves to share this knowledge with anyone who will listen.

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My feisty 6 year old

My second daughter is six years old, and can be summed up in one word-Feisty.  She is strong willed, and doesn’t let anyone mess with her.  She loves nature, bike riding, reading ,and fishing.  Once she sets her mind to do something, she does it until she’s mastered it.  Despite this determination and grit, she is super snuggly, and as sweet as can be.

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Mr. Handsome, my 4 year old

My third child, and first son, is four years old.  He has the biggest brown eyes you have ever seen, and uses them to his advantage quite often.  He loves cars, trucks, and chicken nuggets.  He likes things how he likes them, and hates when things are out of order.  He has the cleanest room in the house, and hates when he gets too messy.  He also loves to snuggle, and often climbs in our bed at 6 AM each morning to do so.

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Mr. Smiley, my 1 year old

My youngest just turned one, and has one of the most easy going temperaments I have ever seen in a child.  He smiles most of the time, and loves to say “hi” to anyone he sees on the street.  He seems to love our pets and squeals with delight whenever one of our cats darts past him.  He just started walking, and is getting into everything.

 

They are all great kids, and make life exciting.  Our house is rarely quiet, chaos is the norm, and somedays I feel like I might just loose it.  In the end, its all worth it, because I know one day I’ll miss the snuggles, hugs and toothless grins.  My guess is that day will come much sooner than I think it will, so for now…I’ll embrace the chaos.

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