Sunday, October 20, 2013

homeschooling, week 7

Guess what? I was over my ickies for all of two days before I started feeling pain in my throat again. I've had a head cold all week and am not in the last fun stage of coughing all night. We had to make some adjustments, but we still had a great week.

I mentioned before that I'd like to have some sort of weekly theme. I still have a lot of gaps in my spreadsheet, I'll have to figure out how to post it here, or maybe I'll just take a picture of it and upload it. Hmmm. Anyway, over the next few weeks I hoped to cover apples, fall, pumpkins, and Halloween.  We started off with pumpkins. The first day we watched a short video on the life cycle of a pumpkin. Sanji did a color and cut worksheet, that once cut, she had to put the 8 pieces in the correct order. I also printed and laminated Montessori pumpkin life cycle cards. I really like these kinds of cards, I am trying to pin as many free resources as I can, although I think I'd be willing to pay for certain ones.

The next day we went on a "field trip" to the pumpkin patch. We needed just the right pumpkin to complete our pumpkin observation booklet. We went on a hayride, played on the playground, saw goats and chickens, and just enjoyed our time in the beautiful PNW sun. When we got home, we measured the pumpkin's height, weight, circumference, and counted it's ribs. We tested if would sink or float. We estimated and then counted it's seeds. We worked with the Montessori cards again, this time requiring her to match the image with it's label, as well as place the cards in the correct order.

We completed lessons 13 and 14 in our Right Start Math program. This is the area that I am the most nervous about. Will she acquire the skills she needs to enter first grade, should I decide to place her in school next year? (At this point, the likely answer is that she will remain at home). I had lunch with my oldest friend in the whole world, yesterday. We've been friends since 2nd grade and she just happened to end up in the PNW, too. She lives in a small town in Washington state and is a first grade teacher. She thought the math program was great and I was able to get great feedback and insight from her.

This week I began reading stories from A Pebble in Your Pocket, by Thich Nhat Hahn. This is a book that I used to read with my oldest and that he sometimes will pull from the shelf when he feels that he needs a refresher on peace and mindfulness. It is wonderful to share it with Sanji now. When I read to her, she often likes to draw. Some days she drew and one day she googled Buddha so she could see images, we have several small and one BIG Buddha in our home, so she was interested in looking at all the different representations.

Sanji is still working on the free D'Nealian sheets that I printed. She is on the letter K. We split this one over two days, the lowercase K is really a cursive K so I knew it would take a little more effort. I like these sheets for learning this printing style, but I want to add more word writing to it. Sanji writes on her own, but almost completely in capitals and the letters are always different sizes, either bigger or smaller as she adds each letter to a word, LOL!  The main benefit or the sheets is learning to write on lines. I'm kind of conflicted over how much I should push this right now, but until she says that she doesn't like it, we keep going. 

It truly has been so beautiful in the Portland area this week. It makes me feel so light and happy to be here. It really is the best time of the year here. I manage ok in the rainy winter and spring, but it really does wear on me. I am a California girl at heart, and I need my sunshine! We have spent hours outdoors every day. Either at a park or the farm or just in our own front or back yard. I've been raking up the leaves into piles for the kids to play in and it keeps them laughing and playing happily for a good long time. 

I am trying to do more prep work by nailing down some themes and creating boards for them on Pinterest, so that as that week nears, I can print out and gather supplies. I've been big time winging it big time.  This week we are going to talk about Apples and then move on to some Halloween stories and activities. I definitely want to cover Halloween around the world. She will get a direct lesson on Halloween in the Philippines, from my mom - who LOVES Halloween in America. Soon, I hope to do a post on being somewhat part of the "Sandwich Generation", having both children, and one's own parent, living in the home. 

As far as socializing, we see our regular friends and Sanji loves being in her theater class. I really am hoping to make some connections with other homeschooling families. I never quite fit into any one category so I find it can be tricky making strong connections. I naively thought that being a homeschooler, I would instantly bond with other homeschoolers of young children. As it turns out, I might not have enough "homeschool cred" since I also have a child in public school. Can't we all just support each other for making the choices that are best for our children and families?

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