It is February and you might wonder how things are going for us. I have one word for you, FANTASTIC! C&C are learning at an impressive pace. For the first time in a long time, Cassie not only enjoys learning, but she is actually excited about it. I let her make choices where I can and there is a lot of freedom to do so. I feel like we use a pretty laid back approach while managing to hit all the important skills. We do Bible, Reading, AR, Math, Science, Art, Spelling, Writing, History and Music. This week, I added vocabulary. Here is the best part. We don't do each one every single day and no, a school day does NOT last all day, even with our breaks. I am generous with breaks especially on days when she seems to have trouble concentrating.
There are core daily assignments and then we have activities that are done twice a week, three times a week, and some that are weekly. This has a LOT to do with making school work for my children and a little do with the fact that I work as a full-time night shift nurse three nights a week! Yes, you can homeschool and work full-time! Truly, Mondays are considered off days. Sometimes, after nap, we do something like Magic School bus, or family reading, but that’s about it. Tuesdays are laid back days. I almost always do EP on those days because, even at 6, she can follow the directions and ask me for help when necessary. Truly, teaching your children happens in every moment of every day! Go to the store and teach them to count money and budget. Go to the park to learn about physical science through a nature walk. Cook with them to teach them properties about water and to follow a recipe. But, outside of that, we all desire to teach them more. Here is how we do more at our house:
First, after breakfast, we have morning Bible study and discussion. While her brain is ready for learning, I send Charly to play and I let her choose what is next. We usually go for Math. I let her choose whether she wants to do Life of Fred Math or if she wants to be on the computer today and use Easy Peasy Homeschool (EP). The activities are a blast!
Next, is Reading. I choose her weekly spelling list from her Language Arts book. We have two to choose from; one on the computer with EP and the other is an older textbook by McGraw-Hill which was gifted to us, I believe it was found at a Goodwill. I scored the matching McGraw-Hill workbook on Amazon for $3, but it hasn't arrived yet.
BREAK TIME! If it's before 10am, and it usually is, then she gets an hour of free time.
When we come back we jump into AR. I let her choose which AR book she wants to read and test on.
I found a website call Book Adventure that lets you search for quizzes! Many of her books have a quiz available. You can create a profile that keeps up with your child's book list and quiz scores! She disappears and finds a comfortable spot and reads! Then, she comes back when she is finished and takes her quiz. She loves this! I sometimes have her take another to test comprehension after some time has passed. We are working on choosing a chapter book for her to read during the week and testing at the end of the week.
If we haven't already, we go over her Spelling and Vocabulary words for the day. I try to place this after Reading, since the list is complied from her reading, but it doesn't always work well there. Her test is weekly.
I may insert music here.
It's usually lunch time by now. They have lunch and then they both do their copy work. I use a website called Worksheet Works to make their copy work sheets. I pick a verse from her Bible reading and she copies it 3-4 times. Not only does it help improve her handwriting, but it creates an awareness to grammar and punctuation while she recalls that morning's Bible reading. Charly practices his letters or numbers on a copy work sheet or in the handwriting workbook.
Or I may do music here. Music happens pretty much daily at some point in our day.
History and Science are done 2-3 times a week depending on whether or not we use EP. This is because EP's curriculum will take you straight into a history or science lesson. Otherwise, we had taken virtual museum tours, visited science centers, or completed home science projects! History is a little less organized than this, a little here and a little there. I found some American History booklets at the Dollar Tree, but I let Cassie carry them and when we got home, we didn’t have them. So, I’ll try again. Feel free to offer your suggestions for History.
We have a membership at the Hands on Science Center (HOSC) and it offers great activities as well as a homeschool science program. They LOVE it! We also purchase fun science kits; Build your own weather station, Snap Circuits, Tin Can Robot, I won a Magformers Robot set online, and we have homemade lava lamp bottles and gak! (Nickelodeon reference)
I have a strict no stress policy and if I feel like one of us is becoming stressed, we take a break. Our day is fun and spaced out, yet full of learning. Cassie loves learning again and Charly is trucking along right behind her. I have purchased a few preschool books for him and, as he takes interest, I have him do his work just like Cassie. Charly loves to do handwriting and reading. I got the Life of Fred early reader set for him. He loves it. There is a website called Educents where I purchased the workbook for his reader set for $1 to print out. (This is also where I scored the Life of Fred books for nearly free thanks to the Edubucks!)
It's really a great, fun easy time. There's plenty of learning, fun, and silliness. Today, she did Math through EP. She giggled and wailed in laughter at the math game and begged to do it again. Gone are the days when she would tell me she hated school. I thank God multiple times a day for leading us down this path! He is good. Even though it sometimes requires a leap of faith to follow him, I have found it to be worth it.