How can two weeks of school gone by? It really doesn’t seem possible. Our second week of school went really well. Only had one bad day and it only started out bad, but after an explosion (nothing to do with school) the rest of the day went well.
On Tuesday (the first day of our week), we added in a few new things. We had our first SQUILT lesson, Mr. Bluesky really enjoyed listening to the musical piece. We also did our first Home Art Studio lesson which was a super huge success, I blogged about it here. Also new was some riddles from Dr. DooRiddle and a page from First Time Analogies. Mr. Bluesky LOVED these. The first page from the analogy book was full of things like the Sesame Street song/game “One of these things is not like the other”. He loved those so much that later in the week he made his own worksheets full of them using drawings and stickers.
Wednesday we did our 3rd letter in Handwriting Without Tears. Conveniently the first three letters spell out FED. I had Mr. Bluesky write the letters together and then told him he wrote a word, oh my, he was so PROUD of himself!
Thursday I added some Halloween fun to our day. I downloaded some Halloween patterning cards and an _at family game from Teachers Pay Teachers. Together we also finally put together our World Map Geography puzzle! We also finished making our bubble wrap corn into a wreath.
Friday was our one bad day. It really had nothing to do with school, just a 5 year old who wanted to play, didn’t get his way and had a huge meltdown. It was over with quickly but did make the whole day a little off. I had made an _at family bat and he found that fun but all in all it was an eh kind of day.
Saturday, today went really well. We had been doubling up our WriteShop lessons this week so that we could finish unit one today. He is really enjoying this curriculum so doing more on a couple of days was fine with him. Plus he’d seen the streamers I bought and was driving me crazy asking about them so I wanted to get to the project. He LOVED this, was so happy with it.
Mr. Bluesky is an artist, I’m not saying that as a bragging Mom, that is what he says. Not only what he’ll be when he grows up, it’s what he is now. His favorite thing is to create art. Now, a lot of the time I don’t get his art but hey, I can say the same about a lot of art I’ve seen.
We do a lot of art and craft projects here but while I come from a family of artists, I myself am not very art knowledgeable and I wanted to have a little more guidance. After reading different reviews I decided to get Home Art Studio Kindergarten for us to use this year. While I was deciding, Mr. Bluesky saw a video about the program and was very negative about it. He was already an artist and didn’t need lessons, doing her art would mean he couldn’t do his art, on and on with his complaints. I went ahead and ordered the program anyways.
He was still really complaining about the program even as I was about to play the dvd for the first time. And then all complaints were gone. We watched the lesson once, got our supplies together, and then watched it again, pausing as necessary as we did the lesson.
The first lesson is about primary colors. I did have to help him some, his ability to trace his own hand wasn’t great and when it came to painting he wanted me to do the part directly around the hand so that it wouldn’t get damaged. For the background paint the lesson has you mixing two primary colors to make a secondary color. Instead Mr. Bluesky chose black for the background. Once the painting for the lesson was done, he spent the next hour or so making different monster paintings and he was mixing colors for those.
He LOVED the lesson! I mean jumping up and down and shouting LOVED it! Can’t wait to do the next one. It was so nice to hear and I was so relieved that it was something he will enjoy and learn from (and not money down the drain!).
Our first week of Kindergarten is over and we both survived it! I think it’s going to take a while before we get a good routine going and we both need to work on our attitudes. 🙂
Our first day of school was good and bad. We actually got through everything I had planned except our Poetry Tea.
Lorax day, we read the book, watched the old animated movie, and then after dinner he watched the newer movie. “I speak for the trees!” was stuck in my brain and interrupted my sleep that night! We did our first science kit, making some little piles of compost and making recycled paper.
“Ewwwww, that is so gross!” “No, I am not touching that!” “It looks like sludge! Gross!”
Mr. Bluesky was NOT impressed with making recycled paper.
Wednesday was the day I realized that I had to put an end time to our school day. That if after a certain time stuff isn’t done it’s just not getting done. We’re not going to drag it out into the late afternoon and make ourselves miserable. Mr. Bluesky was complaining that doing school takes time away from his playing but everything takes SOOOOO LOOOONNNNGGGGG because he has to be goofy with every single thing. Like pretending the pen is a shark attacking. Silly boy.
Thursday morning was our emotional explosion. After doing some crying and talking we both worked hard to make the rest of the day go well. We had a blast painting with bubble wrap for a project that hopefully we’ll finish over the weekend. We finished off our day playing Zombie Dice.
Our first Field Trip! I’m part of a local homeschool group that is going to do field trips and other activities together. This was our first one, going to a local Cider Mill. But it was raining in the morning and everyone else, except the family who gave us a ride, cancelled. We still had fun even though it was a very small group. 🙂 We had been to the Cider Mill many times before but it was still fun walking around feeding the animals and getting tasty treats. Mr. Bluesky is still afraid of the goats but I had fun feeding them.
I insanely had school work planned for both before and after the field trip. Now I know better. No way will anything get done before a field trip, I’m too busy running around making sure we have everything ready. And it is highly unlikely that we’ll get stuff done after we get home, Mr. Bluesky is too amped up to do anything but run around and play and, honestly, I am too drained to do anything.
This morning actually was our best in terms of flow. I didn’t do a play break after the first 2 activities like I had other days. Instead we just did everything I had planned for the morning all in one fell swoop. I didn’t have any after lunch school plans because we are walking over to Grandma and Grandpa’s and playing with the cousins that are visiting!
I’m undecided about whether to leave out that morning play break or not. Adding in the break really drags out the day and he’s always much more reluctant to come back to the table. I guess I will figure out what schedule works for us as we go along.
Wow, we finished our first week! It was exhausting and terrible and energizing and wonderful! What worked for us? RightStart Math 2nd edition Level A. He likes doing the lessons and singing the song. He gets totally goofy and overexcited but settles down and is working too.
He is loving WriteShop Primary Book A. He is NOT a reluctant writer (as in dictation, he doesn’t actually write yet) or storyteller, so the lessons so far are very easy for him and he is adding in extra sentences to every lesson. But he is really enjoying the lessons and having fun with them.
What isn’t working? Reading lessons. This is NOT a fault of what we are using. He just really has a hard time with reading and it makes him very stressed. This article by Brave Writer creator Julie Bogart was very timely and I need, need, NEED to keep it in my mind as we work.
I am all worn out. I admit it. Not sure if it was just first day jitters or what but I am just completely done in this evening.
Our first day went pretty well. Morning went very smoothly. He enjoyed being interviewed and really enjoyed the WriteShop lesson. In fact he enjoyed it so much we went off script and wrote more. 🙂
After a long break of playing in the backyard (him) we moved on to math. During our Right Start Math lesson he was super excited and being totally goofy and it was really hard to bring him back to the lesson and focus, but he was happy. Then we had a break for Nerds, his favorite part of the day!
Next thing on the schedule was a math printout that had 10 Frames (not Right Start). It was super easy for him but it was the first time he’s seen 10 Frames and I think the newness of it stressed him and he just lost it. Total fit. Took a break and came back to it later and quickly got through the rest of the page and then on to a game of Hi Ho Cherrio and all was good.
After lunch we went for a walk to our local park and played, then met up with Grandma and Grandpa and they came home with us to enjoy the Blueberry Corn muffins I’d made. After their visit I had planned to have our Poetry Tea but we were just both DONE by then and decided school was over for the day.
Edited to add: I meant to add how long our school day was. It went from morning until afternoon but that includes so many breaks to do other things. I tried to keep track of how much time we were actually on task. So I am removing the nearly 40 minutes he was eating Nerds and doing math worksheets and then having a total meltdown– cause we definitely weren’t on task during that time. So removing that time the rest of our school time, just school work, not the video during lunch, not the walk, not the photo shoot, just actual sit down work, it took us a whole hour and thirteen minutes! Maybe I shouldn’t remove that time, maybe everyday is going to have dawdling and some meltdown. Even with it the school time would be one hour fifty minutes. Which is still in the range I was aiming for, an hour or two.
Thought I’d do a tour of our schoolroom. Also known as my office, our craft/sewing/art area, and oh yeah, the dining room.
Looking into the dining room from our living room/front door you are greeted by shelves bursting with art supplies, homeschooling materials, and a hodgepodge of other stuff. My desk is in the far corner.
Slight angle shift and you see our dining room table, a bookshelf that holds art supplies Mr. Bluesky can access whenever he wants, and our ever growing board game collection.
On our sliding glass door curtain rod is the word AWESOME! It is our theme for the year, it’s going to be awesome!
On the half wall that separates the dining room from the living room we have a cubby unit. This holds school supplies and toys. I plan on putting Mr. Bluesky’s schoolwork on top each day. Above it I have a board with clothespins to pin art and school work to display.
Sigh, not a single post last school year. I’m going to try to blog our Kindergarten year but no promises, this is not something that comes easy to me.
So last school year was our last preschool year. I started out the year with grand plans and they kind of fizzled. Not that learning didn’t happen, or even planned learning didn’t happen, there just wasn’t as much structured book work as I had thought. Mr. Blue Sky just wasn’t ready for it.
I’m hoping that he is more willing to work on stuff this year. I have a what seems to be an unbelievable amount of stuff planned but I’m not planning on getting to everything every day or even every week. I just want to have a lot of options to bring in to our days and keep it interesting.
This post is just going to be a quick overview of what we’re thinking of using.
Every few weeks I am doing a unit based on a different country. We’ll learn a little (this is Kindergarten) about the country, geography, people, animals. I’m mainly focusing on famous artists from that country, because art is Mr. Bluesky’s thing. So for Germany we’ll be learning about Paul Klee and listening to Bach. And then to add some fun and because I like to cook we’ll be eating something related to the country. So for Germany we’ll be having pretzels. For this study I am using Expedition Earth as a framework, leaving out the religious materials and we are visiting a variety of countries that she didn’t cover. So, mainly I’m using her passport. 🙂
In the spring I am hoping to start Story of the World: Ancients. I am planning for it to take about a year and a half.
So, that’s my plan for this year. On one hand I feel like I’m missing so much stuff and on the other hand I think I have WAY too much stuff planned. We’ll see how it goes. As always our school year starts on the Autumnal Equinox, so next Tuesday is our first day!
We’re studying dogs this week, though we’ve still had some insect and Valentine’s day activities mixed in. Our first workbox today had the dog ears we made yesterday, some Valentine’s decorations, and our dog books.
Our third box had our magnet number cards (from 1+1+1=1) and a dog graphing game from the Homeschool Creations dog unit. We’d done the game yesterday and he asked to do it again so I printed out more copies. Strangely our paper die NEVER lands on the dalmatian, very odd.
We did some pre-writing tracing practice and then cutting practice using sheets from the Angus Lost unit for box number four.
Box number five was a salt box with some pre-writing tracing cards. This was the first time we did this activity and MBS did really well with following the cards. Afterwards he just wanted to play in the box which of course made a big mess, but relatively easy clean up.
Our final box of the day had Play-doh, some playdough letter mats, and a chapter book. I read several chapters while he made some letters and then while he just played with the Play-Doh. I’ve tried several times to read chapter books to him but this was the first time he seemed to be engaged in the story.
Our first box had our books, a nice one about Ladybugs, a cute Valentine’s day book, and a book about going potty. Sadly his response to the end of the potty book was, “I’m not a big boy!” Sigh, I so want to say goodbye to diapers. The box also had these cute little ladybug antennas.
Our third box started out with the Leap Frog Letter Factory dvd and when we finished watching it we reviewed our letter sound (all short vowels and up to letter M) index cards (Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading by Jessie Wise). Then we listened for short vowel sounds and matched picture cards to the vowels using a Valentine’s Vowels printout from Make, Take and Teach. When he said and raised the right heart on a stick the picture heart would kiss it and then give him kisses. He was just cracking up over this. It was fun letter sound practice.
Our fifth box was a Kiwi Crate. It was the second part of January’s crate which had a theme of family game night. When the crate first arrived we made the board game and today we made the Comet Toss game. We played in the hallway with the help of our dogs.
Our final box had Hi Ho Cherry-O in it. MBS loves playing the game and it’s good counting practice. Unfortunately this was too many games in a row (Ladybug grid, Comet Toss, and this) and his sportsmanship limit had run dry so when Mommy won (again) he totally lost it. Not really the way I thought the day would end when I put a favorite game in the last box. Now I know better, not too many games in one day!
Even ending with a tantrum I still feel we had a good day. He was not interested in doing any careful tracing– just scribbled all over– but he did well with the letter sounds and with counting and number recognition. Just a few weeks ago he couldn’t tell you a 2 from a 6, he’s gotten so much better.
Thank you for stopping by and seeing what was in our workboxes.
The end of our first week using workboxes. They definitely kept us more organized and our days moved smoothly. It really gave us a beginning and end to our school day, instead of activities just dragging on all day, leaving me feeling unsure whether we accomplished anything at all. In the past I’ve planned activities and not gotten to them just because I didn’t have everything set up; this system is really helping me get my act together. As MBS gets used to the system I can see him being able to move on through the boxes much more independently. We will be continuing to use the workbox system but I will not continue to do a post about each day, while it is nice having a record of how every day went it really isn’t necessary and the posts take me way to long to do.
Starting with books again, all of the day’s selection were by Eric Carle.
Our second box had MBS sorting Groundhog’s and big G’s and little g’s into containers and us reviewing letter sounds.
Our cookie sheet had a few fun printouts to use our glass bead and pompom magnets with.
Box number four had us painting. First we painted groundhogs (and later in the day we added shadows to them), and then I just put out watercolor paper and MBS painted for as long as he wanted.
Our fifth box had Groundhog worksheets that practiced tracing and cutting.
Friday’s final box had a insect gathering set. After getting everything out of the box we went for a walk around our property. We saw some insects, worms, a snail, and spiders but sadly I was unable to capture any insects for us to look at close up.