Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Our Homeschool Days Right Now

I haven't written about our homeschooling in a while. It's still moving right along. We're in a nice little rhythm that's flexible enough for changes but reliable enough to get things done. I'll give you a peek into our days but just want to warn you, especially those of you in more traditional school settings, we are using a Waldorf educational philosophy that doesn't push formal academics until first grade at the age of seven. As you'll see, we do a little bit of academics, but not much.

The day will sound laid back and it really is, but there is still a lot of learning going on here.

Today we began with a morning walk, then came home and did chores and played until 11. At that time we did circle and calendar time. The circle time is filled with seasonal verses. Last week Jane wrote her own poem and asked that we add it to circle time, so we have. There is a lot of movement and singing, but it lasts only about five minutes.

Then we sat on the floor and I told the story. This week it is Hansel and Gretel. I was amazed at how well Jane remembered it just from the one telling yesterday. She fixed little minor details that I didn't think they'd catch if I changed, like changing the word supper to lunch. Nope, she stopped me and made me say it right.

Yesterday they sanded the wooden spoons we are making while I told the story. That was fun, but we made the handles a little too small and Jane already snapped hers.

My chalkboard drawing for Hansel and Gretel.

Then we did some wet on wet watercolor painting. Tommy thinks he should be involved in everything and painting today was no exception. But he couldn't decide which paintbrush he wanted and he kept almost tipping over the paints and then screaming and throwing his paintbrush. I was very glad when painting time was over in about seven minutes.

Then it was lunch and quiet time. I've been cutting back on screen time a lot but they still get to watch some TV a couple times a week during Tommy's naptime and today was one of those days. They turned on Super Why and Jane continued to embroider her lowercase letter T square for her quilt. She is doing an actual cross stitch with this one, which was tricky at first but she has it down now.

After quiet time it was game time. We pulled out a game that requires reading of simple words and I was pleasantly surprised and impressed when Jane did beginning and ending blends all by herself without any trouble! Tommy joined in and kept putting tiles together, pointing and grunting and then wanting me to read it. He's adorable.

A page from my nature journal and Jane's nature journal.

Then we ventured outside, again. We spent a lot of time outside today. Max was in swim trunks all day. Jane and I nature journaled for 5-10 minutes and then the kids pulled out the popsicle sticks and glue (this was very undirected). Jane made a sign that she put in the garden next to the flowers she's growing and Max made the letters of his name (and then some).

After bath and jammies, Jane and Max each got to play one game of chess with Rob. They'd been looking forward to it all day but had to wait for Tommy to go to sleep.

Then they both got to listen to 20 minutes of audio stories and fall asleep.

I'm sure you noticed that I forgot reading time. We usually do it, but just didn't today. Right now we are working our way through Because of Winn Dixie and our books about spring and kittens. Rob usually reads them Shel Silverstein poetry for about ten minutes a day.

You'll also notice no math. This is where we really stray from Waldorf and venture into Montessori as I do have a math curriculum for kindergarten. It only requires two lessons a week though, so we'll do one tomorrow and one on Thursday. You can read more about our program (I love it) here.

And that's it. Tomorrow we'll dip Strawberries and talk about that yummy candy house from the story. We'll also begin making a felt easter egg banner to hang over our nature table. There will be more nature journaling, tending to the garden, checking on the kittens, some math, and maybe even another wooden spoon.