Saturday, September 12, 2015

And we're off!

I'm happy to say that we successfully completed our first week back to school!!  Once again, it felt like I was standing on the edge of a cliff just waiting for that push!  The feeling wasn't nearly as frightening as it was this time last year but it's there...kind of nagging at me but not really bothering me much.

Once again, I've realized that if I'm prepared...which 99% of the time, I am, then the days flow rather nicely.  The kids know how we roll so for the most part I am the facilitator of the day.  Moving them from one subject to the next with little fuss, allowing them free times to draw, play, and expand on what they really love to do.  All the while working in things that they don't always want to do like "work".   (math, spelling, handwriting, etc) But we do it in a way that allows for the most fun and freedom as possible.
This week we really eased back in doing some handwriting practice, vocabulary words that corresponded with my 9/11 unit that we wrapped up on Friday.  We talked a lot about 9/11.  They're old enough now to see *some* of the imagery, talk about what happened and how we all changed because of that day.  We did a ton of independent and group reading, keyboarding lessons, started our Spanish curriculum, started a pretty in depth art project, math review, started our Medieval lapbooks, geography and had two amazing science lessons.  We discussed school and personal expectations for this year.  My goal is to guide them toward being a bit more independent in their learning process.  I want them to be able to do work without having me with them every step of the way.  I want them to become independent thinkers and doers.  I want them to be engaged and involved in their education, not to simply be a participant.   
prediction time!
super awesome Ivory Soap science experiment!
investigation time
I think the biggest change all around thus far is that Ari is now joining us in the classroom for a significant portion of our day.  Which, to say the least, keeps me on my toes.  He's curious and interested and I'm trying to engage him at every turn.  
He ADORES stickers of all kind.  I stocked up at the dollar store and he will sit contentedly for as long as I continue giving them to him.  After 3 or 4 packs I'm the one who calls it quits as he would literally go through all of them in one sitting if I allowed him to.  

He's loving our homemade play dough.  It's much softer than the canned stuff and it smells better, too!  He rolls, squishes and cuts it.  He likes to stick things in such as marbles, toothpicks, matchbox cars, (he's not a mouthy baby so I feel comfortable that he can play with small objects like coins, marbles, etc without risk of ingesting them) and all manner of plastic toy into the play dough.  He also adores coloring!  
As with Kendall and Tyler, he'll sit and color page, after page, after page as long as they're provided for him!  I tape the pages down using blue painter's tape.  It's super easier to get up off of the table quickly so I can change out the coloring sheets.  

I made him a "wallet" out of an old milk carton that he absolutely adores.  He carries it around with him and will sit and open the spout (this is what holds the wallet closed), carefully take the contents out, carefully put them back in one at a time and then close the wallet.  This will go on four or five times in a row.  

I also purchased some manipulatives for him which he loves playing with.  Counting, letters, blocks, etc.
He is heading to a little "pre-pre-school" program that will meet a couple of days a week for a couple of hours at a time.  This is mainly to help him be a little more social.  Let's face it, I'm a 40 something Mom with a two year old.  I have two friends with children similar in age but we don't get to see each other much.  It was different when Kendall and Tyler were little as that's all I did was get together with friends and let the kids play.  But homeschooling older children does not lend itself well to playdates for littles very often so he'll go to this program for now.  Next year he'll head to the same pre-school where K & T went simply because it is literally the BEST preschool ever.  It's five minutes up the street from me and if he were old enough to go there now, I'd send him.  But he's not and that will be there for us next year!  

We enjoyed yoga at home and walking this week along with outdoor play.  We're trying to soak up the last bits of summer while we have them! We'll be crunching leaves and donning long sleeves before we know it!  

Here's the rest of the photo reel for this week:
Candy in Science?  Yes, please!!

95 degree heat!!  
making Spanish flashcard 
dragonfly catching
a brand new stack of gorgeous books!  Thank you Wellesley Bookstore!
giggles all around
warming up their brains with some hidden picture puzzles!
quizzing each other
the complete color set!
that smile!!  

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