Monday, August 30, 2010

Our First Day!

We had a great first day of pre-k! We started out with a pancake breakfast and the girls found their schultutes. I knew I wanted to begin a tradition with my kids for the first day of school to make it special. This is a German tradition that began in the early 1800s. The schultutes are filled with school supplies and other goodies. My girls felt like it was Christmas! I made Maggie a little one since she is officially listening in and doing some little preschool activities. I made Annaliese one that was filled with all sorts of fun things! She loved the little ballerina on the front of hers, and has named her "Carla Marva".

After "first day pictures" by the front door we were ready to begin. Annie and I started with our Reading/Phonics Lesson and math lesson. She did great. Maggie worked with some water colors at her little picnic table while we were busy with the lesson. After math we got to Annie's favorite...ART! She made handprints and painted a rainbow. Those were her choice. ;) After the art was cleaned up Maggie went down for a nap and Annie and I snuggled on the couch for our Peak with Books lesson. We're reading Bedtime for Frances by Russell Hoban, which begins our 7 week Thematic Unit of Family and Friends..

Later in the day it was time for the library! We love walking there and piling books into the stroller. :)

We only spent 1-2 hours total doing school. The rest of the day is spent running and playing our hearts out! :)

I got word today that her handwriting curriculum, Handwriting Without Tears, has been shipped! FINALLY! We are excited to dig into that. I think Annaliese will really like the format of that program. It's very hands-on.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Right Start Mathematics

Annaliese was so excited (I was, too!) when our math curriculum arrived in the mail. She's had the best time exploring each of the manipulatives and asking about each one.

If you are just beginning with Pre-K, like us, don't feel like you have to have a purchased curriculum. Pre-K is still about having fun and learning while playing. There are so many ways we incorporate math in what we do every day from cooking to playing to helping mommy measure in her shop, etc. We will still do that; Annie is just so into "school". She is so ready. She wants to learn it all NOW.

There are many great math curriculums out there. I was in a toss-up between Right Start Mathematics, Singapore Math, and Saxon Math. I decided on Right Start Mathematics based on Annie's personality and learning style. It is an Asian-based Mathematics program and encompasses all elementary grades up through Algebra. It is a hands-on, research-based approach to mathematics using the AL abacus, which is an abacus that is grouped in fives and tens to encourage quantity recognition and visual perception. You can learn more about Right Start Mathematics here.

She is very eager to goal time is to begin on Monday.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Fall 2010 Interview with Annaliese

I am going to love having this to look back on. :) Here is our little question/answer session.

What would you do with $100 dollars?
I would buy tomatoes and watermelons and grapes and apples and grapefruit and M&Ms.

If you could go anywhere in the world to visit, where would you go?
I would go to the airport to ride on an airplane. I would, I really would. I would go see Scott and Nancy.

What is one new thing you would like to try this year?
I want to try lot's of puzzles and I want to see if you can be my teacher, but you need a teacher costume.

What is one memory you have from this summer?
Swimming and having watermelon

If you could only have one present this year, what would it be?
I would have a Dora doll.

What is your favorite food?

What is your favorite toy?
My blocks

Who is your best friend?

What is your favorite thing to do?
Go on a walk and ride my trike.

Homeschooling with a Classical Education

I have spent the last few months researching and learning about all the different methods of homeschooling. This, being our first year, will be an experiment to see what really suits our learning styles best. I will follow Annie's lead. But, I have fallen in love with classical education. A great resource that fell in my lap is The Well Trained Mind. I'm really excited about it. Annaliese is only in Pre-K this year, so we are going to keep it fun and playful for sure. She is so excited to start our official lessons. We are just waiting for our math curriculum to come in and we look forward to beginning next week. This blog will be interesting to the grandparents, for sure, to see what we're learning. I think it will be a great resource for those of you contemplating homeschooling as well. We definitely won't have everything down perfectly, and it will be a learning process for all of us. I'm also keeping this blog as documentation for me so I can look back on it year after year to review our plans, etc. We are thrilled to begin this journey! We'd love for you to come along for the ride and see what we're learning!