Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Partitioning 5 and Reading!

It has been a crazy week trying to play "catch-up". It turns out that our normally slow month of January has actually been jam-packed this year! In math, we have been working to see parts of 5, and learning how to add small numbers. We're learning that the "+" sign means and. She's done so well using the abacus and tally sticks to show this. We even started practicing with word problems. She loves those.

Here's little sister and baby brother listening in. :)

And I had to video Annaliese reading one of her BOB books. I'm so proud of her.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Our Homeschool Day (with a 4, 2, and 2 month-old)

We have been invited by Simple Homeschool to share a "day in the life".

So, what does our day look like with three very young children? I have to say that the most important thing we do is flow. I follow the lead of my four year old daughter, Annaliese. I never thought we would begin homeschooling at such a young age, but Annie was ready at 2. She has always had an ear for classical music and a heart for ballet. She is very artistic, so we spend time each day with tons of art supplies and music. She attends ballet school and will begin violin lessons next month.

Annie had been begging me to start school with her since she was three, so this year we decided to begin with some formal curriculum. Annaliese is learning handwriting, reading, and arithmetic. We spend lots of time with read alouds, which is where her younger siblings can join in! In fact, 2 year-old Maggie can say the vowels/sounds just by listening to her big sister. While Annie and I do her formal work, Maggie usually draws, plays with blocks, looks through books, or plays with water in the kitchen sink. Baby boy, Samuel River, either hangs out in my arms or in his bouncer right beside us. With the formal bookwork we are definitely going at our own pace. I don't stress about getting to it every single day. If Annie is going strong with her GeoBoard or abacus in math, I try to let her stay interested in that as long as she would like instead of rushing into our handwriting lesson. Our table work usually lasts about 1-1.5 hours total.

The rest of our day is spent with free play where I just love hearing their imaginations at work. Love that! They are both so creative and imaginative....I hope they never lose that feeling of freedom. I make it a point to get them outside every day. We play/explore outside for hours at a time. They often put on tutus and preform the Nutcracker and Swan Lake, and I often get treated to concerts with the violin.

After teaching in the public school system for 6 years, I always knew I would homeschool my children. However, I always imagined a cute little room dedicated to homeschooling in our house, which is far from what we are working with. We have a small house and utilize every square inch to the fullest. We work at the kitchen table and pile up on the couch, but it works. Our days are full...and there has to be a good balance. If I feel the balance is off, even a little, we all go outside. We run, we bike. We do something to clear our minds and begin fresh. We are a very family-centered family. I tell everyone we travel in a pack. Dad is an entrepreneur and works from home, so we make sure to get in good quality family time every day, which is key. So far, we are loving it and will continue in the flow.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

2011 is going to be such a great year...lots of neat things going on in our home. First, may I begin with some great news? After setting it aside for over a week, Annie came back to the letter K and drew it perfectly and beautifully! It just reminded me that kids will learn at their own pace, and they will eventually get it...especially if you leave it alone for awhile.

So, today we worked on writing the number 2, we experienced the number 10 as a unit, and had fun identifying equilateral triangles. She learned how to make a rhombus and a hexagon using a set of equilateral triangle manipulatives. Here she is practicing 10 units with the abacus and tally sticks.

Here she is working on quadrilaterals and equilateral triangles with popsicle sticks.

And homeschooling is so much better when you have a favorite snack to share. Our favorite is a bowl of walnuts, dried cherries and semi-sweet chocolate chips. ;)