Friday, November 6, 2009

Homeschooling Week 1 - How Did It Go?

It's the end of the first official week of homeschooling and I'm ready to pat myself on the back and have a celebratory bowl of ice-cream (or anything else sweet). Better yet, I'm going to slice me another slice of this amazing SweetWater Pale Ale bread I bought today at Whole Foods.

Munch-munch, back to the recap of the week. Well, I have to admit that I had a lot of help from Word World's Chef Pig. Currently he's Mr. M's best buddy and MIC (Most Influencial Character). This week, Chef Pig is everywhere with us - riding trains (real and toy ones), baking bread (real and imaginary), reading books, building block towers. He's a great influence too - if Mr. M doesn't want to do something, Chef Pig leads the way.

Monday went absolutely great. We actually did every single thing I planned for us. And, even more importantly, Mr. M was eager and willing to build with blocks, play with buttons, do puzzles (he ASKED for them), etc. The only thing that didn't go as planned was the balance scales game. He simply didn't care for it at all. He understood the concept and could easily point to a heavier or ligher object when asked. But his heart was absolutely not into it. After a few minutes he just walked away. That's ok too.

The highlight of our Tuesday was objects tracing. I love this activity - it is super simple to set up and is quite fun. All you need is some paper, a crayon or a marker, and some shapes to trace (we used simple cookie cutter shapes from our Play Dough set). Oh and I also added a ruler to draw straight lines. Then Mr. M added a new twist by turning each outline into a face. And then he added some stickers too.
We also built a new train set with some leftover poster board, an empty Klinex box, and some markers. The huge train set upstairs was quickly abandoned and Mr. M concentrated on giving rides to Chef Pig and helping sorting bears get to their color-coded islands.

On Wednesday Mr. M rediscovered chalk. I give him very small pieces (to ecourage proper grip) and we both draw. We start off with a little imitation - lines, crosses, circles and his favorite letter of the moment - "C". Then we do little mazes and connect the dots-type games. This is really much cheaper than buying Kumon Mazes workbooks (although I LOVE them).

On Thursday we did little of what we planned. The day was simply too gorgeous to spend indoors. Instead, we went to the lake to feed the ducks and for a little playdate. And then we went for a train ride and a hot dog.
Finally, today- Friday - we went completely off our schedule. Instead of playing with blocks and house-cleaning, we were busy making Play Dough cakes and pasta, talking about different letters, and baking real bread.

Other things we did this week in addition to or, more often, instead of the pre-planned activities were

  • reading, lots and lots of it
  • music - mostly drums and some kazoo
  • magnets and magnifiers - Mr. M ran around the house one day trying to stick a magnet to everything; the next day he marveled at how everything - leaves, pine cones, acorns and Chef Pig - looked big through a magnifier
  • outside play - playgrounds, lakes, parks and front yard - the weather is gorgeous and we're making the most of it!

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