Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Well, we've been homeschooling for about a month now! It's going better than I expected with Marissa, and about what I expected with Arianna and Roman. I was expecting Marissa to fight me more when I asked her to work on things, but that really hasn't been much of an issue. She's interested in just about everything we work on, and works hard and relatively efficiently. We're on week 5 of Classical Conversations material, and so far I really love the program and community. We meet once a week, on Fridays, and Marissa's tutor goes over the new material for the following week, do a science project and art/music, and reviews previous weeks' material. Arianna and Roman do great in the nursery, and I enjoy talking with the other moms while we observe the class. It's challenging for me to learn the material, and fun for us to memorize it together. We have the CD of everything in the car, and even Arianna is picking up on a lot of it! We have separate phonics and math books, and they seem to be just about right for Marissa.
We start each day with breakfast and Super Why. Then we head downstairs to the schoolroom/playroom. Marissa and I work at the desk, and Arianna and Roman have a little table and play area. We work on memorizing the CC material, and learning map locations for CC. Then a few pages of math (she likes to do more sometimes!) and then some phonics/writing practice. I have her read word families, and we're reinforcing short vowel sounds right now. Then she writes sentences for some of the words we read, or I give her a "spelling test" with some of the words we read. Then (if Arianna and Roman let us have time) we expand on a subject. We've been making a science book about all the classifications of animals. This gives her a chance for some crafting (her favorite thing ever!) and is a little more fun than just memorizing the facts (which we get from CC). Usually by this time, Arianna and Roman are no longer playing nicely, so we head upstairs for free play before lunch. I try to keep them busy with puff ball games, coloring, balls, trains, and Arianna practices her letters on a white board or uses her alphabet tracing notebook. But this only lasts so long! It's definitely the most challenging aspect of homeschooling so far!
After lunch, I put Arianna and Roman down for nap (although Arianna seems to be getting out of this need, boohoo!), and Marissa and I have a while to ourselves. She does typing lessons on the computer, and we sometimes explore different areas on our globe and google information about it. Or she'll pick a topic she's interested in lately, and we'll explore that. One week we went to the Butterfly House at a local gardens, and so we researched Monarchs and everything about them. One day she informed me she wanted to learn how electricity works, so we attempted to figure that out. Lol. She wanted to learn how to tell time on an analog clock, so we've been working on that, and she plays a clock game on the computer to work on that. There's also tutorials and songs for CC material online, so we take some time to listen to those and work through the tutorials. Then she gets some free time on the computer while I get some free time, and her school day is over!
Today is Tuesday, which means I'm watching A (3 like Arianna) and R (5 months) for some friends. It means extra crazy days, and less actual school time, but we make up for it throughout the week. Right now I got all 4 younger kids down for nap (who knows if Arianna's actually sleeping though!), and Marissa is on the computer so I have some time to breathe. Haha. It's definitely challenging, but one day a week is definitely do-able, and they're good kids.
Roman is finally saying lots of words and getting a super funny personality, and it's so fun! He says bear, deer, doggie, ball, car, snack (na), mac (ma), mommy, daddy, bowl, and some others that I can't think of right now. He actually learned MINE today, from Arianna of course. Haha! He's so funny (especially around the baby) and still loves playing any kind of ball game, and driving his little cars around. He can be so goofy, and loves running around and crawling around (like jaguars) with the girls.
Arianna's still struggling with poop issues. But I'm not pursuing any kind of fix right now, just hoping time will help. She's so smart though, and I love watching her learn the CC stuff with us. She's getting really good at writing the letter A, and is very interested in writing her name.
Well, naptime is almost over and I need to prep for dinner tonight!