Friday, 12 September 2014

Homeschool update weeks 1 & 2

After my post on our first day of school I've had several requests to find out how the rest of the week went.  Let me just first say that our first day of school went incredibly well because I was extremely well prepared and everyone was excited.  Although we were quite productive the rest of the week, not every day is the same.

The rest of week 1 included two wonderful playdates with new friends.  We can't wait to get together again with each family.  The boys also had their yearly doctor's check-up (all is well).  The boys were very engaged in the stories I told.  MJ loves to use the little characters to tell me more stories. Our week ended with a fall fair at the church down the street from us.  On the weekend my boys went to a company picnic with my mom and dad.  And we did some work around the house.
MJ at skate park, making bread, TJ painting, TJ at skate park

Week 2 was very active for the boys.  They had their first swimming lessons at the YMCA and loved it!  They both did very well in their classes.  We haven't baked bread in a long time because the boys were gluten free.  Over the summer we went off course so bread baking was back on this week.  We made 4 loaves of bread and some buns.  The boys were fascinated by the yeast reaction.  This prompted some very interesting concoctions/potions.  Once mommy got a little frustrated with all the food supplies being used up, the boys too their work outside to gather some free nature!  We spent a day with my sister and her two boys (my niece is in SK now).  One day we cared for a little boy that used to be in our daycare.  The boys all had a great day together.  It was wonderful to see them being so caring and helpful.  Later in the week the boys visited a different YMCA for a homeschool gym time.  TJ had a blast and MJ did too although he was a little more reluctant.  TJ's group played dodgeball and some other organized games.  MJ is in the younger group with toys, stories and some games.  I'm hoping to do some office work during that time.  We ended our week with a trip to the skate park.
Angel A's, making bread, potions and concoctions
Don't worry I haven't forgotten about academic things too.  I just wanted to group them together with the photos.

During week 1 TJ focused on form drawing (prewriting activities).  He draw on the chalk board, created patterns with sticks, drew in the dirt and on paper.  In week 2 we focused on reviewing letters A, a, B and b.  Both boys are doing different things with these letters.  MJ is working on recognition, sounds, and attempting to write them.  TJ is working on reading, writing (penmanship), and art.  We tell a story to go with each letter.  They practice writing on the chalk board and on paper.  We turn the letter into a picture to help us remember, then TJ writes in the alphabet book we are making.

In Waldorf we'd be using fairy tales to introduce the letters.  I am doing both Upper and Lower case letters so I've added extra stories and changed a few around.  I have also added bible stories as often as I can.  The stories and pictures I chose:
A - Jesus' birth, picture of an angel
a - Adam and Eve sin, picture of an apple
B - Story I found online about a bee, picture of a bee
b - story about a bunny, picture of a bunny
TJ's new flyer, recycling model plane

TJ worked on his flight project by completing his recycled model plane.  He also decided to start a book to show what he was learning.  This week he wrote about parachutes (I have to take a photo of that).  TJ spent several days playing with his new parachute man.  We also made some new model airplanes, and paper helicopter.  I helped to answer some new questions TJ had about how helicopters hover and fly.  We'll have to add more to his book and notes next week.
MJ's chalk drawing with a heart and urinary system, painting of broccoli going through the intestines, shark skeleton, kidney filter experiment
MJ had me read a lot to him.  He dabbled in art and drawing bringing what he knew about the body into his work.  He also made some fun lego creations too.  I wasn't quite sure how to encourage MJ with his project without taking over.  I went on Pintest and found some possible ideas.  I showed them to MJ and he made his own sin on the idea I found.  MJ used Q-tips as bones to make the skeleton for a shark.  He thought of this because we happen to have a collection of shark teeth.  So I gave him a few for his picture.  Later in the week I demonstrated to the boys how the kidneys worked using a coffee filter, juice and some pepper.  We talked about how that system worked.  The boys spent a long time pouring liquids into the filters until there was water all over the floor.  We also found some great videos on the body and I added an app to my iphone for them to play.

So there you are.  We are having a wonderful time learning, living and playing.  Continually working on a balance of it all and enjoying spending our days together.

What have you been up to??