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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Our homeschool "trial run"

After a very long weekend of Julia being sick, we decided to keep her home Monday.  She still was weak, but feeling much better.  So what better time to try homeschooling!?  We will be perfecting our schedule and using different materials in the fall, but wanted to get a general idea of how things would go.

We started our day off the traditional way, breakfast and morning chores, then she wanted to do the "if you're happy and you know it song".  I knew Chelsey, my younger daughter, liked this song, but it was a hoot watching them both sing and dance to it!  I decided to work on Calendar because it seems like that has been lacking at her actual school, and then we did the "Days of the week" song.  They both loved it as well (sung to the Addams family theme song you can find it here).

I wrote a little guide of what subjects to do on our whiteboard, and did a variety, even though we will do less per day in the fall I was surprised how much we were able to get done!  Even with an extra long math session (we watched a video by mathtacular for about 45 minutes because she was really enjoying it) we finished "school" by 1:30, including lunch.  Here is a brief description of what we did:

Literature:  I read to her from a book called "Be a friend to trees", which actually lead into our science.  It was a very descriptive book and she enjoyed it.
Writing/Spelling:  Julia copied a paragraph from the book, and I verbally asked her to spell words.
Art: used finger paints to paint a picture about something from the book (she drew an orange tree)
Science/Nature:  we went outside and followed an ant.  The ant was carrying another bug, and we followed it "home" to its ant hill.  Julia enjoyed watching the ants try to find the hole on the ant hill. 
Gym:  played outside on the slide, counted how many jump ropes she could do, kicked the ball up and down the hill.
Lunch
Math:  watched the mathtacular video, did a worksheet on addition
Geography: used her Tag reader and map of the US to locate the states and find out information on them.

It was a fun day, and it gave me the "I can do it" feeling that I needed.  We are both excited to start in the fall and use the curriculum I have planned out.  It was nice to be able to include Chelsey, but also a challenge.  I'll definitely have to have little activities set up for her to do when I need one-to-one time with Julia.  For now it worked well just letting her do a mini version of what we were doing.  (pencil and paper during writing/spelling, letting her finger paint, etc.)  We also did the math and geography during nap time which worked out nicely. 

Overall it was a great day!  Today she is home again, I just don't think her immune system is ready.  She will probably go back to school tomorrow, and I will miss her :)  We used http://www.theheadoftheclass.com/ today, and I wasn't really impressed.  It has been suggested to me several times by other homeschooling moms, but it is not quite up to par with what I want to teach.  It also doesn't remember what you were doing if you happen to x-out the screen.  When you go back all the subjects are listed again, which frustrated Julia because she thought she had to do them all over again.  It also listed subjects several times in one day.  It's a free online curriculum, so I suppose you get what you pay for.  :)  We will stick to the Charlotte Mason method and maybe use Head of the Class for those crazy busy days.