Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The first week..

We officially completed our first week of homeschooling last Thursday. It went really well! My husband and I are very excited about how well it went and the girls seemed to love it too. I was really really nervous the night before our first day. I'm not sure why I was so nervous, but I was a mess! I couldn't even sleep that night. I guess it was just a mixture of emotions. From the time we made the decision to homeschool our daughters (which was a few months ago) until last Sunday evening, homeschooling was something that we were preparing for, but it didn't really seem real until the night before! That's when it all came crashing down on me and I was really doubting myself. Before going to bed that night, I simply said a prayer asking God for wisdom and guidance in this new adventure, an adventure that I was sure would benefit my daughters. When I woke up the next morning I had a new outlook. I woke the girls for school and saw how excited they were about having school and my confidence soared. This was something we could do! Now, I know we have a long road ahead of us, but having that first week under our belts is a huge relief.

We decided to start school on Monday, July 5th, because we plan to do a year-round program. We will do an average of 4 days a week, sometimes 5 days a week if we want to have a week off at the end of the month. Both Shaylie who will be 6 in October and Nevaeh who will be 5 in September are starting in Kindergarten. Shaylie is just a little more advanced than Nevaeh, due to being in Pre-K program last year. It's working out well though because Shaylie helps me to teach Nevaeh. Sometimes I will try so hard to explain something and one of them just won't get it and then the other will come along and explain it and suddenly the light bulb clicks on. I don't get it. It absolutely amazes me. They've always been able to communicate like that though. I guess it's just an Irish twin/sisterly bond that they have.

For curriculum- we are using A Beka for Reading/Phonics/Handwriting and Social Studies. We're using The Critical Thinking Company's Mathematical Reasoning. For Science we are just piecing together our own units. This is very tedious and next year we will definitely go with an all-inclusive type curriculum. Our Bible component comes from a Girl's Devotional Bible/Activity book. I really like this book! My husband is teaching the girls guitar and it's adorable to watch! They each have their own guitars. Shaylie's is an unfinished wood color (She calls it "blonde") and Neveah's is purple. I will post pics soon! :) We are also doing an American Girl Lapbook unit. Which so far the girls LOVE.

Just a little overview of the first week:
We start our morning with reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and The Lord's Prayer. We then talk about the date and weather.

In Math- we reviewed our shapes and practiced printing our numbers. We learned about "same, fewer and more".

In Reading/Phonics- we reviewed our alphabet and learned about the letters I and U and the sounds they make.

In Handwriting- we practiced i and I.

In Science- we have started our unit on Seasons and started with Spring. We watched a Winnie the Pooh video on the the 4 seasons and watched a Caillou video named "Hello Spring".

In Social Studies- we discussed families. We named different parts of a family and made a book "all about my family". We also started talking about communities.

In Music- the girls learned all the parts of their guitars.

In Lapbook- We read the first two chapters of Meet Kaya and learned about life in the Pacific Northwest in 1664. We began the first two activities in our lapbook and learned some new vocabulary words (boast, buckskin, raid, salmon, tepee, and tule).

We're already into our second week...but more on that later! :)

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