Saturday, August 10, 2013

Our Not Quite "No Plan"-Plan

We had our first "official" week of school this week, and it went wonderfully. We school all year round, but it is time to get a little more structured and work on some specific things in between our play.

I have a love/hate relationship with structure. I have asked Cullen many times to "just write me a schedule and I SWEAR I will follow it", which usually lasts a lovely three weeks, then I decide it is cramping my style until 3 months later I have become a huge time-waster and dig it out again...
I couldn't describe myself any better.
So, we are back to a schedule. With some "ish". I start school with Sophie around 8:30-9 (ish) once chores are finished. Delaney begins working with me around 9:30 - 10 (ish). We continue until around lunchtime, unless we are just having too much fun, and see how long it takes us to "finish". (Since you are really never "finished", right?)

Sophie and I worked on writing her name and a "morning letter" this week. She loved it and was ready to go every morning.
Rainbow name - trace your name with as many different colors as you like. It looks like a rainbow when you are finished!
Sophie is learning to recognize the yellow letters. This week she worked on "we" and "is". 
Big sister did some reading while Sophie and I worked.
Then we did some math and she wrote some letters to people she loves.

I don't have an exact curriculum for the girls. I do have a few things that I am piecing together to make our own.

Reading - I am loosely using the Starfall Kindergarten curriculum for Sophie. (P.S. I just saw that they offer Pre-K now. How exciting!)  It gives me a plan to follow, but a lot of it has nothing to do with literacy, or something she is quite ready for it. I will offer all of the reading-based material to her, though, and see what she is ready to do. She has already surprised me with her willingness to learn and aptitude, so who knows how far we will end up going with her learning this year. We will read lots and lots of books, and make weekly trips to the library. Last week's book check-out total was 17. I also use several iPod apps and online games, and play them with her.

Delaney reads every moment that I will leave her alone to do so, so my job is pretty easy in that area. I am encouraging her to read a book to Sophie or me every day, so she can work on her comprehension when reading out loud, and her diction, but I don't force it. Usually, if I send Sophie over to her with a book and a sweet-voiced request, Delaney is happy to oblige. Unless, of course, she is "just way too into her book." We are reading "Because of Winn-Dixie" all together.

Math - Delaney is working on "Mastering Math Facts", which you can download for free. We do this verbally. She can write all of her numbers, but she wants to write them perfectly, which slows her down a bit for a timed test. She kind of hated me for making her do it at first, but I think she is beginning to enjoy beating her previous score every day. We also have Miquon Math, Orange Book. I am still figuring this is much different from a typical math curriculum, but I like it. I can use it with both girls - Sophie at the beginning of the book, and Delaney towards the middle. We will also use lots of games and real life stuff, and see where it takes us. I am considering trying a Dreambox trial, and how she responds to that format as well.

We are studying pollution right now for Science...we learned about air pollution and this week will be water pollution, and I threw in some reduce-reuse-recycle and conservation, too. We have a neat environmental center here, and they have a discovery room that focuses on these things, which we will be checking out soon. We are also continuing to learn about the human up - digestive system! Ewwwwww.

I am  using  Classics for Kids for music. The site has free podcasts about composers, along with lots of music. I saw a great suggestion online somewhere to create a Pandora station for the composer you are learning about, and listen to it throughout the day. I decided to go in chronological order, and we learned about Bach this week. The Bach station has been lovely.

The girls have been watching Carmen SanDiego for geography and I just got Liberty's Kids to supplement American history. I will listen for what they want to explore further and use the library for my resources.

So look - I have a plan! And a sort-of schedule! And it's flexible enough that I am not feeling all creepy-crawling looking at it. I think it's going to be a great year. :D

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