Saturday, January 28, 2012

Week 20: Letter N

Our Letter N Fun this week. We also did some of our monthly theme activities. I updated that post with our activities. It was great this month having 5 weeks so we could spread out, recover from December and there was Daddy's birthday too :-)

We did several Noah centered activites: We just bought the Little People Noah's Ark a couple weeks ago from a neighbor:

Noah Book and Video:

New activity: Sand box letter tracing

Letter N visuals:

 Our N verse for the week:

 N Printables:

N foods, we had nuts and nectarines

One of many alphabet books we read:

Finishing up N with Chicka Chicka fun. Our coconut tree got a remodel via the glue gun. It needed it after being handled for 14 weeks!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Week 19: Letter M & Shape Oval

Books we read:

Our sensory bin was music

A couple of new things. Pattern blocks

and lacing cards. Munchkin had the most fun unlacing the ones I did

More M fun


Here is a bit of Oval fun....We also watched Baby Einstein Shapes and he played with a iphone app on shapes as well.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Why we Homeschool, Year 1- Part 2

We are at the mid year point in this endeavor to teach preschool from home.  It is everything I thought it would be? 
Yes and no. 

No, it's not perfect
Yes, structured learning takes about 45 minutes, 3 times a week
No, we are not shut in out house all day long.
Yes, Jesus, character building,manners and discipline are parts of our daily conversations.No, we never stop learning even when all the printables, books and manipulatives have been put away for the day or having fun
Yes, building friendships for the boys is important to us
No, we don't think we are better than anyone else in the way we've chosen to educate our children
Yes, it's messy

No, I will not let the world tell me I'm wrong
Why even have a post with this title? Not to convince others to join or judge those who don't. I list these reasons for myself. Sometimes, I need to remember after a night of 3 hours of sleep or after weeks of holidays and little of our  weekly planning. When it takes two days to feel organized enough to find or do anything. When the frustrations of the moment and self doubt rear their negative heads, posts like these are a beacon to me. Is it hard at times? Yes. It is worth it when I see a light bulb go off in Munchkin's eyes. When we get to sit on the front stoop and talk about the dogs and birds we hear making noises It's worth it when we pray for the ambulance or fire truck and the people they are on their way to help. It's worth it hearing him continue to put more words together in to sentences. It's worth it to rock and nurse my sweet Doodlebug during the day. It's worth it to watch him learn to crawl. It's worth it when Munchkin hugs Dooodlebug by his choice. When M tells me he loves me as I'm cleaning him up after lunch.  I pray to convey my joy in this learning journey in a positive, Godly way. I don't believe  pointing out the potential pitfalls in other approaches of education -there are potential pitfalls in homeschooling as well- is necessary or desirable to stand by this decision and know it's right for our family. God's will is different for each family. As parents we are all just trying to do our best to listen to God and where He is leading us. We've been studying snowflakes this week and focusing on that God made us all special because we are different and He doesn't make mistakes.
 I did giggle quite a bit watching this young man's video on the 7 lies about homeschoolers. Although, I do agree with the 15 reasons to homeschool from Heart of the Matter, I think the angle of a few of these questions might imply those who chose other avenues don't have that value and I don't believe that should someone chose public or private schooling that equates in different values necessarily. I believe she is comparing as to what some people are afraid they are homeschooling for the wrong reason. I understand as I thought going in to this, am I afraid of the world, potential abuse, bullying, etc....Those are not my primary reasons for homeschooling though. 

Our reasons (I know some of these same reasons could be why another family chose another education route) at this stage are 
1. I want to be with my children all day
2. We want our children's main role model, influence to be us.
3. I want to see their beautiful faces as they light up discovering and learning about the world around them.
4. I want to help them see that same world through the eyes of God

Yes, some of these goals can be accomplished through other learning approaches. We chose to walk this journey of homeschooling while pursing these goals. Update: Another great article on the advantages at Homeschool-How-To. They discuss why some people are against it here.

There are lots of misconceptions in regard to homeschooling. The glimpses in to our lives is meant to share and keep a learning diary for our family. The purpose was  and is to provide the highlights of what we do. Childhood goes by so fast and I know I will treasure what I've gathered here some day when little feet are no more in our home and voices have deepened and are out in the world. When the baton has been passed so that in teaching our children to first obey us, they can learn to obeys God's calling for their lives in this world. 
The socialization question is rampant.  I know it's a knee jerk response for many as to one of the first reasons why they don't chose homeschooling.  I look forward to joining a co-op for back up on classes the boys need more assistance in. I contacted the leader of one just this last week. They start accepting children in to their program when the oldest child in the family is in kindergarten. There are weeks at a time I admit, we are happily doing our own thing with out a thought of what others are doing. Every once in a while I poke my head out and want to connect, hash over an issue, discover a different approach, share a victory or struggle and look ahead to see what's working for other families.  At 26 months, Munchkin gets plenty of friend contact between group time while mommy is at weekly ladies bible study, Sunday morning bible class and Sunday evening small group time where there are 8 children 3 years and under. We have at least one play date a week with a range of friends. As the boys get older they will have instrument classes, sports, scouts and other activities to look forward to. I look forward to the boys being comfortable with a wide range of ages of friends as that will prepare them for the real world.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Week 18: Letter L & Color Blue

Letter L and Color B. 

The last few weeks with daddy being able to take advantage of days off makes our weeks different. We enjoy the flexibility and extra time to spend and love on Billy. So, while I know I remember saying I didn't want the blog to become a series of pictures of just our accomplishments, some things have to slide. Aas another hs blogger so eloquently worded it, as much as I enjoy blogging and as dear as those following this blog are to me, my husband and family come first. Enjoy the highlights and know, the last few weeks haven't been my ideal, but learning, loving and living have occurred. 

Letter L:

Color Blue:

Time to Learn Preschool