Monday, August 29, 2011

First Hiccups

Well, it's not even September and we've run into our first homeschool hiccups. You know it's going to happen, even if you pray it doesn't.

First one is actually a pretty good thing. Claire LOVES her handwriting practice. She's doing so well with Handwriting Without Tears. I should have realized this might be a problem when got her the Pre-K book in April and she finished it in July. We started the Kindergarten book on July 29th, one month later we are at page 47 of 93. Yes, half the book in one month! I figured I had three options:

#1 - Go ahead and get the 1st grade handwriting book.

#2 - Just give her extra practice sheets of my own invention ... for the rest of the year ...

#3 - Get a Kindergarten book from a different publisher to give her the same level work.

There were cons to all of my options, for #1 I was afraid that if I just went ahead and got the 1st grade book she would be ready for the 2nd grade book by January and the 3rd grade book (and cursive!) by next April! While I don't want to hold her back I don't think she will be ready for that ...

For #2 I was afraid that it would bore her and I don't want to loose her motivation and excitement at practicing her letters. Also, I would have to create several practice sheets for her everyday.

The only con I thought of for #3 was that the letters would be formed slightly differently. I'm not sure if that would confuse her or not. After considering it for a few days and asking advice from some awesome fellow homeschool moms I decided that option 3 was my best bet. So I ordered the Kindergarten workbook from my runner up when I was deciding curriculum Zaner-Bloser. I hope she likes it and I figure when we finish it I will just go to the Handwriting Without Tears First Grade book or we can continue with Zaner-Bloser if she loves it.

Well, I have children who require my attention, so I will talk about our other hiccup in a later post!

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Life is crazy! Soon I will sit down and write out a few good posts, but I just had to share this tonight.

Lately Claire has been regaling us with her version of jokes. None of them are very funny, but we humor her. An example is this one:

Claire: Knock, knock!

Me: Who's there?

Claire: Claire

Me: Claire who?

Claire: Claire the silly girl!!

And then she dies laughing. Haha. ;-/

So tonight Daddy decided to teach her a real joke. It went something like this:

Daddy: Why did the chicken cross the road?

Claire: I don't know.

Daddy: To get to the other side!

Claire, acting very excited: And then the truck deaded him?!

Umm, no dear.

What can I say? She's our child ...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

We have a PLAN!

Why do I feel like an evil Mwhahaha needs to go with that?

We have all of Claire's Kindergarten materials together! This is the plan for the year:

Language Arts

We have "The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching", Handwriting Without Tears - Kindergarten and Explode the Code 1. We've been working with OPG since around April and Claire really enjoys it. We also got the Pre-Kindergarten level of Handwriting Without Tears at the same time and she's already finished it! She loves her handwriting books! After 2 days of working with the Kindy level one we were already at page 15! We haven't started Explode the Code yet, I'm waiting until we get a little further with OPG. We started using a slate and chalk for Claire to practice her letters on, but we found it was difficult for her to write, so I picked up a small whiteboard and it's working great.


We have RightStart Mathematics, Level A. We haven't gotten very far on it, but I liked that it was manipulative heavy.


Umm, yeah. That's pretty much it.


Since it's just Kindergarten we will be doing experiments. Once we get into the school year swing of things it will probably be one a week. We got "Stepping into Science" from Timberdoodle to start us off. I also have two Science project books give me ideas. "Bubbles, Rainbows and Worms" is science experiments for preschool, but I figure her brother can enjoy it as well that way.

Social Studies

We have "Beginning Geography" to start us off and I will add in from the many books we have lining our house for History, etc.


I guess I would call this Critical Thinking? I got the set of "Developing the Early Learner" from Timberdoodle. Claire LOVES this. It's very simple for her in the beginning, but it's nice to have things that are easy every once and a while. :)

Of course all of this is supplemented by many, many books! Claire and I are reading "The All-of -a-Kind Family" by Sydney Taylor right now. I also have the "Chronicles of Narnia" and "The Little House on the Prairie" books that I hope to read this year. Some days I think it all sounds ambitious and some days I don't think it will be enough! But the first year of homeschooling is all about learning for the child and the parent!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Our "school" area

We are slowly getting a good routine with Claire's schoolwork. We live in a small house and we do our schoolwork at the kitchen table. But having a small house with minmal closets makes it difficult to organize everything. So this is what we have:

This is an older picture from when I was just figuring it out, but yes, that is my kitchen appliance/schoolbooks/craft supplies/board game shelf. (Excuse the messiness, it's real life!) ;)

Here it is the other day. I got the bags through Thirty-One, Claire's bag has the things she needs for school. Chandler's has his "school stuff" (a set of letter flashcards, Lauri toys and a Mario notebook with crayons). The rubbermaid box is the wooden pieces for letters from Handwriting Without Tears, the white box is the manipulatives for Claire's RightStart Math and her science stuff is next to it. It's not a perfect system, but it's all I have room for and it works for now. Our kitchen is a bit crowded, but there really is nowhere else to put it! Someday I will have an area that can comfortably store everything, but I have the feeling we'll always do out school work at the kitchen table!