Hopeful. Reflections, Paul’s Pre-K, Week 4.

We didn’t squeak in a whole lot of school this week, actually that it was Elizabeth’s first week of summer vacation took some getting used to.  It has thrown off scheduling because we can do bath’s at any time that … Continue reading

Turning Inward. Reflections, K Week 11

Again, at the end of this week, there is a feeling that seems most predominant in relation to our homeschool, though it really involves life in general.  I actually considered titling this post “Quitters” because that’s what I’ve been doing … Continue reading

“I Cut Off Your Leg and Blood Spurts Out:” How Play Fighting Does More Than Teach Violence

I am not violent.  Contrary to what you are probably starting to think, while growing up, I would avoid conflict at almost any cost, though I’ve gotten better about standing up for myself as I have gotten older.  Peace is my … Continue reading

Reflections, Week 2

Week #2 wrapped up. For me, it went pretty well, though we didn’t do any ‘school’ for two days because we went to Niagra Falls, Canada, on Tuesday, and on Wednesday, I still felt tired because we hadn’t arrived home until nearly 12am from our trip. Bless her heart though, Elizabeth asked to watch tv when we got back! All I can think is ‘addiction.’ Lol. I can plainly see that I undermined myself by using it (or lack there of) as a punishment. Doing so has left her desperate to have her tv time and get it done and over with early so that it can’t be revoked, or that’s how it seems to me. She also seems to feel like she’s suffering if she doesn’t watch the tv every day. But overall, I can see that she is getting used to our new tv time routine, in which she watches one half-hour program after our work, or part-way through occasionally. She is obligated to at least try each activity to have her privilege. The new routine is that after her first show, she has to turn off the tv and wait until her brother is asleep to watch the other two shows, which gives me about 40-60 minutes to do what I want, like write this post. It’s a good compromise, I think, as waiting until 1:30pm seemed overwhelming to her, so she gets to relax with a little bit at 10:30, but then practice patience until the afternoon. I like it!

Which brings me to my next thought, about who is in control. She, of course, is ultimately in control of whether she does or does not do something, and I respect that and try to convey that respect to her. But, as far as our schooling goes, by wanting to ease into the work so that she didn’t put the brakes on after the first lesson, I let her have the bulk of the control. I asked her if she wanted to start the Spanish program, she did. Then, when she didn’t want to continue a few days later, I offered the English curriculum, which she accepted. In doing this she held some of the control over what we did. I tried to encourage her to try all of the activities, usually she did. Now, I feel like the scale is tipping, so that I am in control and determine whether we do the lesson or not. Although…she could always go on strike from the work and tv, but I don’t really see that happening.

Actually, what I am seeing is not resistance to what we are actually doing – except a little toward the handwriting sheets and sitting at the table so that Brother can not get us or our stuff – but the opposite. I see Elizabeth slowly gaining interest in what we are doing, just taking some time getting used to the different routine. Actually, I really think she is doing great given that there have been so many changes lately for her.

So, what have we been doing?! Lots! All ready, I feel grateful for beginning our first homeschooling year with such an organized curriculum as Moving Beyond The Page. Here are just some of the things we have done with it:

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    Photo via photopin

    Pretending to be musk oxen

  • Looking at pictures of musk oxen in the tundra on the iPad
  • Learning to read the word ‘you’
  • Practicing counting to 20
  • Drawing silly faces
  • Memorizing the book of the week: A is for Musk Ox, by Erin Cabatingan. Memorizing books is one of Elizabeth’s favorite past-times
  • Dictating an amazing story about a musk ox who goes to Bremmen
  • Typing on the iPad, here’s a sample:

Jertqtpiohnmbfijbpozq umnblpytreedsswqqazcffytpjjhjuu cdfdfgfffffdjdjdndjnd nsndjejhdrndjwdmdjjdmdndrkrjdmdmmnnnjjmm,,,,, juju hn Dsfdhejdjsjsjcmdmsmdmdmsmdmdmfdcd 🙂

Today, we started unit two and:

  • Read and acted out our new book, Hondo and Fabian, by Peter McCarty
  • Practiced counting and recognizing numbers up to twenty

We also returned to the All Bilingual Press Spanish program. The page we were on instructed us to draw the vocabulary words, but I don’t think Elizabeth is yet up to drawing the vocabulary, so I told her the vocab word and she searched for a picture of it in an old magazine, and cut it out. This we didn’t do for very long because she became frustrated and I decided that the amount that we had done was fine. Later, I was talking on the phone with my sister who has years of experience with kids as a teacher and children’s librarian, and she told me that learning to use scissors properly is a unit in and of its self in schools. She urged me to feel proud of what we did accomplish today. (Thanks dude, I do!)


Photo via photopin

Overall, I’m pleased. I can see the lessons emerging in Elizabeth’s daily play, and that is the whole point. I was especially pleased at how engrossed Elizabeth became while searching for the word ‘you’ in the text of A is for Musk Ox. I had previously considered trying to teach her to read, but had never put much effort into it. I guess I just thought, “Well, she is only four…she is going to nursery school…a teacher will teach her at school…” Well, now it’s me. Yay!