Our First Week of School

It was a good week. Tiring. But good. I feel so blessed to be here with these kiddos doing this thing.

Over the summer, as I thought about what I wanted to do for this school year, I decided two things: First, that I was going to have to find something to do with Squeezy during school time, and second, I needed a flexible-yet-organized way to handle our school routine. In the end, the solution I settled on helped with both of these things. I’m planning a post in the next week or two to go into detail about what I’m doing with Squeezy, so today I’ll just tell you about our school schedule. I know! So exciting, right??!!? The good news is I have cute pictures of my little learners to include.

Last year I had a step-by-step schedule for our day that lasted about a week before I just kind of ditched it and we muddled through the rest of the year. It wasn’t flexible enough. Plus, Squeezy was causing so much mayhem in our school days that often I ended up having to wait till Art was home from class and work to do one-on-one stuff with the boys. So this year I settled on a kind of block schedule, where our day is made of five blocks that usually happen in order but if not it’s okay. Our blocks look like this:

Block One: Bible, Science, Poetry, give assignments. During this block Squeezy sits and looks at books and must stay in her chair.

Block Two: One-on-one time with Stinky while Bubs works downstairs. This gives me time to work with Stinky on his reading, which is a huge focus for him this year, to introduce new concepts in other subjects, and to read his literature selections to him. During this block Squeezy plays at the table with a box of activities fondly dubbed her “Busy Box.”

Block Three: While Squeezy is in her bedroom crying playing with fun toys she only gets during bedroom time, the boys and I do flashcards or other math games and have our history lesson. This is also when we do Spanish, if it’s Spanish day. Theoretically it’s supposed to be when we do all our specials, but our others are art and cooking and whatever else I feel inspired to do, so sometimes it’s best to do those in the afternoon.

Block Four: Stinky heads downstairs to the school room for independent work while I work with Bubs. Usually it’s just a matter of reading and discussing his literature selections to him, although as the year progresses and he’s learning new stuff in math and grammar, this will be the time to work on that.

Block Five: This is when the boys finish up their work, I check it, and we call ourselves done for the day. Generally it has been happening at the same time as Squeezy’s nap.

So that’s the general building blocks of our day. I have already enjoyed the flexibility of saying “we’re doing block three after quiet time today” a couple of times. I like that as long as I can count off five blocks, I know I’ve gotten everything on my lesson plans accomplished.

Now. Pictures from our week.

We are studying botany this year for science. This is a leaf Stinky found when we were talking about how scientists divide plants up. One of the ways they divide them is by whether they have veins or not. This leaf does have veins, so it is from a vascular plant.

In history this week, we studied creation, Adam and Eve, and Jubal and Tubal-Cain. Tuesday we used salt dough to make animal creations of our own. We learned that it’s much more difficult to create completely new things without using someone else’s ideas that we might have expected.

We let them dry for a few days and painted them on Friday.

I’m lame and didn’t get a picture of the finished products.

We also made circles for the days of creation to put on our history timeline. I haven’t got the timeline hung up yet (I need my big strong husband to move a bookshelf for me first), but we’ve been making stuff for it. For the circles, we used watercolors and markers.

I think they turned out so pretty.

Our drawing lesson from Draw. Write. Now. this week was how to draw a hen. I really like this book. The lessons are nice and straightforward.

We all drew the chicken according to the instructions and then drew the background however we wanted.

I pretty much just copied the background in the book.

I’m thinking maybe we should add photography to our curriculum. πŸ™‚

Thursday was the toughest day all week. Squeezy was extra squirrelly, Stinky was not interested in what he was supposed to be working on, and I was in a lot of pain. In desperation I pulled out these ABC exercise cards I had printed.

The kids got to Inch like inchworms

and pretend to ride Unicycles

among other things.

(Sorry for the terrible pictures!)

Somehow we survived Thursday, and Friday was much better. A couple things we did–

The kids had a picnic for lunch . . .

Did a yummy cooking project . . .

And busted out these letter rocks I made so Stinky could practice spelling.

The letter rocks are part of my attempt to engage my little kinesthenic learner a bit better. I’d like to say that he miraculously spelled everything right, but that would be a lie. Still, I think he had fun and it was a change from the normal writing-it-out-with-a-pencil stuff.

And this picture is just to show my mom and our supervising teacher that we actually did some book learnin’ this week . . .

It’s been a good week. We got everything except two things done that were on my lesson plan for the whole week. That’s kind of miraculous, really.

I’m so blessed.

Have a great day.


5 thoughts on “Our First Week of School

  1. Erin: Does Iowa still require a supervising teacher? They did many moons ago when I started homeschooling, but I didn’t know if they still did – or if it was a bit of artistic license?

    • Iowa requires that you either have a supervising teacher or submit to standardized testing. most parents prefer to go the supervising teacher route. Ours is a dear friend from church. πŸ™‚

  2. Erin, you are such a wonderful home school mom! I am imprssed and plan on using some of your ideas! Keep up the great work!

  3. your rocks ROCK! i love them!! and i do hope you gave your hen an A+. you deserve it πŸ™‚

    what a job this is to make school work at home! especially entertaining squeezybug! wow! but it loks like you have a pretty great plan. good luck, friend!!

  4. I love the letter rocks! I so want to make some!! I bet the kids would love helping collect the rocks & I love the idea to use the stickers!

    I LOVE the idea of blocks, too – I will have to implement that into Z’s pre-K schedule – I bet we’ll only need 2 or 3 blocks, but that will work so well since our schedule has to be flexible with Davey being so young & still nursing at unforeseen times! πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: