Monday, March 30, 2015

Parents Day at School

We are on Spring break here at our house.  My kids have no idea what this means at all. So really it's called spring cleaning and whatever else we do week (including the occasional school work - gasp).  Hannah is still on spring break from her classroom time on Friday until after Easter when she will start term 3.  Her last Friday of Term 2 was Parent's Day and we were able to come by and see her in class.

Hannah and her classmates sang some songs.

After some songs Hannah showed us what she has been working on.

She was very eager to show us all her work.  Ethan (who is desperate to go with Hannah to class) enjoyed seeing her work too.

After visiting her classroom we went to the chapel where each grade did some sort of presentation (song, skit, poem etc). Hannah's K/1 class did a poem about the elements of Art.

Getting set up!

She is so short (but not the shortest).

Hannah and her teachers.

This is a clip from the song in her classroom followed by a clip from the chapel.  Listen for Ethan during the chapel portion. 

Note: I realized the video doubles back to the classroom 2/3 of the way through I just haven't had a chance to fix it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sonlight Blog Party

Well it's March already and so it's time for the next Sonlight Blog Party.  Last month, I blogged about how and why we started to homeschool.  If you missed it you can find that post here.  This month the topic is to: "Share the best homeschooling advice you have been given. What would you advise new homeschoolers".  When I started thinking about homeschooling I did not know a single person who homeschooled their kids.  Now that I've started I've met quite a few and I like talking about homeschooling stuff and I find that that other homeschooling parents enjoy it also.  Over time I have come across some very good advice and some very bad advice I tossed immediately.  Some of my favorite:

1. Rest Time:  Each day have a period of rest time in the afternoon where you and your children do not interact with each other. Continue this everyday indefinitely no matter how old.  I wished I knew who told me to do this because I owe them a debt of gratitude.  We started this when Hannah stopped napping at 2.5 and it is the only way I make it through some days especially days when I have a bad headache.  We homeschool and therefore we spend a lot of time together.  I love my kids and I love being with them but I do need space each day to think in peace or not think in peace.  Plus I have things I need to get done.  It's also when I nap or rest if I happen to need it.  So during rest time my kids are required to either play independently in their room with the door closed or nap.  Since we have been doing this for so long they almost never complain and most afternoons they are pretty good about actually staying in their rooms quietly.  It makes Andrew and I laugh to find Hannah in our bed during rest time listening to Adventures in Odyssey under the covers in her pajamas.

2. You can have a clean house, your sanity, or happy kids.  Pick 2 and let the other go. Again I have no idea who told me this but it is a good reminder to pick your priorities and to realize you cannot do everything.  Homeschooling is a full time job not a part time hobby to pick up and throw down when it suits you.  When you are home all day with 3 kids you house will not be clean all time (or at all).  That said I don't do this very well I too often pick a clean house at the expense of the other two and then none of it is done well.  Nathanael likes to trash the house while Hannah, Ethan and I are working.

Keeping Nathanael busy!

3. Make you curriculum work for you (you are not a slave to your curriculum.  I read it better said that your curriculum by definition is your course of study (ie math, language arts, science, music etc) your materials are your tools for learning.  You would never let a hammer dictate what it should build and neither should your chosen curriculum dictate how you should learn and teach. Sonlight has an amazing instructors guide (the IG).  I love that I can use it creatively to suit my goals for my kids.

My IG schedule.

My advice for new homeschooling parents:

Research, research research.  Make a plan but be flexible.

Sonlight Blog Party

Wordless Wedensday

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