Friday, September 19, 2014

Zoo Field Trip

Homeschooling is still going strong! Today, we:
 woke up,
 had breakfast,
cleaned up (the kids have morning chores),
 got dressed,
did the day's handwriting lesson,
headed out for our zoo field trip,
ate lunch on the run,
went to Meredith's dance class,
Russell and I did his reading lesson during the girls' naps,
had friends over for pizza.

 I love the flexibility of homeschooling! (We did have a light academic day because it was a scheduled review day.)

Anyway, that was an aside - this post is all about our zoo trip!

We went to a free zoo about 30 minutes from our house with our friends Ayden and Laila (first graders) and their siblings and moms. It was really fun, and the weather was perfect!

Below: the kids were way too excited about the eagle and the zoo in general to look at me!

Paigey LOVES animals. Of all kinds. If she keeps this love, I would not at all be surprised if this is our future veterinarian.

Looking at the turkeys and goats:

In the reptile house - smiling so sweetly next to a huge snake!

Russell, Ayden, Laila:

Petting a snake!

There was a fabulous playground (actually, 3 playgrounds right beside each other) also! I couldn't believe it was free. This region is wacky. Why do we have to pay $2.75 per week for a yellow sticker to put on our garbage bags, but 2 zoos in a 30 minute radius are free? Weird! :)


We have a few sweet neighborhood friends here. One of them, Olivia, just turned four, and requested a luau at a park. The kids had a great time!

Olivia asked to push Paige in the swing :)

Luau-ed out! But still smiling!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Kindergarten Homeschool!

Our homeschool year officially began on August 25!

We have many, many reasons for homeschooling. (One day I'll write a post about that.) Two of our biggest reasons: a) we want to include our faith in our children's schooling, and b) we want to be able to customize their educations. There are hard days and easier days, but I feel really comfortable with it overall.

Russell is in kindergarten this year! I can't believe it! We took a few pictures on the first day before we started school; here are his:

Russell wants to be a Navy pilot when he grows up :)

And here is his curriculum and extracurricular activities for the year:
Reading:, BOB books and activities, and my resources from my grad school classes
Handwriting: Handwriting Without Tears, kindergarten level
Math: RightStart Math, Level A
Bible: Awana memory work, Christian Crafts (a book we own), and various character lessons
Music: drum lessons with Paul - a teenager at our church
Art: a homeschool art class once/week
Sports: swim lessons
Extra: Awana, CBS (Community Bible Study) on Thursday mornings

It looks really busy when I write it out that way, but on most days we have 0-1 out-of-home activities, so there is plenty of free time!

Meredith is in our 3 year old preschool program :)

(I think in the top picture, she was trying to smile like Russell!)

Meredith's curriculum:
A comprehensive preschool curriculum book, a scissor practice book, Pinterest crafts, and whatever extent she decides to be involved with Russell's schoolwork. Right now, she likes to do handwriting with us. She's also involved in Bible time and read-alouds.
Extracurricular: ballet/tap, CBS on Thursday mornings, homeschool art class

Sweet Paigie couldn't be left out of the pictures!

Paige gets 15-30 minutes of one-on-one time with me before school starts. (We just started this, but it really helps her to play independently while I'm working with the other two!) During school, she normally wanders around the playroom. She involves herself in our handwriting if we're using the letter construction set! I also try to have a special box for her during school; new or different toys for her to use. If she seems restless or is too distracting, I either sit her in her booster seat with some Cheerios, or I give her 15-20 minutes of "room time" in her room.

School normally takes an hour or two, at this point. We usually school from 8:30-10:30, give or take (unless we have something going on in the morning; then we'll shift the schedule around.)

Some school day pictures:

Drawing a picture of someone God created - Russell chose Paige:

Playing with the letter construction set for handwriting:

First day of school craft:

Meredith's do-a-dot rainbow:

Park morning with some homeschooled friends, Layla and Ayden (both first graders):

Excited to see all three kids grow and learn this year!