All Girls School

First Day of School
September 4, 2007, 9:17 pm
Filed under: Bubba, curriculum, guitar

Today went really well. We took the obligatory first day photo:

Now, while I would like to run things more along the lines of unschooling, there are a few things that have caused me to become more curriculum based. The first is, there is no guarantee at this point that I won’t have to return to daytime work outside the home at this point. We are doing our best to keep that from being the case, but you just never know what could happen. So, I have looked at the required curriculum for our state in all subject matters for first grade and I’m making sure that we cover at least up to those points so that if she would have to go back to public school for second grade, she would not be behind anywhere.

Second, Bubba adored her kindergarten and was hesitant to agree to homeschooling. I assured her that we would do a lot of the same kinds of things that she did at school here at home. Some of those things include worksheets. She is a weird kid. There have been times when we’ve been at a store and I’ve let the girls pick out a book or coloring book to buy. Many times she’ll choose a huge book full of math worksheets and spend hours a day working on them, asking us to check over them and then working on them some more until they’re finished. She loves math and I’m thrilled about that, but she has also come to rely on worksheets as her preferred method of learning. Hopefully we’ll be weaning her off of that.

The third reason that I’ve decided to give us a fairly structured day is because we always have a minimum of two other kids running around, sometimes there are up to six. So, to be able to give Bubba some focused time for us to work on stuff and make sure that she doesn’t get shuffled on her own too much while I deal with toy disputes and diaper changes, we have a set routine for the day. I’ve incorporated plenty of free time, but we have a solid two hours for our lessons and plenty of places later in the day to complete them if they run long. We also have a carved out time for reading. She’ll be reading to herself and to me (and probably the other kids who are here) and I’ll be reading to her, too. I let her choose the first book that I’ll read to her, Ramona the Pest. That’s one of my all time favorites from when I was her age.

So, right now I have invested into quite a few workbook materials for different lessons and I’m hoping to gradually phase those out to more learning by doing things. I don’t know, maybe this is the best way for her to learn. We’ll see.

She did some pretty basic number line work today. We also did a couple of word games that focused on following directions. She’s a lot like me in that she’ll skim things quickly and dive right in without reading thoroughly. It was good practice for her. We had a long discussion about writing. I found a nice little book with quite a few writing exercises that build on top of each other to hopefully give her a good foundation for writing. Today we discussed ideas and brainstorming and what to do initially once we come up with our topic. She wrote for a good twenty minutes in her journal. We are planning on learning about all 50 states this year. Today we began with Washington DC. She did a little word search and a code word thing about it. Then we read our DC flash card from the deck we bought and talked about what it means to be our nation’s capital and how it differed from state capitals. Lastly she did what we’ll be doing on the first day of every month and that is decorating the bulletin board. She and I picked out a lot of different seasonal papers at Hobby Lobby when it was all 50% off. This way she gets to express her creativity and get geared up for the coming month and we don’t have to spend money on those cheap borders from the supply stores. She created the September title and surrounded it with balloons and presents since it’s her birthday month.

Speaking of birthdays, her present arrived today. Good thing because tomorrow is her first lesson. She was so excited.


2 Comments so far
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R. is very into worksheets, too. It makes me laugh. We are reading a chapter book about four sisters right now, and one of them brought an Algebra book with her on vacation.

Hurrah for Beverly Cleary. Beezus and Ramona is one of my kids’ all-time favorites. They love the chapter where Ramona invites her entire class to a party and doesn’t tell her mother. My favorite part is when Ramona takes one bite out of every single apple in the basement because, “the first bite always tastes the best.”

Comment by Saille

oh, what a joy to find this blog of yours…keep on schooling as you know best…because you do know best…eager to see you soon…so glad you are sharing your self with the preschoolers!

Comment by the neufeld epp family

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