Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Day Two.

The overly anxious side of me is worried that this whole business of homeschooling might be just a little tooo easy...either that, or I'm doing something wrong. Or not doing something that I should be doing right. Or something.

At any rate, I am just amazed at how well it seems to be going. Today's pace was entirely different than yesterday's, but in many ways I think I liked it better. I think I had placed such high expectations on yesterday's performance, and was so worried about staying on "schedule". But really, that's just ridiculous. Yesterday was nice, and we did a lot, but today I really tried to work with the rhythm of our day rather than just fitting everything in.

For example: Dylan has been getting up really early lately, between 6:00 and 6:30, while the girls aren't usually awake before 7:00. So, remembering the difficulty we had yesterday trying to complete workbook pages with Meghan climbing repeatedly onto the table to "help", I decided this morning to use my quiet time with Dylan to complete the second lesson in his spelling workbook. This worked out so much better, and I really enjoyed the peaceful time spent snuggling with Dylan on the living room couch. We were finished by the time the girls woke up, and then we all had a simple breakfast, after which we reviewed yesterday's bible story and read today's.

Later in the morning, Dylan and I re-read Apples, and I had him draw and label the parts of an apple. He absolutely loves drawing and labeling, so this didn't really feel like an "assignment". Our math lesson today was conducted on the floor of the schoolroom, with their linking cubes scattered among us. I thought I'd start with a few simple problems, asking Dylan to snap together "x" number of blue cubes and then add "y" number of red cubes, making a total of "z" cubes. But he was just so quick with these! I was surprised, really, because, although I knew he was good with numbers, I had no idea he could solve problems with such ease. So I livened things up by creating story problems, with the cubes playing central roles. (Dylan has been thinking a lot lately about Halloween, so our orange cubes represented Jack-o-Lanterns, the black ones were black cats, the brown ones were owls, etc.) Again, this just felt like fun to me. Am I doing something wrong?

I think my favorite part of today was when Dylan came to me and asked, "Mommy, is it time to read more of Little House in the Big Woods yet?" This just made me so happy. We read chapter two, which was so wonderfully descriptive...and thankfully, unlike chapter one, it did not describe butchering meat. This, to me, was a much more serene chapter, describing cold winter nights spent inside their little log cabin, listening to Pa tell stories by the light of the crackling fire. It describes the chores the girls helped Ma with on a daily basis (and now we all want to learn how to churn our own butter!), and it tells of the little paper dolls that Ma would sometimes make for Laura and Mary. I'm embarrassed to say that prior to this, my kids had never heard of paper dolls, so they were quite charmed by the concept. When we finished reading, Dylan asked if we could try making one of our own, and a quick Google search revealed a simple template with coordinating outfits. But to be a little silly, I first opened the paper doll template in Adobe Photoshop and modified it to feature Caitlyn's face! Dylan thought this was hilarious, and he carefully colored the clothes, cut out each piece, and helped me assemble the doll, which he then presented to Caitlyn. So sweet! So fun! So...educational? I don't know. I sure hope so.

And, just so you know, there might actually be a day in the foreseeable future when I'll have something other than lessons to write about. I'm just bursting with things to say! But school! It's just so fun! :)


Celeste said...

Burst away! We love the explosion. I love hearing about it all! And I love hearing all my friends so enjoy this journey! It IS fun!

And yes the paperdolls are educational. It is called a rabbit trail from your Little House book. How Charlotte Masony of you!!!

Much love!

Have a fun third day of school!

Mrs Pea said...

Wow, I think your days sound great - educational, at the children's pace, learning as you all go along. Well done you!

Mom of boys said...

This all sounds so great! You are wonderful at this! It took me a lot longer to figure out how to work with the rhythms of the day instead of just keeping a schedule!

mom-in-training said...

Melissa, you are a natural! I'm still trying to get things figured out, though I am enjoying it. But keep the homeschooling posts coming - you are an inspiration! I just love the Caitlyn paperdoll! :)

Jill said...

I love hearing about your school days. Keep it up and I'm going to have to once again reevaluate my decision about whether to homeschool or not! :)

Jane Ramsey said...

I love hearing about your days, too! What eager and enthusiastic students you have! I hope the wonderful days of learning go on and on and on...(love the paper doll idea, too!)