Thursday, September 27, 2007

Living and learning this week

After receiving such positive feedback from so many of you well loved, respected, and admired homeschooling mommies out there, I've decided that I really do need to relax a little more when it comes to teaching Dylan. This week I've been much less rigid with our schedule and lessons and I think that he and I have both been happier with this approach. He told me that he really does not like doing his math workbook, and hearing the way he complains every time I get it out, I tend to believe him! So, I'm shelving it for the time being. We'll approach math differently for a while to let him work out the basic concepts, then reevaluate his position on workbooks in another month or two. Yesterday I brought out one of my favorite childhood games (Magic Mosaic) and let him practice replicating geometric patterns from the accompanying booklet.

Yesterday we also had the opportunity to celebrate one of the silly occasions I had penciled into our school calendar: Johnny Appleseed's birthday! We had a lot of fun reading more about him, particularly since we've been studying apples this month. My kids were most thrilled, though, with the lunch time treats I allowed in honor of the lovable, legendary figure: sparkling apple cider and Blue Bunny Birthday Party ice cream! (And, let me just mention that it's no coincidence that my kids were still in their pajamas at lunch. It was actually all part of my Grand Master Plan, you see. That which involved changing them into nice clothes after lunch, thereby eliminating the possibility of them wearing the remains of their midday meal to dinner with Darren's parents last night!) Oh, and of course, once Dylan had heard and learned so much about Johnny Appleseed, he just had to make a book about him, too. :)

We enjoyed a beautiful evening out in our backyard yesterday, visiting with Darren's dad and step-mom, who were in town for the night. I took this picture of the kids just before we left for the restaurant, and then noticed the brilliantly beautiful moon rising on the horizon behind them. (Naturally, I snapped a few photos of that, too!)

Today we got off to I think the latest start we've had all week, but by now I'm not too worried about keeping a timed schedule. (Of course, I still worry a little. But I'm getting better!) I decided to let Dylan dictate most of what we did today, so his handwriting and spelling practice consisted of a two page letter to Santa, which generously included requests for both of sisters as well as for Darren and me! For math we went back to the linking cubes he enjoys so much, and after a while he was making up his own complex math problems! I had never really planned much in the way of history lessons for his Kindergarten year (we've been enjoying the Little House books as our introductory peek into history), but lately Dylan has developed quite a fascination with Ancient Egypt, and pyramids and mummies in particular. So he was very excited this afternoon to rediscover an old National Geographic mummy toy that's been buried for ages at the bottom of one of our toy boxes! We got out his building blocks and he constructed a pyramid to house his mummy. We're reading books like Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile, Tutankhamun: His Tomb and its Treasures, Ancient Egypt, and Pyramid.

I am still just amazed every day at how enlightening this homeschooling experience has been for me. I feel more confident every day that this was definitely the right decision for our family. I would really hate to miss out on any of these precious moments of learning with Dylan, or with my girls. I love watching them play together, or just being together. This just feels so right. I wake up every morning (much later now than usual, I have to admit!) and just think to myself how lucky I am that I get to do this every day. I am so very blessed.


Celeste said...

It is so true Melissa. It is hard at times, but it just feels so right. It is a joy to behold them learning. I would hate to miss out and not be learning so much myself!

God bless your day. Good job relaxing. I sill have to work on being less rigid, but I know with each year, each child, I am sort of forced into it anyway. :)

Much love.

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Wow your post & pictures are wonderful..

He who wears the most black wins. said...

You are blessed, indeed. What wonderful things and lessons you are able to create for your children AND for yourself. It seems as though you are growing too. Your children are just so lucky to have such an enthused homeschooling mommy.

Johnny Appleseed's birthday created much excitement around here as well. Paxton's Kindergarten teacher requested many parent volunteers to come make apple turnovers with the kids on Wednesday and today, they are making hand pressed apple cider. Paxton came home with the sweetest book he made about Johnny Appleseed.

I, too, love watching him learn.

Have a beautiful and fun filled weekend!!

Crafty Mom said...

Enjoy the Egypt rabbit trail. We are trying out The Story of the World for history this year, and so far liking it. So we are studying lots about Egypt these days.

The magic tree house series has two books on mummies and pyramids. Book #3 and they also have a Jack and Annie research guide.

We are also making a scroll with our own hieroglyphics, copied from a book. And making a lego pyramid, if I remember correctly the base is 25 blocks.

I also have instructions on how to mummify a chicken from the grocery store, but I considered that way too disgusting to even venture into.

Jill said...

Before you know it you'll be giving lectures on homeschooling! You really are a pro. I love all of it!