Thursday, September 2, 2010

Shhh! School has Started!

Since I made the decision to home school I have been doing a little practice teaching.  We have been working our way through the Scripture Alphabet series with Impress Your Kids and have really enjoyed it.  We save this for the end of our day, just before prayers and bedtime.  It helps the children settle down and also gives us some time to learn letters and do some crafting.
Cohen hard at work tracing letters.  I was shocked when he asked to copy what he traced on the lines below.  I love that homeschooling encourages children to take initiative and to extend their learning.

All of the children are present during these activities.   As a teacher I learned that I could expose students to subjects, topics etc... that were a little above them.  I just have to remember not to require that they demonstrate everything they are being exposed to.  We printed the letter L and searched for it on our letter bin.  Searching is a really important early skill.  Students need it to help them recognize letters as they are reading.  Here is a site that has some good activities that help with searching.  Not all the activities help with searching but most of it is useful.
This activity was great.  The children practiced important skills such as searching, printing, cutting and gluing. 

Today we were working on the letter L.  Since Impress Your Kids did not have a verse for this one, we found "Look to me and be saved..." Isaiah 45:22.  Impress Your Kids made lions out of paper plates.   I didn't have any on hand so we used paper bags.  The kids loved it.  This activity helped improve their fine motor skills and was lots of fun.  My son came up with the idea of using round stickers for eyes and putting dots in them.   I love these moments where we can just share ideas and work together.

There he is again - shirtless-boy! He gets something out of our time together.

I have been trying to home school as informally as possible.  Since my sons are high energy I keep things flowing without abrupt beginnings and endings.  We brought out the sorting toys and sorted together on the family room carpet.  I thought we were done but my son continued exploring.  He started to make patterns with the sorting toys and soon we were back to sorting with other attributes.  Through homeschooling my kids don't realize that they are "in school".  The learning is just woven into our daily lives.

I am thankful for the opportunity to home school and hope I can do it for as long as I need to!



A. Muschette said...

I enjoyed reading about your home schooling strategy. I am a home schooler as well, although, I only have a toddler...its more informal at the moment.

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God Bless,

The Damsel In Dis Dress said...

I admire people who homeschool so much. Your boys are adorable!

L. Eleana Johnson said...

Hi Myrtle! You make homeschooling look so easy. What I like most is that your kids don't even realize how much they are learning, it just seems natural. I've got to learn these skills with my daughter. I want her to have fun when we are together and not feel like I'm drilling her on what she learned at school. She's only 3, but I want to be the educator in her life too.

modern viking vixen said...

soooo adorable. thank you for dropping by my blog, your welcome back anytime!

confused homemaker said...

Love this post! I love that you're relaxed, I am too :) And this is our first year homeschooling too! It's both exciting & scary since it's the first time we're out of a formal system. I think one of the biggest benefits is that we can adjust to meet the needs of our kids (my boys are also real high energy)& learning can be more woven into the fabric of life versus seen as separate from daily living.

Anonymous said...

You are such a brave woman! I love that learning in just woven into your daily life, because when given the opportunity to see it, every second can teach us to be better.

Bonnie @ House of Grace said...

I just started homeschooling too! Good luck!
Bonnie :)

Unplanned Cooking said...

I admire your home school efforts. We've been working on reading over the summer, which is teaching ME a lot about patience :). It's amazing the gifts we bring into each others' lives.

Following from BF.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more!

"As a teacher I learned that I could expose students to subjects, topics etc... that were a little above them. I just have to remember not to require that they demonstrate everything they are being exposed to."

This past Friday we took a trip to the library and I was in the young kids section letting the kids pick out some beginner reading books.

My oldest son (9) was bored out of his mind and said, "Mami I want this one" (it was at least 6th or 7th grade level) I was like OOOkay if you think you'll enjoy it go ahead.

We headed back home and I kid you not he picked up that back and has been reading it on his own non-stop. A few pages at a time, and skipping the more difficult words though I have overheard him sounding them out.

It's truly amazing how much they can pick up if given the freedom to just explore and learn.

Rachel said...

Thanks for the site recommendation -- that's one I haven't seen before. I have searching (for letters) activities planned for this week but I definitely need more inspiration!

(found you through the Hip Homeschool Hop, by the way)

Amy said...

Stopping by to say "Hi" from the Hip Homeschool Hop! Have a great day!

Meghan said...

Thanks for joining in The Hip Homeschool Hop today! LOVE your blog!


Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet said...

They look like they are having fun! :) Homeschooling is an adventure, but praise God He strengthens us through it. :)