I am not even going to pretend that I will keep this up throughout the school year, but I do want to share on occasion what we're doing in our homeschool. This week is easy, being our first full week and all. While we have our lesson plans and about half of our books, we are still waiting on the other half of our books to arrive at any time. That's OK, we're not in a rush, and there are plenty of fun things to learn without books!
I always like to see how other homeschool families do things, where they teach their lessons, and how they have their areas and supplies organized, so I'll share some pictures of our school for any other curious folks. And for those of you who are unfamiliar with homeschooling, here is just one example of what it can look like. Each family is different, and there are so many different ways to do things! Some moms/dads are much more organized than I am, and some moms/dads are much more laid-back than I am. It's all good.
We do our work at the dining room table, and we have a bulletin board and dry erase board to help us keep track of lesson plans, activities, library books, etc.
In the corner is a file cabinet with all our supplies and folders of the children's work. We like to recycle and reuse as we are able, and large cans work very well for organizing supplies.
Off the dining room is a little nook, joining the children's bedrooms and bathroom. In this little nook is where we keep our homeschooling booksheves. Each child has a shelf with their books and personal supplies, topped with arts and crafts supplies. On the opposite wall is our "library". The books for the older children are on the top shelves, and the board books are on the bottom where little hands can reach them. (I didn't take a picture of this shelf because it's a mess right now. I'm looking for something a bit more sturdy this week.)
We use Accountable Kids to help our children learn responsibility. We want them to understand what is expected of them and to become self-directed in completing their daily tasks.
Here is what we are working on this week. Mojo is brushing up on what she learned in 2nd grade...how to write fractions, "trading" (what we used to call carrying/borrowing), synonyms/homonyms/antonyms, adjectives and adverbs, being verbs and helping verbs, and states' capitals. She is a strong reader and naturally curious about science, so we mainly follow her interests in these areas. She currently learning about dragonflies, since we saw so many on our picnic the other day.
Caveman is learning how to categorize things, how to listen to and follow intructions, and practicing drawing straight lines and counterclockwise circles in preparation for learning to write his letters and numbers. He loves drawing and coloring, and I think he does remarkably well at staying in the lines. Sometimes I can't tell the difference between his and Mojo's work! Except that Mojo chooses more "realistic" colors for her coloring pages, and Caveman prefers to be more "bright and creative."
For Gem, we will focus on a different letter, number, color or shape, and theme each week, using Letter of the Week. This is the preparatory curriculum, as she is only 2 1/2, and it's mainly intended to keep her busy while we work on our lessons. But the older kids still enjoy coloring along with whatever they are doing. This week our letter is A, our number is 1, our shape is a square, and our theme is cows.
Our saint this week is St. Augustine, whose feast day was on August 28.
Our Scripture memory verse is 2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." (The younger ones will memorize an abbreviated version.)
To go along with our saint and Scripture, we will be practicing the virtue of Knowledge, which is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I found some good information on the virtues here.
"The gift of knowledge perfects the virtue of faith. It enables those who have it to judge the whole spectrum of creatures and objects from a supernatural viewpoint. Through infused knowledge the faithful can see God’s providence in whatever enters their lives and put creatures to the right use.
The gift of knowledge is often called 'the science of the saints' because it enables those who have it to swiftly discern between the impulses of temptation and the inspirations of grace."
We will practice this virtue by learning new things and memorizing our Scripture verse. In addition, Mojo will begin to work on memorizing the books of the Bible in order. To give the children a visual, and to keep the virtues we will be learning in the children's minds, I made a poster! Yes, I know I am a nerd, patting myself on the back for my awesome creativity. :-P
We are also incorporating our music education into our letter of the week. This week, we will be learning about Aaron Copland and listening to some of his music. I am adding another ipod to the right of my page with the music we will be listening to as part of our music education, if anyone else would like to listen. I plan to give Moriah piano lessons this year, but I will also encourage the younger children to be able to find and tap out the beat, hum the melody, and identify instruments as we listen to our music.
And we are continuing our unit study of the American flag. We will be learning the words to some of our American hymns and coloring pictures of our flag to hang on our wall for Labor Day. Mojo will write a letter to a soldier who is serving our country somewhere overseas, and we will address it properly and prepare to send it off. In the evening, we will take our flag down and learn to fold it properly, recalling what each of the folds mean.
So there ya go. This is what homeschooling looks like in our family.