Friday, September 11, 2015

1st Week of Homeschool - A Recap of Our Activities

     Everyone is starting school this week.  So are we.  Okay, well not exactly.  We are starting homeschool this week.  And to be completely honest, we continue homeschooling year-round. But to celebrate the spirit of "back to school," I wanted to share with you what our first week looked like.

     Marley would have been in Kindergarten this year and Dylan would have been in preschool.  I have elected to do self-paced interest-led lessons this year.  We have our Learning Journal that Marley writes in every day and a math workbook that she uses a few times a week.  Other than that we fill our days with reading, art projects, educational videos, and lots of field trips.  I ask the girls what they want to learn about and they pretty much create their own curriculum and have a blast learning together.  And one of the best parts is interacting with the world.
We went to a group playdate at a local splash pad, where the girls got to play with friends and climb and run and dig sand ditches and splash in the water.  As we were leaving the splash pad, Marley said "Mom, I want to learn about the sun and water." Done.
We reviewed the water cycle and watched a few educational videos about the sun.  Pretty interesting stuff.  We were learning together.
She also came to me with the idea to do an art project about the sun.  She said she can cut out the circle and glue tissue paper and color the sun.  All her own ideas! I encourage, facilitate, and provide supplies, but it is her love for learning and creating, that leads to these miraculous days of homeschooling.

The girls love using the iPad, so I've made educational apps part of our daily curriculum.  The Monkey Preschool apps are a favorite and they have learned so much! Marley can spell words on her own and knows how to match rhyming words.  

      We visit the library once or twice a week to pick up books that support the current interests of my girls.  It is incredible how much information is soaked up by a child when their interest is peaked.  It is those moments that I want to seize.  The learning potential is a treasure.

      Marley wanted to learn about fish (an interest sparked by the library aquarium) and so we picked up the Eyewitness Book to identify the species of fish we saw.  She was so happy to make the matches and as we pointed the fishes out, I was able to give her some fun facts about them.
     I remember loving the book Madeline as a kid and my girls loved it even more.  They wanted to read it every night.  This led to a wonderfully fun lesson on geography and famous landmarks in Paris.  
At some point in the week, the girls got bored and they went digging through a hodge-podge of art supplies.  Marley picked out scraps of fabric and cut out pieces and glued them together to make clothes for her miniature dinosaurs.  I called this activity "Designer Dinos." ;) She said she may open up a dinosaur clothing shop. Hahaha!

     We also filled out these adorable "First Day" surveys for our girls.  Some of their answers are funny!  You can find these blank surveys if you click here.

 Amazing first week.  We even managed to do a day at Disneyland for Daddy's birthday; where he taught Dylan how to embrace her inner princess and walk through a crowd as if she was her own private parade.  <3

  I look back and I'm shocked at how much we did and accomplished together with very little effort and a lot of fun!  Looking forward to some equally awesome weeks in the future.

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