Tuesday, July 5, 2011


I have a three year old (April 08) who has been begging to learn. She has been talking for a long time, in fact she loves to talk about her talking. She will tell you that she was a "talking baby". She has been able to write her name and draw pictures for some time now. She has that second born drive that leads her to attempt to be able to do everything her big sister does. I used to do school with Katie while she napped but she stopped napping at 2 years old. Now she wants to do it all. It is really hard to say no to a child who is demanding to learn. So we started "preschool" this morning. It started with a phonics and writing lesson (she did amazingly well). She did Math-U-See with us and worked on writing her numbers so she can meet that pre-requisite for the program. She listens to long stories with no pictures, she memorizes her Bible verses, she helped us sort pictures for grammar and colored her own map for geography.

The other day I turned on the evening news to see what was going on in the world. Joy sat down next to me and said "Mommy do you like this". I said I did so she sat down and started watching. They had a story on how much sugar is in chocolate milk and how plain milk is better for you. My girls regularly have chocolate milk (because her sister won't drink it otherwise and I'd rather her have chocolate than none at all). Joy demanded plain milk for dinner that night because the news told her it was better for her. She has since forgotten the news story and gone back to chocolate milk.

A few weeks ago we were at family camp. Joy being three years old should have been
in the nursery but I felt like it wouldn't be right to have her in there and asked if she could sit in on the 4-5 year old class. She sits through Sunday school at church and has been doing so since 2.5 and so I knew she could handle it. Well, she did great. One day after class she was sitting drawing on her magna doodle and I asked her who she was drawing. She told me Ananias. And then the next person she drew was Barnabas. She told me that Barnabas was Paul's friend and that Paul's other name was Saul but they are the same person. I was amazed.

Most of the time though she isn't drawing Bible characters or watching the evening news. Most of the time she is making a big mess with toys, cutting paper into teeny tiny pieces for me to clean up, taping things (not to each other but just placing tape on paper as a decoration --- plain invisible tape)..... I just asked her why she does this tape thing --- she said "Shhhh... I can't tell you" and walked away giggling with the tape dispenser. Earlier today I caught her writing her name on toys so they would be hers and not her sister's. She is always up to something.

First Day of School

We have chosen to home school. We did Kindergarten last year and this year will be first grade. Kindergarten is basically preparation for school but first grade is big time. This is the real deal. I better not mess up this one. So, we decided to doyear-round schooling. We will take breaks and lots of them, but we will not be taking the huge summer break. I have several reasons for doing this:

1. So my children won't forget all they learned during the school year and spend the first several weeks in review.

2. I find it much easier to plan for shorter time periods and a nice little break here and there.

3. Kids get really bored with long vacations and actually seem happier when the vacations are 1-3 weeks long instead of several months long.

4. I actually went to a year-round school in elementary school and I liked it.

5. My husband (the principal) wants me to. It is great that we agree on this and it makes the decision so much easier.

So I marked on my calendar that July 5th would be the first day of school for us. I made my lesson plans about a month ago and then the date snuck up on me and was here. So we got ourselves up and dressed early, took pictures to mark the event, and dug right in.

I have also decided to be on the quarter system. My college roommate used to say to me "Inch by inch it will be a cinch, yard by yard it will be too hard". We always wanted to throw something at her when she would say that but it stuck with me and I believe it is true. So I took all the books I want to get through this year and cut them in quarters and started planning. Here are some of the things we will be learning this quarter:
Math U See - alpha
Shirley Grammar
Funnix (www.funnix.com) for phonics, spelling and writing
Beginning Geography by Evan-Moor
Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer
History Pocket - Ancient Civilizations
Draw Write Now
A-Z Bible Verses by Susan Hunt
A Science Nature reader and the first grade science book by Christian Liberty
a variety of literature and poems (we read Milly Molly Mandy today)
Other (as needed)

I'm excited about some subjects and dread others. From last year I know which ones I have to start with and which ones are fun and are good transitions to other subjects. This should be an interesting year.