Thursday, September 16, 2010

Week 3, day 14...ish

All you moms out there know that the minute you start bragging about your newborn baby falling into a routine you are automatically cursing yourself to erratic sleeping behaviours for many nights to follow... here is hoping that the curse will not extend to the following discussion of OUR routine (ulp).

We are indeed starting to settle into a routine with our homeschooling. I suppose it is more accurate to say I designed a schedule and we are actually sticking to it.  We dabbled in homeschooling last year when Butterfly was enrolled in public senior kindergarten and over the summer, but I didn't actually have lesson plans or a schedule to follow until we started our school year 14 days ago.

We have a regular pattern to our studies as well as a set of regular extra-curriculars:  we have a weekly park date with several other local homeschoolers;  Butterfly and I have piano lessons every Thursday morning; and we go to the library every Thursday after piano. I am trying to keep the scheduled extra-curriculars to a minimum for now.

Academically, this is what our days generally look like: Bumblebee usually is up before Butterfly so he eats breakfast with me, then we do some one-on-one language arts work; mainly we are doing very basic reading and writing lessons.  During this time, Butterfly and Cricket are eating their breakfast with their Dad.  When Bumblebee finishes his work, it's Butterfly's turn to work on anything she needs to do one-on-one, usually this means language arts and math.    After all of the individual math I gather all the kids in the "classroom" (aka the computer room aka the only room in the house that gets any morning sunshine) and we do some really schooly stuff like sing the days of the week and months of the year songs, sing O Canada, and pray together (this is, I suppose, only schooly if you go to a religious school but I digress).  Then I set Cricket up with some toys to play with while I read and read and read to the kids. We read from their Bible Storybook, we read from one or more of the many great Read-Alouds from Sonlight, and then we stop. 

After our morning work we just play or go outside either to the park or to explore the goings-on in the neighbourhood.   Thanks in part to the Government of Canada's stimulus-spending projects, and in part to our community's aging infrastructure, we have been able to see a lot of construction and utility repairs over the last few months.   We do this until lunchtime, then, when Cricket goes down for his nap we continue with either history or science.  This is when we get into doing some fun and messy stuff and it just works better without having the most curious, almost-two-year-old on the planet present. This is also our best opportunity for playing games. Some of our favourites of late are dominoes (with either princess or regular dominoes), UNO, concentration (especially good way to practice learning sight-words), and Kim's Game (this was part of our science lesson and the kids loved learning the trick to improving your memory).   We also throw in some french lessons, piano practice, and art here and there. Actually, Butterfly defaults to drawing or painting whenever there is a lull in the day, so I'm not overly concerned about finding room for art... if you think I'm exaggerating I'll post pictures of her stacks of artwork! 

Monday, June 28, 2010

links lately

One more day of "real school" and then we are FREE! So, in honour of the end of school here are a few celebratory links.

Kingfisher Atlas of World History
Ancient coins on Jewelry Television
The Six-Lesson Schoolteacher by John Taylor Gatto
Truth in Advertising for schools : from Unschooling Rules

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Building a list of resources

I've added two sidebars. One is a compilation of websites and articles that address a variety of learning philosophies. I tried to showcase a wide range of approaches. The other sidebar is a link to resources that we have used in our homeschool, or which we plan to use in the future. Neither list is comprehensive and I hope to amend them frequently. I would love to hear suggestions for helpful resources!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Welcome to Stepping Stones Homeschool.

We make and eat a lot of cupcakes here. Okay, not really, but it's such a pretty picture, don't you think?

The purpose of this blog is threefold:

1) to document the comings and goings of our little homeschool,

2) to share links and some of my ideas on homeschooling with other current or potential homeschoolers, and

3) to offer encouragement and possibly advice to other homeschoolers, especially those with infants or toddlers in tow.

(photos from top left: little bean's 1st birthday, our budding artist, and owl wings at VINS)

Come in, grab a cuppa, I hope you enjoy your visit!