Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Our Day In Reverse

So many things are going on right now. Lots of time is devoted to soccer but our teams are great. School is going smoothly but we feel a little pressed for time most days. Yesterday, I needed to make a trip to Walmart and make a pot pie to take for lunch w/ my parents so I did our day in reverse. It worked very well, actually. We got up, made breakfast, attended to the pets as usual, got Baxter off to work and I did my yoga routine. Then the kids got dressed and I got ready and we headed to the library to pick up books that we needed for the week. Then it was off to Walmart!

I had forgotten what joy there is walking into a Walmart Supercenter where the check-out people are standing by the candy asking you if you're ready to check out! The truth is, I LOVE WALMART! How could you not? It's such a time saver! Where else can you buy 5 pounds of Oreda french fries ($3 cheaper than everywhere else), a roasted chicken, cereal that everybody will eat, underwear for your children, GE Reveal light bulbs, a new tennis racquet, a bean bag chair and cream or ointment for every ailment under the sun? Walmart is fabulous! What I do not enjoy about Walmart are some of the people that go there. My friend Jennifer found a wonderful web site called peopleofwalmart.com which highlights this very nicely. My solution is simply to go early while the display of oranges is still unspoiled and the hunting supplies have yet to be picked over.

In the afternoon, the kids did their regular lessons that they usually do in the mornings but they seemed to speed through the lessons a little faster. I was really surprised by this. I expected them to be so mentally drained but just the opposite was true. Big moment of the day: Ford started reading. He can read the "at" sound and read the words fat, cat, mat, sat, pat etc... The best part is his excitement. He could barely contain himself when he realized he had read actual words. I have to say Hooked on Phonics really does work. In fact, I'm trying to figure out who to give our set to when we're done with it. Any takers?

Friday, September 4, 2009

So Far, So Good

Our first three weeks were very smooth. As a student myself, I learned the importance of a child understanding what the subject is about. We are enjoying learning all about what geography is and why we study it. It is so much more than just looking at maps and studying facts. It is also the history of religion, philosophy, and the motivation behind why we find it so necessary to explore beyond our front porches. These are concepts that even my four year old can appreciate. There are a lot of great geography activities you can do with your kids. We have created a papier-mache earth and a map of our house. If you have older kids, let them make a map of your neighborhood or favorite shopping mall. You could even map-out Wal-Mart if you wanted to! Just understanding what a map is and why we need them is a basic concept that is so important to grasp.

My first grader is enjoying Draw Write Now. We have been working out of Book 6. She is compiling a book of illustrations and short sentences this year. So far, she has pages from creatures that live in various ocean habitats and in different types of habitats on land. Copying the pictures step by step is helping her penmanship and I am allowing her to decide which sentences from the book (2 out of 4) would best describe her picture. Maybe we have a future editor on our hands!

My preschooler is completely confident in his phonics sounds and we have decided that he can start the yellow workbook in HOP on Monday.

School is fun for them still. We have had 3 field trips already! I am planning on about one per week so we're right on schedule. However, with flu season heating up, we may be postponing a lot of them as time goes on. It's a great year to home-school!