The Current Mix of Our Homeschool Day

We were asked in an Eclectic Homeschooling facebook group about our current (not year-round average, just current) mix.

I have been changing the numbers around and this is my guess, including the “homeschooling hours” Mon.-Fri. between 9 am and 4 pm only.

This is how we learn at our house, in order from the most to the least

Mom:

breastfeeding
cleaning up Vomit and getting more pedialyte
keeping kids dressed and fed
responding to kids and their needs
Teaching and correcting academic work
helping with Hope Haven Events, and preparing presentation and booth for Winter Homeschool Conference
Reading aloud to kids

Kids:

Playing with other siblings
Reading books/ magazines/ news of choice from our home library & internet
Legos and other toys
Self-Directed Learning
Fighting, discussing, negotiating and learning to get along
Playing with the Baby and teaching him to walk
Childcare
Learning about and Discussing our religion (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)
Learning about and Discussing Current Events and Politics
Housecleaning
Personal Grooming, Health & Nutrition
Early Childhoold Education
Life Skills
L.I.F.E. School Curriculum
math via Utah’s former core curriculum (before common core) via worksheets, iPad math and Constance Kamii math
iPad and YouTube learning by taking turns
Discover the Old Testament
God’s Design for Science
Serving each other, and others
Art and Art History (my own curriculum)

I love that homeschooling is so auto-flex. What we need more and what works best, always naturally becomes what we do more of. What we need least naturally falls off of the bottom and just becomes a memory when it no longer serves us.

Must Have iPad Apps for the Homeschool Mom!

Here are some of my favorites:

Benjamin The “Benjamin” app is a day planner. I love it!

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New Homeschool Routine For January 2015!

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Jeff said, “They only get 10 minutes of one on one time per day?” I said, “That is not all of the one on one time they get in a day. When they need help with Life School workbook, math, or discover the scriptures, they get one on one, but that is usually 2 minutes for this one, then 2 for that one, when they say, ‘I need help’ or when I check their work.”

Lest any forget, they get a ratio of 6 kids to one teacher (mom) all day long. That’s better than 25 kids to one teacher! When they have a question, it gets answered. Everyone’s every question gets answered almost every time. When they need help with their work, they wait in line behind one or two siblings for a couple minutes per sibling, then they get their one on one attention and help.

That is not even to mention that my 2nd grader can get help from my 5th grader or from my 7th grader if I am momentarily busy. My 5th grade son can get help from his 7th grade sister. Sometimes, my 7th grader can get help from my 5th grader (especially in Science, but, sometimes, he remembers some math things better than she does, and he reminds her). My kindergarten sin can learn how to read from 3 older siblings, when they read aloud to him. My 7th grade daughter makes teaching preschool and kindergarten one of her free time hobbies, which is wonderful and very helpful! She even uses the standards I have written up and in a book for each individual child, and asks me about teaching methods. I love that she is so willing to help in that way!

In case you are wondering, Life School teaches all subjects except dance and math, I believe. DTS is Discover the Scriptures,

I am excited for this, so I hope this works!

Peace out!

Teaching Art to Kids: Lesson 1 Still Lifes

Lesson 1

Still Lifes

Art History

Pablo Picasso
http://museudepablopicasso.tumblr.com/

Frans Snyders
http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/still-life-fruit-vegetables-and-game-on-a-table-73391

Willelm kanff
http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/53.111

Jan brugel the elder
http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/67.187.58

Contemporary still lifes

Allan Innman’s Legoscapes
http://www.juxtapoz.com/illustration/allan-innmans-lego-scapes

Real careers in art
Toy Designer

Work Hard, Play Hard: Explore a Toy Design Career

Montessori Phonics, Sight Words and Whole Language

There are three different methods I put together to teach my kids to read. I use Montessori Pink reading series of three letter phonics words to teach the a as in pan or cat. Second, I teach the sight words using Preschool Prep products. Third, there are the rest of the words, which my kids can learn with old fashioned books like the Dick and Jane series.

All if these helped form the reader she is today. The old fashioned books use the whole language method, which means they learn by seeing the word and recognizing it by sight. They teach using repetition. The kids see the words again and again. They alsi learn to write the same words.

Sight words, taught using the Preschool Prep products, are very commonly seen words which do not follow the common decoding practices. They include the, a, they, have, he, she, come, of, and many more. They read thewe in the Preschool Prep readers and practice them in spelling by writing them over and over again, too.

I had taught my son, so far using the Preschool prep DVD’s and the Montessori pre-reading. Yesterday, I taught him with the First Book of the Dick and Jane readers, which taught him by repetition and by recognition with sight, the words oh, look, see, Jane, Dick and Sally. Next, he will learn those with funny. Then he we learn all of those and will add to them the words little, big, mother and father. None of these are phonics words.

I teach using all of the above mentioned methods, in tandem, not one after the other. This seems funner, and gives variety to our days. I do not do all in the same day. I do the one we feel like doing that day. The others, I do other days. I have not used them frequently to date. I am going to pick up the frequency now, because he is older.

The montessori pink reading teaches phonics words of three letters, which are words like hat, pan, pot, bat, bus, box, fan, pen, pin, etc., using tiny objects put next to words, on a mat on the floor. It feels like play. To him, it is just a fun game. He watched his sister do it and heloed her. Now he will be doing it in his own.

He also watches the preschool prep dvd’s sometimes when I feel like putting them on. They teach him common sight words. Later they teach blends and digraphs. They have DVD’s, readers and coloring books I use together.

All 3 in tandem: whole language, montessori (phonics) and sight word learning, combine to teach my children to read without being frustrated. They know that sometimes, they will see words they just have to recognize (sometimes they are common and sometimes they are not), and other times they will see words they learned the montessori way. They are excited either way, because they are reading.

Homeschooling a 1st Grader? My Favorte Books & Supplies for That

Fun Week for Homeschoolers, Too!

This is a fun week in homeschool. Today, we have field day. We are going to get ready, the. Make brownies to share at the park. Then we will pack picnics and put our outdoor math games in the van. Then we will head out. Wg are buzzing with excitement here.

Tomorrow we have co-op. The next day, we are going to a meeting to plan a gigantic co-op group, with lots of teachers and secular classes offered. How exciting! The nest day, we are going to a field trip to learn about blind guide dog training. That is such a cool thing for kids to learn about!

So exciting!

Homeschool Day Boxes and How They Work!

I tried this day boxes system, based on the system called, “work boxes,” which I did not like, as I am an Alfie Kohn fan, and it worked well. It works well as long as I have time to get the day boxes ready that morning early, or the night before.

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I found that the kids like new and different things in there. They despise having very similar things, day after day. I found that even a toddler has to have things, because he wants to be like the others and have something made for him to do, so he can work, too. He did get bored fast, so I must have always had very boring things in there for him. I tried to get something from each subject we were doing that day. I also put the book they are currently reading for fun, in there.

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I also put the ruler, the scissors, the glue stick, the markers, the pencil and the paper they needed for that day’s stuff, in their box. This makes it so nobody has to go look for something they need, giving them about a 100% chance of getting distracted and not coming back for quite some time!

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They really liked them and they made my job much easier during the homeschool day! One thing I did not like was that the boxes took up so much space on the table that it does not give them much space to work. I solved that by getting out a card table, but then they fought over which table they wanted to sit at. Oh, my! That’s the way kids are!