So I had a home school freak out this week. Normally when this happens, everything comes to a screeching halt. But thankfully, we just kind of swung into unschooling mode. I'm so thankful for that. It allowed me time to step back, calm down, do some research, and not feel guilty. My kids weren't running wild. In fact, in the end, I can look back and say that other than some anxious thoughts, we had a very enjoyable week.
Papa came again on Monday for "Papa School." I can't even tell you how priceless these times with him are. He got the kids through their Hooked on Phonics work and then moved into skip counting with Logan. He brought a nice big clock from his house and introduced time concepts to him. He also brought pennies and nickels to do skip counting with. Papa got a taste for a "true Logan day", which is basically a day where Logan's thoughts are in outer space, then the deep ocean, then to make believe worlds of dragons and who knows what else, in about a 3 second span of time. That can be hard enough to work with, but Logan also can sometimes add in an attitude that's a bit of an amped up, lack of self control type of thing. He can get upset and take things personal when he doesn't instantly grasp a concept. Needless to say, these moments are hard and Papa plugged through and was able to give Logan the foundations for telling time and counting money despite it.
Another thing I did to help Logan grasp skip counting, was to introduce him to tally marks. The play porch was a disaster so I gathered up all the baskets and set them in front of me. I had the kids race to bring me 5 toys at a time. Once the toys were deposited into their correct baskets, they could give themselves 5 tally marks. After everything was put away, we counted, by 5s, who had the most points. The winner got to choose a movie to watch during lunch time. But I think I was the winner here because the play porch was cleaned in record time and by the end of the game, both Felicity and Logan totally understood the concept of how to do tally marks and it gave them more skip counting practice.
We spent all of Thursday at the beach with friends. Its an hour drive for us so we sang lots of our school songs on the way, and practiced skip counting. I took 2 nature guides and slipped in some quick animal identification with the kids. I really want to keep nature journals. I've wanted to for years. But honestly, I'm afraid my distractible boy will not do well with sitting, drawing, and observing. Fearing it will end in a fight, I haven't done it. I know, I'm totally in the wrong. I'm looking into doing Ambleside Online for next year's school plan, and they do lots of nature journaling. I figured I'd start implementing the concepts slowly in hopes that by next September, it may be a smooth transition into full nature journaling. At the beach we identified squirrels. The next day at home (before home school friends came over to play in our sheep trough thanks to the 100 degree heat), we took our bird book into the back yard to determine which species of woodpecker our little resident guy is. It took us a while to decipher between two species that look very similar, but in the end we are confident that he is a Downy Woodpecker. I'm excited to add in these beginning steps of observing nature around us more completely.
I'd love to hear about your home school week! Leave a comment letting me know what you're up to, or leave a link to your own Sum it up Saturday post. Has anyone had any experience with Ambleside Online? I hope you had a great week with your children.
After 5 years of being a stay-at-home mom, I found the wonder of mothering slowly starting to get crowded out by the mundane feeling. I realized our world seems to surround people with the negative, and complaining about blessings seems totally acceptable. So I decided to fight against that "normalcy" and focus only on the positive. I look back to my first year as a mom when everything was new and keeping house was fun and I aim to have that attitude again. This blog is my outlet to showcase the daily miracles that surround me in my blessed life as a stay-at-home mom so that I will never forget the wonder of it all.