Friday, September 23, 2011

Homeschool, Baby!

Unbelievably, we are close to wrapping up our fourth week of school here in the Wilcox home. I can't quite believe it! I have to say that, so far, we are all really loving it. Granted, we've had our share of rough days and some super rough moments, but I think the overall feeling about school continues to be joyful excitement. Grace!

So here's some random info about our school-life to date:

-We started the school year (on Wednesday, August 31st) by diving into a whole new daily schedule that is much more structured than anything I've attempted previously. It's kind of a mash-up of ideas gleaned from Managers of Their Homes (thank you, Jonalee!) and a conversation with our friends the Cowans, who are veteran homeschoolers and just generally fabulous folk. Our morning is broken down into half-hour segments, and we're keeping it lively by doing a little bit o' chores in the bedrooms, a little bit o' breakfast on the main floor, a little bit o' school in the basement, a little bit more chores all over the house, a little bit more school in the basement... and you get the idea. The kids are absolutely thriving on this routine, and even I--the ultimate "I-hate-being-tied-down-to-a-rigid-schedule" free-spirit type--am really enjoying it, and finding it relatively easy to let the schedule flex with the ups and downs of our days.

-Note on the new schedule: besides being empowering and encouraging, it's also exhausting! Third trimester approacheth (I'm 24 weeks tomorrow), and when I picture myself two to three months from now, hauling my huge belly up and down the stairs 17 times a day and hopping from child-sized chair to my feet to the floor and back up to my feet and then back to the chair... well, it's a little overwhelming. But I guess there'll be grace when I get there. Aaaand... probably some naps.

-Here's a picture of our little school nook. Please pardon the bedpost in the frame--our basement also serves as our guest room, entertainment room, and exercise room, and the only way I could get a wide enough shot was by climbing on the spare bed...
How's that for color overload?

-This is our days-of-the-week and weather chart, which we update every morning during Circle Time, our official school-day kick off.

-Our alphabet wall, one of last year's big preschool projects:

-Meg showing off her "My Body" science work to-date:

-Here's a slightly more close-up view of Matthew's "My Body." So far we've learned about the brain, heart, kidneys and bladder. And our son no longer confuses his organs with vegetables.

-Speaking of Matthew, he's doing great with "pre-K," as I've designated it. My plan was to have him hang out with Meg for as much of her kindergarten work as he could handle, let him participate as much as he was willing, but not push anything. Basically, that leaves him doing everything Meg does except for portions of language arts, like handwriting and the actual reading. I don't do as much oral quizzing with him as I do with Meg, but every now and again he pipes in with an answer and lets me know he's tracking with at least a big portion of what we're doing.

-Meg is LOVING her phonics and handwriting work. She's learning cursive, and I took pictures of her first and second days of work as compared with today, her 14th day.

First two days:

Big progress!

I'll end there, but hopefully we'll get to update about school again very soon!

1 comment:

Sandi said...

Looks like so much fun Cara! What great improvement on Meg's handwriting.
Routine goes along way for making this learning at home together work. And it will change in each season you find yourself like new baby coming :o)
So excited that you have started on this journey. Hard to believe we started our 7th year this fall.

love to you