Thursday, September 26, 2013

Like A Team

We are 2 weeks deep into the "homeschooling" adventure... 2 weeks ago we made the decision to take Charlotte out of school, and we haven't regretted it ONE BIT. Do I have less time than I did before to breathe? yes. But who needs to breathe, right?

It's kind of amazing how "freeing" homeschooling is. Thankfully, in the state of Oklahoma, there's no set curriculum that you need to follow, and testing isn't mandatory. That in mind, I asked a general question to all my friends on my Facebook page asking those that homeschool, "What curriculum do you love/hate.." I wanted some honest feedback, because lets face it... as much of a free spirit as I am, I need a little discipline when it comes to schooling Charlotte. Structure is necessary to get things done, in order to not let anything slip through the cracks. So I took a thorough look at most of the recommendations, and have a semi plan in place. The BEST part about homeschooling... is that it's super mobile/flexible. On most days, we start around 9:00, after breakfast... Charlotte journals for about 15-30 minutes, depending on how much help she needs. She loves coming up with her own ideas as to what to write about, and then she draws a picture to go with it. I ALWAYS have to help her sound out words, to write... but slowly, she's getting more and more. I try to not correct her handwriting, it's "her" time to write. For the next 1.5 hours, we've been working on finishing workbooks that we've started, on handwriting, numbers, colors and phonics. We're nearly done with those workbooks, so we'll be starting actual curriculum next week. The best part, is when we do school while we're out and about... like art/science. We've been exploring lots of parks/gardens around the city, and we've found some awesome places. Each time, we lay a blanket down, and take in our surroundings, and have fun with our assignment.

Today's assignment: To create art using something other than markers, crayons, paint...etc.

Charlotte took that task... and nailed it. She splashed in the water, and then created handprints on the stone. genius. that girl of mine. I never gave her the idea... came up with it all on her own. I love when she thinks outside the box. Here I was thinking she'd create a picture out of leaves, or acorns... but nope, completely surprised me, yet again. 

We then made our way to a shady tree, and had fun with some "color by numbers"- those have become Charlotte's favorite. They can occupy her for at least 45 minutes, or until her hand cramps up from coloring. I took in sweet Marley smiles, and familiarized myself with some of the curriculum that we'll be starting next week: 

I decided to go pretty simple/basic... and take it one day at a time. For Phonics and Math, I'm using Horizons. I like workbooks, and Charlotte does too... We'll probably start with Saxon Math for First Grade... but for now, Horizons should do the trick. Both Phonics and Math have 2 workbooks, one for the first half of the school year, and the other, for the other half. I have a feeling, like everything else, we'll be flying through these... and then we "might" start 1st grade material earlier. We're still working on sight words with the girl... so far, she has about 35 words under her belt. A dear friend recommended, "Handwriting without tears"... and I'm LOVING what they have in this book. Although Charlotte knows how to write out all of her letters, both capital and lowercase, this book will help her perfect that. Another dear friend, recommended the "Draw, Write, Now" series.... awesome. Combing handwriting and drawing, is something that I think Charlotte will do well with. She has a difficult time drawing, and these step by step instructions, just might do the trick, to help her out. Along with these workbooks, I plan on doing 1 educational outing a week, science experiments, and of course, art. We'll also be adding library time into the mix, once a week, and gymnastics as well (that might be twice a week). 

Marley was fussy for a rather large portion of our outing today, but we still managed to enjoy it as much as possible. While she took her 30 minute snooze, I treated Charlotte to an ice cream... she's totally rocking this homeschooling thing. She adores the time/attention that I give her... and is completely flourishing... but lets face it, we knew she would. 

And somehow... I'm totally loving it as well. I have my moments... moments where I wonder, "Am I crazy? With a newborn?" But we're making this work... both Charlotte and I, like a team. I mean, what teacher lets you wear your dress up clothes while learning? 
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  1. LOVE these photos :D
    My fav though is the one of Marley looking stunned and stunning in her carseat.
    Surprised Charlotte didn't ask to use your camera for her art project.

  2. Your pictures are always so beautiful and colorful! Such pretty girls!

    We use curriculum from Confessions of a Homeschooler mixed in with everyday success preschool workbook that I bought from Amazon!

  3. So glad to hear it is going well! I know that Charlotte will continue to thrive with you as her teacher.

  4. you are doing wonderful! so happy for you all!

  5. Ahh yours looks so much more relaxed than mine! I struggle with making it fun and wrangling 3 other littles is draining me! We love the draw write now books though!!

  6. Sounds wonderful! She is such a smart girl! xxx