Last week was our first week of “doing school.” Sam is four and I thought it was time to incorporate a (very) loose preschool program into our schedule. We are still members of our Friday co-op, and while our membership has doubled in size these past six months, many of the children Sam’s age will be attending private preschool this fall, and the younger children (ages 2-3 years) will begin participating in our co-op as opposed to just playing on the floor during “lessons” like last year. Because the majority of the children are younger, the lessons will be tailored to their level, which means that it won’t be nearly challenging enough for Sam, thus the reason for our own program “on the side,” so to speak.
Our lesson is twenty minutes, three days a week. Twenty minutes is about all the undivided attention Sam can give me, and that’s on a good day. I use the Starfall website, which is $35 a year and worth every penny. We play an interactive game based on the letter or number of the day, and then do a few worksheets from our Brain Quest Pre-K workbooks that I purchased from Costco. So far, he is doing well. He likes the interactive games and while he certainly doesn’t know all his numbers and letters (not that I expected him to), I was surprised to discover that he knows all his colors, most shapes and is able to quickly figure out other basic pre-k skills like matching, sorting, and phonics.
I have read that having expectations for a four year old, especially when it’s the first year of homeschooling for both the mother and the child is unreasonable; that it leads to nothing but disappointment and frustration. I am trying with all my might to keep this advice in the forefront of my mind, but I find myself starting to worry:
What if this doesn’t work? What if I’m a terrible teacher? What if he won’t listen to me, and then he never learns his letters, and then he never learns to read, and then he can’t find a job because he’s illiterate and he ends up spending the majority of his adult life in my basement smoking weed and playing video games all day because he’s a worthless member of society and it’s ALL MY FAULT?!
You get the idea.
It’s only been two weeks, and he’s doing well. Great, actually. I know there will be hard days, days that will affirm these fears. But I’ll try to keep telling myself to worry about those days when they come, and not before. When I decided to homeschool, I knew it wasn’t going to be the easiest path for our family but I did believe and still do, that this is the best path for our family.
Enjoy the weekend everyone!
*Joining Ginny and Nicole.
I know. Only one photo and its already been posted on Instagram. Please forgive me. This week has been non-stop, or at least it feels that way. This was my week to host our preschool co-op and we decided that we were going to start meeting every Friday as opposed to every other week. We are going to alternate lesson plans every week, focusing on letters and numbers for one lesson and stories and crafts for the other lesson. I volunteered to research a few curriculums for the parents to review and hopefully choose one to follow as a group. So far, I like Easy Peasy Homeschooling but I can’t figure out how to combine one week’s worth of lessons into one day, especially without creating homework for the parents and kids. They are only preschoolers after all. Any recommendations? Ideally the program would be online and free. Other than that, I am pretty open to suggestions.
I’m plugging away on my Wellington Shawl, the test knit I’ve been working on for Sam Lamb. I have to confess, I’m a little behind, and I’ve had to drop my cup of tea socks completely to ensure that I finish the shawl by the deadline. I don’t mind, though. The shawl is a fun knit and I think I’m going to love wearing it once it’s finished.
Gabe and I hired an arborist to help us plan and plant our new orchard this spring. We fenced off about an acre a few years ago, leaving plenty of room for raised beds, berry bushes and fruit trees. So far, all we’ve managed to accomplish are the raised beds. But now that Gabe is retired from the Army, we finally have the time (and the finances) to start our orchard. Walking through the new orchard site with the arborist, we discussed which trees and berry bushes we wanted to plant and then chose varieties that thrive here in the Pacific Northwest climate. I won’t be getting my much coveted avocado tree (too cold) but lo and behold there is a persimmon tree that can grow this far north. Isn’t that exciting? (Gabe does not think it’s exciting. He and the children don’t like persimmons, and I’m basically planting a tree that will bear fruit that only I will eat. Whatever, it’s worth it.)
Besides that, it’s just the usual happenings around here: our days are filled with children’s activities, grocery shopping, laundry, folding clothes, wiping tears, handing out snacks, cleaning up toys, pulling Smartwool socks out of the potty (thanks, Eddie), playing trucks, story time, changing diapers, giving kisses and drawing pictures. In other words, life is good. Full. And good.
Oh! I must include a baby update: I’m 23 weeks along, so only 17 more to go! He or she is moving around a lot more and seems to really respond to music. Whenever I am listening to the radio or people begin singing in synagogue during services, the movement always increases. I don’t know why, but that makes me happy.
I hope everyone is enjoying their week. Happy knitting, my friends.
This past week has been a whirlwind to say the least. Last Wednesday was Yom Kippur (Jewish day of atonment), so we drove two hours away to attend services. A few days later, Sam had his first day of preschool. I love our co-op. The moms are great, and it’s a fun group of kids. I think Sam is going to make some good friends and have a wonderful time. Most of the kids have younger siblings around Eddie’s age, so I feel like we already have the next generation co-op in the making!
I think the best thing about joining this homeschooling group is being able to see that homeschooling isn’t that scary. I’ve been planning on homeschooling since I was pregnant with my first, but reading and talking about it are certainly very different from actually doing it. Granted it’s only preschool, but it’s a great way to get my feet wet and see what homeschooling is all about from a firsthand experience. I’m hopeful.
Yesterday we picked our first batch of corn. We may have jumped the gun a bit, as many of them seemed a little less than ripe, but it was a beautiful day and picking and husking corn just seemed like a fun thing to do. Sam insisted on “measuring” every corn that he husked. He can’t count or read numbers, which made the whole situation even funnier but he seemed to get a kick out of it.