Friday, September 05, 2008

Hadleigh's New Adventure Begins!

Well, despite being a short week and a busy week, this was also the week that Hadleigh began our homeschooling journey.

(I couldn't get a picture of her smiling without her sticking out her this was the best of the bunch. She was so excited about her backpack and her pink pencil pouch and her 64-count box of crayons and her pink notebook. Mmmm, school supplies!)

After ordering all of the kindergarten curriculum, we decided to do some kindergarten material (because she's ready for the learning challenge and more of a routine) but officially call this year "Pre-K". I went back and forth about the decision, but in the end, she won't be five until October and I've never talked to anyone who regrets waiting until their children were a bit older to begin school. So we're doing some math (calendar skills, counting which will be mostly review, etc.) and she adores all the manipulatives. Pattern blocks and tangrams and counting bears. Who knew they could be so much fun? We're using the Saxon K materials, which are recommended for Pre-K by Veritas Press, the curriculum provider we've chosen to use for now.

We're also using the Veritas Press Phonics Museum, which I am SO SO SO excited about. I saw this program when Hadleigh was probably still one year old, and I knew then that I wanted to use it. It combines phonics skills, learning to write, art, and a bit of history to teach children to read and write, using music, fine art flashcards, a "paper doll" style museum, games, crafts, coloring pages, and so much more. It's very easy to teach through and very thorough. Hadleigh really enjoys the majority of the activities, though I must say that the handwriting part has been our biggest challenge/struggle this week.

For our Bible course, we're reading this Story Bible and using a devotional that my parents gave me when I was three. (It's special to remember reading it with my Mom and Dad while I spend time reading it with Hadleigh and Nathanael.) I'm keeping this part simple for now, since we're also attending a Chapel School program once a week (a preschool-type program that I help teach with four other mothers) and Community Bible Study on Thursdays.

We will also be doing some fun art/craft projects in addition to the projects in the phonics program. I have a few different art books and craft books that I am using to come up with projects.

I also hope to take advantage of some neat museums and have some fun field trip days! Today we went on a field trip to our county fair to check out some of the animal and farm exhibits that they had set up for children. It was a lot of fun...and a perfect way to spend a rainy morning and still move around a lot!

Needless to say, I am drained. It's been a change to not have my afternoon's to myself, so I definitely feel like I need to find another time (early in the morning?!?!?) to just get some quiet moments to myself to do something I enjoy--be it reading, scrapbooking, blogging, etc. However, I have really enjoyed our first kind of feels like I'm "playing" school. And despite the challenges that we're facing (and they are the ones I expected to face), it has already been so rewarding: to hear Hadleigh make a learning connection between something she learned at Chapel School and then we repeated at home, to see her have the self-control to finish her last worksheet today without whining, to watch her correctly identify the short "a" sound in the midst of all the other short vowel sounds!

And the best part for me has been the excitement in her voice as she asks me "Are we going to do school today?" and then gives me the sweetest thank you and hug when I say yes. I know it won't always be that exciting for her (I'm sure I will soon hear "Do we have to do school today?") But when she tells me that "I liketo be with you all the time, Mommy."--what more could I ask for? It's the encouragement I need and a reminder that this is the right option for us right now.

Whew, if you made it this far, I'm impressed! Sorry that was so long-winded, but I really wanted to get these first week thoughts down. :) Some fun stuff for next week! Have a great weekend!


Shawna said...

I'm so glad it was a good week for you. I prayed and thought about you all week. Yay for a good start! i am SO impressed that you are doing this with 3 children all at home. you go!

karen m. (akaliz) said...

how wonderful! you have far more patience than i could even imagine! there is no way i could ever do this with michael. glad it went well for you and your sweetie!

Rita said...

Sounds like you have a lot of exciting things planned for your DD this year! Love the's too cute! I have a lot of admiration for the time and effort homeschooling takes!

Susan Beth said...

Sounds like you are off to a great start! Enjoy every moment!

Wendy said...

I am so impressed Kimber-Leigh. There is no way I could home school Cara first, but definately couldn't do it with Sydney around. So that fact that it is going so well and you have two other kids, I am impressed. Hope it continues to work well for you.

Katy said...

i love you big sis. hope to talk with you soon. i miss you and am glad that all of your practice of playing school with me is actually paying off now. : )


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