Tuesday, September 8, 2009

first day of school

so, we started school today.

this is a big deal because it is OUR first day of official homeschooling. you know, here. at home.

most everyone reading this is already aware of the fact that shane has been homeschooled since first grade, but that he has spent the majority of that ‘school’ time, with my mother as his ‘teacher’. this was a fine arrangement, she was willing and more than qualified, and he was learning. but for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being my mother’s current cancer issues, it had become clear that it was time for me to take over. AND,with layla being 4 now, i really wanted to do a little bit more preschool stuff with her.

being a little bit of a chicken flake, i (with much urging from my loving husband) decided the best route to go would be with a packaged curriculum. i figured it would be the most time-effective way to cover what we needed to cover, and be somewhat dummy-proof, but at the same time, having the option to supplement with as much or as little as we wanted to. so we went with switched-on schoolhouse, a computer-based curriculum that covers math, language arts, science, bible, and history/geography. shane was super excited about getting to do his work on the computer, until i informed him that i was also going to make him do some stuff on paper too. oh well.

for layla, i felt more confident (having done this sort of thing for a living) putting together stuff on my own. i’m not super-stressed because she’s so academically motivated anyway and already knows half or more of what a pre-k class would be wanting her to learn. my main areas of focus for her will be learning to write all of her lower case letters and working on letter sounds, numbers, value and patterning, and bible story lessons. i will work in themes, similar to what i did in my classroom, frequently related to seasons/holidays/stuff going on, and filling in with other fun stuff that she’s interested in. i still STRONGLY believe that the best way for her to learn at this age is through play and life experience.

so, today was the day. it didn’t go perfectly, but it went well. as far as glitches go, there were plenty to be had, but we rolled with it. layla woke up at 5am with a cold, later to be discovered that it came paired with a low fever. micah refused to nap. shane started to throw a fit expressed frustration and i had to deliver the first “change your behavior and your attitude or you can go to your room and have to finish this later” warning, which fortunately, he listened to.

but for the most part, things went amazingly smoothly. shane learned about Jesus calling peter to be a disciple, living and non-living things, place value, properties of maps and globes, and read a story about a kid named joey and the sad tree in his backyard. his reading and writing struggles are going to be his main source of frustration as usual, and we need to get him a typing program asap so he won’t have to waste so much time hunting for letters. other than that, he liked the lessons, did well on the questions, and seemed to be interested. i’m going to have him do a daily journal and some extra phonics and reading work, but i’m not going to throw that on him yet.

layla worked on writing letter A’s (may as well start at the beginning), we read a silly story about ‘apple auntie’ to learn the sound A, and did our bible lesson for the day. i didn’t plan much for her because i wasn’t sure how much shane would be needing me as he was learning how his school work was going to work, and because she wasn’t feeling well. she liked the silly story a lot, did good A’s (even lower case ones which she’s been resistant to). but she was upset because there wasn’t anything to color in along with her bible lesson. ***note to self: find coloring pages to complement bible lessons. and probably every other lesson, since it is layla we’re talking about. our first theme will be fall with related topics like apples, garden/harvest, pumpkins and spiders. FUN!

so, day 1 is done and we were blessed.


  1. I've heard that Cokesbury book store is a good resource. You might find some coloring sheets for the Bible lessons there.

  2. You are so freaking AWESOME! I think its neat that you are homeschooling and your system sounds great. Way to go Layla on doing those lowercase A's and Great Work Shane on learning so many things in one day!

  3. Wow, homeschooling 2 kids of completely different ages. Can you hear my clapping? I considered it once or twice, and like you, figured I could handle pre-k maybe to first grade. Then I had my kids in my Sunday School class once and realized that would be a HORRIBLE idea! THat was about the time I started teaching confirmation class!



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