Friday, August 13, 2010

And it begins!!!

Ok so some might think I am a little crazy but on Wednesday night, after a horrible trip to target with this kids and an overwhelming day of tantrums and whining, I decided... I am going to start school Thursday. I was totally unprepared and had nothing ready but I had to do something. I could not take it anymore. We NEEDED the structure. Austin has been acting out so much and we think its partly because of boredom. So at about 9:00 at night I got started. I planned and printed and printed. All I have to say is thank you Confessions of a Homeschooler. Without you I would of had nothing and A LOVES the activities.

As I stated in a previous post, I decided to do a daily schedule. Here is what I made. I have Austin remove each activity after we are done so he can see the progress.
In reality it seemed great but here are a few things I learned about using a schedule with young children:
1. Its fun for about the first 5 minutes
2. It doesn't matter what's on the schedule, if they don't want to do it they wont
3. This is just another thing for M. to tear apart
4. I will spend the rest of the day telling M no and searching for the pieces he took down
5. Again if they don't want to do it they wont, regardless of what the schedule says

So with this being said, I am still going to incorporate it into our daily plans but not have it be such a focus. I am sure it will work much better as A gets other and M stops tearing it apart. 

We began out day with circle time. I really like this concept but have to think about it some more and figure it out. I "attempted" and with this I mean, got about two words out, to talk about our lesson on creation but A decided he just wanted to do the jumping song over and over again. 

Don't let the picture fool you... there wasn't much "circle time" happening here but it was a good concept and just has to be tweaked a little bit. 

After circle time was school. A was very excited although I think he thought he was going somewhere else to school. I showed him his workboxes and he eagerly looked through each one before he decided what he wanted to do. My concept was to have him pick what box he wanted to do and when he was completed he would take the labels off and put them back in the basket. He liked this and it showed him what left he had to do. This was the one idea that worked out so wonderful. It helped organized me and A loved being able to pick what he wanted to do. I plan to take a picture of them before he starts but I keep forgetting. 

for day one we had:
Math: Apple seed counting sheet from Confessions of a Homeschooler
Bible: Creation day 1 craft
Spelling: Bottle cap spelling with apple worksheet from Confessions of a Homeschooler
Writing: Tracing pre writing worksheets from Confessions of a Homeschooler
Puzzle: Apple shape matching from Confessions of a Homeschooler
Art: Letter A with finger print ants for A's letter book

Like any toddler would, A went right for his bible drawer because there was paint in it. This is a really fun craft and I am excited to see it come together. As A worked, I briefly (come on, we all know you have to be as brief as you can be with a toddler) talked about creation for day one and how God created light and dark. This actually worked out well right now because A is very interested in dark and light. He announces what it gets dark or lights go off and tells us periodically during the day if the sun is out. 

First I had him color the 1 with a black marker and then we painted it with yellow paint to represent light. After it dried I cut it out and A glued it to paper and glued a little clipart that says day 1 light and dark. I was so impressed with hi glue stick work because last year when I started, he could not do a glue stick. 

Next A chose to do his shape matching puzzle from Confessions of a Homeschooler. A did so well at this activity. I was beginning to think he is a little genius but doesn't want us to know yet. After matching the shapes once A decided it was much more fun to do this...
So genius might be pushing it but he is defiantly advanced for his age. 

I decided to start a letter book for Austin and we made out first one a letter A. I had him use his dot dot markers and after he was done, he made finger print ants. I was surprised he got the concept to put him finger prints next to each other but the problem was he wanted to do it outside the A. I tried explaining I was going to cut that part off but that had no effect on his decision to put all the ants outside the A. 

I finally managed to get a few ants inside and we cut it out and glued it to a red and white checked paper. I will take pictures soon of this once we get a few pages. 

I didn't push A and decided that 3 workboxes would be a good start to complete in the morning. If he is forced to focus to long, some crazy things can start happening so when he started mentioning playing baseball (him running back and forth across our living room swinging his bat at a pretend ball) I let him go. 

In the afternoon we finished our workboxes. He loved the bottle cap spelling and without much direction, completed the word apple. I was so shocked. He kept asking to spell his name but I wasn't prepared so I will be making that an activity soon. We also did his prewriting worksheets. A loves using his new pencil and completed all 3 pages.

Now that brings us to math... Oh math how A dislikes you. Now A knows how to count. We have heard him. He counts to 3 all the time and the other day when we were in the car he was counting to 4 without any trouble at all. For some reason, he really dislikes number and counting no matter what we do. If we ask to count he refuses screaming "NO". I do not know if it just requires to much focus to count something and he doesn't like that or if he gets frustrated. Whatever it is, we will continue to do math but I am not pushing him. Needless to say, after numerous times to get him to do even one counting activity on the sheet, and several attempts to rip the sheet up, it got put away.

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