What school looks like for us now

So I had gotten into the habit of writing here again in December and then we spent January mostly testing through units of K12 stuff so we could get him moved up to a more appropriate level and that wasn’t really worth writing about and by the time February rolled around it was like “Blog? What blog?” again.  We’ve gotten into a good routine lately, though, and (since this is as much Brady’s baby book as an actual homeschooling blog) I don’t want to let this go completely.  I’m not going to bother with catching up except to say that Brady is now doing 2nd grade language and math through K12 and 1st grade art, music, social studies, history, and science through them as well as the curriculum that I put together.  We could still be testing through the K12 stuff, but we’ve gotten to a point where a) he’s enjoying it and b) it is useful review for him so we’re not pushing it.

The other big change is that we now school in the mornings.  We’ve always done schoolwork after lunch first because that was when I worked with the little boy I was watching after school, then because we had playgroups and things in the morning and after that because it allowed us to have family time before my husband went to work.  Paul’s work schedule changed recently at around the same time I began to realize that school time was becoming a struggle.  Brady would get involved in his own stuff in the morning and (rightfully) be upset when I wanted him to stop and work on his book work.  Almost 4 years into this homeschooling thing I’ve realized if it’s hard I’m probably doing something wrong so we changed it.  Now we get up, have breakfast, sometimes do yoga (we really like Cosmic Kids on YouTube) and then launch into a couple hours of school stuff and by lunch we’re done and he has the rest of the day to read or do art projects or build with Legos or (now that it is slightly less frigid out) spend the entire afternoon in his “mini forest” in the yard and come in at dinner smelling like pine and covered in god-knows-what.

Two hours may not sound like a lot, but we cover a ton in that time and he never stops learning.  It’s not at all unusual for Brady to stop what he’s doing and go over to the computer to Google things like “how many trees are there in the world?” or “when did Mister Rogers die?” and then spend some time reading the answers to that and his inevitable follow-up questions.

Long intro aside here is a basic snapshot of today’s school day.

*Journal (I used to give Brady a question, now I have him write a sentence and draw a picture to go along with it)

*Handwriting Without Tears (Nn)

*I Can Cut (which we picked up because Brady still needs to work on his hand strength a bit post trigger-thumb release. Today he made a butterfly)

I don't know what is going on with this face, the little goofball.

I don’t know what is going on with this face, the little goofball.

*Spelling practice We’ve been going through 2-3 units a week. I give him a pre-test and even with all the alternate/challenge/whatever words he never misses more than 5 out of 30 so I have him practice those for a day (by writing them or spelling them on the scrabble board or writing them on the front steps or whatever) and then we test on those and we move on.

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*Writing/grammar is next.  This week we’re writing step-by-step instructions and practicing using a graphic organizer.

*Next comes vocabulary. Today was a unit review game on Noodleverse. The words he’s currently working on are: capture, seize, reply, answer, destroy, ruin, scrap, remainder, calm, frisky, collect, disperse, borrow, loan, cross, joyful, brawny, sparkling, goods, scrape, modern, and ancestor.

*On Thursdays we attend a virtual storytime and this month it has a Dr. Seuss theme so we listened to “The Lorax” and then read/acted out “The Lion and the Jackals” with the help of a few of B’s furry friends.

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*Math is next and today we played store. I was the cashier and only accepted exact change 😉

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Those are our “every day” subjects beyond that we rotate and do science and music M/W/F and history and art T/Th.  Today’s history lesson was an introduction to Ancient Egypt and a discussion about how the periodic flooding of the Nile deposits silt in the Nile River Valley and creates fertile farmland.  We added Egypt and Greece to our flag wall.

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For our k12 art lesson we made cookie sheet monoprints

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But I’m also doing a “40 bags in 40 days” organizing challenge so today I went through and pulled out all the broken crayons and then we grated and cut them up and made some “stained glass”

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We also tried our hand at baked cheese sticks this afternoon (B really enjoyed rolling them in the bread crumbs and is getting good at cracking eggs)

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And Brady helped make chocolate chip pancakes for dinner tonight

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After he had had his shower and gotten his pjs on we played “Monopoly Deal” (and he won because I’ve never seen anything like this child’s luck when it comes to cards and dice) and then we read “Less Than Zero” at bedtime. Have you guys seen those Math Start books? Brady has one and we’ve checked out a few others, they’re actually pretty neat and cover math concepts in a fun way.  The one we read today introduces negative numbers within the context of a little penguin saving up for an ice scooter. The one we own is about a turtle who needs to put together place settings for his friends who come for lunch.  Not a full curriculum or anything, but a fun little addition to our math lessons.

And I guess that’s as good a picture of our days as any.  We’re buzzing right along, keeping busy and enjoying each other’s company.  Brady is losing teeth left and right (4 so far and he has swallowed half of them lol)

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We’ve also been thoroughly enjoying the moments of sunshine we’ve been getting here and there and Brady is constantly running in the house with handfuls of dandelions and daisies for me

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How are things in your homeschool?

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