Thursday, October 3, 2013

Week 5: Joseph Part 1 (Letter Review A-D)

Well, as an addendum to my last post, here's what we accomplished this week during the crazy week we had (sickies, car trouble, lost diamond, plus a few hard/frustrating things at work and church).  But "doing school" is the fun part, at least right now.  I don't feel like I'm frazzled because of it.  It's because of everything else.  It's like when people say things about how "stressful" life is when you have small children.  I usually answer that my life is stressful because of things happening outside of my children.  Not because of my children.  I, truly, do enjoy them. Do they do frustrating things?  Sure.  Does my 16 month old still wake up to nurse at night.  Uh huh.  Am I tired? Yes. But I don't blame them.  It's everything else that, at this point in my life, keeps my mind racing and my heart tied up and my house cluttered. But upon posting my last entry, I had several great friends tell me, "hey, it's ok. It's homeschool.  Take a week off if things are insane."  Oh, yeah.  I have to remember that.  It's where my decade of teaching is actually a hindrance to our homeschool.  I don't want to be doing "public school at home" with my kids.  I want it to really be "homeschool" or "learning in the real world."  Will we use textbooks and plans?  Of course, but the pressure to cram everything in at a certain time during a certain period of 5 days a week is something that I want to spare us all from.  Will our kids learn about deadlines and follow through?  Well sure.  But I don't want to overall timbre of their education to be marked by this all the time.  Learning isn't just for "schooltime" and a frazzled week without doing out specific curriculum, isn't going to be the end of the world.  We have the freedom to catch up.   

This week, we kept plugging along in Claire's little book. We talked about colors, we matched pictures of words with letters to demonstrate letter sounds.  Claire traced and colored in shapes.  She does well 85% of time with shapes.  Sometimes she forgets which name goes for which shape.  Other times, she's right on the money. I haven't figured out the common denominator when it comes to why she does well and remembers some days and why she seems clueless when looking at a triangle on other days.  It's interesting, for sure.  I love that I can do this, "one on one" with her and make these considerations for her.  I can do that with certain kids in my regular classroom but it's next to impossible to do that with them all in a traditional setting.  

The story this week revolved around Joseph.  We were introduced to Joseph, reminded of his father, Jacob, and were introduced to his brothers, who didn't like him very much.  We talked about jealousy and being a good person regardless of what happens to you and how you might be treated.  
Christian is much better at drawing than I am and I needed a figure for our Joseph so he drew one and I created a little coat for Joseph.  We talked about how his coat was from his Daddy and that it had many colors in it.  She colored the little paper coat and placed it on Joseph after I cut out Christian's figure he drew.
This activity also taught something new, too.  Claire drew her first happy faces.  We practiced first on some brown paper bag I have taped to the kitchen table (this has become our homeschool room for now) and then after she tried a couple, she drew the happy face on Joseph.  Pretty simple but pretty fun.  :-)

 Another little activity had to do with money.  We talked about how Joseph's brothers didn't like him, were jealous of him and so they took him and sold him to people from another country!  So we talked about money.  I brought out of pile of change and I showed her the pennies, nickles, dimes and quarters.  She sorted them into piles and worked on identifying which was which.  She liked this, a LOT.

 Since this was review week, we did a "Hide and Seek" page for letters A-D.  She circled all the As with one color, all the Bs in another color, all the Cs in yet another color and all the Ds in a forth color.  Then she matched the uppercase letter with the lowercase letters.

 Last assignment of the week was a birthday card for my mom.  She really loved making a card for Gramma's birthday.  She got to draw whatever she wanted on the front (this was actually MY grandma's idea for her) and she chose to cover it with stickers.  Then, I wrote "Happy Birthday! Love," on the inside in dots and she traced the words. She signed her own name on the inside.  She was pretty proud of it!

Well, upon writing this, I'm almost at the end of week 6!  Hoping to get "Joseph Part 2" post in this weekend :-)

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming. . .

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