October 15, 2010

Making It Up As We Go by Becky

making it up as we go.

hello, i'm becky from hellofromhades.blogspot.com. don't be scared to head over there - it's not a devil worshiping site or anything - just describing where i live as accurately as possible. anyhoo, here's my latest installment about our first year of homeschool. here we go.

so, around here we've tried the formal regimented way of homeschooling,
the loosey goosey unschooling method,
and now the 15 minute method.
(which is of my own making)

and while i know the future health and development of my kids will require a little bit of all of these, the 15 minute method is what's working for me so far,
in that i have a 3 year old and a five year old.

first, i looked up the state standards for california
what a bunch of high falootin' hooty patootie.
it was a lot of fancy jargon that looks intimidating from a distance,
but up close - not so much.
2.4 Retell familiar stories.
"and then the guy went to his front door and he peed himself and then he rolled around on the grass!"
every single day that story is retold.
every single day.

but there's more,
1. Determine the relative locations of objects using the terms near/far, left/right, and behind/in front.
"but mom, you passed the store. i wanted a chocolate bar. it's back there - behind us. turn around mom - left, left, left! why are you turning right?! i know you're taking us home. our house is in front of us. i see our house! i wanted a chocolate bar! aaaaauuuuuugggghhhh!"

see, a whole bunch of the kindergarten standards are simply a part of every day life. so, it's best to think about your kids, figure out what they do and don't do in their lives and then figure out what you do need to work on.

for us, we need to work on social studies and geography a bit more...though, we'll be passing up the state standards pretty quickly. anyhoo, moving on.

now that i know what i have to teach, i plan my days around that. and the 15 minute method has saved my life. and since applying it, my son's understanding and grasp and application of the material has skyrocketed.

so here's how i do it.

this is my tub-o-wonders
(whatever, mostly flashcards)
(like my toes, we're going to work a pedicure internship into our curriculum. i should get something out of all of this, right?!)
anyhoo, here's what's inside the tub.
this is the "no tears handwriting" kit. a kindergarten teacher loaned me hers and it is amazing - and saved my $40.
it involves an instruction booklet full of lots and lots of teaching methods
and also includes lots of manipulates and a variety of teaching strategies. we like it.
(i have a bottom to top writer)
nature journals.
this is brand new to us and i'm not so pleased with the results.
we'll work on it.
mostly we try to get outside everyday and talk about the weather, clouds, plants, etc.
so nature walks through the neighborhood do the job well.
up until now we've kept weather journals that have lots of prompts and lots of "circle the answer" options.
we might be doing a bit of both in the future.
a pile of books related to one topic we might be interested in.
we've been talking a lot about bear hibernating and are building a diorama this week.
so, bear books.
i never knew there were so many variations of goldilocks and the three bears.
i'm a bit of a classicist now that i've read them all.
these are our tangrams and pattern cards.
mostly we just play with them and talk about shapes but soon we're going to practice our patterns with them.
this is our dry erase board
and our pencil case.
each kid has one of each.
charlie mostly draws monsters and luke mostly practices his sight words.
this seems to be working best for us so far.
i have a writing kit that i'll post about later, which we're going to try to work into the "tub".
but for now, this is meeting our daily writing requirement.
i have to be honest,
math, science, geography, music, art and all of that aside,
my main goal this year is to get luke reading and writing.
so, sight words are huge.
we learn six new words a week.
and review all of the sight words from the weeks before with these six new words.
it's making a huge difference now that we're nailing these down.
out of nowhere he's sounding out everything he can.
we do a little bit of addition and subtraction every day.
we have tons of "counters", but these little red rocks seem to be the most popular.
mostly i pick five or six cards from the stack and we do the fronts and back and move on.
random flashcards.
these change every week.
i'm a flashcard hussy.
love them.
and they help me throw in a little variety every now and then.
these space ones are our faves.
$1 at target and beautifully illustrated and great info on back.
one of our big goals is to count to a hundred by christmas.
i've got lots of methods for teaching this, but this is the most important part -
sight recognition of numbers.
and it's helping us understand the counting by tens.

okay, this is what is in the bucket this week.
and our goal is to only spend fifteen minutes, one to two times a day on the bucket.
i know, you're gasping.
that's not enough time! how can her poor demented children learn anything?!
well, this is our starting point.
we do the bucket one or two times
and sometimes the fifteen minutes will spread to thirty or forty-five minutes depending on their interest and attention spans.
and then i work review of taught material into our play for the rest of the day.
or sometime i just hold stuff hostage until someone gives me the review i want.
"if you want your screen time you have to count to forty!"
"whoever wants mac and cheese for lunch had better show me how to draw a perfect Q!"

okay, we'll there's loads more to tell you about what we do, how we do it and how we have no clue about what's going to work in the long run or now, but for now this will have to do.
active kids = short lessons and lots of reviews.
and the tub - we'll it's just to keep me focused.

good luck and have a great day.

No comments:

Post a Comment