I haven't been posting everything we've been doing lately because we've been out of town a lot, had out of town company, and I got a little obsessed in a facebook competition with my friend. Hopefully, now I'll get back into the swing of things...well, maybe next week as we have a pretty busy week going on right now. This is the kind of life that drives my hubby crazy. He is in much need of a little down time.
Our home school does not follow the school year, and we pretty much have school all year round. We're actually more along the lines of "unschoolers," if you've heard that term, although I have too much elementary teacher inside me to shed ourselves of all typical schooling. I have an addiction to curriculum and books. I could spend all day in Mardel or any other teacher store. Plus, the boys love workbooks and all things "lessons." They are constantly asking to do "lessons," which couldn't be a bad thing. I've been in a bit of a slump since we had our third child. Everything is so much harder now, but I've been really trying lately to get back on top of my game.
It also helps that Sissy is 18 months old now and a little less clingy. It's still not easy to work at the table with her - or to play games or put together puzzles - all of it she pretty much wreaks havoc upon. I went to the toy store the other day and bought some gimmicky, noise-making toys in the hopes that would occupy her while we do our thing. They really haven't helped like I was hoping they would. We also try to do a lot of our activities while Dad is at home, at night or on the weekends.
I have really tried lately to get us on a schedule. It is so far away from my nature to have a schedule. I can't seem to remember to stay on schedule. We never had to have a schedule with the two boys, and it seemed to work out just great. I thought maybe it would help to pull together some semblance of a schedule since we have three now to manage. Wish me luck.
One of the things we are using right now is the free online curriculum at http://www.letteroftheweek.com/. There are different sections for babies and preschoolers, as well as ideas for older kids, which will work for Tornado. We have started with the preparatory curriculum. It has a weekly theme with suggested book list and related poems, a letter and number, and a color or shape. It includes a gross motor and fine motor activity. It also has a suggested nursery rhyme.
We will use that along with A Rhyme A Week activities found at http://curry.edschool.virginia.edu/go/wil/rimes_and_rhymes.htm and ideas from the nursery rhyme unit I did with Tornado a few years ago.It seems to be working out well for us so far because I can use it for both of the boys to do at the same time. While Dash is practicing recognizing and writing a "1," Tornado can practice that, along with spelling the word "one," and reviewing his 1 addition facts. While Dash practices recognizing and writing an "A," Tornado can also practice it, along with writing additional "A" words. When Dash drew a square, Tornado practiced a 3-D square. We put our own touch on things, as well. For example, we watched a Michael Rosen "We're Going on a Bear Hunt," video on youtube, which they both LOVED, then we turned it into our own "We're Going on a Square Hunt" as we pointed out squares around the house. Tornado also worked on the "ow" sound like in "cow." Next week, we will switch over to the "sound of the week" section.
To begin our Cow week, we went to the free summer movies to see Barnyard. It was a really cute movie, even if the male cows did have udders (I have no idea). Above, the boys worked on gluing (huh, I always thought it was "glueing") their cow pieces together.