Homeschool Curriculum : What We Love This Year!

If you start your homeschool year around September–good news! You’re in the home stretch in February. It’s a great time to take stock of your homeschool curriculum. What did you start with?  What’s really working, sparking learning and going well? What are you just slogging away at, trying to make it through? 

Homeschool Curriculum  What We Love This Year

Here’s what’s working for us so far this school year.  [Read more...]

Evolution of a Homeschooling Momma

I am in my own evolution as a homeschooling momma, who was publicly schooled herself, who was and is entrenched in the culture of “school” and what kids should learn and when they should learn it and how they should write paragraphs each day in neat grammatically correct handwriting starting in 1st grade. They should learn about history whether they care about it or not. They should do seated work for hours each day. They should experience the bulk of their learning by listening to teachers talk.

That is what my inner-schooly voice whispers to me when I start to panic because my daughter refuses to do formal reading curriculum, opting instead for her markers because she has another story in her head that she needs to draw on paper right now, Mom. And when I realize that despite all the math my son does, his publicly-schooled friends are doing complicated long division and we haven’t gotten to that yet.

evolution of a homeschooling momma

Panic sets it. Not because I doubt my kids can learn the things they need to learn. Oh, I know they will. They’re bright kids. I panic because [Read more...]

She Can Fly. Oh, Yes. She Can.

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Art Class

We were learning about Monet and Van Gogh, two of the world’s greatest artists, and my 7-year-old daughter asked:

Are there any artists who are women? Ok, I’m on it.

So I introduced her to George O’Keefe.

Then she asked, Are there any great artists who are women, who are alive?  Woah.

So I introduced her to Faith Ringgold.

She was transfixed. She loved Faith’s art. Faith Ringgold, she declared, was her very favorite artist. We didn’t know then, that in just a couple of months she would meet her idol in person.  [Read more...]

Feed Their Imagination

My 6 year old daughter, The Bee, stays up late every night, sometime later than I do, drawing and making books full of characters, with plot lines and humor and detailed drawings of their expressions and outfits.

In the morning, she shows me her stories. Sometimes we add words to them. We have stacks and stacks of these books in our house. We don’t say, “Maybe you will become an author and an illustrator one day.” because she already is. She has sold her books to friends and family and to strangers at a yard sale to earn money for something she wanted to buy.

As time passes, her drawings become more detailed. When we read books together, which is often, she studies the expressions of the characters, the shadows, the details of the way feet look when someone is illustrated as running or jumping.

margaretmeadquote

This is how we feed her imagination. We could insist that she go to bed, lights out by a certain time each night, because that’s what 6 year olds are supposed to do, right? They shouldn’t be up at 10 or 11 o’clock every night, should they?

We made only a few half-hearted attempts to get her to go to sleep earlier back when she was five. Realizing that this was her most creative time of day, we switched gears, and instead, we ask her, as she heads upstairs for the night, “Do you have enough drawing paper?” This is her great imagination time.

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Over at Kiwi Crate this week, we’ve been having some Valentine fun with Conversation Heart math. Stop by and see how we customized this activity for various ages and math levels.

conversation heart math

Letter Matching

All of a sudden, Love Bug, age 3, has a new obsession….letters!  He doesn’t know the names of them yet, or the sounds they make, and sometimes he calls them numbers, but he has been carrying around our collection of magnet letters for a few days and smiling proudly, as he decorates the refrigerator with them.

So, this morning, I pulled a few random letters off the fridge and put the same alphabet cookie letters on a tray and we played a matching game. This is fun, see, because when you match a letter, you get to eat a cookie.
 He was so excited by this, he asked for paper and he wanted me to draw some letters. I did, then asked him to find the matching magnetic letter. I kept it focused to the same six letters we’d used with the cookies.
 This is all so sweet because he is truly growing from the toddler I have to keep occupied during learning time, to the kid who is eager to learn, too. Not that he wasn’t learning before. But now, well, he has some things he wants to know and he is going to get to the bottom of this letters thing, so determined is he.

Sweetest of all, a few hours later, he came up to me, his little fist closed tight around one of those magnetic letters.  “This,” he said, “is yours, Mom.”  It was the letter “M”.

Ain’t no party like a linky party ’cause a linky party don’t stop. 
(Sorry, I get bored posting the same thing about linkies at the bottom of all my posts so I have to keep it interesting.)