Joy starts preschool this week. I have really been doubting my decision to send her this year (she’s becoming so fun lately!) but I can’t wait to have some one-on-one time with Grace again. She only goes 8 hours a week – I’m hoping to have some productive kindergarten teaching time while Joy isn’t here so that when she is here we can do more relaxed play and learning. I’m also a bit nervous that it will change the rhythm we’ve finally created in our days. Although I absolutely LOVE this school and the staff is wonderful and caring, so that is a comfort to this anxious mama! Really, I’m just going to miss my baby girl.
We are moving on through our phonics work, and Grace has become obsessed with the BOB books. She reads them to me each night, and I am still reading a chapter of the Little House series to her each night. I am going to be sad when we finish those books! And the play scenarios Grace comes up with based on the Ingalls’ are so involved – I have learned more about the Homestead Act myself in the last several months than I ever did in school. We’ve also added spelling words that Grace writes and then I have her write them without looking on Fridays. (Last week was I, a, me, the. This week is but, if, to, be.)
I do have photos to post of how much fun we are having with Spielgaben, but haven’t had time to sort through them. I can’t say enough about how awesome that resource is. We’re working our way through the first play guide to learn what each set does, and then I’m going to move on to the third guide, which includes more arithmetic. I’m hoping to get through at least one or two activities for each set by mid-October and then move on to more involved math. But right now they just think they’re playing, they have no idea they are learning! I heard someone use the term “secret school” – love it!
I just discovered Project-Based Homeschooling, and I believe we have unknowingly been doing that as long as I’ve been parenting! Grace really gets into one subject at a time and creates lots of projects and experiments as she goes. (Example: she discovered that our dead marigolds produce seeds, and we have been collecting them for a couple of months. She drew a marigold and we made seed packets and she has been handing them out to friends. We’ve also been collecting daisy and sunflower seeds. It has been an entire summer project.)
I made the mistake today of asking what she would like to learn next as a “project” and she looked at me like I was crazy. I think I’ll just sit back and see what she comes up with and not mention that it’s school. Right now she has mulch, flower petals, grass, dirt, etc. in water in a glass jar, and was excited to see that the water had turned murky. I’m going to try to nudge her toward making other observations and start recording them, and asking leading questions.
I’m also trying to start a co-op with a few friends, but lining up everyone’s schedule is a challenge!