Sunday, January 9, 2011

First Week

The first week of official homeschooling was a success! Ava decided our first project Monday morning would be a painting activity. We put blobs of paint on paper, folded them in half to make interesting pictures, then decided what they looked like. Even Amora got into it!
Monday also involved coin identification, telling time on the clock and some time worksheets, spelling words Ava is working on, reading practice ( has great practice activities and games), stories, and of course, more art and drawing, Ava's specialty.
Later in the week, we played a reading game using flash cards and numbered "game spaces" I put on the floor. When Ava read a word or when Noah new a letter on the flash cards they got to move a space. I love finding ways that both Ava and Noah (and often Amora too!) are learning at the same time.
Ava got to try out her new ice skates for the first time on Wednesday. She did great! I was so surprised how well she was able to move on them. I thought I'd be holding her up the whole time but she didn't even need me.
Ava's been working daily on her calendar. She loves to keep track of the days and plan out the months. She has her own My Little Pony calendar and is busy filling it up as I type this. She knows the order of the months and can read them all now. She knows the days of the week and the numbers of days in a month. Amazing what giving her something as simple as a calendar does for her grasp of reading, writing, patterns and numbers. It also gives her a sense of control in her world. She knows what to expect on a daily basis. She knows what is planned and what days are open to do with what we please.

On Friday we went to our homeschool group. We are so lucky to have found this wonderful group of moms and kids! I love the age range too. Amora is the youngest and the oldest is around 12 or so. Everyone gets along so great. The older ones love helping the younger ones and there's always a variety of activities for them to work on and learn from. I loved watching Noah teach a boy more than twice his age how to play the game we brought with. What a great confidence boost for a three year old, who is usually being told how to do things himself.
The group was learning about Cheetahs this time and Ava was loving the book they read and was answering the questions that were asked and was very involved in it all. We then had a cheetah painting project that all three of my kids loved. The group has so many fun ideas planned for the group throughout the year. We are really looking forward to being involved more now.

Over the weekend, Ava has been continuing to work on typing lessons, which she began taking an interest in a month or so ago. We found some free online sources, her favorite so far is Tux Typing, which involves a penguin character that helps her learn.
At bedtime, the kids got to be involved as John replaced our broken bathroom faucet. All three of the kids LOVE being involved in fix-it projects around the house. They want to see how everything works and be involved in fixing them. I love that John asks for their help and welcomes all their questions. It can't be easy letting three small children in his workspace as he tries to fix things!!!
Tonight after her typing lesson, Ava was teaching Noah letters by drawing them on a Doodle Pro and asking him what they were. They were both having so much fun, giggling and laughing as Noah learned more letters.

I'm already loving the freedom that we now have. My kids get to be a part of real life. They can stay up late if they're into an activity without a problem. They can go with during errands and shopping and learn from those experiences. We can visit museums and ice rinks, for example, in the middle of the day when they are not so crowded so we can get the full experience. When stores aren't busy it means we can take our time, the kids can read signs, add prices and learn about money.  And the relaxed time of day means less stressed employees, who often will stop to talk with the kids and answer questions.
Next week Ava starts art classes at Rum River Art Center. She took a class there in the fall and loved it. They are so great with the kids. We also may have a family vacation to Duluth in the weeks to come. It will likely be a last minute thing. And that's okay! Not only will Ava not miss school, but she'll be learning even more. We plan to visit the museum and train depots, they'll get to see Lake Superior in the winter... so many questions they will surly ask. And so much to learn when we are in the right mindset.
Everything is learning. Days, nights, and weekends. We get to be flexible and don't have a set start and end time. Just how we like it!


  1. Glad to hear the week went so well. Thanks for sharing some of your resources. I think we'll see what Elliott thinks about that typing game.

  2. I am so glad that the kids get to learn and have fun this way as a family. This is definatly made for your family. You are so lucky to be able to do this with them. Thank you John for making this all possible. I can see them thriving!