Monday, August 4, 2008

One down, 6,999 to go!

That 6,999 is approximate, though I did use a calculator (for those questioning my math, that's 36 weeks X 15 years to get the Duckling through, minus one.) It makes the big assumption that I will stick with this homeschooling thing. I have signed no pledge. There is no written or oral contract. We take this day by day.

Here's day one. I was showered, dressed, and eating breakfast by 8:30 a.m., with a load of laundry in the wash (I'm not sure I can do another 2,699 days of THAT.) By 10:00 a.m., another load was in the wash, the Monkey Ducks were dressed and ready, the bathroom sink was wiped down, the kitchen cleaned up, the kitchen floor swept, and the floor mopped, which was not part of the plan. Whew! I was lucky I wasn't burned out before we started!

Here's a picture of the kids sitting down to "start." It became clear that the Duckling was expecting me to do something
homeschool-ish with her. My plan was that she was going to sit at the little worktable and play with puzzles, draw or color. Um, let's just say she wasn't up for that. She's no fool; she knows the hot action was at the big worktable.

We started with Singapore Math. We reviewed number bonds since that is a concept that is used often in Singapore and one we haven't spent time on. We used the linking cubes but they were mostly used by the Duckling as a building tool. She counted the cubes in her tower so now I can check "count to 16" off the list. Phew! That took a load off. The Monkey took a break from Singapore to build a shooter guy out of the links. There is a picture of him chewing on his necklace, made by my friend Mandy for this very purpose. The boy needs to chew and this option is so much better than his shirts, his fingers, or his sister's hair.

Math took about 20 minutes, if that. We moved into the living room and read some history. We started with First Families from the Usborne Internet Linked Encyclopedia and then finished up some library books on the Ice Age and Woolly Mammoths. We mixed in some books that the Duckling brought to us. The reading took about an hour and then the kids asked to paint. Rather than say what I was thinking, I said yes (no matter what I buy, it is still a pain in the ass to clean up the paint.) The Monkey painted a picture of a Roman soldier in a chariot being pulled by a horse. I have no idea where he got this idea from because, as I said, we are only up to early humans in our history book. The Duckling painted an abstract.

After painting we ate lunch and then learned that we're in the path of a tropical storm, potential hurricane. This isn't something I'm worried about but it seems the forces are trying to derail my efforts. A hurricane, on only the 2nd day of official homeschooling? A message, perhaps, to reconsider unschooling? Thankfully we have bottled water in the pantry and I threw some bread into the bread machine so now we have food.

After a trip to the bank, we went to the library to get Monkey his first library card. It is, after all, the first day of first grade (arbitrarily decided by me) and getting a library card is the rite of passage for this occasion. I know I totally made that up, but the Monkey thought it was very official and was THRILLED to get his card. He checked all of our books out on his card, which was a good thing since my card expired and I couldn't renew it without paying my fines.

The last pictures are from this evening. The Monkey Ducks were helping Sharyn put the outside equipment in the garage in case we get heavy winds when they found a toad. The kids were too scared to touch it, especially after seeing the large quantity of toad pee dripping down Sharyn's hand. Wimps. Okay, I was also too scared to touch it. Whatever.


Anita said...

Hi Heather!

Just wanted to say that I love your blog! I checked it out after seeing your post on the Well Trained Mind group. I've been thinking about starting one and yours has given me inspiration! I'm a homeschooling mom of an 8 yr old boy and 5 yr old girl. We've been at it for almost 2 yrs and we love it!! Have you checked out the "secular homeschoolers" yahoo group? It's provided me with lots of great ideas. Just an FYI.

Take care! Anita

Heather said...

Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you like the blog. It is still a work-in-progress, just like homeschooling!