|Lucy at her 'learning center' ready to begin school.|
It was a hard decision: public school or homeschool? I never even knew there was an option that combined both. I think it was a commercial for Indiana Connections Academy that opened my eyes and easily solved my problem. Today, was our first day. ((Did that sound like the opening of a terrible infomercial, or what?!))
|Math Unit: Sorting and Comparing|
Lucy is starting Kindergarten this year, but she still has her baby brother, Teddy (who is 3) at home. The easiest way to deal with this is to include Teddy in our school day. He gets to join us to the best of his ability. Today, it was easy. During the math unit, he helped sort and compare objects.
|Sorting crayons by shades.|
|He really enjoyed participating...and DOES wear shirts. Occasionally.|
|Sorting buttons by size and color.|
The living room coffee table seemed to be the best place for the three of us to sit around and do group projects. It's on their level...and comfortable for everyone. ;) Mainly...me. Plus, when things go tumbling off, I don't hit my head when I crawl underneath to snatch said-wayward object up. 'Cause let's face it, pesky dining room tables are ALWAYS intentionally conking us on our heads.
When Lucy started her 'book work', Teddy found something to do in his bedroom and Lucy hopped back up to her desk. It was pretty basic/review. She flew through it. ((This blog post is just SOOO incredibly riveting, huh?))
We were flying through the time, so we took a good half an hour to read library books during what was left of her language arts session. It was okay because mommy read "Every Cowgirl Needs a Horse" with the BEST southern accent a girl could ask for....y'all!
Teddy got bored (and hungry) and decided he wanted mommy to teach him how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. He really didn't need much instruction. ;) In fact, while Lucy was working, he proceeded to inform ME of how to make a 'pwoper' sammich.
|Kept my brain running|
|She told me this was too easy.|
And then it was art time. We all three enjoyed this unit. We huddled in the kitchen and dug out mommy's paint brushes. On big sheets of white paper, they made scribbles in wide, sweeping motions. After that, they painted the inside parts...which created a mosaic look. I helped Teddy while Lucy worked on her own.
|As Lucy worked, I read her and Teddy some of these questions.|
Why, yes. That is a Picasso!
Teddy said it was a hot air balloon, anyway.
I can see it.
And then we headed outdoors to learn about motion and how to move things in as many imaginative ways as we could come up with. And OH (!!) what imaginations these two possess!
I asked them how they could move their own bodies.
"They have bones in them."
Me: "That's not quite what I mean."
"Then what, mommy?"
Me: "I mean, how can you make your body move...((WORK BRAIN!)). How can you make it move to the end of the sidewalk and back?"
They looked at me as if it was the stupidest question and screamed, "Run!"
Yes, apparently Teddy is a bit of a slow crawler. He didn't do much of it as a baby to have much of a background in it. :/
Me: "And what do we use to do those things?"
"That's silly, mommy! We use our feet and our legs!"
We also talked about how we can cause other things to move...like dandelion seeds. That was an easy one, but they enjoyed it!
In the process, exactly 236 fairies were made.
((I dislike odd numbers. The 237th fairy was snubbed out beneath my thumb.))
Then I dropped a foil ball in front of them. "Make this move without using your hands or feet...or any other part of your body." I had to add 'any other part of your body' because Lucy immediately tried moving it with her belly and face. Can you say 'road rash'? Well, 'sidewalk' rash.
But then she caught on and decided maybe she could blow on it like she did the dandelion. And guess what?! It moved!
((But teeny tiny foil ball babies were not born during this experiment))
|Teddy tries with a ball of tissue.|
Then they tried moving them with other objects as extensions to their arms. It turned into a race of sorts. Teddy won...but that's because he's a little stinker and cheats. ;)
|With a face like that, who needs to play fair?|
|She takes out pent up aggregation toward her bother with a basting brush and tissue. It worked.|
Lucy decides to see what she can make move by blowing through a straw. The rock did not move, but the leaf did. Go figure.
And that was really pretty much how our first day went. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the week picks up as more work is added to the lesson plans. But all in all, I am excited. Lucy is expected to spend 25 hours a week doing school work via life sessions with her teacher, or with me as her learning coach. Everything is carefully monitored and her teacher will assess her frequently to enrich her learning where she excels and help her where she struggles. She will still socialize through her school clubs and class trips (yes, she has classmates that are not her baby brother).
The most important thing is that my children (well, Lucy at this point) are being taught on a one-on-one level. Lucy knows that my focus is entirely on her and her brother. We are spending a great deal of time together, from the moment breakfast is finished and we say the Pledge of Allegiance, from the moments we pause for devotions and prayer, through all of her core lessons to the fun activities and experiments planned for her. This makes me happy...and slightly nervous.
I know that Lucy is a strong individual and would rock a traditional public school. She would have no problem there. But it is important to her daddy and I that she develope to her full potential. I think she has a better chance of that with Connections Academy. Our children are our greatest responsibility. I don't want to hand that responsibility over to a teacher and a school system full of people I do not know. Connections Academy helps me keep the responsibility where I feel it belongs while still holding me, and Lucy, accountable. I'm happy with that. It isn't for everyone, but it is for me...and for Lucy...and one day, officially for Teddy, too.