Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Back to (home)School!

Last week, we started our homeschool year with Heart of Dakota. Despite being busy, the week went really well. I'm already so thankful that we chose to switch curriculums. Last year, I felt like things were so scattered and disorganized that any change to our schedule would throw me off track. I really value a curriculum that we can pick up and take with us or easily adjust the workload to make up for a lost day here and there because life is on the move!

Anyway, Elsie is officially a first grader, and she's loving it! I am too. We're settling into a comfortable routine of history, splashing it with science and geography, exploring poetry and music, reading the Biography of Helen Keller, and topping it off with handwriting, phonics, and math. Spelling and art is tossed in there as well. Elsie's favorite is reading about Helen Keller. I remember reading her story when I was little so it's amazing to read it again with my daughter. My favorite part is how well integrated the Bible is with the curriculum. She has a memory verse each week, and we're always tying it into the history and poetry lessons we're reading as well as handwriting. Actually, all of the subjects mesh really well and reinforce what we're learning in other subjects. I adore that.

Here are a few pictures from our first week!

We read about pioneers from Spain crossing the Atlantic Ocean to Florida in History. In Science, we learned about some of the animals they would see on the voyage. For this activity, Elsie coated one of her hands in shortening to represent the blubber of a whale. I think she thought I was crazy when I set the container in front of her and told her to stick her hand in as far as she could, lol!

Then, I had her put both hands in a bowl of cold water for a minute.

BRR! That's cold! Can I take my hands out yet?


Which hand is colder? This one! She decided that we weren't designed for life in cold water like whales are.

Claira had a fun start as well. I skipped preschool for Elsie so I'm happy to do some fun things with Claira this year. The preschool program is full of songs, fun finger plays, learning her letters and sounds, and going over Bible stories with some devotions and other artwork and activities thrown in. We learned about the letter A this week. My favorite moment of the entire week was teaching Claira the letter A sound while putting our hands on our cheeks and saying, "aaaaah!" and having Lucy join in with a loud "Aaaaah!!" of her own. Our girls are too sweet!

Here's Claira finding her way around the letter A:

This week is already in full swing so I'm hoping to update the blog more quickly this time! Happy Back to School to everyone!

1 comment:

  1. I love, love, love that you are sharing these glimpses into your homeschooling life. I'm going to do the letter / Fruit Loops with Drew tomorrow. I think he will love it.

    I hope your girls have a great year. I so admire you, Mandalynn.