Wednesday, September 06, 2006

What does homeschooling mean to us?

My daughter turns 3 a month from now and is eager to go to school, eager to do activities without mum there, I am not sure why? She does not have that many friends that go to school. So far with the exception of the 10 days I was in Maine taking the LIFEWAYS early education program she has ever been part of an organized program alone, together we have been taking the" Music Together" program.

So what does homeschooling mean to us............This fall we have a morning poem which we recite every morning. We do a simple "circle time" we recite the poem "Little Autumn", and then tell a simple story using props, often finger puppets. We usually work on the same story for a week.....often we begin very simply and may add more to the story. For example presently we are telling the "Little Red Hen" we began with the Tomie dePaola version included in the Tomies Three Bears and other Tales
and with every telling I might add a few more words and concepts while sticking with the simple outline. We will probably end with making a loaf of bread.

Other stories I plan on telling this month are The Autumn Story (from Autumn by Wynstone Press) and the Giant Turnip (also from Autumn) and Mother Earths Children from Juniper Puppets Autumn Tales

I like to have one or two handwork projects going often making things for the Nature Table. This season I want to make her a needle felted mushroom person and a pumpkin person. I also want to knit her a hat from The Childrens Year: Crafts & Clothes for Children and Parents to Make to work on my knitting skills.

We also talk about changes on our nature table...this reflects what is going on outside. We try take a Nature walk every day.
We have about 5 books going a month which are usually seasonal. Right now we are reading Little Mouse Big Red Apple,
Our Apple Tree by Gorel Kristina Naslund
When the Wind Stops by Charlotte Zolotow , And last years favorite Now It's Fall by Lois Lenski
We also like to have one book going that is somehow related to Tibet as Zoe is half Tibetan, our favorite so far is All the Way to Lhasa: A Tale from Tibet by Barbara Berger

I usually have a list of craft projects that I want to focus on for the season: leaf people, leaf prints, acorn people, introducing wet on wet painting in one color, making a gingerbread house (I have never done this before). I am also trying to spend time with Zoe introducing games that she can play alone nearby while I work (wonderboard magnetic shapes puzzle, Haba's color pegs game, and selectas Giraffe Game, and after her birthday Varialand). She has plenty of independent playtime indoors and out of door and some playdates. We have a meal time Blessing that we recite and an end of day Blessing.

Other than these we do food related projects this month making pesto, apple sauce, pies and freezing peaches. Other than these activities we have our domestic chores Zoe feeds Ashley the cat and Annabelle the Angora bunny!).

At her request tomorrow she begins a weekly Little Tykes dance/gymnastics class. I am mixed about it, but I figure I'll have a better idea after watching a class.

I am working on creating more rhythmn around our activities, that seems to be my challenge as a self employed single mom. My other challenge is keeping the kitchen clean and the fridge organized! I am working of a weekly breakfast and dinner schedule integrating some of Steiners 7 Grain philosophy. As much as I love food and have enjoyed cooking and creating meals this part of parenting has OVERWHELMED me.

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