In anticipation of going out of town, my husband took the girls shopping a few weeks before Mother’s Day to pick out presents for me.
My husband bought me new grill tools. We had recently joked about how grill accessories were a traditional fathers day gift but I am the grill master at our house and I really needed new ones. Score #1 for him!
The girls walked past an aisle and saw teapots. They insisted on buying one for me. At first, my husband thought it was a classic case of wanting to buy the first thing they saw. But they explained to him that I had been wanting a teapot lately and that we had looked at them together recently. They went into detail about poetry teatime and how a teapot was necessary. Daddy let them pick one out and crossed his fingers that I really did want one. They were right!! Score #2!
They picked out a beautiful, shiny teapot that I LOVE. However, my heart was bursting for a different reason. The gift of a man who listens, really listens, to small children when they talk to him. It would have been easy for him to brush them off, afterall, I had never mentioned wanting a teapot to him. Those were conversations I only had with the girls. But he didn’t brush them off. He listened to them as explained why and for what I wanted a teapot. He didn’t ruin the surprise by texting me and asking me if I really wanted one. He knew that nobody spends as much time with me as those girls and if anyone knew most what I had been looking for, it would be them. He values them and knows their worth and THAT is the best present of all.
Naturally, we had our first poetry teatime on Mother’s Day and it was magical!! We try to do it once a week but the girls ask for it 3-4 times a week. Poetry teatime is everyone’s favorite!
I have had a classroom sign saved in my phone as inspiration…a reminder of how I want my girls to feel and be treated when they walk into our “classroom”. When we sit down or go outside or lay in the bed to do our work, I want them to know that they are capable, that they are important, and that they are my reason for everything.
Then my husband made me some blank wooden signs out of scrap wood and I decided to turn that inspiration picture into a sign that can hang in our home. A sign that my girls can look at and read daily.
I had a bit of trouble with the paint bleeding but I was able to correct enough of that and overall, I’m THRILLED with how it turned out.
All of our new curriculum has arrived and as a homeschool mom, this is like Christmas morning!
History and Science
Thinking skills, Geography
I have to say that I am most excited about our Brave Writer journey (but if you’ve read any previous posts you probably already knew that!).
Are you using anything knew this year? What are you most excited about?
As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, we will be homeschooling year round. Our “year” is just about to end and then after a weeklong break, we will start up again. I’m not a monster though so our summer schedule will be more relaxed and more of the fun stuff.
Here’s what I’m planning and why…
Science: workbook twice weekly, experiment once a week.
*I picked out a Kindergarten workbook because it is between the levels of my 2 girls. There are 47 “lessons” listed in the workbook but each is a single page and many of them go together easily so I think it will be closer to 20 lessons for us. During the school year, we do our science at our co-op but that has a very small focus for the year. We will be doing this brief overview workbook to introduce the girls to more varied science concepts.
Art: twice weekly
*Art is something that I have a hard time organizing or teaching. The girls have a free range art space where they are welcome to go and create anytime and they use it often. We also do pinterest crafts fairly regularly but I don’t consider myself very artistic so I haven’t really done any “teaching” as far as technique goes. We are going to be participating in An Art Habit which is a twice weekly online course put on by Rachelle of Tinkerlab.
Math & Geography: Once a week
First Language Lessons: Twice weekly
*These will just be once and twice a week to keep us on track throughout the rest of the year and so that we have more freedom to take breaks when we want them. I’ll be most flexible with these because I am really just looking to do enough over the summer to give us a head start and keep us from getting rusty.
Jot It Down: daily
*This is going to be our gateway into Brave Writer! I am so excited to start and I was going over the project ideas with Avery and she is also excited. I say “daily” but some of those days might just be reading relevant stories or poetry teatime or a quick 5 minute free write.
So what are YOUR summer plans? School wise or vacation??
We are at that point in the school year where I am cleaning out the curriculum closet to make room for the new stuff. I’m basically going through everything to see what I still want the girls to finish, what we never used and can sell/trash, and I’m even finding treasures that I had forgotten about.
One of those was the DIY Electro Dough Kit from techwillsaveus.com I had ordered this at the beginning of last year in our Timberdoodle kit with the idea that the girls could do it with dad (he worked as an apprentice electrician for a number of years and his dad is an electrician). The major problem with that plan? I’m not sure I ever told dad about it or I might have mentioned it briefly but then stuck it in the curriculum closet where he never goes! And here I was, wondering why he never did it with them….whoops!
We finally took it out today and played with it. We had a ton of fun but the kit is seriously lacking in instruction/explanation. The kit has the dough recipe and some brief examples of easy circuits you can make to get started. No explanation of what the parts are or WHY it works so it helped that we had an electrician making with us, lol. You can go to their website for more advanced projects and the manual which goes more in depth in the terminology and the WHYs. So it really depends on your own personal knowledge of electricity and circuits as to whether or not you would need the manual—I need it to help me explain why/how you can turn the lights and buzzer on with play dough but dad didn’t need it.
The thing that I really love about this kit is that we can keep it and do this again as much as we like. At their ages, the girls LOVED the novelty of getting the lights to turn on using play dough but they weren’t totally interested in the concepts behind it. But as their curiosity grows or if they have a unit on electricity in their next science course, we can pull it back out, make a new batch of dough, and keep playing and learning!
So for now, this will get put back into the curriculum closet and hopefully not forgotten about this time…
Tinkerlab recently did a 5 day art start challenge in which we participated. It was free and used mostly we already had around the house. There was a Facebook group to share, ask questions, etc. But each day, we got an email explaining the setup, materials, daily journal prompts, and extension ideas.
We are crafty people so daily art isn’t that far off of our norm. However, I did get some great new ideas and some guidance in how I can best foster the girls’ creativity.
We had a blast with this art challenge and the girls loved the surprise every day of seeing what the setup would be.
Day 1 setup.
Avery’s creation with her painted coffee filters…a Hawaiian Hula Girl!
We will definitely be watching for anymore of these organized art challenges but until then, I will pull out my Tinkerlab book and schedule in different setups for the girls on a weekly basis. They love them and it is so easy to get a setup going (way easier than any Pinterest art projects we’ve tried!).