I hope I’ll be able to get back in the habit of blogging. One thing that should give me plenty of material is our homeschooling adventure. Sam graduated from Montessori last week, so we can start homeschooling any time. Unfortunately, I’m not quite ready yet. But more on that in a minute…
First, a quick catch-up. Leo and Zoe will be ten months old in two days. Hopefully I’ll have time for a full Update then.
Our au pair, Ale, arrived ten days ago. I can’t believe how fast those days have gone! It was a lot of work preparing for her arrival, and it’s been a lot of work helping her to get settled and training her. The good news is that she is awesome, the kids love her, and we’re starting to get into a routine. The bad news is that I didn’t think to prepare Sammy for all the changes that were about to fall upon her. It is proving difficult for me to be in the house while Ale is in charge. Sam threw a lot of tantrums last week, and it was clearly attention-seeking behavior. Once I figured out what was going on, we talked about it, and now I try to set her expectations every day, so it is getting better. It’s also hard for me to be so close to Zoe and Leo without taking care of them.
Otherwise, planning for school is all-consuming. I have most of my curriculum determined, and most of the materials and supplies I will need. I still have some areas where I’m not sure what to do (grammar!), but I’ve decided that I have enough work for Sam to get started. I have a bunch of “printables” for the Montessori math we’ll be doing that I still need to print out and laminate, a few minor supplies to buy, and then I have to set up the room. This is no small task: we are going to have a Montessori-like environment, so the setup is important.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll try to write a post for each subject that we will be doing. Today, I’ll just list what subjects we will be covering:
- Reading (phonics/skills/comprehension)
- Penmanship (as a prerequisite to all other language arts subjects)
- Time and Maps (as a prerequisite to history)
- Drawing (maybe)
Just coming up with what subjects we should start with was daunting. Sam’s teacher helped me to assess where she is at, developmentally, socially, and academically. Based on this, I’m going to focus on math, time and maps,and penmanship. Sam is heavily involved in math right now and I don’t want to let her interest wane. She also seems to finally be getting her concepts of time and place more clear, and she is very interested in calendars and maps. We can’t do much with history while she still doesn’t understand yesterday-today-tomorrow, so I’m going to capitalize on her interest. And her penmanship is still much below average. She can write all her letters and form words, but she still writes the words anyplace on the page and her letters are inconsistent and often illegible. This might sound pretty normal for a five-year-old, but it’s not for a Montessori five-year-old. Her mind is ready to put ideas on paper, and a lot of work that she is capable of otherwise, can’t be done until she can write. Or, I should say, it can be done, but only by dictation, which is not the same. I’ll be asking her to dictate some sentences to me to summarize stories that we read in literature, and observations that she makes for science. I want her to get to the point where she can write these things herself as soon as possible.
I am thoroughly loving all of this planning and preparation. I still don’t know how I’ll feel about actually sitting in a room with Sam, “teaching.” But I’m excited. And I’m glad to report that Sam is, too! I’d better get back to work on it now – my goal is to start on July 2.