Monday, March 05, 2012

What We Do =)

Here are our extra extras! I've gotten a couple of questions, so THIS is exactly how I'm making myself feel better about public school. I like the other part of Carly's school - the sense of community, the way they help her be responsible for her own stuff, her teacher and aide (fabulous, warm and loving women) and a super involved corps of parents. The academics? Meh.

Thank goodness for Amazon Prime! These are the three things we worked on today after tennis. We normally only do one or two depending on the day, but since it was Quizno's fundraiser night and mama didn't have to cook, we had some extra time.

First of all - I ADORE this series. I have the teacher guides, too, which are essential and make all the difference. You'll see Bree's down at the bottom. It is more involved on my part and she cannot get enough of it! She's burned through all the Sesame Street math books and coloring pages and picture workbooks that Carly had leftover from her preschool days and is ready for something 'real.' As for Carly, she is used to this series from kindergarten and since her school does nothing like this at all, I'm hoping it will help keep her on top of writing neatly and legibly.

This is a recommendation from the Well-Trained Mind book I love so much. This first workbook is pretty simple, but as I explained to Carly, it's like her Singapore math (not pictured b/c we didn't do it today) - it's a different way of talking about a subject than she's used to, so they start off with not-challenging lessons to get her used to their method. Bree was 'helping' with the beginning and ending sounds worksheets today.

I love, love, love, love this book! It has a companion activity book that I equally love. We're a semester and some change behind because we just got it a couple of weeks ago, but working through the summer, I expect we'll catch up in time for the beginning of school next year. History is essentially not taught at all at Carly's school in the first grade, with the exception of excerpts from American history on appropriate holidays, like President's Day or Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. It would be really difficult to "if I had to pick one" of our fabulous extras, but this one is a top contenter. Love it! Did I mention that already?

And, here's Bree's book. It, like I mentioned above, is much more involved than Carly's and is not something appropriate for individual work. We sing different songs while she colors over stars, we make stick figures out of big curves and straight lines, we move our bodies to the music - totally fun. Totally NOT easy to accomplish while Carly is asking a bajillion questions about her other homework.

Bree is also working toward the 100 lessons book about teaching reading. She is SO ready and eager to read, but I don't know where to start. So, being the whatever kind of learner it is that I am, I researched and bought a book about it. =)

So why did I even bother registering Bree for preschool today? Why do I keep Carly in her school? Because of the things I cannot provide for them at home. There may come a day when the benefits of learning at home outweigh the benefits of them spending time in a classroom outside our home, but for now we're happy with the solution we have. I love doing these things with them at home, but to be honest, I don't know how I would manage the chaos all day long! At one point I had Bree running circles around the couch ten times, then running upstairs and bumping down on her bottom ten times, then bouncing on Billy the Bull ten times, just so I could complete a sentence explaining something to Carly. Having to do that all day every day with no break for any of us might send me over the edge.

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