Tuesday, August 31, 2010


***(Please note that the time stamps on these posts are about three hours behind the actual time.  I'm trying to figure out how to change that. 
Can anyone help?)***

Our first official day of homeschooling is complete!  Maggie feels so much better today and was so excited to start this morning.  I was excited, too, but worried about whether or not she'd find what I planned boring.  She surprised me.  Not only did we finish everything on our list (it was LONG and I'll post it at the bottom of this post), but she only required one hour-long break in the midst of it all, because she kept insisting we "do another project."  We started at 8AM and ended at about 2PM, so with the break accounted for, it means we worked for about five hours today ... way beyond the amount of time I thought she'd be willing to listen!  (I have my work cut out for me to keep her busy this year!)  Here are some photos:
This was my pile at the start of the day.  She still has yet to play with the neighborhood tub stickers, but that will be for later, at bathtime.  I am so proud of my 'Community Workers' poster!  I got it for only $1.00 and had it laminated for 75 cents!

Here, we were studying big letter 'A' and little letter 'a' and words that start with 'A.'

After reading The Berenstain Bears' A Book, Maggie insisted that we draw and color angry ants.  (Cool!  She's running with it!)

Going through her red and pink Color Bags.

Later, we worked on our red apple prints.

After we read about postal workers, we checked the mail to find a package from Grandma and Grandpop with goodies inside it!  She was so excited (though you can't tell from this photo).

After we finished our Community Workers reading, we made puppets of the two community workers we studied today, police officers and postal workers. 

She was thrilled to later hit the post office and drop her letter to Grandma and Grandpop in the mail slot.  On the way home, we saw a mail truck and a policeman stop someone on his motorcycle, lights blazing, which she thought was really neat. 

So, tomorrow is Wednesday, which I originally planned to be our mid-week "off" day, but now I'm worried about how she'll take that news tomorrow when I have nothing planned.  I am debating starting what I've named "Wordy Wednesdays," which will be a small block of time to learn important words and their meanings, right now, mainly opposites so she will have an easier time completing worksheets, etc.  For example, to learn 'Empty' and 'Full,' I might incorporate a small science experiment with cups and liquid.  When she hits the bed tonight, I will be delving into this further. 

For now, thanks for reading and here is our list of accomplishments today (not in order of completion):
Letter A:
1.  We looked at, wrote, and discussed big letter 'A' and little letter 'a,' and words that start with 'A.'
2.  We read The Berenstain Bears' A Book by Stan and Jan Berenstain.
3.  We made apple prints using a real apple, red paint and markers.
Red and Pink:
1.  We sorted through our red and pink color bags.
2.  We colored coloring sheets of strawberries, a ladybug, and a heart.
3.  We did two small worksheets that required her to 'circle the objects that are pink/red.'
4.  We listened to the 'Little Red Bird' song on her Fiddle-dee-dee CD.
5.  We read Lemons are not Red by Laura Vaccaro Seeger.
6.  We watched the Crazy for Colors DVD that we borrowed from the library.
Community Helpers:
1.  We discussed what a neighborhood/community is, in general, and how it runs by people doing their work.
2.  We read pages 1-8 of Richard Scarry's What do People do All Day? and discussed the same.
3.  We read In My Town by Mari C. Schuh.
4.  We hung our 'Community Helpers' poster and talked about all the workers in brief.
5.  We read Keeping You Safe: A Book About Police Officers by Ann Owen.
6.  We watched the 'Patrick's Busy Day' clip (about a police officer who helps in a traffic jam) on the Little People Neighborhood DVD.
7.  We watched The Police DVD that we borrowed from the library.
8.  We observed a police officer on a motorcycle pull a speeder over in our neighborhood.
9.  We read pages 15-18 of Richard Scarry's What do People do All Day? about postal workers.
10.  We read Mail Carriers by Dee Ready.
11.  We read Out and About at the Post Office by Kitty Shea.
12.  We observed our post person pull up in her mail truck and put mail in our mailbox.
13.  We checked the mail and found a package to Maggie from Grandma and Grandpop!
14.  We wrote letters to Grandma and Grandpop, and also ourselves, then addressed them, stamped them, and drove them to the post office to drop them in the mail slot.
15.  We sang Sesame Street's 'The People in Your Neighborhood' song, with the postman stanza added.  (We will be adding stanzas over the next two weeks for each community worker we learn about.)
16.  We colored pictures of a policeman and mailman and glued them to craft sticks to use as puppets.  (We will be adding puppets over the next two weeks for each community worker we learn about.)
17.  And, this evening, we will play with our new neighborhood tub stickers when she takes her bath.


So, this morning I did a load of laundry with a blue crayon hidden in my husband's pants pocket.  Thank you for your contribution, Al, but we're not studying blue until Friday! 

Monday, August 30, 2010

"She's making room ..."

Poor Mags.  She has a cold so she'll be starting her first day of homeschooling tomorrow sick.  While wiping her nose today, Al said, "Don't worry.  She's just making room for all that education!"  Ha! 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Color Bags

So, I wanted to share with you the color bags that we'll be working with over the next two weeks.  I thought they would be fun manipulatives for Maggie when we're delving into 'Colors.' 

Here are the contents in each:

Saturday, August 28, 2010

"You must be a homeschooler."

"You must be a homeschooler," is what the librarian said to me this week when I was checking these out at the front desk.  She would be right.  One thing is for sure ... by January, I should have a mean pair of biceps!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


If you are reading this, I have invited you to do the same and you love me enough to humor me through the process.

This is a blog that I am making to chronicle the evolution of Maggie's and my homeschooling journey together.  I am making this blog for several reasons.  For one, it will provide me with yet another source of documentation of this ride (in addition to the 3-inch binder where I keep her curriculum notes for the year and special projects that will fit in it).  Two, I can use this to help with my accountability.  Many homeschoolers start at Kindergarten age, and well, I don't intend to get lazy with Maggie's planned Preschool curriculum, but this will maybe ensure that I don't.  And, three, by keeping you informed of what we're up to in our homeschooling career, I am hoping to share thoughts and ideas about the same.  Please ask questions, add your suggestions and criticize those things that don't seem to be working.  Remember, it takes a village.

So, next Tuesday (August 31st) starts the beginning of our first homeschool year.  Right now, the plan is to have a four days-on, three days-off week, with each day being relaxed as far as the schedule, meaning I will always have activities on the ready when boredom strikes.  We will do instruction on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, with Mondays being our application day, since Daddy's day off is Monday and he can enjoy the field trips and experiments with us.  We feel this schedule will work best for our family and hopefully, in time, we'll see that our instincts were correct. 

Week One consists of a Neighborhood/Community study (with a focus on community workers), Colors, and the letter 'A.'  We'll be posting our various activities, with pictures, so check back when you can so that you can keep up with our progress.

So, here we go.  We're jumping in and running.  I am so excited to see where this journey will take us and we are so very fortunate to have your support along the way. 

Love you all,
Rach  :)

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference."
                     - Robert Frost