Sunday, August 15, 2010

Homeschooling 1st Grade - Week 1


Our first week of homeschooling is behind us and it was great! The first day just flew by! We started the day off with swimming lessons (more on that later), a MOPS playdate at Gymnastics World (we counted that as PE), and lunch with some friends. Then we headed home for some Reading, 'Riting, & 'Rithmatic! I was surprised how quickly we got everything done! The second day, not so much. Christopher was more interested in playing his computer than any of his regular work, so it took a little more effort to get the curriculum done. But now, he knows this is our regular routine and the rest of the week went much better!

The picture above shows some of his handwriting practice. This is "copywork" from the Sonlight curriculum - it's from a story he read. Later, we circled the capital letters at the beginning and underlined who each sentence was about (in this case, Pat). The reading is actually below his level at this point, but it's building some much needed confidence for my little boy who wants to be perfect the first time he tries something & would rather not do it at all than risk making a mistake!

We took our spelling lesson outside, where he wrote all his spelling words on the driveway in sidewalk chalk. He loved it...and he spelled every single word correctly! Later in the week, he got 100% on his spelling test...and no, I didn't grade on the curve! :)

The book he's working in above is called "Explode the Code" - it's a phonics program...again, too easy for his current level of ability, but coordinates with his reading book and is building some valuable confidence that will help him tackle the harder work later!

The book above is Horizons Math for 1st Grade. Right now, he's breezing through most of it, but the first week or so of school is always review of the previous year. The best part is that it's doing wonders for his self-confidence and he looks forward to doing school every day!

Along with the workbooks, we're also reading a variety of books about history & science - including some missionary stories. We're also reading through the Book of Mark in the Bible and memorizing Psalm 1. Last week, we memorized Psalm 1:1 - this week, we'll add the second verse, and so on. By the end of six weeks, we'll have the whole first Psalm memorized! I'm memorizing it right along with him - so it's helping us both!

I absolutely LOVE homeschooling! I was a little worried about how it would all work out, and I must admit, some of my fears were realized on our 2nd day - but once I got a schedule and a routine going, it just started falling into place! If you're looking for an email, text, or facebook status update/reply from me, you probably won't get one until the afternoon on the days we are doing school - but it's so worth every moment!

As promised...here's the update on swimming lessons. We completed our first two-week round of lessons and signed up for another round. Since he was still hesitant about putting his face in the water, we decided to sign him up for Level 1 again. On the computer, it looked like there was an 8-8:30am class and a 9:30-10am class for Level 1 - so we chose the 8-8:30am class so we could get going with our homeschool day.

We showed up Tuesday morning and there was no class for him. There was a Level 2 and a Level 3 Preschool class. His teacher from the last round of lessons was there and said she'd be teaching a Level 1 preschool class at 8:45am if we wanted to stay for that. I gave Christopher the option of either doing the preschool class with the teacher he already knew or the 9:30 class with kids his own age & a different teacher. He chose to stay with the teacher he knew.

This actually turned out to be a good thing! Since Christopher's the oldest in the class (the others are 3, 4, & 5) and Christopher's already done Level 1, he got to be Teacher's Helper for this class. Since he was showing off for the "little kids," he was doing far more than he had in the whole two prior weeks of Level 1 at his age level! He put his face in the water...WITHOUT his goggles! And as you can see above, he's stretching out more and swimming with the kickboard. Giving him a little authority has really boosted his confidence, and as a result, he's doing so much more! YAY!!!

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