Saturday, May 22, 2010

Waverings and Africa

The official traditional school year is ending and I have been wavering about entering Ella into a traditional preschool program next year.  We visited a handful of recommended (from family and friends) schools and finally found a school we could possibly live with.  It's a Montessori schools, but with a lot of traditional influence as well ranigng in ages from 2-5yrs through Kindergarten. 

Ella went for a visit and seemed to like it enough, but when asked what she would prefer she always chooses homeschooling.  She did say she enjoyed being with the other kids, as she learned a few karate moves on the playground on her visit.

Well, although I do see the need for her to interact with more kids I still believe we can provide many such interactions on our own.  She will be starting Girl Scouts and 4H next year (they have to be 5) and we've made a few friends at her other classes as well.  The weather is nice and it's perfect weather for playdates outdoors.

We'll also be cutting back on Ella's extra-curriculars this summer, taking a break from all the constant comings and goings.  We'll concentrate on more home time and grow time.

So, homeschooling will continue on for another year and we are all very excited.  We'll be attending a Christian homescholing conference this summer to look for some new and innovative ideas for us, as well as joining a few homeschooling groups to get us more involved with the community and other children Ella's age.

Ella is doing amazingly well in reading/writing.  Even the teachers at the preschool where she visited were impressed with her knowledge and easy going attitude.  She immedietely made friends on the playground and they commented at how well her handwriting skills were.  Ella recognizes over 40 sight words already and can read many beginner books all on her own, such as Go Dog Go! by Dr. Seuss. 

I was trying to slow down her instruction, not wanting to jump her too far ahead of her peers.  However, she has had other plans as she has just picked up reading so easily.  Trying to keep her interested and challenged has been tough, but it's nice that she can work at her own pace (not something she would be able to do easily in a traditional classroom setting).

We'll be working more on math, science, and geography this summer.  Also, we'll be working more on advanced blending sounds and phonetic rules.  This fall we'll be incorporating more tot school (see below) as well, since Eric wants to be part of our school day too!

Eric gets into the fun of homeschool, as we have plenty of tot busy boxes for him.

Learning letters and their sounds,

tearing it up and learning colors too!

We are incorporating Eric into our lessons when we can.  This past week we did a unit on Africa.  A fun time was had as we made African Dogan masks and the kids danced and chased each other around the room.

Ella the Rabbit and Eric the Hunter!

The rabbit running from the hunter!

The hunter chasing the rabbit!

It's never easy trying to find a balance between homeschool, activities, and the tasks of just being a Mom and Wife.  However, we try every day to make it fun and enjoyable for everyone!  They are only young once and this time with them is so precious. Even on our toughest days, I am thankful for every moment with them and know I am truly blessed to have them in my life.