Tag Archives: homeschool

homeschooling in june

We took a little break before getting back to school work. It was however full of learning experiences of course! We flew down to Los Angeles to visit family. We drove to Point Reyes and checked out a lighthouse. We went to the CAL botanical gardens. We had a picnic in the Oakland rose garden. We visited the Academy of Sciences. We attended a painting and ice cream making activity day at the Jr. Art and Science center. We watched a bunch of things, like Muppets, Little Bear and the BBC show Britain in Bloom. We laid in the grass and read books and played and cooked. It all felt glorious and refreshing and then we were ready to get back to work.

I picked up about 30 Bob books from the library and we started going through them one at a time until all of a sudden Clover was reading. She sounded out every letter and remembered some of the words. She could not memorize them though and had to actually read which was exactly what she needed. They have been great resources and we are ready for our next pile of Bob books.

We finished the rest of the Kindergarten phonics book and started on math again. I had picked up some base ten foam pieces from the school resource center and we have started to experiment with those. I feel like the material we have covered as of late is first grade level stuff like long vowels and number place values. We will continue chipping away it through the next month or so.

It feels good to work year round, taking a couple weeks off here and there. This summer Emma will try out Capoeira at the YMCA and we will continue to swim. We have firm plans to attend every concert that the Oakland municipal band performs and probably eat a lot of watermelon and strawberries. We will continue with our read aloud chapter books like Betsy Tacy and the Children of Noisy Village and Emma practicing with those Bob books. I think she will be so excited and ready for first grade.

what home school looks like for us

When asked to write a paragraph of what home school looks like for us this is what I wrote:

In our house we take it easy and try not to commit to too much. We are a stay at home mom, kindergarten age daughter and a papa that mostly works from home, living in Oakland. We fill our days with books, podcasts/audio stories, music, cooking, art and lots of play. Monday afternoon is tap class. Wednesday is a school day which consist of classes, meet ups and playing with mates for hours. Adding a swim class next month to the mix. We go libraries, museums, farmers markets, parks/gardens and general adventuring. We are car free and live simply. Every day is different and dynamic and rich with experience. I am sure first grade will present more of a routine for us but right now we are embracing that we do not have to do a lot of sit down work every day. It is casually mixed in through out instead.

Emma Clover at school making racoon puppets.

I have talked a bit about our Wednesdays before but they are specific to the Hickman charter school and we follow their calendar. The charter school offers classes that the children sign up for that go on for two month increments. They are two hours long and are based on a single subject. Kinders only sign up for the first class session of the day and then end up playing on the playground while the second session is going on.

Many students have siblings and stick around anyways, while others just love this aspect of school and stay to play with their friends. Clover adores her Wed. classes. Right now she is taking “Tree Homes.” They have a circle time, read books, sing songs, do crafts, have snack, and play outside. It sounds really fun for her and she enjoys this aspect of school.

When the classes ends then the charter school plans other activities for the other Wednesdays for families to still meet. One activity day in January everyone experimented with dry ice. There were worksheets for the kids to document their observations and were perfect work samples to turn it later. The days are well planned out and most children attend and love to stay and play as long as possible.

The other classes that we choose can change each semester. In the fall, Clover attended an art class and went to swim lessons. In winter we began jazz and tap and soon will pick up swim again.

For home schoolers there are endless opportunities for extra curricular activities. We would love for her to learn Aikido and she has loves ballet classes in the past. She has asked to learn Japanese and there are always art classes that I am eyeing. The truth is that we all get overwhelmed when we take on too much. We have to draw the line at three events a week because we have found that one more thing and we never have time to rest and play dates and school work fall by the wayside. It is good to have some wiggle room in our schedule.

Actual curriculum for Clover has included:

  • A pre-reading program called “All About Reading” that involves coloring/painting ABC letters, reading poems and doing word games.
  • We read one chapter book at a time and many other picture books from our library and others.
  • Phonics and math workbooks.
  • Science videos, mostly Mystery Doug but also utilize youtube for further research.
  • History book called “Story of the World” that includes work sheets and map work

winter solstice and schooling with Emma

We have been focusing on winter and Christmas lately in our home schooling. It is the coldest and longest night of the year but I don’t think any amount of wishful thinking will bring us snow (which is definitely for the best since our ceiling is still torn up in the bedroom!). Talking about driving a Gig car up into the hills to look for some snow for the afternoon some day soon.

Learning about why snow is white in Mystery Science.

Watching the Snowy Day.

Reading White Snow, Bright Snow.

Listening to Lullatone’s album Winter Whispers on repeat.

 

today Clover helped with bonsai trees

Today Clover helped clean up and repot bonsai trees.

Today Clover helped clean up a bonsai tree in the Lake Merritt gardens. She scraped off the moss, steering clear of the bark. We watched as the the tree was re-potted and the Japanese volcanic soil was added. She helped scoop the soil and sweep the floor too. It was a really fun experience and I was impressed with the reverence and hard work put into the hundred year old tree. The people that we met were so nice and glad to let Clover join in their work.