Tag Archives: homeschooling

back to school

School started this past Monday and we met with our advisor on Wednesday. We started out with a new method that I read about at the end of the last school year. The parent/teacher writes out everything expected of the student for the day in the morning and the child/student can choose the order to do the tasks and can check them off when completed. Since Emma begins her day with assistance from maiki for math that subject begins after breakfast. Then she has choice as how to proceed.

Sometimes we go to the gardens, sometimes we have an errand or activity and I will try to include those on the list. If she finishes before six p.m. she has free time and afterwards we are settling down with more unplugged activities for the evening.

Started off slow this week with three subjects each day. I was glad that the bulk of my decision making about the days events happened in ten minutes in the morning and I was able to pass on more responsiblity to Emma. I felt more organized and she was happier to know what was going to happen. I had read that this method was wildly successful when homeschooling more than one child but it was just as effective for one too. Decision fatigue can be the hardest part of my days.

This year we are incorporating piano instruction with Hoffman Academy and studying U.S. History. I am looking forward to reading a lot of great historical fiction together. I decided we would study cursive more frequently for a bit since she her finger skills are more developed. We will also continue with knitting club. We are all looking forward to the new school year!

Homeschooling begins

Third grade! So far Emma is working on two pages of a math workbook every day after breakfast. Grammar workbook is added a few times a week also. We have begun to re-read History of the World and some afternoons I read a chapter aloud and we reference maps and other books and she makes notes and definitions. So far it is a good start. Afternoons in the garden provide emerging science activities and research. She loves to read and has begun scribbling down words to look up in the dictionary later from her audio book time. I am excited to see where her interests will lead us.

External learning websites that Emma really enjoys are The Kids Should See This, Mystery Science and Brain Pop Jr.

back to homeschooling: a year in review

Aside from working on math, writing, phonics and geography books Emma Clover enjoyed many other ways of learning. We used the world around to enhance our school year and it gave us all so much purpose and community involvement. She wrote letters, played with her dollhouse, read stacks of books, helped with cooking and gardening, played games, made artwork, went on play dates and traveled all around the Bay Area during this past school year. It gave us time to be together and all of us felt lucky to return to a slower pace of life.

Emma started off making a book about the water cycle and how she uses water. She also observed how her community needs water as well.

Our first school field trip was to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Emma experimented with dry ice at a school hosted science activity day.

We went to see a Dia de los Muertos dance performance, attended the Hansel and Gretel opera and saw the Nutcracker ballet.

Emma read so many books this year! I am impressed with how many books written by Laura Ingalls Wilder we read together and she also read on her own. We checked out stacks and stacks of books from the library and listened to many audio stories.

This year was all about playing games! Lots and lots of them.

We took an unforgettable walk with a naturalist through the redwoods.

We visited many museums including the San Francisco MoMA and the Oakland Museum of California.

Emma is privy to a technology teacher and has been learning about computers for years. Lately they have made digital art and discussed future game designs.

From summer to present Emma has been practicing her knitting. We were fortunate to attend a supportive knitting club at the library.

We attended a musical event at the library given by the SF Chamber Orchestra. They were very kind and played world music for the children.

Of course the most important part of our homeschooling year was the people in it. Emma thoroughly enjoyed the classes that she took with Hickman this year. The classes were Shapes and Structures, Art (this one was art inspired by children’s book illustrations), Faire Science and Kids Cafe. She loves all of the different teachers she has and appreciates the mixed age group settings. The content was so fun that she never wanted them to come to an end. This winter/spring she was able to attend a modern dance class at the Shawl Anderson Dance center with Maurice and she loved it. Unfortunately the session was cut short but we will be sure to return if the opportunity arises.

snippets of our days

Lately its been extra tough with the fear of a novel virus and everything in Emma’s life being put on hold. Even our beloved libraries are closed. We do always have a rhythm about our days that keep us learning and having fun being homeschoolers, so in some ways not so much has changed. However the heavy feeling of isolation and cold weather is a lot to bear. We enjoy the company of others and are used to so many social interactions throughout our days, brightening our weeks. Hoping we do our best for Emma and keep her spirits bright.