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Thursday, September 4, 2014

first day of preK {Grace}- Letter of the Week: A

I'm trying to get caught up on school posts before I get too far behind!  First up…Grace's first day of Pre-K.

We've decided to do preschool at home this year.  A few notes on that:

-Last year…Parker started Kindergarten.  She was my schooling priority.
-Nolan was 4 months old when the year started (still newborn-ish)….and was 13 months old when the school year ended.  It was a year of survival!
-Grace watched a lottoo much…of just whatever she wanted on the iPad during our homeschool time.

And in the moment….I didn't have much guilt about it because it was just how it was.  I did not have an ounce of extra energy to prepare school for her (so maybe I was lazy)….and honestly…she wasn't interested.

But so much for excuses.  This year has to be different.  For several reasons.  Because she needs to learn a few basic things before kindergarten next year.  And with Parker in 1st grade…our school days last longer…and really…it's just not acceptable for her to watch the iPad all day!

So all summer long we built it up.  Grace would have to do school this year, too.  She'd 'complain' about it…but her 'complaining' was through a smile that she was trying to hide….because deep down... she was so excited that she was going to have to do school just like Parker.

I decided I was going to mostly do Confession of a Homeschooler's Letter of the Week curriculum.  Her stuff is great!  And in addition…I've found it to be really good for families that are homeschooling older kids, as well (surprise! ha!).  While there are things that I need/want to sit down and do one-on-one with her…..there are quite a few things that I am able to let her do on her own while I work with Parker.

Homeschooling is still something I am learning SO much about.  Parker is in a university-model school so she is in school 2 days a week and I teach her at home 2-3 days a week (lesson plans provided by school).  And as previously mentioned….I have not had to school more than 1 child at a time.

So I knew this year would be a learning year (as each year will somewhat be as each child gets older).  But I was starting fresh with doing preK full time at home (Parker went to K4 at the school she goes to now and had a wonderful teacher who taught her all she knew before entering kinder!).  And also, admittedly, I have never worked with Grace like I did with Parker when she was a Tot.  So we are starting from ground zero!

So……here we are!  Home-Preschool.   And it's really been so much fun.  And a LOT of work.  And just a huge blessing.

Grace is loving the one-on-one time.  Parker is loving that she is not the only one that has to do school. And I am just feeling a good peace about our decision for this year.

So on our first day…we ended up doing school for about an hour and a half!  This is not what I'm thinking is going to normally happen.  :)

My primary goals by the end of the year: (very loosely)
-to know her letters and sounds
-know numbers and 1:1 correspondence through 50
-to be able to write name, letters, and numbers through 50 (maybe 20?)

I want preK to be productive, but fun.  And as I'v mentioned before…the Confessions of a Homeschooler work is really good because it has several things that she can do on her own while I need to work with Parker.

And after a week and a half…..there are a few things I've decided to adapt {so far}:
-My plan is to do school on Mondays while Parker is away at school, and while Nolan is down for his morning nap.  This will give us some undivided, one-on-one time.  This will be a good time to introduce the letter of the week, the number of the week, etc…..and I plan to do the activities that I know she needs more help with.
-She will do school on Parker's homeschool days.
-And on the other day that Parker is in school….we will have NO school.  Just a normal fun day.  Maybe trips to the zoo, the library.  (Laundry and cleaning floors will also happen on these days.  :)
-On the days that we are having school while Parker is it at school…I also hope to branch out and do some different things than what she will do on the other days (more arts and craft projects, etc.).

Alas….our first day…..

Calendar time!  (before Nolan went down for his nap)

**All activities below are from Confessions of a Homeschooler, Letter of the Week activities.

I fill up these boxes….and at first I sat and labored the night before over what box should go first and then next….as to the degree of help she would need compared to what Parker does….but now….I just give a speech at the beginning of the day and say, "We don't go in order….we do what I say…and that's what we do next."  :)  It's been working so far.  (I do try to plan the more 'demanding' activities for the day Parker's in school).

Oh this guy…..

So this was our first day….and I've already shared some things I've already changed up, as far as plans for the year go.  Hopefully I'll get it all posted soon!

To see the rest of our Letter of the Week: A…go here.


Courtney said...

You're amazing! It all looks so great!

Viv said...

I agree totally with Courtney, you are so amazing! Love 'that look' on Grace's face in that one picture. She's going to do great though because she's going to love that special one on one time with you!

Confessions Of A Homeschooler said...

These are so great, I love the "look" she gave while starting the Daily Learning Notebook! LOL! Hopefully she enjoys her day :) Erica from Confessions of a Homeschooler


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