Thursday, June 24, 2010

Summer School

It strikes me as not one bit odd that we do a lot of things backwards around here. And if you knew me it also might not strike you as odd. So when all my facebook friends are posting that WooHoo! It is the last day of school!!! We are in full swing homeschool mode. You see, December through February really is no time for me to try and teach anybody anything. During those long, cold winter months I'm lucky if I can get everyone's teeth brushed. So for us it just works out better to capitalize on the light and energy of these extra long summer days.  I'm also happy to report that I've had more fun with our schooling endeavors this Spring/Summer than ever before.  As with the sleeping, or maybe because of it, something has shifted for Oliver in the schooling department. Learning is easier. Teaching is easier. And overall, the whole thing seems a lot less stressful for both of us.

We have also decided to homeschool Sami at least for his Kindergarten year. If you had told me pre-kids that I would be doing this I'd wonder what you had been smoking. But I also would have been surprised to learn that I actually like having my kids with me so much. And I love watching them learn. There are other reasons, of course, like 7.5 hour school days with just 20 minutes of recess for five year olds. ... but I'll save that for some other post. Or some other blog.

In the meantime, here's a little of what we did today in our little green school house:
Sorting and counting.

Quantity -- this is something that has been especially hard for Oliver but he's getting there!  (I cut the numbers out of sandpaper and they are great for all kinds of activities)

Adding and subtracting -- we're using the counting trays for this and Sami is learning to check his work with a calculator. He is very motivated to learn math at the moment because he's planning a vegetable stand where he can sell the stuff he's grown in his little plot out back.

The game hang man has been a big hit with Sami. He is constantly on the lookout now for words he thinks I won't guess. Do you sense a bit of competitiveness? Don't know where he got it!

We're also working on creating, continuing and reproducing patterns. Both boys really love this activity that is probably also great for fine motor skills -- I just hooked chopsticks together with rubber bands and filled a box with different kinds of objects and the kids use the chopstick tongs to pick things out of the box.

Another thing about homeschooling? It has made me very crafty.

And, of course, there is also recess. Or rather recesses:

Not bad for a day in the life of two homeschooled boys and their mama, I'd say.


  1. Awesome!!! Lots of fun learning going on! Love it!!! Also, like the new blog design and so does Andrew. He walked by and did a double take on the computer screen. Then came real close to study the beautiful colors. He really like the pics of the boys working on their pattern creations.

  2. I am so impressed with you! Switching up school schedule to better fit your lifestyle? The kinds of things your kids are doing for school? Awesome! You go!

  3. :) Looks awfully fun for "school." I love that you shifted your school year to work for you. Brilliant!

  4. Ah, the joys of homeschooling. :-)) Sounds (and looks!) like the boys are doing very well and you've all found a happy rhythm. When it works, it's beautiful, isn't it? So happy for you.

  5. The idea of using the chopsticks is great! I want to try that with my son I think he'll really like the activity...what a cool teaching atmosphere you have created

  6. I love your blogs about what you guys are doing specifically. You have really great ideas, and really seem to get both the kids involved!

  7. I admire that you've made your own rules, after all it's your own school :)

    Fantastic looking activities you're all doing! I never thought of joining up the chop sticks with a band, we use trainer ones.

    I have to say I am rather envious of how much fun your having, very happy for you, I'm not feeling any nastiness or anything, I just wish I felt the same way. Summer is hard for us (egg is not home schooled).

    Oh and I love the blackboard wall!