Second day...

I was afraid that the second day would be tougher since the first was so great... but today went smoother and was great. I guess we will probably have a couple of weeks of honeymoon while we are both enjoying these changes.

We got our core subject work done (the slap the bug game in Phonics Pathways was great -- Ben actually asked to play it 3 times) and then we started talking about archeology. Ok. I have to go off on a tangent here. I am amazed what counts as a game when you are 7. This so-called game consists of reading cards with 2 decodable words on them. There are 5 cards with pictures of bugs. As soon as you see the bug you slap it. If you collect 3 bugs you win. Umm... that's not a game... that's flashcards... but whatever works. If slapping the occasional bug card motivates him to do more practice then we will slap bugs.

Today we talked about archeology. We read a couple of books, watched some videos of excavation work on You Tube, and headed to the back yard. I had received a broken mug through the mail so I buried it in the sandbox.

Ben got to practice the process of a dig - mapping out the area, deciding where to dig, digging carefully, cleaning the specimens, drawing and labeling them. Tomorrow we will assemble the pieces and then start reading about everyday life in ancient egypt.

After lunch we did a nature walk, spent some time sketching, and headed to a playground. I assumed the kids would want to play... but instead they climbed up the hill and mounted an archeological dig of their own. For 1.5 hours they dug at the hillside looking for 'ancient artifacts.' A rusty gear, an old asbestos siding tile, and a rock chip was the extent of their discoveries.

We briefly headed home, ate a little, and then headed to Glenlake park where the boys ran into some friends and we played until it was 6:15 and both boys fell into the stream on after the other.

I am loving not having to spend afternoons doing phonics and homework. I am also really enjoying Ben's excitement about Egypt. When we stopped for lunch he BEGGED - can't we just read one more book or look at one more thing on the computer? I'm sure the novelty will wear off at some point... but right now we are having fun. The down side is that I am spending a LOT of time on lesson planning. Since I still don't have a great sense of how much material we will cover I have to over-prepare for each day. Also, since sometimes I have to be flexible, I occasionally use up the next day's materials and then need to re-plan. Like tonight. I realized we are ready to move to the next section in phonics as long as we play the bug game to review the sounds we already have... so I need to prep the next section, print worksheets, print appropriate decodable readers, etc. He also caught on to the math very quickly so I need to prep the next lesson in math as well.


Tina in CT said...

Did you buy a homeschooling program or do all the research on your own? I am very impressed with how you have found subjects that have Ben so keen on learning while he is getting all the basics that he needs. Maybe you missed your calling and you should be a teacher. You are doing a fantastic job.

Katya said...

It's a mix. The math comes from a box. It is a program called math-u-see. The language arts stuff is a combination of several different programs combined with stuff printed from the internet. I haven't found a single phonics program that has everything I want - systemic, multi-sensory instruction, drills, games, and decodable readers. The Egypt stuff is coming from non-fiction books, some historical fiction, some shows taped from the History channel + my own lesson planning and research.

Thanks for all your support Tina! The encouragement feels great!