Doing the best we can.
|Trip to the ROM|
My 4.5 yr old daughter started Junior Kindergarten this year.
And I hated it.
And I hated it.
What didn't sit well with me?
- I didn't like the way the teacher spoke to the kids. There was very little patience for crying, not much nurturing (they are only 4 for goodness sake!) and expectations for obedience that were totally unrealistic. When those moments occurred, the teacher had no qualms about singling the offender out in a raised, terse voice.
- I didn't like that my daughter wasn't drinking enough water during the day, and not going to the bathroom. Not even once. She ended up with a urinary tract infection.
- I didn't like that when I picked her up she had barely eaten anything I sent with her, and she was ravenous. We would sit down on a bench in the play yard, and she would eat the rest of her food.
- I didn't like that the teacher wrote her full name in large print on the top part of her backpack - with a Sharpie. Without my permission.
- I didn't like that my daughter was getting more and more anxious when it was time to go to school. She would refuse to get dressed, brush her teeth, eat her breakfast - whatever she could do to stop from going. I actually resorted to bribing her, and even that only worked once. She had also reverted to sleeping with us again.
There was more going on, but you get the idea. It just was not working for us. My husband and I decided to keep her home and I would homeschool her.
But how? I didn't know what I was going to do, but I knew that I was smart enough to get it done. My first step was to start trawling the internet and reading every blog I could get my hands on from other home educators. I looked at Montessori method (which really appeals to me) and traditional methods. And seemingly everything in between! I think I am fumbling my way to a mix of everything.
I ended up finding my way to Lesson Pathways. This free site really helps me to organize and keep track of what we are up to. You can create custom curriculums for each child, and select from a multitude of lesson plans (or Pathways). My favorite part of all is the Planner. It shows all the lessons in a checklist format, allows you to rearrange the order of assigned Pathways, mark Pathways as complete, and is the control panel for keeping me focused on what to do next.
We have been visiting StarFall.com almost daily; the girls just love it. It is a site that teaches reading with phonics, and delves into math and much more.
From their site:
"Our systematic phonics approach, in conjunction with phonemic awareness practice, is perfect for preschool, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, special education, homeschool, and English language development (ELD, ELL, ESL)."
I highly recommend StarFall.com, it has a lot to offer.
|Gym time at the local YMCA|
We make use of our local YMCA usually 5 days a week. We go every morning, and get our bodies moving before lunch. They play with other kids in daycare while I get a workout. Then I take them to whatever class is scheduled for them - swimming class, arts and crafts, music, or gym.
|a hairy monster|
When we are at home, we do a lot of reading, puzzles, pretend play, music/singing, colouring, tracing, painting, and drawing. And of course I have the "lesson" plans which they just think are fun things to do.
|colouring is serious work|
(two minutes after taking this photo, they started feet fighting)
My daughter is much happier now. She sleeps in her own bed again, and she no longer fights me every step of the way.
We still intend to try regular school again next year, and I hope it works out better for her (and me) then.