Thursday, January 27, 2011
Now that I am a country mouse...hang on. Gotta get the door.
Okay, what is with the guys who sell the frozen meat out of their pick-ups? I told him we just got a freezer full of meat. Pig actually. (More on that later.)
What was I writing about? See, if you break my concentration....?
Oh yeah. Now that I am a country mouse, I am kicking around the idea of homeschooling. Not really kicking it around. I want to do it. I have my reasons and I will get into them on another post. I will leave it at this-who better to make sure that my kids get a QUALITY education than me? Right now, I feel the best way is the homeschool way.
Today was a test for me. I printed off a few pages from a website that a kind lady sent me. She runs the Church Cover School here in Alabama. (AL state law requires that families homeschool under the umbrella of a church school.) Jacob is taking his high school courses through her. I picked her brain one morning about preschool curriculum. She has been a wealth of resources and knowledge. I also hunted down a few other sites that gave me ideas to go along with the print outs.
My basic plan was to have the kids start out with a little worksheet that worked on shapes and colors. Three shapes: circles, squares, triangles. Three colors: blue, red, green. Then we would go on a nature walk and try to find some found objects to bring home and do a craft with. I hoped to find a circlular object, a square object, or a triangle shaped object. Another section was going to be coloring the letter A. I would tailor a snack around the "a" sound. (Applesauce?)
The best laid plans seem to go right out the window for me. The kids sat down to color the shapes. Levi did quite well. I mainly wanted him to get used to the feel of the crayons, and working with them. Gideon immediately turned over his paper to the blank side and said "Draw the Incredible Hulk!" I patiently flipped over the paper and tried to direct him back to the activity. I asked if he could draw a red Iron Man in the circle, or a green Hulk in the triangle. He shook his head no and flipped the paper back over. Normally I would blow up and tell him to do exactly what I said. Instead, I just observed him. Soon, he flipped the paper over and scribbled some lines of color in the shapes. Before boredom set in, I told Gideon I had another coloring sheet for him. I set it down and he looked at it. Levi got upset because his paper was different and climbed across the table to grab Gideons page. I set him back down in his chair and said he had shapes to color. This set off a waterfall of tears and snot. He threw his crayons and shouted "UH-UH!!!!" Hmmmm. NEXT!
I grabbed up the offending coloring sheet and brought out two that matched. The letter A worksheet. It was a simple page with the letter A and an ant. Both of the boys scribbled some color on it. Levi cried a few more tears of frustration. Like a flash, I was hit with a brilliant idea...Play-doh! I asked Gideon if he wanted to play with Play-Doh. Duh!!! Who doesn't?? I went out into the storage room and found the box with the art supplies. Inside, I found a bucket of Moon Sand that my co-worker Sheila had given the boys. It was brand new. I thought "What the heck...let's try it."
After I opened, it Levi crawled back up onto the table and promptly ate a chunk of the stuff. I cleaned out his mouth and told him he was too little to play with Moon Sand. More tears and screaming. I looked at the clock- ( geez ) -way past nap time. Sure enough, after about two minutes of lying on his bed, he was out.
Gideon and I played with the Moon Sand for a few minutes. I couldn't get the stuff to do anything. Gideon just crumbled it in his hands. I asked Jacob if he knew what Moon Sand was for. He said it was for putting into molds. Well, we need to expand our Moon Sand collection I guess. I went back out and got the Play-doh. We played for 30 minutes.
After cleaning up, I put Gideon's boots on him and zipped up his hoodie. It was nature walk time.
"Gideon, we are going on a treasure hunt. We need to find a circle, a square, and a triangle. Then we will take them back to the house and do something fun with them."
We searched high and low. The only circles we found were tires and the tops of glass jars. Nothing was square except for a large cement block. No triangles anywhere. It was all either too heavy or connected to something. No dice.
If this is how it's going to go, how will my kids ever learn? Why don't things go as beautifully as I picture them in my mind? I am starting to wonder if all the homeschool bloggers lie. Do they just take some pictures and edit stories to make it all fabulous?
On the positive tip-Gideon and I were outside in the sun. The boys did an activity together. They used their hands. They watched less TV. All in all, not a bad day. It ain't over yet. Maybe we can do something----okay I just looked down beside me. Gideon has fallen asleep, snuggled up. It is ALL worth it. Success, failure. Everything.