Thursday, November 09, 2017

60 Days of Homeschool

Halloween Day marked 60 completed days of our homeschool. It's hard to believe it is flying by so quickly. I have been tracking our weekly progress with little blurbs and weekly slideshows on Facebook, and wanted to share it here as well so that I could look back and quickly see our progress. Homeschool has been such a good fit for us this year.


Week 1, our first full week of kindergarten homeschool. I overdid it with the busy work, and not enough fun. Jack let me know right away that school was boring. You can read more about it here and here.


Week 2 of our homeschool was much improved for us. We started to find our groove. We kicked off the week by watching the Total Solar Eclipse as a family. Then Isaac started his first week of preschool and Jack started playing Flag Football. Jack and I began our Nature Study with a Five Senses Nature Hike at Green Gorge, and finished up our week by meeting friends at a local park.


Week 3 of school found us halfway through reading "Swiss Family Robinson." We discussed why the world is round and not flat, and we tested a hypothesis of powering a kite by running verses letting the wind power the kite. Jack learned how to float on his back, played flag football, and we spent Friday with friends at the Creative Discovery Museum.  


Week 4 of homeschool, we kept finding lots of fun things to do! We kicked off the week with a local Labor Day parade, and ended our week with a Nature Hike/picnic with friends at Greenway Farms. Jack got a haircut, we learned all about penguins, hunted for seed pods, and attended a concert at the local art museum where we also got to see the Wayne White exhibit. There have also been tears, frustration and yelling (me)... hopefully the kids remember the best parts and forget the times I fail.


Week 5: Hurricane Irma meant an impromptu visit from our cousins (who evacuated from Florida) and kicked off this week of homeschool. We went on a hike to Rainbow Lake, there was football and a visit to the Creative Discovery Museum. We have moved on to a new list of sight words and have mapped where the animals found on the island in "Swiss Family Robinson" actually live in the world. We finished the week by having a picnic lunch with Daniel and played in the sunshine at the park with some of our favorite people. It was a good week.


Week 6 We learned all about apples and visited a local apple stand to pick up apples and cider. We spent as much possible time as we could on our back deck doing school work and enjoying the beautiful weather. We did a Mini Beast Hunt hike at Mabbit Springs, and we met up with friends at the Chattanooga Zoo for our weekly Friend Friday. We finished "Swiss Family Robinson" this week and watched the Disney movie as a family that night.


Week 7 The weather continued to be warm here, but cool enough to do much of our schooling from our back deck. Highlights from our seventh week of school included starting the book "Charlotte's Web" and learning about how the earliest people were nomads who became farmers. We picked up new books from the library, baked an apple pie in honor of Johnny Appleseed, started a sewing project, and went on a hike with friends. This lifestyle continues to be a great fit for our family.


Week 8 Highlights for our week include a day spent at the Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center, a visit to the courthouse where Jack met a judge and got to sit in his seat and bang the gavel. We visited grandparents, saw the Harvest Moon rise, had a Nerf War, and built cushion forts. We have a new set of sight words to learn this month, and are learning lots of new words from "Charlotte's Web" like salutations and hullabaloo. We finished listening to the season 1 podcast of "The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian" and can't wait to start season 2. Jack is also working on his first creative writing story to submit to the "Story Pirates" podcast. We finished our week at a new park with friends. Next week is Fall Break, but I'm sure we will still be learning new things! Happy weekend y'all!


Fall Break (Week 9) This week we were on Fall Break, but we still managed to learn some things. Our family hiked in Joyce Kilmer Wilderness among old trees and learned a new poem. We celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving as a family. We went to parks with friends, visited the library, watched lots of TV, played with Legos, built forts, and had Nerf wars in the basement. We also read and listened to our favorite podcasts. And today we met some friends at Coolidge Park to play, climb large Magnolia trees, and get soaked in the fountain. It was a good week.


Week 10 While we paused school last week for a low-key Fall Break, this week we have found it hard to get back in the school groove. We have been working on attitudes and respect, and on top of that, Isaac got sick which meant we had to cancel a Nature Hike and a Friend Day. But it’s ok. We read a ton of Library books, we made progress in "Charlotte’s Web." We did some math work and some days math meant playing Connect Four or War. And we spent one morning painting while still in pajamas. Though not a week day, on Sunday we were able to spend the day in nature at Greenway Farms: where we were introduced to archery and took a hike as a family. Hopefully next we will be a bit more on track.


During Week 11 of our homeschool, we learned all about pumpkins. We bought pumpkins for Halloween and painted the small ones. Jack had flag football practice and the boys participated in a costume parade at church. Daniel and Jack got to go on a father-son Hike to Mushroom Rock on Thursday. And we finished reading the book “Charlotte’s Web” then saw the play of “Charlotte’s Web” at the local Children’s Theater with friends. We finished out our school week by doing a little cardboard sledding downtown by the river. There was also fort building, sword fighting and costume wearing, and we spent Saturday afternoon visiting a retirement home to pass out candy and have the kids show off their costumes to the residents. Another good week in the books for us.


Week 12 of homeschool meant we passed the 60 day mark for our school year. We also celebrated Halloween by attending a Family Day at church, complete with hayride, then pumpkin carving as a family, and trick or treating with good friends on Tuesday. We finished season 2 of "The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian" podcast this week, and started “Classics to Read Aloud to Your Children.” Jack attended his weekly Homeschool PE at the Y, and had flag football practice. Wednesday was a Library day for us, and we wrapped up the week by going on a Nature Hike to Glen Falls on Thursday, and visiting the Creative Discovery Museum with friends on Friday. Our days and weeks are not without challenges but the good outweighs the bad as we learn and grow together.

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