Well, we had our first formal homeschooling day. It went better than I had hoped it would.
First let me say that I had laid out a schedule for myself for the month of February consisting of 12 subjects. Sounds like a lot I know. I was worried about that. But, so far, I must say it has worked out really really well. Why? Because when Cecilia wants to continue "school" but is tired of one subject, she is all too happy to bounce to another. The subjects are as follows:
Poetry - using The Harp and Laurel Wreath by Berquist.
Phonics - using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy lessons.
Handwriting - using Book A from Mother of Divine Grace's curriculum and a dry erase board with traceable letters from Sam's or Walmart.
Art - Child Sized Masterpieces
Geography - Melisa and Doug United States Puzzle
Literature - pretty much any book on our bookcases
Music - 36 Traditional Roman Catholic Hymns Book and CD
Religion - The Golden Children's Bible
Science - God's World by A Beka
Now, we don't do all the subjects every day. First of all, I only scheduled any formal school four days of the week: Monday through Thursday. Poetry, Phonics, Handwriting, Religion, Literature and Music we do all four days. Art, Geography, Science, Math, History and Practical Skills we alternate days.
So this morning we began with Phonics. When I was creating a schedule for myself, which I did only for February until I see how this goes, I scheduled things to move slowly. On my schedule, this morning, she went from February 1st to February 25th. I thought the earlier lessons looked a little easy for her since she knows the sounds letters make but I'm sure she will slow down now that she is at words and not just letters. She seemed to enjoy it though.
Handwriting she really enjoyed as long as she decided what she did and didn't do.
Poetry she wasn't as fond of. She couldn't understand why we stopped after four lines and didn't just keep reading. She wanted me to just read through the poems like a storybook. So poetry didn't last long this morning, but I'll see if I can be more creative with it tomorrow.
For Art we just looked through the pictures, which she seemed to enjoy. She familiarized herself with them a little and we talked about some of them. I admit a couple of the modern ones I was a bit at a loss of what to tell her they were other than shapes and colors, but maybe that is enough for right now.
Geography she loved. We did her U.S. states puzzle, which she loved. She knows that puzzle inside and out already but she doesn't know the names of the states so I would say each one as she "hammered" them into the puzzle. (Didn't know Oklahoma made a perfect hammer did you?) She began repeating some of the names. Enough times I think she will get them down. She remembered Texas and Florida already.
We then began reading Genesis and read the first 4 days of creation. Yeah, she wasn't too interested. I found it mildly amusing because it is one of those readings that I feel like I've heard SO many times it bores me too. At the same time though, it seemed to me it was written so simple so anyone, even a child, could listen to it. She likes the creation of the plants and the sun and the moon and the stars. But somehow the waters above and the waters below failed to capture her imagination. The fact this was the last subject we did in a full hour of school could also have something to do with it. :)
I admit our music lesson didn't go over very well. O Come, Little Children just doesn't seem to capture the 4 year old like the soundtrack to The Princess and the Frog.
I admit I didn't get to the practical skills today. Since Cecilia turned 4 years old on Friday, she had her annual check-up this afternoon which took over an hour out of our day. She passed her exam with flying colors and, I'm so proud, she even got two shots and never cried once. Definitely lollipop-worthy!
Literature is an everyday, any time category. We read books every day. So, while that is a subject, it is not as formal as the others. We just read wherever, whenever. But I do plan to make a point of beginning the Catholic Children's Treasure Box Series this week.
We even had some unscheduled PE today when, despite the 27 degree weather, the girls spent a half hour on the deck playing in the snow.
Overall it was a good first day. Cecilia enjoyed it and it went well.