Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Home School Summer School

All those ads -- and listening to all the teachers in my family -- convinced me to try a home-school summer school this summer. Lainie needs to work on reading, Maggie and Lainie need to work on fine motor skills (especially writing) and Katie and Maggie wanted to work on math facts. Natalie? She just wants to be big, too.

Thanks to help from some friends and family, it wasn't too hard to find resources. Some of my favorite are Handwriting Without Tears, especially their worksheet templates, and Math Drills. Then, thanks to workbooks, coloring books and activity books we've collected over the years, I had plenty of theme-related activities, age appropriate for each of them.

Last week's theme was gardening. AKA, mama's lazy. Maggie had 6 vocabulary words (thanks to the Handwriting without Tears template) and had to write a sentence after each word. The words were garden, plants, vegetables, pollen, roots, and stem. And her sentences made me laugh:
  1. Daddy has a garden.
  2. It has lots of plants!
  3. Its vegetables are great!
  4. It has no pollen.
  5. Some vegetables are roots.
  6. Tomatoes grow on the leaves, and the leeks are connected to the stem.
Lainie had three words -- tomato, peas, and carrots -- and had to draw a picture of each.

Katie had a worksheet of cursive words to write, because she wanted to practice her cursive, and had to write a paper about what she senses in the garden. Here's her version:
When I'm in the garden, I smell work and tomatoes. I hear the leaves rustling in the wind. I feel fuzzy leaves and smooth ones, too. I taste delicious tomatoes and sweet carrots. I see my dad working, so I do, too.
And Natalie colored a picture of a flower, and was proud.

We all really, truly are enjoying this home-school summer school. It gives the girls something to do right after breakfast, and it makes them kick-start their brains for the day. It shows me how much Maggie does not like math, and how dedicated and determined Katie and Lainie are at their handwriting. It dedicates a certain part of the day to family time, when we are all in the same room, working in the same space. And it lets me give each girl attention, even if it's only for a minute at a time.

I wish someone had suggested this years ago.

1 comment:

Alison said...

I am so glad you are enjoying your summer school. I can say without doubt that home schooling has made me a better mother. I have to be engaged with them because I am their teacher. It's a totally different role than "Mom".