Monday, October 1, 2007

Bough Academy - Now in session

Welcome to Fall 2007 at the Boughs. I have decided to start a blog this year since Stephen and Rhea's homeschool is in full swing. This is also my attempt to stay current on their activities so I can go back someday and finish their darling scrapbook albums. Everyone will now be able to peek in and see what we are up to instead of waiting for me to get around to sending you pictures. I think my last round before today was about six months ago. I will still send the dotphoto albums since I won't post every picture. So, hang in there with me as I figure this out.
Each morning begins with Daddy getting up with the kids while I contemplate going downstairs to practice. I figured that I can't complain about not being able to practice if I don't get out of bed to do it. So, we are up between 6/7am and I usually come downstairs to the smell of one of Tom's breakfast masterpieces. It was cereal for breakfast this paticular morning, but you get the picture. In fact, it was about three bowls of cereal per child. They do many thing very well, and I think consuming food it at the top of the list. Tom works with the kids on abc/123 skills followed by story time while I practice in my studio. Stephen enjoys ABEKA worksheets along with a few extra animal themed worksheets that I found on the internet. We focused on the animals in September, but we have shifted to the holiday themes for October-December. We still do our worksheets, but instead of animal books, Daddy reads books for the appropriate holiday or seasonal activity. For instance, we studied apple picking in Septmeber. We did apple crafts, went apple picking AND made our very own apple pie. Pumpkins and scarecrows have been the October theme, though I think some animal worksheets have still made it into the mix since we go through so many. Rhea typically gets up after breakfast to play, but quickly realizes that she is missing out. She will climb back into her charir and demand to do school work. Tom has figured out how to keep her entertained while still giving Stephen instruction. He someone manages to empty the dishwasher and clean the kitchen. I am SO lucky!

Stephen, Rhea and I take a weekly trip to the Library. At first, I had a list of books I wanted to get for them to go along with our ABC/123 worksheet. Each set of worksheets are dedicated to a specific animal. I had the great idea of cross teaching with the books, but it seemed to prove difficult to find the book AND find the kids. I found myself yelling at them more than having fun at the library. Tom now goes back to the library after church on Sunday and has become an expert on preschool literature.

The first thing we do when we get to the library is race to see who gets to the handicap door opener. We go through three sets of doors before we finally get inside the library. You could say that we are not most quiet people in the library since there are playful screams the entire way. The next thing they do is to go see the "library mice". No, really! This is a picture of their weekly visit with the mice.

Next, it is off to the puzzle cabinet. Stephen has really changed with the activities that appeal to him. He used to get frustrated when something was too difficult. Now, he looks for the difficult taks even if it is difficult for mommy. There is a jungle puzzle that he picks out each time we go to the library. The first attempt occured with only 10 minutes left before we had to leave. The puzzle pieces were large, so I thought we could finish it in time. I usually let him do most of the work, but I noticed that we needed to speed up the process. Like I said, it was an attempt, and one that wasn't finished. The second attempt was started soon after getting to the library, and he quickly lost interest since I have to keep "tabs" on Rhea and wasn't able to help him. By the third attempt, Daddy was with us and it took the two of them about 30 minutes to finish. Note: big pieces don't actually mean "easy".

Rhea enjoys the puzzles for a limited time. Mostly, she really enjoys dumping them out and watching Mommy put them back together. She also enjoys putting the headphones on while reading a book upside down. Again, this only lasts for a limited time. Stephen has just now started enjoying listening to the books while I chase Rhea doing her favorite activity; climbing on anything she can find and "helping" the librarians reselve the books.

After Stephen has finished his puzzles he head for the book shelves. I find it facinating that he looks for a specific type of book versus just grabbing something because I told him to pick something out. Truck books are his favorite as well as animal books if it has a colorful and simple cover. He typically picks out three books and we head for the front desk. We typically have to stop at the bathroom for Rhea to check out the toilet and then we are on our way. Stephen know how to check out his own books with the librarian and puts them in the "Mickey Bag". If all has gone well, our next stop is the YMCA for Stephen's sports class.

Stephen has started his "little boy" stage by exhibiting the need to crash into other little boys. I have enjoyed the teaching at the YMCA and it has been a wonderful outlet to keep Mommy from getting injured buy an overenthusiatic boy. I don't understand why my pictures turned out so dark, but you can at least get an idea of what he is doing. He has played, basketball, hockey, and soccer. They end each session with tag and Stephen's favorite, Ring Around the Rosey. The teaching at the YMCA was great, but there wasn't as much running around as I had hoped. Though they only focused on skills for each sport, Stephen still had a great time. I think I will be enrolling him in soccer in January when there is snow piled up at our back door.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Thanks for the great post!

I had no idea that you home-schooled! See, I'm learning already . . . :) I was home-schooled from grades 2 - 11.