Things are going so so so much better with the preschool attempts over here. This is due to some awesome bloggers who share all of their materials with everyone. I have lots of ideas, but just don't have the ability to carry some of them out. I love to do hands on sorting activities with Madeline but I do NOT have the computer skills to make them and doing it by hand takes a long long time and never comes out quite the way I pictured in. Then a couple weeks ago I started looking for other homeschooling mom blogs and found two that I am in love with. Confessions of a Homeschooler, Home Grown Hearts and Sunflower Schoolhouse share all their awesome creations as downloads. All I do is download, print, cut and laminate. This week we did a lot of pumpkin activities. And I have found great math activities (my trouble spot) which Madeline is much more receptive to. In this one week I have actually seen growth in her number recognition. She is less frusterated, I am less frusterated and life is good.
We have also settled into a routine that seems to work for us. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we don't have planned activities so we spend a good 1 1/2 hours on math and letter activities.
Our days look something like this:
7- wake up, dress and eat breakfast. (yup early risers in this house)
7:30- clean kitchen and playtime for the kids (otherwise known as don't kill each other so mommy can clean up your breakfast mess)
8- calendar, bible story (I got this great children's bible which both Madeline and Owen love), finger play/song/poem and then read our letter book (I got the set on craigslist for $15) and do our letter activities.
8:30- break, usually tv time
9- number activities- learn/review new number of the week and then counting activities
9:30- art activity
10- snack, play, errands, walk and so on.
12:30- After lunch we have started what I call "quiet play." I pull out puzzles, pattern blocks, file folder games, lacing cards, bead sequencing kits and let Madeline and Owen choose. With Madeline I work so that she completes at least one activity before just playing, but they are all toys so she feels like she is playing all the time.
1- tv time
1:30 storytime and nap
After nap is playtime, dinner time and then often a walk with Jon. Two days a week I am not home when they wake up from nap so I don't build preschool activities into the afternoon.
Yes I am one of the moms who builds tv time into the day. I have found with my kids they are less likely to ask for it at other times since we have a routine. We watch one show in the morning, one before nap and one before bed. Occasionally (on rainy days, or lately on days where morning...err most of the day sickness is bothering me we watch extra)
On Thursday and Friday we have storytime and playgroup so we do a shortened preschool day. On those days we do calendar, bible story, poem/fingerplay/song, read our letter book and do one math and one letter activity. Storytime is working out really well this session. Madeline is old enough to go alone. They take all the kids into another room, read stories and do activities without the parents. She is loving it and so am I! Our afternoon schedule works the same.
I am considering homeschooling next year and I do waver with the idea of homeschooling completely, but I am not sure it is right for our family. The more I read about other families doing it the more I wish I could, but it will take a lot of readin,g researching, talking with Jon and really figuring out what works for us before I can make a decision. Added to taht the new little bundle we are expecting this summer and there is a lot to take into consideration.
So that is my update. Thanks for the comments and ideas!