Thursday, May 3, 2012

homeschooling at our slow steady pace.

Nahum decided to try baseball for the first time this year.  He is the tall one in blue...the tallest.

For about a month or so we have had a homeschool swap with another family, one day each week.  She takes my littles for about two and quarter hours and then I take her youngest after for about the same amount of time.  We were both constantly talking about the challenges of homeschooling with youngsters (older siblings either getting frustrated or distracted with the younger play).  So we agreed to try a swap once in awhile to see if it was helpful.  It is.  Nahum and I get to spend two glorious hours together doing whatever he and I deem important for his school day.  Most times we start with Go Fish, his choice.  He loves it and I love being able to say YES without having a baby eating the cards or a three year old insisting that one is his... :)  We do some letters, and words and practicing some early reading stuff, a few workbook pages (Nahum's choice-and I finally gave in), math, or something else all together.  I don't plan ahead (much) because it seems futile.  We always end with Harry Potter, the first book, which we started the same time we began the SWAP.  It is completely peaceful and I adore spending the time with just Nahum.  He is a different kid when it is just us, completely agreeable and absorbed by learning.  I love to sit and watch him work in his notebook or writing on the chalkboard.

 
Practicing balance on the Slackline.
Zevy entertaining himself during Nahum's practice.
The SWAP has also led to me being able to set a small time aside two other days (with the littles around, or napping) of the week for school.  I haven't been able to make that happen at all this year until about two weeks ago.  I had both Nahum and Zev helping me cut potatoes for the garden and talking about parts of plants as a mini botany/spring lesson.  This week we will (hopefully) get them into the garden, although it has been very rainy...so we will see.  I am also going to plant flowers with them.  I am really excited to have our homeschooling tie in with what we are doing here on the mini farm.  I was talking to a friend the other day about what her five year old was learning in the local kindergarten (presidents and secret service...) and felt so relieved that we aren't there.  I said that we have so much time and many years to talk about all that *big world* stuff that can overwhelm me and I was happy that we were concerning ourselves with how to feed our family and play with worms (Zev's favorite gardening game!)

 
Just had to add this picture of Asher...18 months already!