Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Home Again

So the girls got sick with colds two weeks ago so Pearl got to stay home from school for a week and a half.  The Lord really used that time to help confirm where we were headed in our discernment about whether to take her out of VPK and homeschool or leave her in.

The first two days were challenging with her asking to go to school and defiance. But once we got through those two days we started to see some positive changes.  The aggressive behavior that was new towards her sisters seemed to disappear.  Sweet, enthusiastic playtime followed.  Still challenges of sassy 4 year old at times, but communicating better and listening to re-direction.

So we made the call and took her out. 

I started do some activities from our Little Saints preschool curriculum with her.  We are really liking it so far.  I like having a theme for the week, having a list of books to request from the library, the fingerplays, songs and learning games.  Art projects are good to have the handouts to go off of and guide, but it is intensive to get things prepared.  So we are doing what we can with those and trying to make some non-consumables to use with Princess when she is older.  But not putting too much $ into it since we don't have budget for that now.

I'm sitting down to talk with friends who are a few years ahead of us to see what their thoughts are for Kindergarten curriculum.  I have some ideas but its nice to bounce things around.  I want to make sure I put things together for a wish list for Pearl for Christmas time since the grandparents are always asking.  Educational please!

In other events, Princess turned 1 today:)  We celebrated with family this weekend and it was a lot of fun.  Oh sweet girls!


Jeni said...

I was thinking about getting the girls that curriculum or Lacey's abcs one. Not sure. Glad to see you guys made a good call about prek for your family. Not sure what we will do as Josie will be old enough for the vpk next yr. Part of me wants to stick both girls in lol. We will see.

Gorgeous pics as always!

Melanie Bettinelli said...

Right now with Bella I'm doing Saxon math's kindergarten level book and we're really enjoying it. Bella is a bit old for it; but I wasn't confident in skipping right to their first grade book since we didn't do a formal math program when she was kindergarten age. I just wasn't at a place where I could manage it and frankly, I don't think she was either. So right now we're skipping some lessons and are about two months ahead in the book. I'm hoping to finish early and then jump into the first grade book. Eventually I think we'll catch up to her grade level; but I'm not stressing about when that will be. To my mind one of the big advantages of homeschooling is doing what works for you and not worrying too much about things like grade level.

Anyway, as I said I really like the program and I would recommend it for a five year old. In fact, I'm really looking forward to using it again with Sophie next year when she's five.

It's a bit pricy to buy both the teacher's manual and the bin of manipulatives--but the manipulatives you use for first grade and second grade as well and I will use for Sophie, Ben, Anthony, Lucy and whatever other kids come along after her. I did pick this program in part because it is focused on the manipulatives. It has little colored teddy bear counters, pattern blocks, dominoes, linking cubes, a balance, clocks, and all sorts of other cool math toys. I like that so much better than math which is focused on workbooks and textbooks. We do use workbooks for fun time; but I think I'd not like them as my primary teaching tool.

Anyway, if you're looking for something that grandparents could help out with as a gift, I'd put this on the list of possibilities.

I love all the lessons, they feel more like structured play time than work. They are very short lessons, at most fifteen minutes a day plus every fifth or sixth lesson requires a bit of prep time the night before to get some materials ready. And Bella really is making great advances in her math abilities. She likes doing math, even if she doesn't always like it when I make her stop playing or reading.

Also, I don't know if you saw the Miniature Mass Kit from Our Father's House and Moira Farrell's home Catechesis Manual for 3-5. I love the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd approach and plan to start using the Mass Kit one day this week if I can pin down the kids during Anthony's nap time.

If I think of other kindergarten type resources, I'll let you know. Best of luck on your preschool adventure. It sounds like you're off to a great start. And much more organized than I was with Bella at the same age.

And thank you so much for your comment on my blog post. I appreciate the prayers so much.