Thursday, December 20, 2012

Homeschool Preschool

So, I've started a very relaxed, very low key PRE-preschool with Dominic. The fact is that we were totally not being productive (this we means me :() and we were watching too much SpongeBob (this we means the boys...I was usually reading or something else not actively engaging all the time). So I needed some direction, a little bit of a schedule.

[caption id="attachment_662" align="aligncenter" width="300"]This is our schedule, I write it out each week (week 2 right now) This is our schedule, I write it out each week (week 2 right now)[/caption]

This is not to say that we always follow it, or that it has our time blocked out. We spend about 10-15 minutes doing each task, and we don't do them in the order they're written necessarily. Basically it's a few ideas for us to direct our day.  This was where we started with our first week:

Week 1
Color: blue
Stack all blue toys
Color with blue crayons and chalk
Find blue items
Letters: D and C
Find things that start with D and C
Learn sounds
Draw the letters
Numbers: 1-5
Counting toys, snacks
Shapes: Circle
Find all circle toys
Draw circles
Body Parts: Arms
Go over parts
Color pictures
Religion: Sign of the cross
Practice before all prayers
Go to Church and practice
Animals: Duck
Find all ducks

I was going to write this up new every week, but basically I am just changing the color, the letters, body parts, animals and religion aspect each week, so I will keep this as sort of our template. Then I spread out these tasks during the day/week.

[caption id="attachment_668" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Our wall in the "school room" (dining area) Our wall in the "school room" (dining area)[/caption]

When the boys do something like coloring, I put it up on our wall, and they've actually enjoyed going over to look at it later. :) Actually Dominic's obsessed with his this week and he wants to hold it a lot.

[caption id="attachment_666" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Can you guess why he loves it? Yes, I drew SpongeBob for him Can you guess why he loves it? Yes, I drew SpongeBob for him[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_664" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Christopher doesn't really do much yet, but he loves coloring Christopher doesn't really do much yet, but he loves coloring[/caption]

Our animal this week is the frog and the color is yellow; our letters this week are S & P. If my choice of letters seems odd and random, well it is. Last week I chose D & C  because that's the boys' initials and we say their names a lot in the day. Obviously Dominic is not going to be reading at the end of our preschool year so I wanted to do something that was pre-phonics that would help him. We're focusing a lot on sounds and what words begin with those sounds. S & P I chose because, as I mentioned before, SpongeBob is a big deal in our house. And Patrick is his best friend. Today we were talking about 's' sounds and trying to find toys that started with those sounds. I was finding the SpongeBob and Patrick toys, really emphasizing the "sssss" and "puhpuhpuh" noises, and Dominic came over and asked for Squidward. It might be they just connect for him, but he doesn't have a Squidward toy anymore and we don't talk about him a lot. So, I think maybe he was making a connection??

[caption id="attachment_667" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Practicing Hail Mary this week Practicing Hail Mary this week[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_663" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Advent calendar Advent calendar[/caption]

Our religion this week is about the Hail Mary. I have the book My Jesus and I for the boys and I read the Hail Mary to Dominic while we looked at the pictures. We read through it twice and then I wrote it out in four parts to practice with. I wrote it on the yellow paper of course. And put up one of the prayer cards we have of Our Lady of Grace. We will continue to practice things like the Sign of the Cross, which he seems to try doing before meal prayers but sort of looks like he's dancing. It's obviously very adorable. :-D

Then in the midst of these tasks I have some chores listed for us to do. "Daily" chores a couple of times a day and one "weekly" chore. Sometimes Dominic helps me, and other times he just plays. He likes helping with the dishes, and both boys really like sweeping. But other things they haven't caught on to yet.

So, this is how we're doing preschool. Do you do anything specific with your kiddos?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Learning About My Own Weaknesses

I could come up with various excuses for why I haven't blogged lately, but the truth is that I've been terribly lazy. This laziness seems to have leeched into every facet of my being and I've allowed myself to get comfortable with being slothful. This is, of course, a bigger problem than just that our house is perpetually messy with crunchy things being stepped on with every step in the living room. It's bigger than the fact that dinner is rarely planned, and the dishes only done when either a) Jason does them or b) I'm fed up with not having a clean knife. It is even bigger than my laziness in child rearing and resorting to SpongeBob because it's easier. Being slothful is damaging to my soul.

There, I've said it. It isn't so much the act of being lazy that is sinful. It is what that affects. The boys, our house, doing things for my husband. Those things are my vocation. Taking time to engage, play with, cuddle or sing to the boys is so important in my role as momma. Well...maybe not the singing because if I'm being really honest, I'm not a good singer. ;-) Granted, the boys are extremely happy and playful. But when Dominic asks for SpongeBob when he wakes up then it's a serious issue. Making our home welcoming and clean is important too, it is where we spend most of our time and we should be comfortable and happy. Definitely not disgusted by crunchy things under our feet. I have become so caught up in various time wasters (videos online, books) that I neglect to give Jason the downtime he needs at night, instead putting everything on his plate. It is unfair and it is time for it to stop.

I'm not perfect, and I've been perfecting this laziness for about 30 years, so I'm sure I'll fall, but I've got a pretty good schedule and routine to get going.

Also, look for this space to get a bit more involved in the coming weeks; I've got some blog posts planned (NFP and TTA-why we don't as well as how our first week of preschool type activities is going!), and I'm pretty excited!

Also, prayers are appreciated as I attempt to correct this part of my behavior.