Thursday, April 10, 2014

Our First Home School


We usually start our school day with songs.  Except some days we start with role call.  It wouldn't really be necessary ("Juliana?"  Check.  "Adalyn?" Check.), except you know that Juliana can't stand being the only one in school, so she likes to invite imaginary friends.  We have had anywhere from two to ten imaginary friends at our school, either Little People characters ("There is Sara Lynn and there is Michael.") or her own crazy creations ("And over there are Jubia and Sadgee.").  Either way, she expects me to remember their names and locations.
Juliana's self portrait for her "All About Me" book.  She has long, long hair like Rapunzel.  She also included blood and throw up to make it more fun.
Once we've made it through role call, we sing songs.  Juliana's current favorites are "I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy..." (She giggles everytime we sing, "Where?" with exaggerated shrugs and perplexed faces) and "Hear the lively song..." a chorus about frogs which ends with a rousing "buuuuuur-UMP!"  Sometimes she likes to make up her own songs, but I have limited tolerance for that.  I am all for imagination, but Juliana expects me to know her made up songs and sing them correctly.  "NO, it's not ju-be-dra-la, it's ju-be-DA-la.  You're not singing it right."

After songs we talk about which day of the week it is and sometimes sing a terribly annoying kindergarten song cleverly entitled "Days of the Week."  Juliana loves it.  Then we talk about the month of the year, and Juliana says, "It's STILL April??"  I recently told Juliana there are four months in the year.  Now I try to finish my coffee before we start school.

We are working on memorizing Psalm 23, something we started about a year ago but then woefully neglected.  Juliana has gotten to the end of verse four, but sometimes she gets distracted.
"The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures like at Yaya and Grandpa's house because pastures means GRASS and I liked to lie down on the grass with Melissa except that the dog would want to come outside and she would make him go inside.
He leads me by quiet waters but not IN the water because that would be silly and if we lie down in the water we'll get all WET.
He bestores my soul..."
Juliana with her bone-body.  An all-tile bathroom is handy.
Our lessons are based on a different letter of the alphabet each week, partly to help with identifying the letters and sounds, partly just to give some structure to our activities.  I wanted to be unique in our activities - why is it always "A for apple"? - but I've discovered preschoolers basically want what they already know.  Or perhaps they just still have a lot to learn about all those things we've already deemed boring. We did an activity with the life cycle of an apple and for weeks Juliana said, "Let's learn about the apple again."

Our activities are rather varied depending on the theme, but in general they involve a lot of cutting and glue, because nothing says "school" to Juliana like a nice messy craft.  Sometimes I come up with good ideas.  Sometimes we watch youtube videos of little kids dancing and try to imitate them.  I figure this is all good practice for me for the day when I actually *have* to teach Juliana and she's actually supposed to learn something.
Juliana counting and eating "apples" off her apple tree.  The apples are actually raisins, so that's a little confusing.  Nonetheless, Juliana thought it was great and wanted to do it every day.
Our schedule is something like this:
Monday - letter identification and writing practice, discovering items starting with the letter
Tuesday - some kind of activity related to the theme.  This week was "earth" and we have been watching some of BBC's Planet Earth series.  So interesting!  Juliana enjoys the darker sides of nature ("Can we watch the fire again?  I want to see the part when the big tree falls.  Look, he's eating that animal - hahaha!").  Hmm.
Wednesday - a virtue or Bible character (I had her dolls act out "attitude" and "caring"...naturally she enjoyed the dramatization of bad attitudes and for a while afterwards I would hear her dolls saying, in the silly voice I used, "Was that a good attitude or a bad attitude?")
Thursday - animal starting with that letter.
Friday - well, sometimes we just don't get to Friday because by then I'm too tired to think of something.  I have plans of making this a "free day" where Juliana can decide what she wants to learn about.  She'll probably say apples.

Our school is pretty simple, but Juliana seems to like it.  Every day she asks, "When are we going to do school?  Are we all done with school?  Can we do more school?"  Now if only she can keep up that attitude for the next 20-so years...
Doggie Juliana is grateful for her one real classmate.

1 comment:

Mallary said...

This is hilarious! I hope I get to be a part of school in a few weeks.