Monday, May 28, 2012

Our Homeschooling Room

When first considering homeschooling I anticipated our work would occur around the dining room table in our open living space. The problem was it was getting too messy. I would encourage DS2 to bring out some lego or puzzles to do and they would end up everywhere. It also meant that when one person wanted to eat it meant packing everything up. It also felt like the kids were taking over the only 'nice' space in our house as the main living area of our home is generally a toy free zone.

So....we transformed our playroom into a school room.

homeschooling room

This means we can be doing bookwork at the table while someone else is reading on the couch and the others are happily playing with toys and puzzles.

play room

We were able to recycle our old dining table that had previously been sitting outside waiting for big rubbish day as well as an old couch. Although a little old and worn - they do the job!

So here is our space for now.

I'm always 'planning' so I've been looking at some shelving and storage options from Ikea so will update as new things develop.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Reluctant Reader - Reading Challenge

DS6 isn't a reluctant reader. He's just reluctant to be challenged to develop his reading / comprehension ability. He seems to be better with non-fiction books and recalling facts but needs to work on recalling the story in a fiction book.

So, knowing that my son is very goal oriented - I established our 100 books reading challenge.

homeschool reading challenge

I was running low on colored paper so they look a little boring. Basically once DS6 reads a book he needs to answer 5 comprehension questions before he gets a sticker to add to the chart. Once he reads 25 books he gets a prize. Once he reads 100 books he gets a grand prize. Initially, he requested the prize be a family trip to Western Australia. Nice idea, but no. The grand prize is a new basketball ring - one that can be adjusted to junior and adult height. The other prizes are smaller - a DVD, a date with dad to the arcade and a trip to the movies.

school reading challenge

This has been successful in motivating DS6 to sit and read with me.

I'm going to set this up for DS4 as he has been asking for one too!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Our Very First Day Of Homeschooling

Today was officially our very first day of homeschooling.

I'm not sure how to describe today. I knew it would be challenging transitioning the boys from mainstream school to home but I guess I hoped the first day would be, at the very least, positive.

We began our homeschooling day around 8am with our morning boards. This was fine until disaster struck in the form of a disgruntled 2 year old who wondered where HIS morning board was.

Who would've thought this act of graffitti could be so devastating to 6yo? Well, it was. A fight soon broke out.

I took a deep breath and looked for something to get the whiteboard marker off the walls. After two attempts I gave up. I'll get around to it some other time.

We all piled in the car for a trip to the library. Apparently we were too early and the library didn't open until 9:30. Thank God for the playground around the corner! The weather was chilly but not freezing so the boys were happy playing for half an hour. 6yo received lots of stares from other parents. They must have been wondering why an obviously happy, healthy child wasn't at school.

Well, unless they ask they'll just have to keep wondering!

At the library I taught 6yo to use the library catalogue. He quickly got the hang of it but this meant that we went home with a fairly limited repertoire of books - mainly Star Wars related.

At home, we discussed our reading challenge which I designed to motivate 6yo to continue with daily reading. He LOVES reading but his reading ability doesn't match his comprehension. He is capable of reading pretty much anything these days but can't always answer questions about what he's just read.  I knew this was something we needed to work on so we needed a motivating tool.

Thankfully, he loved the idea.

One thing I didn't anticipate was that 6yo is used to a strict routine. At 5 minutes past 12 he was asking me why lunch wasn't ready as we were supposed to have lunch at 12.

After lunch we sat down to do some maths games. This was fun until DS2 decided to tip out every single container of maths manipulatives on the floor. Following me telling him off he had a tantrum that lasted for 25 minutes (this isn't unusual). Thankfully, DS6 is actually quite good at tuning his brothers out so he was able to continue while I yelled instructions over the screaming.

It took me over 10 minutes to clean up the mess.

Finally, the last planned lesson of the day was music. Piano practice went well but where was all the stuff I'd put together last night for theory? It was nowhere to be seen. To top it off, all the magnets were missing off our music whiteboard.

It took a WHOLE hour of all of us looking for the magnets to only come up with 3 (of 10). By then I'd turned into a raving lunatic and cancelled music. 4yo was furious as he had been looking forward to it... so in an act of revenge he filled the toilet with star wars figurines.

I think this is what they call de-schooling.

I anticipated a period of adjustment but today felt like a rebellion.

I decided the boys needed to go outside for a while so I could have a break. They did. I even heard DS4 say to his brother, "Mum's pretty mad. I think we should make her a coffee!". Coffee indeed.

The day was truly chaotic and stressful.

As I write this, I'm staring at a floor filled with papers because DS2 decided to empty the filing cabinet out while I was feeding the baby.

It's 8:30pm. Hubby is away for work. I haven't had my dinner yet. I'm hungry.

I'm going to take a deep breath.

Tomorrow is a new day.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Good Morning! Homeschool Organisation for 3-6 Year Olds!

homeschool morning organisation

In preparation for homeschooling I created these morning boards.

These are to help DS6 and DS4 get organised for the day and settled into a routine. The idea comes from the site homeschool creations.

I printed the pictures from k-3 resources. This is an Australian site that has loads of printables and helpful information. It's only $22.95 a year for membership. Then I whipped out the laminator. I love laminating! Does that make me a nerd?

The one above was made for DS4. It's fairly basic as you can see.

morning board for children

This is the one I created for DS6. It includes a list of morning chores as well as a yearly calendar.

morning board homeschool home education

Finally, here is a picture of them up on the wall above the boy's homeschool craft table.

homeschool morning boards

 Simple, but effective.

I plan to update these morning organisation boards as needed to provide new challenges!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Introduction - meet my family!

Australian homeschool

 This is a blog about our homeschooling adventure! Please join us for the ride!

If you are interested in homeschooling or are already a homeschooler you may find this blog helpful. I hope you do! If not, you may find the updates of our organisation, planning and progress a little tedious. I decided to create a seperate blog to MUMmedia for that reason - figured homeschooling isn't everyone's thing!

Let me introduce you to my family.....

This is my firstborn son (known as DS6) who is six years old. He's a bookworm. I have a photo of him 'reading' a book when he was 6 weeks old - little did I know it was the shaping of things to come! He loves to read and has just begun writing the most beautiful stories. He is sweet, sensitive and very creative.

This is my second born son DS4 who is four years old. He is such a deep thinker and amazes me with the questions he asks and the things he says. He sees the world very differently. God has given him a real gift of intelligence and I am excited about what is to come!

This is my wild DS2. As a baby, I would call him "my little ball of sunshine" as this defines him beautifully. He has always been a happy child and so full of joy that I often wish I could be more like him. When I was pregnant I sensed he was going to have red hair and become a football player. Well, he has red hair and an obsessive interest in sport. At just two years old he is drawn to anything sporty e.g is quite happy to walk around holding a tennis racquet. I'm starting to see an athletic ability emerging as he confidently dribbles a basketball and rides a mean scooter.

This is my precious daughter. The one we never thought we would have! Our surprise bundle has just begun delighting us with her beautiful smiles and giggles. She is doted on by her three big brothers who are completely smitten with her!

Last but not least is my amazing husband who I adore.

So, this is my family. My loves. My life.

And our homeschooling journey begins...................

Car-schooling with Jonathon Park Audio Adventures

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