So. There's the little matter of the entirely unplanned four month hiatus from blogging and I can't promise that things will get better any time soon. I did spontaneously decide to pop in and let you all know that I am fine. Still here. No sudden accident or illness to blame. Life just got ahead of me.
I shifted into preparing for homeschooling mode. The end of the school year was coming for me and I knew I wanted to begin homeschooling mid-May. I needed to prepare a schoolroom and get a curriculum ready to go. To be honest, I had also pushed a little too hard on the blogging front and burned out.
So, updates... let me think.
Ava was discharged from speech therapy. Discharged. Really, who would have thought that about two years after beginning to receive services that she would no longer qualify? She still has speech errors, but her remaining errors are now in the "age appropriate zone". Honestly, it was ok with me. Next year she will be at home with me, and we will begin incorporating speech work into our homeschooling schedule.
I have a school room. It is a mess, but I love it. It has been recently repainted a cheerful yellow thanks to the hard work of my husband. The old ceiling fan with its three dim bulbs has been replaced with a fancy light fixture that closely resembles a giant spider on the ceiling, but provides tons of light (Eight 60 watt bulbs from one light fixture - let there be light!) Soon there will be new curtains that will provide a cheerful splash of color. There's shelving for storage, a table for school work, a desk for me and a computer station cobbled together from bits and pieces of old computers for the children. We have a circle shaped rug by a calendar for circle time. I will show you all pictures at some point when things are a bit less messy and I'm a bit more organized.
I reworked my homeschool planner a little and it is working super well for me. Again, I will try to provide pictures at some point for anyone who is interested. After about 6 weeks of full-time homeschooling we're falling into something of a predictable routine. We begin our morning at about 8:30 am with circle time. During the approximately 20 minutes of circle time we sing a welcome song (a completely dorky song I made up, but we all like it), do calendar work, graph the weather, and learn a word, poem, and song of the day. After circle time we complete two pages of our writing journals (again, pictures and sharing to come later...). Their writing journals have a handwriting page on the left and a writing prompt with space to draw a picture and write a sentence or two underneath on the right. Then we do a math lesson (RightStart Math Level A).
At that point we are about two hours in and we all need a break. We have a small nutritious snack and then come back to the school room for reading/spelling. The children take turns now. Ava goes first with her All About Reading Pre-Reading lesson which I supplement with some great alphabet songs I got from Scholastic. Then Michael does an All About Spelling Level 1 lesson and an All About Reading Level 2 lesson. I cannot say enough good things about the All About Reading and All About Spelling programs and I hope to find the time to share more about them in the future.
After reading we take an extended break for lunch and free time. I admit it. I often throw in a little television here. After our lunch/sanity break, depending on the day of the week, we meet up with some friends for play or do bonus lessons in science, social studies, art music, etc.
I squeeze in lesson planning and the creation of new materials here and there. I'm also still trying to whip the school room into a completely organized state that doesn't involve huge piles of random supplies piled up on level surfaces and in corners. Notice, this new schedule leaves no time left over for blogging. I will try to work on it. I'd love to share our homeschooling adventures and materials with those who would find them useful. I'd also love to finally wrap up the newest speech kit and maybe even find time to create more.
But for now, hello. :-) Don't worry about us. We are fine over here. I hope all of you are enjoying your summer as well.