Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Let the school year begin!

It is so exciting and overwhelming to be starting school on our little farm!
Cletus built this tower all by himself. Since he was making more of a mess with playdoh this is what he came up with as an alternative.

Both Cyprian and Clement will be doing school. Cyprian is starting the official Kindergarten grade. He did do schoolwork last year and was starting to read. Now he will have a more structured daily routine. Clement I hadn't really planned on doing too much with. But, he has shown an enthusiastic willingness for being in school with his big brother Cyprian. So now I am planning out a school year. It may seem silly to some that I am so anxious, considering how young my children are. But I am a perfectionist so I am in high mode of organizing. This can drive a person crazy and is a daily struggle for me. I become almost obsessed with my ideas and plans to the extreme of neglecting others and things around me. When this happens it is very easy to get so stressed that I seem to fall into a short time of defeat and wallow a bit in misery. Thankfully with God's grace and mercy I get past this unlovely hump of ugliness.
The boys create their own science projects!

I am working on setting up our school area. The hope is to have a well utilized and pleasant space for optimal function time. I will have a schedule that involves 15 minute class/subject times. This structured class time will total about an hour of specific work time for the day. Subjects being Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Religion, Music, Poetry, Art, and Science. Most of these subjects are not intensive but integrated together. Such that science is learning about daily farm life and playing outside and exploring and identifying the things of the land. Reading encompasses most subjects but especially Religion, Poetry, and Imagination. Writing and Mathematics are the most hands on in that there will be set exercises. Art will involve projects of crafting, painting, sketching, building etc. Music I plan to teach Cyprian and Clement the basics of piano, listening to classics, starting to read about a certain musician etc. Though I did not mention History, we will incorporate through study of other subjects and talking about current things. This is just a general sketch. We will not be doing every subject every day of the week. Each day will have its subject matter. I want to leave a day each week for extra curricular activity, such as a field trip.

Of course recess is the favorite!
I love both Maria Montessori and Charlotte Mason as guides for young children in education. I personally am blending the two's philosophies to make what I hope will work for our early years of education. Montessori style for me is teaching the boys through our homemaking, also incorporating independent study of their environment. Charlotte Mason is a beautiful classical approach, with emphasis on literature. We will be having a tea time, where we will enjoy preparing and drinking tea at snack time while having a fun little reading or song.

Homeschooling needs to be balanced with daily animal chores and household upkeep, not to forget cooking wholesome meals and making good snacks. This is why it is so exciting to me while also frightening.

Rocky joins the boys at recess

Of course another favorite part of the school day, LUNCH!

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