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Category: General Homeschooling

This fall is the year that Satori would start Kindergarten if she were attending public school. I feel she is beyond Kindy at this point, so as of June 1, 2010, we are unofficially calling this her First Grade year. We’ll be homeschoooling most of the summer, taking a week off each month, and doing a bit lighter load than fall and spring semesters.

I’m having another bad batch of spam, so I’m trying a few new things. Spam is getting more clever every year and so far I’ve blocked 20,498 with something that worked great up until this spring. Please let me know if you can’t post to the comments and I’ll tweak the settings.

Some people asked about my retreat, I will post something about that soon, with photos. As for my personal life, I am on a super health kick at the moment. The family is all eating better, hiking beautiful hikes, and doing some geocaching on the side. Life is super fun!

We’ve been home from our trip to Wisconsin for a week now. The first week back was pretty busy for Mom with a jury summons and catching a cold. The jury experience was fascinating, I hope to get called again sometime! Satori got to hang out with her old daycare friends that she knew from over a year ago, they were so excited to see each other. Now that the weather is more predictable and nicer, Satori and I have plans to do so much this spring and summer. We’re going to renew all our park passes (state/national), get to the zoo and local Denver area museums, and hang out with the Colorado NICHE homeschooling families. We’re going to camp and hike a ton. With Daddy we have plans for Yellowstone/Teton National Park trip, Great Sand Dunes National Park and much more.

Already Satori and Mom have been doing lots of birding. In the past few weeks, both during our trip and at home, we’ve seen Goldfinches, Cardinals, Steller’s Jays, Evening Grosbeak, and much more. We’re keeping a list now, you can see it on the right column under our curriculum listing.

Thank goodness for open-and-go curriculum during this busy time! Satori whipped through her Handwriting Without Tears First Grade book, so I’ll have to get the Second Grade book now. She has really worked hard on getting her handwriting looking nice. When we do our All-About-Spelling lessons, we are whipping through the Level Two lessons, there are many things she already knows. I suspect we’ll be hitting Level 3 late summer/early fall if we stay on track. Reading is coming along great, there is nothing easier than using Ordinary Parents Guide. She is picking up random books and reading them aloud to us, needing only minimal help. I’m still not pushing her to read on her own, but she is doing this more and more. Writing With Ease and First Language Lessons are also open-and-go programs that are sooo easy to use.

Satori continues to write her books on Liz the cat and her adventures/friends. She also enjoys drawing birds in various bird journals. 🙂

I hope to ditch this cold that is slowing me down asap, so we can get back on track 100%!

Since we plan to homeschool all year round, I’ve decided to make an extended Easter or Spring break. I am simply overwhelmed with everything going on right now, so especially taking a break from the blog will help me. I’ll come back strong late April, and might post one or two posts between now and then.

Friday we leave for Wisconsin to see Grandma/Grandpa, and more family/friends. Satori has literally been counting down the days, every morning she tells me what day it is, and how many days remain until Friday, when we start our big drive.

After we get back, we’ll have a few days of normalcy at home before I take off on my very first vacation by myself, something I desperately need right now. Satori will fly back to Wisconsin with Daddy who is working in Minnesota. I will fly to a retreat where I can relax, be served whole organic food, and rejuvenate myself. Can’t wait!

We are covering hundreds now in RightStart and last night Satori completed her first Hundreds Chart. She was very proud of herself. 🙂 Today we learned that 10 dimes make a dollar, and 30 dimes make 3 dollars. I love how it all ties together with this program.

About a year ago I promised that as soon as Satori learned money and basic addition that I would get her a play cash register. She’s been really wanting one early last spring. I think that educational toy may be just around the corner…

To be honest, I thought we’d have that cash register much sooner than this. I feel it is my fault for choosing wrong curriculum,  and not being consistent with math lessons enough. Satori picks up everything so fast, if I had been on top of things, she would have been this far already. She now loves math. We should be doing it everyday, but we only do it 3 times a week or so on average.

I sometimes feel that I am a bottleneck to Satori’s learning and that I’m going too slow for her. There are times I get distracted by side hobbies and several days can go by in that we don’t do any lessons. This happened just last week when we both got very excited to learn about birds. Can I call that a unit study? Last fall I took several months off, can I call that unschooling?  Sometimes I question if I’m capable of being a teacher. My personality is just so spontaneous. Even more, I’m so new at this. Just over twelve months ago I had no clue I would be homeschooling.

Am I going too slow? Sometimes I don’t feel like I’m challenging her enough. Are we covering enough subjects? Is there anything we’re missing? Are we covering too much? I suppose at age five I shouldn’t be worrying about all this… I also suppose I will be critical about myself and my teaching skills even when she’s fifteen.

I don’t know why I’m thinking this way tonight, but what I do know is that I get the most tremendous joy out of teaching and learning alongside Satori. We both truly enjoy our time learning together. I think my first entire year I questioned myself and if I could continue to homeschool year after year. But what I know now, as of this spring, is that my mental commitment has been made. Homeschooling is 110% one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

On February 9, 2009, I created this blog to celebrate the joys of hanging out as daughter and mother, learning and playing from home! Satori, our only child, is 4 years, 2 months old and is starting to grow in so many ways! I hope to savor this time in her childhood by documenting our time together.

In a matter of days, I cleaned out an unused room of our house (the second kitchen in the basement) and converted it to our schoolhouse. We’ve stocked it full of learning tools, whiteboard, bulletin board, art/craft supplies, maps/globe, colorful construction paper, and of course a computer/printer. So far this week, Satori has come to my every morning and begs “let’s play school mommy”! School for us means reading lots of books, learning about them, doing arts and crafts, and if she’s up to it, studying the alphabet and numbers. I do not want to push her, but will be supportive for whenever she’s ready to learn more.

After studying a lot about different homeschooling methods, we’ve decided upon the “Five in a Row” unit study method. The curriculum is designed for children ages 4-8 and covers quality children’s literature.