Living Stones Academy

Educating by atmosphere, discipline, and life

We’ve only just begun :)

on June 22, 2010

First I was, then I wasn’t, then it looked likely, then unlikely . . .and so I’ve started homeschooling. 🙂 Since the whole idea is to be laid back (comparatively) about it, I figured we’d give it a go.

The first day, yesterday, seemed sabotaged by 10am. Steve came home early from work because he was having . . .ah jeez, like everything I’ll be blogging about, one story is piggy backed on another that you have to know for the current one to make any sense! LOL Ok, start over . . .

Saturday evening, Caleb was standing next to the couch and using the arm of the couch as leverage to bounce up and down—way too much energy, even though he’d been outside quite a bit, and it was almost dinnertime with no nap in between, those of you with kids (especially boys) know how it is. At any rate, he finally bounced too hard. He went head first onto the couch, and the rest of his body went up and over. Only his head didn’t quite bend right, and he hurt it. To forestall any panic attack a reader might be experiencing, let me interrupt here to say he’s perfectly fine. His neck was temporarily dislocated and popped right back when the EMT put his arm beneath him to move him to the stretcher. But yes, we did have to call an ambulance because we had no idea what was wrong, and Steve had determined that something wasn’t right. This was at 6pm. By 8pm, I was picking them both up from the hospital, Caleb standing and grinning and going on about what a great time he had riding on the “skateboard” (the stretcher board used to keep him immobile) in the “big white car” (ambulance), and Steve quiet as the adrenaline wore off and his emotions set in.

So, that’s what happened. Monday (yesterday), Steve had to come home early from work because he was experiencing regular panic attacks as his mind involuntarily replayed Saturday’s episode, and what COULD have happened (but didn’t). I fully understand. I’ve seen Isaac fall on his head and his neck bend funny a couple times, and Caleb once, and I thought I’d broken Makenzie’s arm last spring (see, another story! LOL I had hold of her wrist as she toddled down our front steps, and when she slipped I involuntarily jerked upwards to keep her from falling . . .and pulled something out of joint! She was fine the next morning, just muscle trauma) . . .there have been numerous such incidences for me, and yes, sometimes you can’t help it as they replay in your brain, and you just want to curl up in a ball right where you are. This was Steve’s first visual experience with the kids though, and it effected him strongly. So we made a quick appointment with one of the chaplains and all packed up and went to base.

It was the least of my worries, but the thought did cross my  mind, Well, I guess we’re not meant to start homeschooling now huh? 😀 But that wasn’t necessarily true. Again, the nature of how we’re approaching homeschooling with our kids at their various ages means a great deal of flexibility. By the time the kids were ready for bed, the only thing we really hadn’t tackled was penmanship and phonics.

So I was not discouraged, and today we tackled it again, even though I overslept by nearly an hour. 🙂 Yet, even though we’ve only just begun, I’m already finding ways I need to overhaul my plan.

  • Penmanship is going to be tough for Caleb as he still needs to work on motor skills. So, rather than having him continue to write poorly, I need to set aside time specifically on strengthening that wrist of his. I know his therapist will do this in the fall, but I have 3 months before that happens, and want to continue having him work at it. Today he was doing the work I’d meant for yesterday, and immediately saw the smallest step needs mastering first: he needs to learn to move just his fingers, not his whole wrist. So, revamp number 1.
  • I had all sorts of math games and activities set up for concepts, but after doing one graphing activity yesterday, I see I need to have a specific concept in mind and focus on that. We practiced again today with his blocks and cars. Weather permitting, tomorrow I want to do a nature walk and collect objects for graphing and comparing. (For the record, graphing really isn’t as complex as it might sound. The activity yesterday was more about correlation of cookie ingredients. 😀 I had chocolate chips and things in cups, and a graph with the item at the bottom and numerous blocks above it, and he had to shade in a block per item in the cup. Then I was just asking him to compare most and least, more and less, etc. That sort of thing. Nothing complicated.) So: more focus, less activity
  • I had plans for reading to them from books about Japanese culture, but since art study is dealing with Hokusai, then there’s our culture study. That book I bought (previous post) has some great arts and crafts activities relating to Japan. Our nature studies will be on local wildlife and fauna and flora. We’re also doing language before circle time, and I have the story “I Was A Boy in Japan” which I plan to read later as part of our read aloud time. So, revamp 3.
  • Science was going to be an organized systematic pointed study. Only once a week, but it was going to involve a lapbook series on the ocean (while Isaac and Makenzie do one based on the movie Finding Nemo). Well, that’s way too ambitious. LOL But I have a book of Bible-story inspired experiments, we did a diorama of butterflies (cut out, colored butterflies with real flowers from outside) that we plan to add to, there’s another book of experiments and projects . . .Yeah, that lapbook idea was too much. 🙂 So revamp 4

My next job is to tackle our MOTH (Managers of Their Homes) schedule, and make our own school schedule over again. So far I think it’ll look like this:

  • Bible time
  • Breakfast and chores
  • Hallway and Circle Time
    • Calendar Station, Map Station, Languages
    • Pledge of Allegiance
    • Poetry reading
    • Art study (music study will be cds playing the background)
  • Household tasks (kids can play constructively or help, depending on the tasks)
  • Penmanship and phonics (10 min practice of each)
  • Outdoor activity or experiment
  • Personal development (safety, manners, etc)

Snacks and meals thrown in between of course. 🙂

We’ll see how it works out. Now I have to find time to actually rewrite this (haha).

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