Homeschool Update

UPDATE: Here are some “school” pictures.

Scissor Happy
Scissor Happy
Snow in Sensory Tub
Snow in Sensory Tub
Biking in the Basement
Biking in the Basement

I am long overdue for an update on the homeschool front. Things are going pretty smoothly these days. We settled into a nice routine after the holiday craze, doing schoolwork mostly in the mornings. This leaves the afternoon for quick errands, Laurel’s nap, chapter-book reading, board games, housework, and sometimes playing with the neighbor kids.

In general Laurel has become more cooperative and interested in participating in school — at least a few days each week — so it’s been fun to include her as we read-aloud picture books, do fingerplays, sing songs and do craft and coloring projects. When it’s time for Linnea to do seat work, Laurel plays in the sensory tub, does puzzles or watches Sesame Street.

Laurel is our school police/nag, always asking “When are we going to do school?” And on weekends or field trip days, she always laments, “Oh no! We forgot to do school!” She doesn’t usually accept the idea that seeing “Goodnight Moon” at Stages Theatre or going to Underwater Adventures is part of our course of study. Go figure.

On our 100 chart we are nearly to Day 90. Every day we skip count by fives or tens as we add popsicle sticks to the 100 jar. When we reach the 100th Day in March, we are going to visit the Minnesota Children’s Museum! The girls’ third and most memorable trip to the museum was on Laurel’s birthday last October, so they are thrilled to be approaching the 100th Day!

Linnea is reading, reading, reading. She’s reading very confidently at a 2nd grade level. She’s reading lots of beginner books, and she follows along closely when we read aloud to her. At bedtime, this really keeps Michael on his toes because he likes to skip sentences and add in his own colorful sentences when he reads aloud to the girls. Lately he constantly has to account for, “Where does it say that?” and “That’s not what it says, Daddy!”

Linnea read all the little candy hearts for Valentine’s Day, which seem to be getting a little more racy. “Oh, this one says ‘lover boy.’ What does that mean?” Of course, Laurel couldn’t be out done, so she either made up words for her candy hearts or handed back soggy hearts with slightly smeared words for her mother to read and return. A lovely reading assignment indeed.

In addition to reading, Linnea also enjoys writing books. She has made dozens of little books, which she illustrates. She did this even before she started Kindergarten and was thrilled to find out that book-making was part of our curriculum for some weeks. For official school work, she dictates the stories to me, and I write the words in a book that she then illustrates. For her unofficial, playtime book-making, she phonetically spells out all the words in her stories with no help from me unless requested. That in itself makes for interesting reading, especially since Kindergartners don’t yet do spelling lessons. 

This week our topic is elephants, who, as you may remember, never forget. Our theme “I will remember what God has done for me,” comes from Psalm 77:11-12. Linnea has written and illustrated a sweet little book on this very topic.


Here are the words:

I Remember What God Has Done for Me

By Linnea Barto

God has given me a family.

God has healed me many times.

God created sea animals that live in shells. I love seashells.

God created shady trees for me to sit under in the summer.

God answered my prayer for a new friend, Lila.

God gave me a piano teacher.

“I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes I will remember Your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all Your works and consider all Your mighty deeds.”   -Psalm 77:11-12

Okay, so now I am really inspired to keep a better journal of praises and answered prayers. Aren’t you?

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