Evaluating the first half of our school year....

Posted by  | Thursday, December 29, 2011  at 1:32 PM  
Now that all the Christmas festivities are coming to a close, my mind is once again focused on teaching my pre-schooler. We took a month-long break during December because we traveled a lot and I had so many fun Christmas activities I wanted to do with my girls. We really enjoyed our holiday season and I think the break was really good for us, but I am hoping that the girls have not forgotten a lot. Karis had just started sounding out words well and I am hoping that it will come back to her quickly. Here are my thoughts on the 1st half of our year:

I cannot believe how quickly this year has flown by!! We had a great fall and really enjoyed doing school together. I love having my girls home with me! But honestly, we did not do as much "school work" as I would have liked. It is really hard to fit it in with a baby and the day to day things I need to get done and I now realize that I am going to have to work really hard to accomplish what I want to do with Karis in January. (Sorry facebook and Pinterest - nap time is officially planning and housework time!) I wrote out a great schedule for the fall and followed it well at first, but once "real life" took over, I pretty much had to ditch it. It seemed like someone was always sick or fussy from teething or I was behind in my housework or we were getting ready to go out of town or had appointments or recovering from a trip and I just had a really hard time getting into a really good routine. But I'm determined to make it work and I plan to buckle down as the new year starts. We shouldn't be traveling and I am refusing to allow any morning activities outside the house (other than soccer and basketball class with Daddy one day a week) so that we can easily fall into a good routine.

Mid-way through the fall, I had to sit down and prioritize what I thought was most important to get done with the girls. At this early stage, I felt like my focus should be reading as much as possible, outside play, beginning handwriting skills (mazes, dot-to-dot, tracing,etc), and math skills (fun counting/ measuring/ number games). Our eventual schedule was to "do school" during Abbi's morning nap (Hopefully at least 90 minutes) and then all of us would go outside on a walk and play together until lunchtime. We would do more reading before and after naptime. And that was about it. I think that it is very important for kids to have time to play so I just let them do what they wanted in the morning before Abbi's nap and in the afternoons while I tried to straighten up for Mark and get dinner on the table.

In January, I am going to start Karis on some Saxon math and A Reason for Handwriting workbook. We will still focus on doing a lot of reading. We will probably continue to just "do schoolwork" during Abbi's morning nap, but of course, I know that they are learning all day long!

How did the first half of your school year go? Any tips or lessons that you learned? We'd love to hear it!

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