Friday, September 4, 2009

How to (Try to) Keep a Two-Year-Old Busy

I didn't know best how to answer your question, Sarah, to be sure you would read it, so I will just make a post on the topic.

Keeping Anna busy during our school work is probably my biggest challenge as well. She absolutely does not ever nap, so I always have to find a way to work with her as well.

Anna also would prefer to do what Scott is doing. My plan is to photocopy his worksheet pages so she can have the same page to color on. My printer is out of ink, so I haven't done this yet. I think that will help a lot. So far, this is what is working now:

When I purchased school supplies on sale at Walmart and on clearance at Target, I got everything for Anna as well. Crayons and markers were so cheap that I bought about 8 packages of each. But I made a pencil box for Anna, just like Scott's. I filled it with crayons, pencils, erasers, a calculator (just for fun), a glue stick, and safety scissors (these are ONLY out at school time now after last year's barber shop incident!). For now, I have just been giving her coloring books and construction paper to draw on or cut and glue. If she has noticed that it's not the same as Scott's, I try to find a picture that is similar to what he is doing.

For example, the other day he was coloring a rainbow and we were learning about the specific order of colors on a rainbow. She asked for a rainbow picture too. Since we had a Noah's Ark coloring book, I was easily able to find her a rainbow. If he is busy working on something for a minutes, I will help her color or write some words for her.

When we work on phonics or math, she totally believes she is doing the work too because she sits there and shouts out any letters or numbers she can think of.

In the end, I think that giving her photocopies of Scott's pages will help with her last bit of impatience. She enjoys sitting with us right now though, and "playing school" is her favorite time of day. As soon as she eats breakfast, she begins asking me if it's time to play school yet.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Easing into it...

Our first week of school is almost over and, as a whole, I would rate it as successful. We've had a few bumps--it is a bit difficult to keep Anna busy, Lizzie has had her moments of fussiness, and Scott does get bored with an activity if it takes too long.

Overall, I am pleased with how we are managing. So far we have gotten everything done I have planned. I have the work planned out so that over the course of a couple weeks we work up to a full schedule of the subjects.

We have spent about 2 hours a day doing work thus far, covering reading, phonics & writing, math, and science. We will also be covering geography, art, music, and hopefully Spanish. Reading, phonics, and math will all be covered daily and each of the other subjects will be covered 1, 2, or 3 days per week.

We have not completely settled into a routine time-table. The time that we have worked each day has really depended on what else we are doing and what Lizzie's mood is. I would prefer that we get the bulk of our work done in the morning before lunch time, but that has not worked every day yet. Yesterday we did about half before lunch and half after. Today we were not able to start at all until after lunch. I'm sure after a few weeks we will have settled into a more regular schedule.

I will work on another post to talk about what books I have chosen to use for this year as well, for those who might be interested. I think it is immensely helpful to exchange ideas with each other and learn from the experiences of others. Even if you don't homeschool, I'm sure there are things we do that might interest you, just as I would love to hear any other ideas from parents about the kinds of activities they enjoy doing at home!

Monday, August 31, 2009

I just don't want to forget...

We always pray as a family before meals, but sadly, Scott and Anna are less than enthusiastic about this. They always get their plates first, and I guess they just don't think they should have to wait to eat once they are served! But tonight, Anna especially was feeling extra gracious. About halfway through dinner she decided that she needed to pray again. So we all bowed our heads, and sat in silence, waiting. After a moment, I suggested to her that she pray since Daddy said a prayer earlier. It went like this...

"Thank you for dinner. Thank you for the nice weather. Thank you that we got to play school today. Thank you for letting us play in our rooms today. And for playing with playmobils. Amen."

I was actually quite impressed that my two-year-old could think of that many things to praise God for!!