Lesson #1

For now our plan is to homeschool. Yeah, I know, easy to say & plan & dream when we only have one child & he's just 2 but for now that is our plan. We know plans change & we're open to that. Also, we don't think that there's only one right way to do school. Every family is different & what works for one family may not work for another. We also don't think homeschooling is a more spiritual form of school. In fact, we both graduated from public high schools & so far neither one of us has tried crack. With all of that said we've decided to test the homeschooling waters.

I've known for a while that I wanted to use Before Five In A Row {BFIAR} with Anderson. It uses lots of classic children's literature to form a strong foundation of loving to read & loving to learn. I was debating whether I should start it with him this month or if I should wait until the fall. Well, when we found out I was pregnant I decided to start it in the new year as something fun for us to do until Baby arrives this summer. We probably won't do much, if anything, in the fall so I figured this would be a great time.

Anderson LOVES books. LOVES LOVES LOVES them. He wants us to read him books all night long. We eventually have to tell him no more books, it's time for bed. He then cries & pitches a little fit for "mo' bookths" & sometimes we even have to spank him. I'm like, "What kind of mother spanks her child for wanting to read more?!" Not that that's what I'm actually spanking him for. More like for having a disrespectful attitude but you get my point.

Lambert even says in the intro that this is not a cirriculum that is going to help your pre-schooler do math work sheets & accounting & physics at an early age so that they can be a star student & wow The Masses. No, it's a cirriculum that is designed to instill a love of reading & learning but ALSO to teach parents how to teach.

Well, I certainly learned the first lesson this week!

We already have 6 of the books on the list. I spent a long, embarassing, undisclosed amount of time creating mini lesson plans. Basically just to make sure I was prepared & had the supplies on hand that I would need. Also, I loved the planning. The chart making, the list making, the whole thing. It was fun.

See, we're not doing rocket science over here.

So Monday arrived along with some tummy troubles. I wrote the day off to couch-laying & TV-watching & napping. Lots of napping. I didn't really worry about not doing that day's activities. Afterall, this is a perk of homeschooling right? Flexibility. 

So Tuesday morning was met with a much happier pregnant tummy & hormones more in check. Except all of my previous planning had not gone into action & we didn't have some of the supplies we needed. After a while I got us both decent enough to get to the store to gather some of the supplies and while I was there I picked up some things for dinner too because hey, I was feeling ambitious.

After Anderson's nap we immediately read the book for the week. He seemed to enjoy it enough so I told him all about a fun craft we were going to do while I got all of our supplies laid out. He was giddy with excitement.
 "Oooo! A cwaft!"
"That's right, buddy! A fun craft!"
"Pate! Pate! Pate!"
"Ok, just a minute. Mommy has to open the paper plates & then I'll show you what we're going to do."
"Pate! Pate! Pate!"
"Here just hold this plate for a minute while I finish getting everything else ready."
Satisfactorily, "Paaaaaaate"

The book of the week was Ezra Jack Keats' Snowy Day. The craft was to make a mixed media piece of artwork that resembled the ideas of the mixed media used in Keats' book. First we were going to cut up bits of tissue paper, glue them to a paper plate & then use water color paints over the paper & see the effect.

Well, I couldn't find the daggum watercolors. Maybe I threw them away in a cleaning frenzy. He had mixed up most of the colors anyway but stil I thought I had them! Maddening!

Ok, forget the water colors. We'll just practice cutting & gluing & talk about how the paper bits were like snowflakes. All unique & different.

Scissors are apparently not as easy a tool to use as I thought they would be. He was just frustrated with not being able to cut and quickly became bored. So I handed him the purple glue stick.
"That's right. Can you rub the purple glue on the plate?"

I showed him how to use the glue stick & it was an instant hit. I then showed him how we were going to put our paper "snowflakes" on the purple glue on the plate to make some pretty artwork.

"Look, can you put the snowflakes on the glue?"
"Yes, put this piece of paper on the purple."

I set the glue stick to the side which was a big mistake.

"Puuuh-ple! Puuuuh-ple!! Puhhhh-ple!!!!"

So I decided he could just be the glue-sticker & I would put the paper on the plate. Soon he discovered the pile of tiny pieces of tissue paper just sitting in front of him on the table. It obviously looked appealing as he picked up a big handful & threw it into the air. Uncontrollable laughter followed.

I tried to re-direct his attention to the task at hand. But he would not be diverted. He continued to gather up the paper & throw it into the air laughing hysterically & saying, "I make a mess! I make a mess!"

I, thankfully, quickly abandoned our craft plans & joined in the laughter. 

Lesson Learned: go with the flow. Sometimes "the student" has more fun with a pretend snowpile than a snowy craft. And remember, he's 2. So there's no pressure.

Andrew arrived home & asked Anderson where his craft was. Yeah, about that....

The few bits we had glued to the plate he had ripped off to add to the pile that he was throwing all over the kitchen. In the end, he enjoyed the book & had a great laugh. And even though my plan wasn't accomplished we still had fun together.

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