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Home » Articles&More » Article of the Week » Homeschooling Highlights: Typical Week Homeschooling Grades 1-3
Homeschooling Highlights: Typical Week Homeschooling Grades 1-3 [message #33400] Fri, 29 July 2005 14:50
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HOMESCHOOL HIGHLIGHTS:
A "Typical" Week Homeschooling Grades 1-3

by Tamara Eaton

[Last week I wrote about enjoying homeschooling grades 1st-3rd and this week I'd like to continue that theme by sharing examples of our family's experiences.]

We like to get our children off to a good start in homeschooling! We encourage them to enjoy learning new things without pressure so they can proceed at their own pace. We read lots of books to them, answer their questions, introduce new skills, and help them learn how to research and explore topics of interest in a relaxed atmosphere of learning.

Most younger children don't like to spend much time sitting down with workbooks and formal textbooks so we limit written work unless they enjoy it. Our job is to keep them challenged and interested in learning--busywork can be dull and dreary and turn children off! This relaxed method has worked for our family--our older kids continue to love learning new things and are self-motivated in their studies. By requiring less, more was actually accomplished because they enjoyed learning and didn't see it as being confined to a certain time of day or period in their lives called "school".

A "Typical" Week

Here are some highlights from one "typical" week in the life of our younger children. (Our youngest daughter is in first grade and our youngest son is in second grade.)

  • This week we have been reading aloud a chapter a day from George Washington's World by Genevieve Foster. This is a fascinating book that covers the years 1732-1799 and talks about different people all over the world who were alive during George Washington's lifetime. What a neat way to study history! We're really enjoying it together and since it's about 350 pages, we'll probably be reading this for a while.
  • We covered geography because they were interested in the route between England and the colonies during George Washington's time and that lead to all sorts of other discussions about maps and travel routes. We compared the older map in the book with our newer wall map and globe. We discussed what it would have been like to travel during Washington's time.
  • We also have been reading aloud all the Carolyn Haywood books and just finished one called Eddie and Gardenia which was published 45 years ago and is about a boy named Eddie and his goat, Gardenia, visiting his homeschooled cousin on a ranch in Texas. (We all loved it!) Now we're reading Eddie's Pay Dirt.
  • My first grader and I worked together on phonics (for about 10-20 minutes each time) three days this week, writing out sentences and making a little story with pictures.
  • My second grader is fluent in reading now and loves to read during afternoon naptime and for 30--60 minutes before bedtime each evening. He also reads aloud to me several times a week for a short time so I can be sure he's continuing to do well, and I read aloud to him regularly, too. (He enjoys reading the Box Car Children mysteries by Gertrude Warner, Encyclopedia Brown mysteries, as well as many non-fiction books.)
  • They watched Bill Nye: The Science Guy and Kratt's Creatures on PBS a couple of times this week. (We watch them with them and discuss any comments that come up about evolution.) My second grader especially loves this and likes to pursue topics discussed on the show and get more books about them at the library. We really limit TV viewing in our home and for many years we didn't even have a TV--we're convinced that that's one of the reasons our children all enjoy reading so much. They were forced to be creative and find entertainment in other ways besides television. 99.9% of the time our television stays OFF!
  • We read aloud a book on porpoises because my son is fascinated by them and wants to do a unit study on them.
  • We haven't done formal math in their textbooks this week (but they played Monopoly Jr. and counted money) and they will probably do some this weekend. They generally do several lessons at once when they do math because they think it's fun. My daughter uses BJU 1st grade math text, as well as many "natural" and hands on math exercises using legos, counting money, etc. My son uses Saxon 54 text, Math-it, and enjoys thinking "mathematically" all the time.
  • They did crafts with older sisters who were making things from wool. They drew lots of pictures and made books. They used legos to build a steamboat called the Mississippi Queen and it sat in the middle of our kitchen floor for four days!
  • One of their older sisters read them a couple of books from the library about mammals.
  • My son also watched his dad and older brother taking apart computers and changing hard drives, etc.
  • My daughter helped me pick roses, greenery and mint from our garden and make pretty arrangements using an assortment of odd containers around the house.

These are just a few of the highlights--it would be impossible to share them all here! My preparation time is minimal so I have even more time to enjoy my children. We are so thankful to have this time together and treasure each fleeting moment of their childhood--these are precious years, never to be captured again.

If you and your children have grown weary of learning together, search for ways to brighten up your homeschooling. Seize the moment! Children won't wait--they grow up all too quickly. Create warm, wonderful homeschooling memories with your child this week--and get excited about learning again!

"Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward." Psalm 127:3

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


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Doing Enough? ... The ebb and flow of homeschooling often gives parents the feeling they're not doing enough some days, and too much other days, but isn't that life?

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