Monday, August 12, 2013

First day of school!

It is with great joy that I introduce to you the students of God Seekers Academy for the 2013-2014 school year . . .
Lael - age 12
Jaden - age 9

Noah - age 3
 I'm looking forward to a fabulous school year - and I am confident that it won't be boring!!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Tot School: B is for . . .

We are slooooowly easing back into our school-time routine after taking some much-needed time off this summer.  (And for those who are wondering why we start so early - it's so that we can enjoy days off and long weekends throughout the school year as needed!)
I spend a great deal of time over the summer thinking and praying about the upcoming school year - things like curriculum choices, scheduling, extracurricular activities, and household management are not things I take lightly.  I am so excited to see these decisions finally come to fruition in the new year!
One thing we are trying out is a new school-day schedule now that there are three students in God Seekers Academy - a seventh grader, a fourth grader, and a preschooler!  (I can't believe how fast they are growing up!)  I have structured our day so that while the big kids are working independently, Noah and I can do "Noah-school".  So far, so good!
For Noah's tot school this year, I will be using Before Five in a Row as our curriculum.  Because we've been doing a lot of berry picking lately, I decided to start with Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey.  We have been reading it over and over this week - so much so that Noah almost has it memorized!  He especially likes the part where the mommies and babies are all mixed up on Blueberry Hill (if you aren't sure what I'm talking about, you should read the book or watch it here)!
In addition to this wonderful story, we've been having fun with the letter B . . .
Here Noah is putting stickers with uppercase and lowercase Bs onto the "B" and "b" on his paper.
He also had fun putting "blueberries" on the B with a bingo dabber.
He traced the lines to bring the bear to the B.
 We also did some other preschool things - like coloring shapes.  (I put the coloring page into a plastic page protector so that we can erase it and use it again!)
 Noah was VERY proud of himself when he finished putting the numbered blueberry clusters in order from 0-10 without any help!
 He also worked on color words - each bear had the color word printed in the corresponding color so he knew what the word said and could color them all in.
 He even made his own book to read - all about Little Bear (from Blueberries for Sal) that introduced position words.  He loved putting the cutouts of Little Bear in the right place and then "reading" the book to Mommy and Daddy.
Now this may look like a lot . . . but remember, it was spread out over several days.  And we only did these activities as long as it was fun for Noah.  My philosophy of homeschooling in the early years is that I want to impart a love of learning, discovering, and exploring new things.  I do recognize that as Noah sees his older siblings with their schoolwork, he naturally wants to do "school" too - hence the worksheets and other activities.  But the best part of our school day is the times we can cuddle up on the couch with a book (or five) to read together!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Strawberry picking . . . then and now!

We took a trip to our favorite berry-picking place yesterday - we've been going there for years to pick blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries . . . which was our goal for this trip.  (Of course, yesterday was probably the hottest day of the summer so far!  We got there when they opened at 9:00 - I'm so glad we didn't come later!)
I had the help of three amazing pickers!
Lael was my methodical picker . . . she chose a spot, picked all the berries in that area, then moved on to the next spot.
 This was Noah's first time picking berries. He had fun finding strawberries for a while, but then he decided that he'd rather be my "runner" - carrying my picked berries to the larger container so I could continue picking.
 (However, by the end of our time at the farm, he decided that the best job of all was that of "taste tester"!)
 Jaden was on the hunt for the biggest and best strawberries - and found some beautiful ones!

Just so you can see how long we've been coming here . . .
This was Jaden and Papa picking strawberries - back in June of 2010.
 Lael and Nana had fun filling their buckets too.
 We've definitely made the George Schmidt Berry Farm a favorite destination for whenever we have a craving for amazing produce!  
Although we can't live on a farm, at least we can visit one :)