If Today Goes as Planned…

…we will have had our first full week of school since Thanksgiving week. Talk about a “Holiday Break!” Eesh. I think that’s the one plus about homeschooling: that we can take breaks whenever we darn well please. I’m thinking school won’t end until the very last week of June this year. Oh well. It’s not like we’re going anywhere anyway.

For Christmas, I bought the kids some dinosaur excavation kits from Usborne books, and we’ll be cracking those open today. The girls will do a stegosaurus, the boys a T-Rex. We just did a very short unit on archeology and how it helps us learn about world history, and the kids became extremely interested. Durin now wants to be an archeologist when he grows up! I have to admit that visions of my boy in desert garb, sweating over a delicate fossil in the hot sun in a faraway land danced through my head. I liked that picture very much! So, I want to give them a small taste of what it’s like to excavate something, and put it together.

They’re a little young, but they’ll have me to help and guide. I’m hoping Daddy will want to participate too, since he has a long weekend this week, and the kits will take several days to complete.

I have been getting tired of just reading to the kids about things – and while they enjoy the pictures and information, they were getting burned out just listening too. Being newish to homeschooling, I wasn’t really sure where to look for hands-on things. A lapbook didn’t appeal to me at this moment. I wanted something in three dimensions. Then, I was invited to my friend’s Usborne show. I’d forgotten about this wonderful company that makes educational books and kits for kids of all ages – up through high school! I’d been introduced to the company through another friend before, but hadn’t really thought about it until the recent book party.

Needless to say, I have found yet another great source for hands-on reinforcement of what my kids are supposed to be learning. Lydia has been complaining that she has a hard time remembering what we learned “last week,” and I am hoping this helps.

I’ll take pictures of the kids using their learning tools from Usborne soon, so you can see what we’re doing. Also – I have to be honest, I’ll be hosting my own show on the 20th, in the hopes of earning some more tools for the kids, and I’ll be sharing the link to my e-show here on the ol’ blog, just in case you want to help me out by trying some of their books out on your own young’uns! 🙂

As for homeschooling, we really are having fun learning together, and most days are going more smoothly than before. I still enjoy just sitting at the table with the kids and doing our lessons together.

Oh! Before I forget! Audrey informed me during Christmas week that she is ready to learn how to read. So, she had her first phonics lesson two days ago. We’re going to take it slow, but she is quick to remind me that she needs her reading lesson! She’s very eager, and I’m sure she’ll pick up on it quickly. I have to say that teaching my kids to read is my very favorite part of this whole thing, and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of seeing it “click” inside their little heads, and seeing their confidence grow. There is nothing quite like it.

Pray for me as we keep walking this path. It’s a harder one than I thought it would be. It’s a good thing it’s also more rewarding than I thought it would be, or I would have given up long ago.

So, how was your week? Good, bad, ugly?

I’ll see you all for Monday School, right? Go into church tomorrow morning with an open mind and heart, and ask God what He wants you to learn. You might be surprised! Then, come back and share it. Write a post, or just let me know in the comments Monday morning. I’d love to learn from you, too.

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