Whew! I know it’s been pretty quiet in this space as of late. As I’ve mentioned before, this transition has been harder than we all anticipated. During the last two months, we’ve really focused on forming and finding the new rhythms for our combined household, and they are forming. We started our school routine in the beginning of August this year, and more recently, we began our school year with our local Classical Conversations group. Again, I’ve begun recording snippets of our days to share with you. Here’s another recent “preschool” learning time. Although Blythe (6) is beyond this level, she often wants to help teach the younger children–one of my favorite things about homeschooling. She remembers the handwriting songs and strokes from her early years and loves encouraging/helping Olive and Shepherd with theirs. I love watching each of my children mature in this way, learning to give and receive in various roles, at once student and teacher, leader and follower. It’s such a gift.
writing the letter “B” (15 – 30 minutes)
+ chalk bits (or regular chalk broken into smaller pieces for smaller hands)
+ sponge cubes (or kitchen sponges cut into small cubes)
+ alphabet poster (not shown)
We sing the alphabet together, pointing to each letter on the alphabet poster as we go. We return to the letter “B” saying the name and sound together. I ask them to find something in the room that starts with the /b/ sound. Although they don’t always get this part, they always enjoy trying.
I then lay out a few of the sandpaper letters and have them find the letter B. When they pick it up, I ask them what strokes they see (HWT only has four strokes: big line, little line, big curve, little curve). They each have a turn to trace the sandpaper letter with their finger.
I ask them to pull out their fingers for sky writing and ask, “where do we start our letters (another HWT song)?” “At the top!” They squeal. We sky-write “big line down, frog jump to the top, little curve, little curve.” We repeat a few more times and then begin independent activities: the roll-a-dough letters for one and the chalkboard (with chalk and sponges) for the other. Blythe helps Olive roll the playdough to form each letter stroke for “B,” while I set Shepherd up for what HWT calls “wet-dry-try.” I write a capital B on the mini-chalkboard, speaking each of the strokes as I write them. He then will trace this same letter THREE times: once with a wet sponge, then with a dry sponge, and then finally with his own piece of chalk. Each child works through their activity a few times and then we switch.