Friday, July 7, 2017

My Little Scientist

Strangely, at least to me, many other homeschooling moms seemed baffled by my questions about science curriculum for my four year old. Some people even told me it wasn’t really necessary at his age.
I think science is a core subject and I can’t imagine leaving it out at any point. Besides that, Noodle loves science! He is fascinated by chemistry, biology, life science, and anatomy. I looked at several different Kindergarten curricula and continued to feel that the science for each wasn’t strong enough by itself.
I really like to tailor-make the lessons for Noodle anyway, so I started piecing things together.
AHere’s what science looks like for us:
I throw in books from our library related to different topics we are studying and episodes of the Magic School Bus from Netflix.
Image result for the magic school bus
I try to alternate what we do so our week ends up looking like this:
Monday: Berenstain Bears’ Book & a nature walk. Today the weather was lovely and we took a picnic to our local park and walked around looking for animals. Noodle & Nugget had fun tossing their apple cores and half eaten cheese puffs to the local squirrels.
Tuesday: We break out the Squishy Human Body and dissect it. Noodle loves pulling everything out and naming all the organs. After that, we usually watch an episode of the Magic School Bus on the couch while Nugget falls asleep. Then we finish up with our human body puzzle from T.Shure.

Wednesday: This is Noodle’s favorite day, because we always do a science experiment. We are currently working our way through all of the experiments in his Mind Blowing Science kit, but I tend to pull resources from the Primary Science kit (because the quality is way  better). Noodle loves anything that involves baking soda and vinegar. He also loves wearing his safety goggles. He’s pretty cute in them too.
Thursday & Friday:  We alternate between more of the Bears’ nature book and science experiments. These are the days we practice computer programming or “coding” with Robot Turtles too (more about those later).
Science is one of Noodle’s favorite subjects. At this point, Nugget loves the nature walks. The rest is all a bit much for her.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

How We Do It: Our Schedule

There are always lots of questions about our schedule and how we begin our day. I hesitate to answer because many parts of our day are fluid rather than set in stone – life with young children is like that, you adjust.
My kids usually wake up between 7 and 8 am. Occasionally, Nugget wakes up at 5:00 when my husband’s alarm goes off. She has always been a light sleeper.
After changing Nugget’s diaper and getting her a cup of water, we watch nursery rhyme videos on the Roku until her brother wakes up. — Yes. TV is sometimes the savior of my sanity. If you’re anti-screen time, you might hate this blog.
When Noodle wakes up, I get him to the potty and then send him to join his sister on the couch while I make them something to eat. After breakfast, usually about 8:30 – 9 (depends on when they wake up), I get both kids & myself dressed. Then, they can play until 9:30 when I start school.
I turn the TV off during free play time, so they have to entertain themselves with the toys they have stashed all over the house. While they’re busy playing superheroes or making imaginary cake in the play kitchen, I set up our first few activities.
On a perfect day, Noodle and I work for about an hour completing the bulk of his lessons while Nugget alternates between playing on the floor and hanging out in my arms.
What does Nugget do? She’s not yet 18 months old so mostly she listens to our stories, claps when we sing, and colors on scrap paper with crayons. I’ll admit, sometimes she just watches cartoons off and on. Yes, for an hour. I’m not ashamed.
At 11:00, I send the kids off to play again while I clean up a bit and make their lunch. After lunch, Nugget is ready for a nap… REALLY ready.
Noodle has quiet time while I put Nugget down for a nap. He uses this time to do work on the computer (more about that later), watch silly youtube videos, or entertain himself quietly. After she’s asleep, Noodle and I finish any lingering school work and clean the house. Nugget only sleeps about an hour and a half so we have to work fast!
That’s a typical homeschool day with Noodle & Nugget.
Are there days when it doesn’t work out so nicely? Yes. Are there days when we can’t get it together? Definitely. Are there days when we are finishing school stuff after supper? Sometimes, yes. It works for us. If you’re just starting out, hang in there. You’ll find our own best system before you know it.