I love rainy days. The drearier the better. Today was the perfect day to start my homeschool routine with Liam. I really didn’t have the intention of doing so with my own family, but having worked with the area school systems, I can’t say I feel tremendously confident sending my kids out of the house to learn. Even with that concern aside, as I watch my children learn about the world around them, I don’t want to give up those aha! moments. It really started when I was working with Liam on learning to use the potty. I didn’t realize how much I’d enjoy working through a challenge with him. And every single success he has, even now months after he conquered the understanding of his bodily functions, is something to celebrate.
Together we are working through letter sounds and fine motor skills. He is always so proud of himself when a new skill is mastered and I love to watch his creativity blossom. Today, we played our new activity dice. I saw the idea here and here on Pinterest and decided to run with it. I found foam cubes in the floral section of JoAnn Fabrics and covered them in paper before adhering fabric on all the surfaces. Since I had 2 blocks, I made one with movements like animals and one with general physical activities. I chose a total of 12 activities that both kids would be able to do, typed them up and then printed them backwards onto transfer paper. I ironed each activity onto a small piece of white fabric and then using spray adhesive attached them to the individual sides of the cubes. I also put a coat of Modge Podge over the entire surface of the cubes so that they were sealed in the event we decided to use them outside.
Today, I had only planned to do a fun segment on mail carriers. I hadn’t planned on the activity cubes being such a hit. Both kids had a blast rolling the cubes and hearing what their activity was. And really, hearing them laugh hysterically as they waddled like penguins or did 5 squats was almost more fun for me than for them. We ended play time while the rain poured down and Sylvi curled up for a nap. Liam and I then headed to the kitchen to make a version of Me on the Map that is suited to his age. He has learned the name of the street we live on, but is confused with the concept of a city or a state. My favorite way to teach is with visuals, so I traced pictures of our state and the country, I sketched our house, but only wrote the name of our city. (I couldn’t figure out how to make that one work for a 3-year-old.) Liam colored the pictures and glued them to the sized cardstock and then we stacked them according to size. I don’t expect him to memorize these things, but it was nice to get through a conversation about where we live without him arguing with me that live in our house and not Ohio. Never underestimate the power of pictures.
You can be as “realistic” as you’d like about my experience today. He’s 3. It’s our first day of an official plan. He’ll grow up and decide he doesn’t want to be homeschooled. I don’t actually care what people think about my choice to homeschool. I love teaching my children. I had so much fun planning this week and next week and the week after that… I take my kids out to participate in story times and the nature center classes and church and MOPS and the children’s museum and the zoo… I don’t isolate us from the rest of society. But I am taking the time to teach them the way to handle conflict and interact with other children kindly.
I think my opportunity to love and raise my children is the best I could have been given. These moments we spend talking about our address and the letter “M” and little things in nature are just the beginning of what we will eventually see. I know it’s odd, but I loved potty training. I really, truly did. The way I see it, if I can get that much joy from something that involves the control of bodily functions, then I think I’ll be ok when it comes to math and manners.
I’m linking up with Lydia at Small Town Simplicity for Mindful Mothering Mondays today!