Friday, April 11, 2014

Celosia Mottos

* against the forceful tide

* growth under the surface (found here)

I was reading an ebook the other night by Connie Stults called Finding Your Vision: Beginning (or Continuing) Your Homeschool Journey with the End in Mind. I found it very thought-provoking to work through her questions.

In a nutshell, my desire for homeschooling Raccoon and Kitty is to help them love God, love themselves, and love others.

But how are we going to get there? This is where I find picture phrases helpful.

Against the forceful tide - develop a strong sense of self-worth and self-knowledge, value diversity, be hardworking, inventive, creative, confidant, strive for excellence, unafraid to be different, bold, to speak against injustice and to be passionate.

Growth under the surface -  I want each of my children to be able to grow their own way in their own time, learning as a lifestyle, every day with the end in mind

The kind of teacher I want to be? Someone who believes in their potential and is confident that we will arrive together.


Thursday, April 10, 2014


Language and science seem to come naturally to me, but I often filled in my math column last when doing lesson plans. It also seems to be my least intuitive area when I just let learning flow throughout the day (with my new approach of gently guiding towards large goals using certain materials but no preplanned activities). This surprises me a little since I enjoyed it in school (up until my junior year of high school when I felt like I never really got the concepts, despite my decent grades).

I discovered today that I'm not doing so bad after all when I read this post on math goals for kindergarten. We're nowhere near counting to 100, but Raccoon is familiar with many of the ideas on the list (red are the least familiar to him). What a relief.


This is the list:

count 1-100, by 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10s
count backwards 10-1
use and understand a number line, hundred chart, ten frame {identify numbers before & after}
estimate number of objects {20 or less}
sorting by multiple attributes {color, shape, size, etc}
basic addition and subtraction {understand +, -, and = symbols}
basic story problems
plane shapes ~ square, circle, oval, triangle, rectangle, octagon, hexagon {and more}
3D shapes ~sphere, rectangular prism, cylinder, cone {and more}
basic understanding of fractions {half, quarter, third}
basic understanding of symmetry
identify penny, nickel, dime, quarter, dollar
order by size, length, weight, amount
ordinal numbers to 1st-10th
graphing up to 10 {analyzing graph}
write numbers up to 20
read number words up to ten
positional words
basic understanding of telling time to the hour
understands time of day {morning, afternoon, evening, etc}
basic calendar skills {days, months}
basic understanding of temperature

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Unschooling Experiment: Day 1

Three weeks in to our homeschool adventure, I realized that what I was doing was not working. I did lessons plans, but was only getting a few things done. One reason is a lack of time to prepare materials, but I felt like there was a bigger problem. Neither Raccoon nor I really wanted to do some of the things on the list and at the end of the week I felt like a failure because we had done so little of what I had planned. This week, I decided to change course and instead write down what we did afterwards.

I am going to focus on three areas: language, math, and science. For now, this means learning the letters of the alphabet (names, writing, and sounds), number concepts, and following our science book which Raccoon is enjoying. Today we played with a four pan balance, wrote letters in the dirt on our daily walk, and then played with alphabet fridge magnets in a rice sensory bin (that was Kitty's activity but Raccoon joined in). We did several other things as well, and when I looked at the list at the end of the day, I felt successful. It was fun for all of us, and it flowed much more naturally as part of our day.

Since this is our trial year (technically Raccoon misses the kindergarten cutoff this fall but I think he's ready), my hope is that Raccoon will learn to read, count, and have fun.