Saturday, January 18, 2014

Home at Last: My First Week of Homeschooling

After a year of weighing options, praying, researching, talking with friends, and trying public school for the first half of the year, I brought my son home for school.  For the remainder of this school year, I will homeschool him.  This is all new territory for me.  And for my first grade son.  And for our family as a whole.  But, we had a productive first week, I awoke each day so excited to work with him, and I feel like I have a brand new child. 

These are the lesson plans I used this week.  I created a very, very simple template to list the activities, the objective/goal, and the larger block is for me to record my notes and observations.  Even though I am working with one child and have the entire day, I still struggle with trying to get it all done.  That was not something that I  anticipated!  However, we have flexibility, so we can work on something in the evening or over the weekend.  For instance, tomorrow we will start an art project and my son will draft his "spider story" (a narrative about a spider using spider facts from informative reading).

Just like many of you, I integrate as much as possible, not only to save time, but to provide authentic tasks that promote application of skills and strategies.  This week I integrated science and reading, as he was reading an informative article on polar bears.

You've heard of "write the room"... this is "write the kitchen"!  He was working on a list of his favorite breakfast food and drinks for his morning journal prompt that I use as a "warm -up".  In the photo, he is using my grocery list to spell a word correctly on his list!  This is part of my January Journal Prompts.

When working on a journal prompt, I noticed that he did not know the -ou vowel team.  He can read a word with this vowel combination, but he can't encode.  So, we did a little word work where he made words with -ou and then recorded them on his "pinchy sounds" flap book.  The "pinchy sounds" make an OU-ch! sound.  I had him make some words with an initial -dr blend (which is hard for him to say) and we added the -ed ending (he was working on this at school before he left). We were working on the floor, but my three dachshunds wanted to play with the pocket chart!

Next, we moved onto an integrated study of polar bears and the arctic and reading informational texts.  I'm using this article in a Guided Reading format.  He wanted to highlight the important facts after reading and discussing.  This was perfect because it made writing notes in the polar bear flap book much easier.  This is from my All About Polar Bears packet.

Before reading, he did a vocabulary match-up which allowed me to assess which words he could pronounce and which words he knew the definition of.

As a child with Selective Mutism, he has never been able to talk out loud in a classroom before.  He has never been able to talk about his learning as it is happening.  And believe me, has a lot to say, if this past week was any indication!

We had a great week, but he did tell me that I worked him hard!  Here is a candid picture I just happened to capture.  I think he needs to kiss his brain!

This was a peek into my week.  You can look for more literacy resources targeted for first and second grades coming this winter and spring!

Enjoy the weekend! 

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  1. Hooray for you! Thanks for showing your readers that homeschooling is a perfect option for so many children. I like that you include Bible study in your curriculum. Blessings!

    1. Thank you, Jan! I think it is so very important to begin the day in prayer and in God's word. I can't wait for week #2! Thanks for stopping by. :-) Lauren

  2. It sounds like you've made a smooth transition, Lauren... and what a beautiful and life-changing gift you've given to your son! As Jan said above, homeschooling sounds like the perfect option for him.

    1. Hi Linda, Thanks so much for your support! It was a much smoother transition than I had thought. I'm so blessed that I have this option and opportunity. :-) Lauren

  3. What a lucky boy! "Write the kitchen" that!
    Curious Firsties

    1. Thanks, Em! He is really enjoying being homeschooled, although he thought he would get a "snow day" today, but no such luck! :-) Lauren

  4. I found your blog off another blog and it stood out to me because I have 4 kids and I am only homeschooling one of them. One of the main reasons is because the counsellor at the school thought she might be suffering from selective mutism. She has never been officially diagnosed, but it was clear to the counsellor that my daughter wanted to speak, but just couldn't. Now that we are homeschooling she has never been so vocal :)


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