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Schooled

August1

Last month, Audrey started reading some three-letter words, and it was the biggest high of our short homeschooling life. I felt so lucky to be a part of that moment.

Sometimes I go back and forth over whether and how long we’ll homeschool in the years to come but GAH. I got to be there for that. I got to share it with her. I’m selfish and jealous. I want to be the one who does these things with her.

Also.

Oy. She’s been talking about death. Asking questions. Incorporating it into play. Working things out in her head. Wow, that’s not easy to talk about, is it? Some things are hard enough to grasp as an adult, but I have to convey the Big Things to a 3-year-old!

And it’s only after I finish one of these conversations that I realize I got off easy. Well, relatively. The questions are only going to get harder. And – deep breath – that’s one of those things I get to share with her too.

Kids! I thought they were just cute little people you got to dress up and snuggle.

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We Got Class

June24

We’re moseying through the homeschool year we started…when did we start?…March?…I don’t even know. We skipped it the week of Vacation Bible School and haven’t gotten back in the groove. But on and off, we accomplish a few things.

Audrey’s working on the basics of sounding out short words but it still mostly eludes her. She writes letters by tracing over my highlighter letters.

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We read tons of stories. We learn what different people do in a society. We learn about animals and nature. I’m not being cute with the “we,” I often learn something new from the prekindergarten curriculum.

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Here’s a little experiment with displacement after reading a fable about a crow and a pail of water. I don’t know that the physics sunk in (she’s still three, you know) but she loooooooved tossing pebbles in water.

That’s the story on the schoolin’ front. The rest of Audrey’s time is spent narrating her life in song. It’s pretty dramatic around here.

Here We are in the Present Tense

July13

39 weeks pregnant today. Some days the baby seems ready to go, others all is calm. Ah, the edge-of-your-seat time of pregnancy. It’s really hard to focus.

Preschool update: I just turned on the TV so I could get a break from all the stories Audrey is demanding to read. How’s that for irony? Am super impressed with the selection of books we got in our package. Obviously.

Audrey’s doing better at going to bed and staying there. Best possible advice came from Andy’s aunt on Friday when I was rambling on about being at a complete loss to parent: “Wait till she outgrows it. This too shall pass.” I need to embroider that on a damn pillow.

This is all I know. My brain has nothing else in it that’s not straight-up crazy talk that I only save for my husband.

Later.

Audrey’s First Box Day

July9

Audrey’s school books came in the mail Tuesday.

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“School” as in the bunch of stories we’re going to read while Mommy thinks about being the kind of crafty and motivated person that would do hands-on activities.

We were both super excited.

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She wanted to spend the day on each item she pulled out and I had to beg her to keep going so I could see our new treasures.

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My precious safety scissors…

The book nerd in me was in heaven. Many of these books were much nicer than I had realized from their pictures online. And so much bigger. It’s a huge library to explore with a tiny person. Really? We’re going to read all this? Eeeeee!

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Audrey’s first goal was to play the teddy bear matching game, which is adorable. She found a pair with grimaces and said, “These bears are worried. Let’s hug them.” Gahhh.

She had to play with the other game next. It’s called Mighty Mind and involves pattern block-like pieces that you have to figure out how to put into various designs. It goes from very simple to complex, so I think it will be fascinating for a long time. She asks for her “pieces” often.

There’s also a CD of nursery rhymes, which is a big hit as Aud is obsessed with nursery rhymes. It baffles me: they are so WEIRD, but there must be a reason they keep getting passed down.

So then there’s the books. I was kind of doubting myself after ordering this package. I mean, I own books. I’ve had tons of children’s books since before I ever made a kid. I could go pick out a bunch of things and get off more cheaply than indulging in this set. It’s not like this even comes with a fancy schedule of what to do every day – they’re all, “Here’s a checklist that goes vaguely in order of attention span and complexity. Read as much as you feel like, do or don’t do the super easy activities we suggest, just chill and enjoy your kid.”

But here’s the thing: I wouldn’t have picked the majority of these books on my own. In fact, I would let Audrey keep bringing me the same okay books off our shelf every day if left to my own devices. So I’m finding myself surprised and charmed by every new story we crack open. And so is Audrey. She actually demanded I turn off Super Why today and reread one of her new favorites. Whut? I have never been so harassed for stories before this week. That’s a solid review.

The dork in me that loves binders and planners and schoooool is still thinking about weaving these materials into a charming free preschool curriculum I found online because crafts! Themed snacks! Lesson plans that tell me what to do! But I also know we’ve got plenty of years for that, and in reality the me that’s soon to have a newborn has probably got the exact right system for now.

Eeeeee! Books!

 

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Story School

June29

We decided to skip the six hours a week of preschool in the fall. Instead, I am completely nerding out over ordering a home preschool program for her today. Yes, I’m crazy but no, I’m not. Of course, toddlers don’t need anything resembling actual schooling, and rest assured I’m not getting academic with her. The homeschool “curriculum” consists of classic children’s literature and fairy tales; books on animals, how the body works, and what people do all day; a couple of clever games, songs and nursery rhymes, a bit of art, and some prayers and Bible stories.

We have plenty of books in this house and I could have come up with something terribly enriching on my own, but I’ve found that in real life, especially pregnant life, I haven’t made great effort. I chose this sweet program because I don’t have to think or have will power. When my brain is even further shot with a newborn, Audrey will have something special that’s just between her and Mommy for a half hour or so each day. I’m also totally looking forward to reading these books myself!

I’ve shown Audrey pictures of the stuff she’s getting and she’s crazy excited. I’ll be honest, her greatest focus is own getting her own child safety scissors, but she’s thrilled with the music, games, and books too.

A big thank you to family that donated toward the cause or gave me birthday cash. This is where it went (and what I really wanted!). Can’t wait to show you pictures when we get her box in the mail!

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Ready fer book learnin’.

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