Welcome to TwoCowgirls, the blog about our crazy life in Downtown Saint Paul!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

School's About To Start, And I'm In Panic Mode!

It's not the curriculum I'm worried about anymore.  I've done my research.  I have every single day planned out for the next nine months, in detail.  I have field trips planned. 
What I'm worried about is considered taboo in the homeschool community. The dreaded "S" word: 
I wasn't worried about it until two nights ago, when it hit me like a truck.  As it is, we don't live in a neighborhood with kids, so Millie doesn't have the trusty neighborhood friends. Some of my best memories from my youth involved my neighborhood friends.  When she was at public school for Kindergarten and 1st, she played with everyone, she never had that one special friend.  Although she's in 4-H, a homeschool group, skating, and Sunday school, I worry that she won't be able to form a bond with anyone that turns into a BFF.

Will she ever stay up late watching movies with anyone?
Will she ever make up dance moves to Taylor Swift songs with that special friend?
Will she ever spend hours in the bathroom with BFF putting her hair in curlers?
Will she ever have sleepovers?

I spoke with a friend and experienced homeschool mommy yesterday, and told her about my current state of panic, and she told me there's only one thing more that I could be doing.


So, although I'm not really the praying "type", I'm going to do it.  Last year I prayed to be a more patient mother.  And, while I still need to work on that, I'm going to pray harder that Millie can find that one special friend.  I hope it'll help put my mind at ease...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Not Back To School: School Room Week

We're almost set up for school to start on September 6th!  We finally went to Ikea to buy a bookshelf.  I have the challenge of living in less than 900 square feet, and trying to make everything fit in an organized, non-cluttered manner.  I'm not one for clutter, so this is really hard for me!

This is where we'll be having school:

Here's the bookshelf.  Obviously I'm new at this, because all of my materials fit on one shelf!  The top looks a little naked.  I think it's begging for a plant and a piece of pottery or a fish bowl. 

Here's our dining room table where a lot of the serious work will take place.  The white board will come down and fold up at the end of each day.  I'm still not sure where I'll put it, but I'll cross that bridge on September 6th :)
Here's the craft area where the girls like to play.  I'm quite certain that if I got rid of all their toys, and had a well stocked craft shelf (paper, scissors, crayons, stickers, pom poms, etc), they'd be perfectly content.  See the piano in the background?  That's one of the big reasons I'm homeschooling.  Our district cut music out of the elementary schools.  Now Millie will have practice or instruction daily. :)
The best part of homeschool where we live is the variety of educational opportunities in our big "backyard"!  This is what we see from our classroom in the sky:

We live within walking distance to the Minnesota Childrens Museum, the Minnesota History Museum, The Minnesota Science Museum, and Central Library (the most awesome library ever, pictured below).  

There it is!  That's where we'll be doing school.  To see other school rooms, hop on over to Heart Of The Matter and check them out

Monday, August 1, 2011

Not Back To School: Curriculum Hop

This is my first year homeschooling, so everything I've selected for this year is purely based on my research. It's my trial and error year :)  I'm excited to learn along with Millie this year as she enters second grade!

Here is it:

We'll start out our day with a morning meeting where Millie will do her copy work for the day, discuss what the weather is going to be like, decide what we're going to do for recess/PE, and do a daily devotional.

Reading - I made up my own reading program.  She'll read one book at her level per week, answer comprehension questions, enter it into a reading log book, and do activities from her Think-Tac-Toe.  Millie loves to read, so she'll read more than one book per week in her free time.  I'm just custom picking one based on what she's learning about in history, the time of year, etc. 

Grammar - This is the one I'm really nervous about!  I'm using English 2 from BJU Press.  It seems to be very complete, very thorough, and attractive.  The part that I'm nervous about is trying to fit everything into 1 year.  Since we're doing a 4 day schedule, I have a feeling that she'll still be working on English 2 in 3rd grade.  I don't want her to fall behind...

Spelling - She'll have 10 spelling words per week.  She'll start out with a pretest on Monday, and then every day work on an activity with her spelling words, including: copying the words she gets wrong, writing stories using the words, cutting letters out of magazines to make up the words, word finds, word scrambles, etc. 

History/Geography - I'm teaching her about the ancient world this year.  The curriculum I'm using is loosely based on the curriculum at http://www.guesthollow.com/ .  She'll learn about dinosaurs, ancient people, Egyptians, Greeks, medieval times, and more.  I'm basing her geography on this, as well. 

Math - Saxon math. 

Science - I purchased Sonlight science C.  I think I'm regretting my purchase :(  I'll use some of the ideas and books, and make up my own curriculum.

Spanish - I'm going to teach her Spanish using Muzzy.  I have to save up for it, so it probably won't be until later in the school year.

I've got some really great unit studies planned, art, phy ed activities, and more!  I'm excited to make this a very memorable, educational, and fun year for both of us!