31 August 2009

school with elle: day1.

after forking out exorbitant sums of cash to zee's preschool in exchange for what was, essentially, glorified playtime, we decided to homeschool our youngest two for the preschool year. em is now happily blitzing through first grade, so i assume i didn't trammel his education too horribly, and now we are on to the very last little: elle.

seriously, how are my children this old already?

with em, i admit, my inclinations toward exhaustion and distraction, combined with his general lack of enthusiasm toward Mom Thinking She Is The Teacher resulted in a somewhat haphazard preschool year. elle, however, is the lastborn and infused with inquisitiveness and has mom all to herself, so the odds of a sound education have increased exponentially.

so. we'll do school 3-4 times per week (i have standing morning appointments to work around), following a loose sort of montessori meets unschooling meets waldorf meets project-based meets reggio emilia. what a plan.

mostly we'll do the things i love plus the things she loves, and also a lot of snacks. i know some of you homeschool for the early years, so i'll try to briefly chronicle our days in the hope that our activities may be of use to you. (many of them are kindergarten-based, so if you're working on that year, feel free to borrow from our ideas as well.)


31aug [day 1]

calendar: date, counting the days in the month, days of the week

chalkboard: we write the date and read our sentence together, then observe/record the weather

snack: popcorn and orange slices

mosaic: we studied a few mosaics in an art book, then elle arranged/glued shapes to create her own mosaic for the cover of her journal

journal: elle writes her name, the date, then draws a picture and dictates a few descriptive sentences to me

globe: we talked about globes, then found our country and state on the globe, then read a brief overview of the united states in THE TRAVEL BOOK [sidenote: i know local geography is recommended for small children, such as plotting one's own neighborhood and town. we will do this as well.]

and such was the steady, quiet start to what i hope will be a year of wonder. i can't wait for tomorrow.


  1. Look at you girls! This is why I love homeschooling, because it is fun :) Have you heard of Charlotte Mason? You're using several of her elements of a solid education (for all ages)!

  2. I LOVE that you are doing this! I have been following your blog, but I don't think I have ever commented. I have three children (two 5 year olds and a 3 year old). My girls are 5, but missed the cut off date to start 5K, so I feel the need to do something with them at home. They have never gone to preschool. I just don't believe in sending them when I am a stay-at-home mother and like you said, it's glorified playtime! I will be following your daily activities to give me some ideas. I used to teach 2nd grade, but when it comes to my own, I need to make more time to do this. Thank you again for your ispiration!


  3. Nic, I love your 60 piggies blog and I love this one too. Lots of great ideas, thanks!!!! Can I ask where you found the red easel chalkboard? Did you make it?? :)

  4. Jessica, the chalkboard came from pottery barn kids (thanks to a gift card and a clearance sale!). i've seen similar chalkboards since then at target...or you can always check ebay or craig's list. :) happy hunting!