Friday, September 10, 2010

School's In!

Our homeschool is officially in session for the year!  I have to admit I was dreading getting started because I knew that having Jackson so active was going to be my biggest obstacle in educating Clayton this year.  Last year, it was the nursing that got in the way, and this year it's just the distraction of having Jackson so busy!  I was a little lost on the direction I should go with Clayton as well.  I wasn't totally gung-ho about following our same system as last year, but knew we needed to concentrate on letter/number identification again.  I decided to combine two things I did separately last year:  Letter of the Week and Before Five in a Row.  I'm doing a little of both and playing them off of each other.  I did a "test run" last week just to see how Jackson would do while I worked with Clayton and it was a disaster!  I was doing it our usual way--sitting with Clayton and teaching in a more conversational tone as opposed to really turning on the "teacher mode."  That just didn't work this time because the whole time we sat together, Jackson was climbing all over us and bringing us other books for us to read.  :)  I decided to change my approach to help include him more and it's made all the difference so far. 
I bought this board (I liked it because it's mobile and can be put away--essential with little hands!).  My method is I just sit in this chair with our books and materials and teach the "class" as if there were more than one (two) student.  Clayton has something to focus on, and Jackson is loving it!  He still plays off to the side and is moving constantly, but he is actually participating!  He gets excited when I praise Clayton for something and was even "repeating" the vocabulary words today!  I decided I would just totally include him after that and he got a turn at everything we did and loved every minute of it.  I think it will all turn out to Clayton's advantage at any rate--he is motivated when he sees Jackson doing something, so I'm hoping it's no different with learning activities. 

This whole method is a little too "school at home" for me, but whatever works, right?  I'm sure we'll have to tweak it every now and then, but that's the beauty of homeschooling!


Patti H said...

You know you will find the *right* method. You are the best Momma ever!!

Kristina said...

Glad you are finding a way to make it work for you and your family. I love the new board and think it might be something I could include at home. Thanks for sharing.