May is long gone, and so is June, so I thought that instead of posting a big monthly update, today I would post an example of what we are doing in our preschool-at-home. Today was a good example of what it is that we do at home on days when we don’t have to leave the house. Here is what we did today:
We woke up and ate breakfast. Then, Pearl asked me to read the story of Jonah to her. I read from the NIV, and read the entire book of Jonah except Jonah’s prayer. Then she asked me to read the story of Naaman, so I read the relevant parts from 2 Kings 5. Finally, she asked me to read the story of Jesus dying on the cross, so I read Matthew 26 and 27. At that point, I told her she needed to play on her own for a while.
After a short break (10-15 minutes), she asked me to read her Bearymore by Don Freeman, and then we did a reading lesson on progressive phonics, where she read words like shop, ship, and shut. Then there was another play break, after which she told me she wanted to do her Five in a Row activity for today. So we read The Story about Ping and then did an activity where we talked about out what sorts of things float in water, and what sorts of things sink.
After another short break, she asked me to do a math lesson out of Anno’s Math Games. She took another break, then asked me to read The Tale of Ginger and Pickles and The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies by Beatrix Potter. We then ate lunch and then I read her The Steadfast Tin Soldier (again, at her request).
After another play break, she asked me why a relative of ours was sick in the hospital (my aunt, she has a collapsed lung), which led to a discussion on lungs, which led to us watching an episode of The Magic School Bus where the class travels into the throat os a classmate with strep throat. Then we watched a short video on how blood clots. Then we looked at pictures of streptococcus bacteria online. Then she asked to look at pictures of spiders’ webs online, so we did. Finally, she wanted to read some more, so she read two lessons out of McGuffy’s First Reader (The dog ran. Is the cat on the mat? That sort of level of reading. ‘The’ still gives her trouble, but the rest of the words are easy to her.)
After another break, she asked me to read several stories from Thornton Burgess Bedtime Stories, so we did that and then we looked up pictures of the animals from the stories. And then it was nap time. Phew.
I’m probably forgetting some of the things we did today between 8:30 and 2:00, but this gives you an idea. As you can see, this is all done at her request. I almost never suggest doing anything school related. She’s just driven and intense, and right now what she’s interested in is doing ‘school’ things: learning to read, and having me read to her. I actually have to enforce mandatory play time by setting a timer and completely ignoring her until the timer goes off, or else she would do nothing but read all day. Which sounds vaguely reminiscent of my own childhood… hmm…. ;-)
I have no idea how long this will last. She does tend to go in cycles where she’s all about books, and then she’ll go for spells where she doesn’t care about reading one bit. So it’s possible this could all end one day when she decides she would rather be doing other things than reading. But as long as it’s what she wants to do all day, this is probably a good idea of what our preschool looks like.