Today we officially started our homeschool year! The girls’ school doesn’t actually start until next week, but it is really hard to do school on the days we drive a lot, so I figured we should try to do some academics whenever we have the chance. So we started today. And they did really well! It takes some juggling seeing as they are all at different levels and we are doing bilingual education, but I was really pleased with how it went. I’m sure some people are curious, so here’s a run down of how we did it today. I’m sure it will be evolving!
We have been doing some “work” the whole time (mean mommy!), so they have already been reading and writing in German and reading in English (most days). We will try to do that everyday, even on the long car days. Here are a few photos of them working the past month.
On school days, Hannah, Charlotte and Olivia each need to do 30 minutes a day of: reading in German, writing in German, reading in English, writing in English, math and French. Luisa is very eager to learn to read, so we’ve been doing some of that this past month. She also loves workbooks, so I brought a few kindergarten level ones in English and a few in German, so she does what she wants. Otherwise, she draws or plays while the others work. Today we worked from 9:30am until 12:30pm, which was good. Then we had lunch and they had free time the rest of the day.
I will try to tie the reading and writing to the places where we are, but I also didn’t want to buy a bunch of new books when we already had so many. So we are starting out with Hannah and Olivia reading books we already had and Charlotte (who had already read all the books we had at home) is reading some books set in Scandinavia, including Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (one of my childhood favorites) and Die Mumins: Mumins Lange Reise by Tove Jansson.
Their writing is either a journal entry (in German) or a letter/postcards to family and friends (German or English). I also have a couple of grammar workbooks for the older ones in both English and German.
I bought each child a “Klett” math workbook (recommended by Hannah’s teacher) that I really like because it has a teaching section and practice section (with additional practice available online).
And then we are still figuring out French. I thought about using Rosetta Stone but am having difficulty figuring out how it is for kids and if I can create an account for each child. It is pricey, so I’m hesitant to jump in before I know for sure. Today we used Boukili, a French Canadian kids’ app. The girls liked it but it doesn’t seem to teach grammar explicitly; it’s stories they can listen to with a reading comprehension component. Duolingo is also good, so we might use that as well. Charlotte used it during the school-at-home time in the spring when she had very little French homework but I wanted her to still have some exposure. Any suggestions are welcome!
Now, in time-honoured tradition, here are the girls’ first day of school photos. Pajamas (which they wore all day as it was rainy and grey and we stayed in the camper most of the day) and backpacks!