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Monday, November 11, 2013

Levi and Mommy School. It's official.

Here's a bit of a continuation of our time at home in Indiana.  While we were there many of Levi's best buddies were starting their preschool year.  I decided it was time to make it official and organize Levi and Mommy school a bit more.  We had decided not to continue with our preschool (a.k.a. Kindergarten) situation in Germany (long story - turns out we just aren't comfortable with their system in Germany) and that means we are officially homeschooling preschool for good!  Honestly, we have become so convinced by all we have researched, read, and now experienced, we looking forward to continue at home as well!

We are beyond excited about our choice and think it may be the whole reason God moved us to Germany.  I'm not sure we would have come to the same decision otherwise.  (Long story, happy to discuss if anyone is interested!)  I have always been a fan of the child-led Montessori approach.  Now we get to do it one on one, concentrate on Levi's interests/strengths/weaknesses, learn completely through fun and play, and we get to see all his learning firsts!  

Levi too is loving the idea of "Levi and Mommy School."  Our official first day was August 26.  I asked him what he would like to work on and he said letters and numbers.  I had planned an opening circle time with songs, calendar activities, number practice, and then lots of Montessori-style strewing.  The first thing he said was, "We will do Mommy and Levi school today!" and then, "We will not go to Levi's old school.  We will stay here.  It will be lots of fun!"  Does my heart good.

Through this process I have collected a multitude of resources.  What is available to homeschoolers, even just at the preschool level, is almost mind-boggling, and I have begun collecting for later grades too.  If any of you reading this would like to know some of my favorites, simply shoot me a message.  Some of my lists are already making the rounds here with the ex-pat moms in Germany, thanks to our FB group in Munich.  (Turns out, though homeschooling is illegal here when compulsory school begins, there are still Moms who would like to have that choice!)

Also this month…..
Levi Says:
  • [In the plane] We don't want to fall down!
  • When I get to Indy I want to be a dinosaur with big bones.  I'll wiggle my tail and be a sleepy dinosaur.
  • Cal and Gracie are the smartest dogs.  Luker is not.  [Not true.]
  • I love being in my Inianania [not a typo] house.  I missed it too.
  • Fuss!  I want to fuss me about it.  I DO want to fuss.
  • Mommy does NOT want to look at me right now.
  • [While doing puzzles with Neenie] No, that's not right, Neenie….Neenie's being silly.
  • I want to be a doctor for Halloween.  And fix everybody's hearts.
  • [At dinner] Thank you for these manners.  These manners blessed us.  Like Baby Jesus.
  • [Leaning on the car] I need to look at this tire.  This tire…um, um, um…needs air.  Because it's broken.
  • I love football.  Hi, football!
  • [While looking at Ethiopia pictures] Baby Levi is sucking his fingers in Ethiopia!
  • Excuse me, Mommy.  I didn't know those unders are wet.
  • Ahhhhhh!!!  I know what to do!  Let's hug Mommy's nose and have so much fun!
  • [At the park] There are Mommies everywhere!  Keeping us safe….Everybody's swinging!  It's a party of swings!  This is great.
  • I love a car transporter.  Maybe at Christmas I can get a car transporter.  And I'll say 'Thank you' at Nana and Pa's and take it home with me.
  • [After singing for Daddy]  This is a concert!  I'm doing a concert.  A silly concert…You're killin' me with this concert.
  • I love being in my Iniania house all the time.  I missed it so much.  Thank you, Iniania house, for being here.
  • This is my bed.  I missed it.  I love you, house.
  • Lots of "Actually….."
  • [After I pushed the wrong garage door button] I want to push that wrong button!  And say, Dog-Gone-it!"
  • [Arriving at a park] Those friends think I look good.  Good in the hood.
  • [When Jacobi left after our last visit before heading back to Germany]  Jacobi isn't here.  He's gone…He's gone.  Maybe someday I can ask Miss Angela and Jacobi if I can ride in Jacobi's car.

Levi's Big Ol' Noggin
  • Coming up with his own rhymes: Dog/Bog, Feet/Treat
  • [Pointing at a country on his world placement] LT: What's that?  Me: Papua New Guinea.  LT: Guinea pigs live there!
  • [While watching Daniel Tiger] Me: You're learning to read, just like Daniel and O the Owl.  LT: I'm trying.
  • Everything happens "on Saturday" according to Levi.
  • [All the windows rolled down in the car] It's like we're in a conbobolo.  (That would be a convertible.)
  • [After Noah and Caleb lent us a train track to play with] I want to take this train track to Noah and Caleb's and say, "Thank you Noah and Caleb."  And that will make my friends happy and I'll be happy too.
  • Every group of animals is a mommy, daddy, and baby to Levi.
  • Talks to himself A LOT.  And answers himself too.
  • Really starting to read the little books in our reading program and has some great sight words.

Levi currently  has a lot of interest in learning to write (can't get the kid to color even one picture, but writing seems to be an attractive challenge), numbers, and of course pretend play with his cars.  Hence, number tracing garages!!
Letters on a giant box garage
Thrilled with himself….
Excited to see the puzzles we had left behind.  His favorite is when I line them all up, put the pieces in a huge pile and let him go for it.
He also had no problem with this small-piece jigsaw.  Was hard for me, but for Levi, no problem.  Then again, I am truly terrible at puzzles.
 And then swinging over them!
Tracing practice on a road!  A genius idea to put it in a plastic sleeve for reuse.  Ah, Pinterest finds...
A sick day spent reading on the porch.  The Index and Table of Contents in this huge book about "Things That Go" were of constant interest.  And great numbers practice!  

This was my best attempt to keep Levi still while he was sick, which is nearly impossible.  He had a very high fever for 3 1/2 days with no other symptoms and was still totally silly.  While scooting around in bed he said, "My freight cars are SO heavy!"  Then, covering himself with blankets, "This is Tidmoth Sheds."
Short stint of painting an L picture...
Fine motor practice with tongs, an egg carton and pasta.
And straws and pipe cleaners!
Our "preschool" all set up for the next day.  Then, I just let him go, try not to say too much as he works things out, and give help when it is needed.  (The hardest part about a Montessori approach is not saying too much, especially for me!)
And other mornings of "strewing"…
 This was actually a very short-lived moment.  He really isn't a play dough fan.  But we got in a bit of rolling and cutting practice fun.
 One of my favorite Montessori methods - "sandpaper" letters to practice writing.  Our cheap printable is done with glitter glue!
 Filling in the missing alphabet letters…A very rare worksheet moment.
 Montessori three part cards with ocean animals….
Always working in more and more practical life moments - helping to cook, pouring his own juice, etc.
Let the fun begin!!….

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