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With the SawIt's been a long time coming, but we took on our first woodworking project yesterday.  It was the simplest thing, but it was just enough.  I peeled some bark off of some big logs in the backyard and we made it into a gnome home (or cave or whatever).  Willow and Roan both took turns at the saw and they wore Don's old safety glasses.  It gave them a feel for using the saw and, I think, a certain respect for the challenge of real tools.

Simplicity really sums up our kindergarten year.  By some standards, Roan is of kindergarten age and he happily joins in with many of the things we do.  He draws while Willow makes pictures from our stories.  He takes great joy in rolling like bear cubs and hammering under the ground with the gnomes.  He recalls verses with the most stunning accuracy...He's also my most willing kitchen helper.  So, we cook, we bake, we do yard work, we read lots of stories, and we work out the occasional dramatic performance.

I can see glimpses of first grade readiness, but I think we are good where we are right now.  I had thought I might move ahead this Spring, but I feel that things are right where they should be.  We'll move to first grade in the Fall, after I've had the Summer to really sink into the materials and prepare any manipulatives we might need.  I realize our approach is quiet counter to the mainstream view of things and I do wonder a little how our standardized testing will turn out, but I feel confident at the same time.  I think homeschooling is the brightest spot in these chilly Winter days.

Gnome Home


( 6 trees — Plant a Forest )
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 9th, 2015 09:38 pm (UTC)
I think skipping ahead is a common concern. I remember asking that same question during my consultation last Spring. Get those Valentines out--the children will be thrilled. Did ours make it?
Feb. 7th, 2015 07:06 am (UTC)
I think the pace you are going is perfect. :) I see so many parents concerned because their five-year-old isn't reading well and writing and I just want to tell them all, "Relax... let them play and hear stories."
Feb. 9th, 2015 09:38 pm (UTC)
Yes, just reading stories is really enough. :-)
Feb. 7th, 2015 02:49 pm (UTC)
Cute gnome cave! It seems like the little gnomes are getting lots of play, and if am very glad about that :).

I love that about homeschooling, that you set the pace. Gnarly is intellectually ready for some things but not others, so I am glad we aren't having to commit to a certain grade. It sounds like you guys are in a great place.
Feb. 9th, 2015 09:39 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Yes, the gnomes are very busy here. Yes, the whole point of homeschooling is to make it serve the family, I think. :-) It is easy to lose that vision.
( 6 trees — Plant a Forest )

A Blessed Wilderness

It was just like being in heaven, being in there. In those days there was no road. The park was all a blessed wilderness. I have often thought what a wonderful people we would have been if we had wanted to keep it that way.

~Adolph Murie, biologist, on Denali


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