Wednesdays are now officially our Preschool and early elementary days. If you have students who fall into this category see below for a description of the activities for our youngest members.
Marine Biology at Kelly’s Wednesday mornings from 9:00-10:00
This is an elementary school science class exploring the oceans and it’s creatures. We will be working from the Apologia book Exploring Creation with Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures of the 5th Day. (There is an accompanying notebook put out by the publisher. We will not be using the notebook in class, but if you wish to add it to your at home studies that is totally up to you.) In our time together we will be using the book as a jumping off place to do more explorations on the sea. There will be storybooks, experiments, art projects and field trips to ‘flesh out’ the lessons. This book is written for an older elementary school reading level, however it can be used by students from 4 on up if their parents are willing to read the book to them. With this in mind, younger students are welcome in the class, but parents will probably want to stay to help them with some of the work. Also, children will get a lot out of the class, even if they do not have the book…this may be an option for some parents with younger children who just want the additional activity/exposure. (The book is worth the investment though.)
Group Time at Kelly’s Wednesdays 10:00-11:30.
This time will focus on group interactions, story time, finger plays, singing, art experience, science exploration, and mastering basics preschool/kindergarten skills. Parents are encouraged to stay and participate. The last 15-20 minutes of our time we will have a snack and some free play for the kids, while the Mom’s focus on the skills (homework if you will) to work on for the coming week.
Park Days – Wednesdays from Noon to 1:30ish.
It’s the park, ending times will be dictated by the kids moods more than likely. Picnic lunches are encouraged. This is an unstructured play time at the park, allowing the kids more time to interact and for the Mom’s to talk. Parents of elementary (or older) kids from Grace are also encouraged to come to Park Days. Some of our Park Days will have a theme…a water day, chalk day, jump rope etc. Note: In the event of rain, Park Day is canceled. If the weather is unusually cold (or worse, very windy) we will also cancel. I send texts, emails, and will post on Facebook a final decision.
There will be at least one monthly field trip, frequently more. In order to simplify scheduling, if the field trips are specifically for our youngest students I will try to schedule them on Wednesdays. For regular school field trips, we try to stick to Tuesdays. Obviously, some venues only have certain days available so we must work within those guidelines.
Some of the trips we are planning for this year include: SeaWorld, the Post Office, the Fire Station, Tide Pools, the Pumpkin Patch, Petco, Snow Day, LaHabra Children’s Museum, and Whale Watching. There will be many others, but that gives you an idea.
We have a mandatory monthly parent meeting. The first half of the meeting deals with details like signing up for field trips, scheduling school photos etc.
The second half of the meeting is dedicated to training about a specific area of homeschooling to assist parents in staying on track and implementing new ideas.
These are generally taken the beginning of October. Students and parents are issued student body cards. The cards for students are free, parents are $2. The parents card qualifies them for Teacher Discounts at some stores…such as Joanne’s.
Each year Grace puts together a yearbook and our preschoolers will have a section featuring them.
During the course of the year we will have a World’s Fair where students make posters about a country of their choice, then we all get together and listen to them share. We are more than happy to have our youngest students participate, it’s great for them to get up front and speak, even if it is only a sentence or two about what they have learned.
Students are also encouraged to participate in Science Fair (and yes, homeschool students can move on with their public school counterparts to compete at the County and State levels.) While the preschoolers are too young to officially enter, I’d encourage parents to do a scaled back, fun version to get their kids thinking about finding out about the world in a new way. More on this later.