Thursday, September 6, 2007
"Of all the Holy works, the education of children is the most Holy." -St. theophan the Recluse
Yesterday was the first day of our St. Theophan the Recluse homeschool. We have chosen Him as our school's patron saint because of his great love for children and wisdom for both young and old. If you've never read his works, do so soon! You will be blessed.
Our schedule will look something like this:
Mon. - Thurs.: Poetry, Reading and Religion (Lives of Saints, Feast days, Bible, etc.)
Mon. & Wed.: Math
Tues. & Thurs. : Arts & Crafts
In addition we will participate in the following activities:
Tuesdays: I will host a group of women and children from our Church to do crafts.
Tuesday afternoons: Katya will join fellow homeschoolers at the roller rink to skate.
Thursday afternoons: Katya and Thea have swim lessons
Friday: Park day with fellow homeschoolers
Friday afternoons story time at the library. We'll also use this time to check out books.
We had a great first day of school. Fr. Justin started the class off with the story of The Prophet Zachariah and his wife Elizabeth, the parents of St. John the Baptist. (The Orthodox church commemorates them on September 5th.) After our discussion, I had the girls draw a picture of the story. We'll do this everyday and I'll save them in a binder. We will begin each class with the girls retelling of the story they heard the day before. My kids love hearing Bible stories from Papa, so he will start our school days with our faith.
We then got out our wooden blocks. I worked with Thea on colors, numbers and letters and Katya worked on creating words. The girls worked really well together. Thea was thrilled to be doing school with big sister.
After blocks was poetry. I got a great book of poetry at the used book store for $2.00 called "An Arkful of Animals" by W. Cole. Katya was sad there were no poems about snakes...Nonetheless, the girls LOVED poetry. We will work to memorize one poem a week.
Katya then moved on to Math and I read books to Thea. We worked closely together so that I could stop and work with Katherine when she needed me.
We are following a classical cirriculum, so the main focus at this point is reading. In the afternoons when the wee ones sleep, Katya and I will work on her reading skills. This will give us quiet, uninterrupted time together. We will continue reading aloud at every opportunity as well as working individually with the girls.
All in all it was a good day.
I am so thankful to be able to homeschool the girls. There are many great reasons for doing so, but for us the most important reason is so that we can make Christ and His Church the center of our lives. Homeschooling will allow us the flexibility we need to attend weekday services and study the Holy traditions to the degree that we want and need.
I ask that God grant me the wisdom, patience and love that I will need to be a good teacher for my girls!