So today we start a homeschooling science class in our home. I came up with this idea because it just seems to be one of my callings.....well not sure if it is my "official" calling from God.....but, I love kids and I love to teach them about how awesome Our Father is. I want them to learn about all the beautiful things He has created. So, I decided to put a notice in our homeschooling newsletter to see if any other families were interested in either a Bible class or a Bible based science class....I was saddened to get only one reply. I am hoping it was due to most homeschoolers already having a jammed packed schedule or that they already have it worked into their curriculum. But at the last group outing, I did get a vibe (and a few well intentioned comments) that suggested that many teach evolution based science and just were not interested.
Thankfully, many Christian homeschoolers have lots of children and hang out with the same! So the one family that contacted me has five children, of which two will be joining us. And she has another mama friend who has a little boy who is coming. She has a friend with three and a half children (pregnant with #4) and they are suppose to join us next week. Oh, and through the wonderful world of Freecycle, I met another mom whose two children are completing our little class. So we have eight (including N) 5-7 year olds in our group and I am so excited!
I spent all week, preparing our "class" which runs a couple of hours.....and it includes craft time, snack time, play time...and we'll squeeze in some learning too. My main goal and intention is to bring some extra socialization in for N.....and make it more fun to learn within a little group. If you homeschool, I am sure you know that the old stigma of "no socialization" is so far off kilter.....I look at the homeschooling calendar of our local group and other families and ask....when are you home?? LOL They have dates for board games, craft days, field trips, dancing and swimming....just to name a few. We pick and choose what we participate in.....I get overwhelmed easy with too many events.......not to mention, N and I love to stay in our jammies as much as possible. N enjoys her children's class at church for a couple hours without any issues so I am pretty sure she "plays well with others" in a structured environment. She has weekly Native American drumming sessions with her Poppy and is learning about her newly discovered Native American heritage, the Wampanoag tribe. Oh, and we just got a new shopping plaza in our town (with a Target YAY!) and there is a Michaels Crafts store, so we can sign up for the craft classes they offer too.
So yeah....I tried to put on my organized stance so I can be prepared AND entertaining. That's all I need is to have eight kids bored out of their mind or staring at me like a deer into headlights. I don't know why I am taking this to an unhealthy level with my anxiety....I have subbed in preschools for a few years, I sometimes work with the children's ministry at church....and I always have a houseful of kids here....I think I am more concerned about the parents' approval. We met a few weeks back to get to know each other better and also to find out what subjects/direction they would like to see being taught...and found out we are on the same page with many things including keeping our children surrounded by other children with the same core values. So the main goal was to have the kids have fun while learning about God......and that we didn't evolve from a bolt of lightening and a rock.
I was most pleasantly surprised to learn that they instantly felt comfortable allowing me to be a part of their child's learning journey. Of course they are welcome to stay and hang out, but I did find myself trying to suggest that it would be fine if they wanted to run any errands with their free time. I guess I am just nervous that I will crack under pressure with being "watched" by these seasoned homeschooling parents. It's like when I was a little girl, and I twirled my baton perfectly when practicing alone.....but as soon as I called my mom to watch me, I fumbled every move and toss like I had baseball gloves on. I guess I get intimidated easy and second guess myself.....but I will just have to suck it up and proceed to do what I do best. I will be in the zone of my favorite things in life: Jesus. Kids. Chaos.
So we are going to focus on The Five Senses and going with some Bob Jones Science, some Scripture, some PBS kids fun....and a little bit of what's going on in my head and heart. I'll be sure to come back today, let you know how I survived and post some pics.
be back soon enough......
I survived! I was completely prepared, including wearing "real" clothes....five minutes early! WOOT!
Well.......we ended up only having three kids today......two are only starting next week.....two were sick, and one had something come up last minute, but our "class" went great! We started with items in brown bags that the kids had to identify using only four of their five senses (onions, chocolate, peppermints)....we talked about how God gives us our senses to experience life. We also talked about how when some people do not have one of their senses, such as being blind....that their four other senses are supercharged!
We did a worksheet with cutting and pasting....
then we had a snack and some free play that N refers to as "recess".....
then we went on to using many of our senses as we made pumpkin spice playdough.
The girls had fun mixing all the ingredients, I had to snap a pic of the "tie dye" swirls.....
and within a few minutes......the playdough was ready to be experienced with four out of five senses.....(I didn't catch anyone tasting it....although it smelled good enough to eat!)
This playdough recipe is great.....it keeps for a long time too, if you store it in a plastic tupperware container
Nature’s Playdough Recipe
2 cups flour
2 cups water
1 cup salt
4 teaspoons cream of tartar
4 to 6 tablespoons of oil
Combine all ingredients, cook on low heat, stirring frequently until stiff like mashed potatoes. Take out of pan and put on wax paper to cool. Knead into desired consistency.
*we add food coloring and spices to make it special
suggestions for spices/scents are: cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin spice, peppermint
Well I guess I did pretty good......no awkward silences, no-one asked when it was time to go home... actually the two hours flew by!
......oh, and their mom stayed the whole time and I enjoyed having her join us. I got to know her a little better and we planned some play dates for the girls. She had tons of great craft and activity ideas for these classes which is awesome.....especially if I am going to have these classes every week, I am sure I will start to putter out on the creative train after a while. She also told me about a local Awana chapter/group that her girls attend and I might check it out for N. I have heard about Awana, but just mentioned in conversation so I'd like to see what it is all about.