Homeschool started in our house yesterday, September 15th. We have been very busy! We have a blog set up to show some of the things we are learning and experiencing. Click HERE to see what we have been up to! Or go to www.RaisingCaliforniaHomeschool.blogspot.com
California (age 3): See my galaxy? I draw a galaxy.
Tennessee (age 9): That’s a great galaxy!
California (age 3): I’m going to draw a BIG galaxy. See?
California (age 3): …and ANOTHER BIG galaxy (as he stands on the ledge of his easel to reach the highest point of the chalkboard).
Tennessee (age 9): I’m going to draw a wormhole.
California (age 3): Ok, draw a wormhole.
(Close up of California’s black hole)
The question that homeschoolers hear most often from people who aren’t familiar with homeschooling is: “What About Socialization?”
There are many opportunities for socialization!! Take a peek into the social life of a Southern California homeschooler to see for yourself…
(I would include pictures of Tennessee engaging in these activities but other children would be in them. Out of respect for those children and their parents, I have chosen not to publish them…I wouldn’t want someone to put pictures of my child on the internet without my permission).
On Fridays, Tennessee plays sports. We are a part of a homeschooling group which consists of over 100 homeschooling families. This group meets on Mondays and Fridays(about 15 families or so attend these gatherings regularly) at various parks within the city. They get together to play baseball, soccer, basketball, bowling and sometimes miniature golf on Fridays. These sports are taught by a homeschooling Dad who is a coach. On Mondays, the kids meet to have free time to play and socialize.
We drive a few miles into Los Angeles and meet with another homeschooling group. This group is compiled of almost 500 homeschooling families! Many of these families gather together to take part in a variety of activities such as:
Shakespeare Class: The kids work on a Shakespearian play each week and then present it on stage at the end of the school year. Tennessee was enrolled in this class three years ago, when he was 5. He was cast as Puck in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.
Chess Class: Taught by homeschool parents. The kids learn how to play chess and to apply essential critical thinking skills. Tennessee takes part in this activity. He won the “best sportsmanship” award last year.
Sign Language Class: Taught by a homeschool Mama
French Class: Taught by a native French speaker and a homeschool Mama
Spanish Class: Taught by a native Spanish speaker and a homeschool Mama
Book Club: Organized and led by a homeschool Mama
Snow Fairies Club: A group organized and led by a homeschool Mama that incorporates arts & crafts, dress up and pretend play for younger girls (5 – 10). Boys are welcome to take part in the fun (if they can get over the name of the club).
Classes taught by ME! I will be teaching Yoga, Reiki and Meditation classes as soon as California is well and I can get someone to keep and eye on him while he plays.
Both of these groups organize field trips as well. The next one is a trip to the California Pizza Kitchen to learn how to make pizza and then they get to make one for themselves! There have been field trips to Native American reservations where the children learn about Native American life and crafts, museums, fire stations, Seaworld…
In addition to these activities, Tennessee has taken swimming class and clay class with the local parks and recreation department. There is a WIDE variety of classes to choose from each year within the parks and recreation department. Click HERE to see the classes offered in the Santa Monica recreation and leisure guide.
He also talks on the phone to his cousins and friends, does webcam and instant messaging with friends on a daily basis. Yesterday, he instant messaged with a friend in Nashville, TN about Science related topics.
There ya have it…
Do you homeschool? Leave me a comment about your child’s social life!
Tennessee (age 8 1/2): “What planet is this?”
California (age 2 1/2): “It’s MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARS!!!!”
Tennessee: “That’s right! Very good. Now what planet is this?”
California: “Is it Venus?”
Tennessee: “Yes. It’s Venus. Good job!”
California: “YAAAAAAAAAAY, it’s Venuuuuuus!”
Tennessee: “Ok, what about this planet. It has rings.”
Tennessee: “No, this is Saturn. Can you say Saturn?”
Tennessee: “GREAT!!! You’re cute. Can you say ‘I’m cute'”?
California: “I’m cute.”
As I mentioned in our “Who Are We Anway??” section and previous blogs, we homeschool. For the past couple of months, we have been transforming the “classroom” into a wonderful place for learning and imagination. The classroom is located on the third floor of our condo, in the loft.
Here is a pic of Califiornia climbing the spiral staircase that leads to the loft/classroom…he LOVES to make a game out of it and usually giggles all the way up. He also has a great time counting each stair step.
L.A. Mama was inspired to decorate the classroom by this piece of art by Gustav Klimt:
L.A. Mama collaborated with Daddio to create a multi-dimensional mural in the classroom for California’s nook. Daddio painted the walls in a peaceful shade of light blue, then drew a tree similar to our inspiration art. L.A. Mama painted some leaves, a squirrel and a heart in the tree and decoupaged beautiful Audobon drawings of birds and nests within the tree. Here are some pics of what we have done so far…this is a work in progress:
Here is a pic of the sun that L.A. Mama painted:
In addition to the tree and sky, Daddio painted rolling hills of green. This isn’t just green paint though, it is chalkboard paint. California loves to draw circles, write A’s, J’s, P’s, U’s, E’s, 4’s and 10’s all over the wall! L.A. Mama has plans to paint a beautiful rainbow and flowers in the near future. (More pics will be posted when the project is finished)
Here is a pic of Tennessee “doing school”. He is in the process of writing a newspaper article about the Boston Tea Party. We have plans to decorate his side of the classroom with his original art and a solar system constructed by him.
Last, but not least is a pic of the rugs that were bought especially for the classroom. They are made entirely of recycled plastic soda bottles and were made through the use of fair trade practices. They are great for kids because they are so easy to clean…PERFECT for painting and doing crafts!