Early Childhood Homeschooling Made Easy

Taking teaching and your child's future into your own hands.

Just another day in our world

Fall is definitely on it’s way here.  The high today was only 60 degrees.  In comparison to all the 90 degree days we’ve had this year, it felt extra chilly out.  I’m not complaining though.  I was happy to wear a long sleeve shirt and jeans for a change.  I’m getting sick of my summer clothes.

Kayla looking through a book at the library today. I love this picture with the way the light is coming through the window.

Kayla and I started off our day by going to Storytime.  We sang songs, listened to stories, and learned a few new signs (sign language).  We hung around the library for awhile so Kayla could play with the other kids and I could talk to the other mommies.  We picked some books to check out, then headed home.  When get got home, my nephew was being dropped off, so Kayla was pretty excited.  I let the kids play for awhile before having Kayla sit down for lunch.  (My nephew ate before he came over.)  They made a huge mess in the living room while playing with various toys and looking at books.  They watched a few educational shows on TV.  Well…they watched here and there while they were playing.  I was able to make a quick trip to the store to buy some organizational storage supplies while my mom watched the kids.  And a little after I got home, it was nap time.

Kayla at the library after storytime.

After their naps, they sat down at their little table for juice and a snack.  They watched something on PBS while snacking.  I was able to get dinner in the oven, which made me happy.  I hate having to rush around at dinnertime trying to figure out what we’re going to eat.  I prefer having a set dinner planned.  Once they were done with their snack, I got out the new animal finger crayons I bought and some coloring books.  They were excited to see the new crayons.  Every crayon has a different animal face on it.  The crayons are easy for toddlers to grip, and they also have a hole in the bottom so the kids can put them on their fingers.  It probably sounds a little weird, but believe me, they are cool crayons.  They colored and played with the crayons until my husband got home.  Then once my husband was home, he entertained them while I finished getting dinner ready.

Kayla and Alex using the new animal crayons I bought them.

My sister picked up my nephew around 6:30 p.m.  Kayla, my husband, and I sat down for dinner.  In reality, Kayla and I sat down, and my husband ate standing up.  Don’t ask.  He seems to like standing up while he eats.  He does it all the time.  Now that we have an island in the kitchen, he does it even more.  I made a pork roast and roasted potatoes with onions and peppers.  Kayla’s favorite part of dinner was her strawberry banana yogurt.  Apparently, she wasn’t in the mood for pork and potatoes tonight.  Go figure.  She wasn’t a happy camper when I told her she couldn’t have a cookie since she mostly played with her dinner.  She’s used to getting some type of dessert after dinner.

Kayla was a mess from eating her yogurt.  She had yogurt all over her face, hands, and in her hair.  She managed to get yogurt all over her clothes, as well.  I gave her a bath, got her in her pajamas, and gave her some milk to drink.  For some reason, she decided to pour her milk on top of her head.  Sigh…  I ended up having to re-wash her hair, after taking the milk away from her.  We played with her dolls until my husband came up to take over.  Pretty much every night, he spends about an hour or so with her by himself so they can have some bonding time, and I get to have some “me” time.  They play together, then clean up the living room.  I go into the bedroom and do whatever I want/need to do.  I may watch TV, read a book, workout, take a shower, clean the bathroom or the bedroom, check my email, make a phone call, put laundry away, etc.  I may even just close my eyes and rest for awhile.  It is pretty much the only time of the day that I have all to myself.  I don’t have to deal with my husband, Kayla, my mom, or the three dogs.  (My mom lives with us.  She works nights.)  I get to lock myself in the bedroom and take some much needed “me” time.  I am not someone who needs a ton of time to myself.  I don’t have any strong desire to go have girls days/nights out.  I don’t like going to the gym to workout, when I can do it in my own home.  I usually take Kayla with me when I go shopping, run errands, go out with friends, etc.  But every night, I enjoy having an hour to myself.  I think we all need some time to reflect and to take care of ourselves.  I love being a mom, and I love being surrounded by my family, but I also enjoy watching my favorite shows in peace and quiet.  That’s the beauty of the DVR.  I can wait to watch my shows when I’m locked away in my room, alone.

Most nights, we sit down and watch some TV together as a family.  It’s usually something on Netflix, unless we have a new show on the DVR to watch.  Lately, we’ve been too tired to do this much.  We’ve been doing most of our TV time over the weekend, and heading to bed earlier during the week.

At bedtime, I read Kayla all the books we got from the library today.  There were 13 books total.  She played with her little interactive monkey that she can dress and it plays songs.  We did some flash cards where she named the animals on the cards.  Then I let her go on abcmouse.com.  She fell asleep during one of the books on the website.  The website is nice because it reads the books to the kids.  She was curled up next to me with her head on my stomach, and I could feel her starting to nod off.  Some nights she falls to sleep during our bedtime routines, and other nights she is wide awake until I turn everything off for the night and tell her it’s time to go night-night.  She’s usually pretty good about going to sleep.  Now that she’s asleep for the night, I get to stay up way later than I should trying to look things up on the internet, read blogs, and write my own blog posts.  I get to check my bank balance, make sure all bills are paid, and respond to emails.  And I may even get to read a book before I get overly sleepy.  I love these late night hours when the whole house is quiet and I get to be up all by myself.  It’s peaceful.  This is the time of day that I think about how lucky I am to be home with my daughter all day.  I am lucky to have this opportunity to teach her myself, and not miss out on anything with her.  I get to see how she changes from day to day, week to week, and month to month.  I get to be the person who knows her better than anyone else.  Even though there are days when she drives me nuts with her crazy toddler tantrums and her constant squealing, I love every single second I spend with her.  I wouldn’t trade this for the world.  I love motherhood.

On that note, I’m going to end this blog post and try to decide which book I’m going to read tonight.  I’m in the middle of a dystopian novel, but I just received some new books on homeschooling via UPS today, so I am leaning toward reading one of them.  Decisions, decisions.

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Checking out storytime at your local library…and then checking out a few books

Kayla looking through a book at the library after storytime.

I’ve been taking my daughter around to some of the storytimes at local libraries.  They’re all slightly different, but have the same foundation.  They sing toddler friendly songs, and the librarian will read a few books.  Some may do other activities like craft projects, dancing, letting kids look at books, and free play.

So far, Kayla loves going to storytime.  She laughs, looks at the other kids, claps her hands, and tries to do a few of the hand movements with the songs.  She’ll be 22 months old this week, so I think she’s doing pretty good for a kid who just started going.  She’s used to mostly being around kids in our family.  She has one young cousin on my side of a family, and a bunch of young cousins on my husband’s side of the family.  This is the first time she’s been to programs with other little kids around her age.

After storytime, we tend to hang out at the library for awhile.  I let her pick out books and investigate the kid’s area.  The first time we went to storytime, she only wanted to look at books.  She didn’t want to play with the toys or play with the other kids.  Her main focus was sitting down and looking at books.  (Have I mentioned that she loves books?)  The next time, she was a little more open to interacting with the other kids and playing with the toys.  Whew!  I was happy to see her take some time to play with the other kids before focusing on all the books.  I know she’s excited to see the massive amount of books, but I also want her to socialize with other kids around her age.

We attended storytime today, and we left the library with 11 books.  That was pretty good since if it was up to her, we probably would have taken all of them home.  We currently have a stack of books from two different libraries.  And we may end up with a third stack if we attend another storytime this week at a different library.  I am a book lover myself, so I completely understand my daughter’s obsession with books.  What’s not to love?

If you haven’t taken your child to storytime, this is definitely something you should put on your list of things to do.  It is a great way to introduce your child to the library, and a great bonding experience for parent and child.  But make sure you are prepared to join in.  You must have a willingness to sing songs with the storytime group.  Don’t worry though…no one seems to be great singers.  We’re all just there to have fun with our kids.

Do you take your kids to storytime at your local library?  What’s your favorite storytime activity?  What types of things do you think could be added to storytime to make it more fun for young kids? 

How do you feel about storytime play groups set up by parents?  A storytime play group would be arranged by parents, where they can get their kids together one day each week/month to read books, sing songs, do crafts, and play together.  The storytime play group can be at a different house each time, or hosted at a local meeting room.  This is something I have considered starting in my area with other moms with young kids.  Tell me what you think of this type of play group?  Is it something you’d consider doing?

 

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