Homeschool Thursday: Big Kid

With all of this snow and cold we use every excuse we can to enjoy the weather.  And with 2 months now of nearly solid, well below freezing temps our internal thermostats have re-calibrated.  Suddenly 20 degrees seems downright balmy.  So last week we found us enjoying an all day sledding/snow painting birthday party with friends, followed by a short sledding party in arctic-like conditions, followed by an overnight Down East, skiing the carriage trails in Acadia. Near back to back outdoor adventures.  If its gonna be winter (and it seems like its gonna)  we might as well make the best of it.

Backyard snow fire
Shoveling the woodshed roof.
Snowbank sledding. We don’t need no stinkin’ hills.



With all this activity our regular schedule has been set aside but when we’re home the big kids continue their independent work of spelling, copywork, and reading, and multiplication tables.

In the car we just finished the Audio version of “Carry On Mr. Bowditch” historical fiction set in Salem just after the Revolution.  At home we’re reading The Dear America book “Journey to the New World”, as well as Astrid Lingren’s “Ronia the Robber’s Daughter” which may be my new favorite kids book.  I’ve pretty much given up on trying to read history chronologically, aside from broad topics (ie. American History) There’s just too many good books out there! When I find one at the library I’d rather grab it and read it then wait a month or year, when it may no longer be appropriate for one kid or another.   Instead we try to record each book’s events on our history timeline (upstairs hallway wall) and piece together history through good stories.


Kale’s been up to all kinds of big kid stuff these past couple weeks.  In Acadia he skied 2.5 miles, by far the farthest he’s ever gone.  He also recently declared that he will be doing spelling with the big kids from now on and has insisted I give him his own words for three days now. He also follows us around with board games all day.  His favorites right now are “Rukus”, “Bug and Berries” and a card game we call “Go to the Dump” which is essentially “go fish” but the pairs add to 10.  He’s also doing dot-to-dots like they’re going out of style (are they?)  Its pretty fun.

Not so fun is the perfectionist he’s becoming, tearing up any drawing that doesn’t measure up to his high standards.  It makes me crazy, and for some reason really gets me at an emotional level.  I remind myself to breath deep and encourage him to continue working or ask for help–meanwhile he’s ripping up pictures and swiping pencils to the floor.  Could be developmental? I’ll have to pick up the “Your 5-Year-old” book from the library.  I find that series pretty spot on, and the dated 80’s pictures are pretty awesome too.

2 thoughts on “Homeschool Thursday: Big Kid

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  1. Yay for snow play and warmer weather. Interesting about the perfectionism. Audrey went through a stage about that time where she only wanted us to draw pictures for her because she thought we could draw things so much better than her. We did frequently, but also encouraged her to draw and let her know that we got good at drawing by practicing and didn’t start out that way. It also helped looking back through some of her old drawings to see how much better she was getting too. Not sure if that will help for you guys, but hers did pass.

    Will you recommend some good historical fiction read aloud books? We have only done shorter picture book style ones at this point, which we both really enjoy.


  2. The Magic Tree House books are great read-a-loud historical world fiction, and good first chapter books when Audrey is ready. The audio versions are nice to listen to.
    Have you tried “Story of the World?” It seems to emphasize war a lot, so not my favorite, and is a bit text bookish, but my kids liked hearing many of the stories.
    The “Dear America” series is pretty good too–more appropriate for 8-10 yrs. We’ve only read a couple of The American Girl books, but they seem pretty good.


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