Yesterday was our first day of homeschooling for this year. Gizmo is now in 6th grade (typing that out makes it even scarier), Spike is in 4th grade, and Princess is starting more structured preschooling this year. I was determined to try and make the new beginning as fun as possible, so I woke them to the smell of bacon, eggs, and hash browns cooking.
Something new that I have decided to implement this year is worksheets at the breakfast table. I have been calling them "brain starters." In the past, the kids get dressed and make their way down to the table, only to sit and tiredly watch me make breakfast. Although I was a little apprehensive about how they would react to the news that they would have a worksheet to do first thing in the morning, they all really liked the idea. The first day of school Gizmo and Spike had word searches customized with their spelling lists, which I made up on this website, and Princess had some tracing worksheets which I pulled from one of the workbooks I have for her. Today both of the big kids did a cryptogram involving facts about the planets, which they loved, and Princess did some simple mazes.
My idea is that the worksheets will be for reinforcing things already learned and encouraging reasoning skills. I am planning to include brain teasers and puzzles along with spelling activities, math worksheets, and fun stuff to go along with whatever they are studying in history or science.
Tomorrow, Gizmo and Spike will be working on composition worksheets which I printed from education.com. The website has hundreds of free worksheets available, which can be searched by grade level and subject. The grades span from preschool to high school. An account is required, which I usually hate, but I have found it to be worth it in this case.
We will see how things go, but I may have to start doing something similar at lunch.