Discovery Table

I decided that I really want to limit television in our house, particularly where M is using the computer so much more. But I needed something to entertain her first thing in the morning when she's ready to hit the ground running and I'm not. So, I came up with the "Discovery Table." Each night I set-up the kitchen table with a tablecloth and various craft items. For example, yesterday's selection included three paper plates with pink triangle cut-outs in one, purple square cut-outs in another, and yellow squiggly cut-outs in the third. I also had markers and glue and tape available and some construction paper. M was ecstatic this morning when she saw the table and it happily-- and beneficially-- occupied her for over an hour this morning while I prepared for the day. Tonight's table is prepared with 4 paper bags, a pack of colored pencils, several types of stickers, some Post-It Notes, tape and crayons. I think we'll make puppets tomorrow morning.

I also wanted to add that just today, M started to express interest in the actual words in her books, pointing to them and saying "what's this word?" It's fun to see how reading-readiness begins.

Finally, I LOVE this quote from a homeschooling mom that is included in Holt's book, Teach Your Own. I read it to my husband and he agreed that it captures the very essence of why we want to homeschool:

"My rewards were beyond measure. No yellow monster took my favorite friends away every morning; when they were exposed to a new vocabulary word I could use it pertinently in everyday happenings; if we wanted to know molecular theory we could work from 9 am to 4 pm till it clicked; everything they were exposed to in Calvert Curriculum was learned by all; they spent early evenings putting on operas they made up, shows for Dad's pleasure were presented, sometimes taking three days just to prepare the staging. We read books, books, and books till 1 am, and no one had to be up at 6:30 for the monster." (p. 111)