Wednesday, August 26, 2009

School is in session

We've been cruising along for a few weeks, but this week have brought our lessons up to full-tilt. Things seem to be going really well so far, even as concerned and anxious I was about it. I have to admit I was really kind of dreading homeschooling this year. I wanted to, but at the same time I was feeling so burnt out.

I cannot praise the new addition I made to our organization process this year...hanging file boxes. $3.50 each at Walmart, and well worth it. The three girls each have their own boxes which holds their books, folders, worksheets, flashcards, games...whatever for the subjects they are studying. They keep their weekly "to do" lists and have a folder for completed work for me to grade or file. I let them decorate their box and they are responsible for it. I've never seen them take such ownership of their school work before. Plus, planning and organizing each week is a snap.

I'm still trying to get a handle on having preschool and elementary ages going at the same time. I didn't really do preschool for Katie since she had no interest and was much more content to develop her skills through independent play and her creative outlets. Emily, on the other hand, is so excited each day for whatever her new lessons are going to be. Everyday when she finishes she is disappointed she doesn't have more. Robbie, being Emily's shadow, of course cannot be left out and has to have something to do least when he isn't hanging from my leg saying "read book Mommy."

I've had to adjust Katie's math program and step back a level. Grade 2 Math Mammoth moved way too fast for her. We are going back to Grade 1 and am going to work to really cement her facts and build up confidence. The math is in her head. I've seen her use it, but she lacks faith in herself. If nothing else, I have learned that it is more important to build a strong confidence base rather than trying to keep up with the "Jones". Otherwise, for being the first year that I am asking Katie to do a full load each day, she is doing really well.

Mary is great. She is adjusting to the larger amount of writing and independent work I am expecting for her 4th grade year. She doesn't like it, but she is doing it. We still are running into her perfectionist issues which are really at odds with her impulsive, gotta get this done as fast as possible attitude. But, I guess she will soon learn that you can't have it both ways.

DH has been a life saver and very involved when he comes home. Working with each of the two older ones at night on at least one subject. Whichever one seemed to be the most difficult that day. It is really good for the kids to get a different perspective on their lessons. And, a break for me.

Today was the first day for public schools in the area, so we packed up and went on a field trip. This summer a dinosaur exhibit opened at the Museum of Life and Sciences, but we had not made it out there yet. The exhibit was really nice and ended with a a fossil dig. Except for the fact that I think every toddler and preschooler in a 50 mile radius was there, we had a lot of fun.

Since there were so many other "little" ones around we left the museum after a quick spin over to the sailboats and a stop by the Kapla blocks for Mary. The kids were really excited for our next stop...a picnic at the river and a chance to go swimming.

I think the kids enjoyed the first "official" day of school.



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A family of six living and learning. You might catch us outside in the mud or working on crafts. We always seem to be on the go, come on and join us.