Aug 30, 2014

Seven Quick Takes About School


This is the second week of the school year and we have already skipped a day. Three out of the four kids are suffering from seasonal allergies so we sorta took part of the day off yesterday and kinda made up for it today. We usually don't do school on Fridays, which makes it convenient when you need to make up work. There was a time when skipping a day would have made me twitchy. But I'm pretty much at peace with it now. We got math and reading done (and Nate made sure and did his computer programming) which is what matters, and the rest will get done eventually.

Kaytie drew a Ninja Egg for art class


Up until they started feeling puny, however, we were rocking along just fine.  Our schedule is working incredibly well. We are babysitting an adorable little boy this year and he arrives at 7:15. So we are starting school somewhere between 7:30 and 8:00 every day. Which means we can work hard for five hours and be done by lunch! We are all loving that. It gives us the afternoons to indulge in reading, history projects, trips to the park, science experiments and all the "fun" parts of school that we usually drop because we are still doing school well into the afternoon. It's like we have been given a gift of two hours in our day.

Daniel wore a mohawk for the first day of school. Later in the day, his sister sprayed it bright green. He was quite a sight to behold!


Kaytie and Nate have done well with keeping up their schedules. They have worked at their science projects. Kaytie has been reading about weather and taking notes. Nate has done a couple of experiments and will do a report on them next week. He has also been reading Chemistry: the birth of a science and narrating it to me. Both of them have taken the initiative to do the work they can do alone and to make sure I remember the work they need my help with. I am very proud of them!

Nate's science experiment: an egg in vinegar


Independent reading is another thing that has gone over well! Much better than I expected. Every afternoon, while the baby sleeps, I set the timer for 30 minutes and tell the kids to read. It's like candy for Kaytie and Nate, of course, they have been bookworms for years now. This is really more for the benefit of Daniel and Abbie. They have reached the point where they can read almost fluently but they really don't enjoy it yet and never do it voluntarily. The purpose of independent reading is just to give them practice... practice without me sitting beside them so they realize they can experience the stories and the facts and the words all on their own and possibly even find it enjoyable! So far, Abbie reads happily for about 20 minutes and Daniel has managed 15-ish before he gets antsy and starts checking the timer. And this is only after two weeks. I have high hopes as to what they will be doing by the end of the year!

independent reading is more fun when you wear a princess dress


In the interests of complete honesty, I must tell you that there are a few things that we haven't yet managed to pull off. Mostly our afternoon Charlotte Mason activities. There are various reasons for this and we plan to be much better about it starting next week. We haven't started back handicrafts, nature study, or our afternoon read alouds. But all three are firmly penned in starting Tuesday. I'll keep you updated...

anything on the computer is Nate's favorite subject, even math fact drills


There will be a post up soon about our history adventures. I have not been able to keep them in their proper weeks, but, thankfully, my kids are able to make the connections without keeping to the time constraints. In our Mystery of History reading we have made it to the Ice Age. In our activities we are still lingering in the Creation week. But the kids are having fun and I've tried to take pictures to share. But that will be a post of it's own.

Kaytie learning Latin grammar from "the funny dude"


All of our extracurricular activities start next week, except for Scouts, which starts the Monday after Labor Day. The kids are feeling a little overwhelmed, but I think they will get into the swing of things very quickly. We will be doing soccer, two co-ops, Bright Lights for the girls, Scouts for the boys, and an art class for Kaytie. Plus church. We will be busy. But it only lasts a couple of months, then we get a break.

Kaytie making it rain in a jar. Abbie was her photographer.

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