Picture of The Week
This one photo sums up my hopes and dreams for the upcoming school year. Solid independent work, that needs nothing more from me than to step back and take a picture!
Most years we start back to school the first of August, if we stop at all (which we did this year). Aidan was gone last week so we waited until this week to officially open our *school* for another year. Of course it is still summer, so we interspersed plenty of outside time, swimming, and other fun things.
In addition to the things I have posted about, we also spent lots of time this summer at the pool, did some hiking, and had lots of growing going on!
Officially, we have not yet decided to homeschool Caleb this year. Unofficially, we are 95% sure and this week was planned as a bit of a trial. We spent Monday giving Caleb a tour of all of the materials that are new since he started school back in February. He really liked the Timeline of Life and was not super happy I told him we would have to put it away until we got to those presentations in a few weeks. He is really on board with returning to homeschool, but he requested a geography workbook. "You know with maps and pictures and questions I can answer and stuff?" Um, yeah....sure. If that's what makes you happy buddy I will order a geography workbook for you. I don't have a plan for him in math yet, so I'm having him start with our Egyptian Numeral cards and will go from there. He's all out of Montessori scope and sequence so I'm considering going to Math U See for him as well since it aligns better with what he did in school last year.
Tuesday we figured out our lesson schedules for the year and organized new notebooks and folders. I am better organized when I know who gets which lesson on which day of the week and try to always keep it the same. We decided to make Friday a lesson-free day for playing catch up, running errands, field trips, and other stuff. (This also allows me to have our weekly Work & Play post scheduled and ready to go without worrying about adding things in last minute!) I also gave the initial Clock of Eras presentation. Aidan decided he should probably get started on the Egyptian number system and Caleb was excited to make a research poster on the computer.
This is the first day that felt like we were back in a good rhythm. I gave the Clock of Eras presentation on the Archean Eon and there was some thoughtful and thorough follow-up work going on. At the same time, this was the first day the little two really engaged with some good sensorial and practical life. Kylee worked on her first *real* research poster. For her age, she dictates the sentences to me and then copies them onto her poster. I bet by the end of this year she will be doing this independently. We also had to figure out a system for signing up for computer and iPad time. We had some grouchy words exchanged on Tuesday over *turns* and *fair* since Aidan uses the computer for Math U See and Caleb types a lot of his written work. I think we have the situation handled for now.
With scheduled lessons, Thursday is set aside for Religion. This fall, they will also participate in our Catholic co-op on Tuesday afternoons and Faith Formation at our church on Wednesday afternoons. I usually do Godly Play with the younger three and in the past we have used Faith & Life for Elementary. This year, Aidan is actually doing a modified version of the Dynamic Catholic confirmation program. Obviously he is a bit of a ways from confirmation, but I really like the videos and they are all online for free. Our church uses Theology of the Body for confirmation anyways so I already know I'm not overlapping (well any more than I would have been with anything else we did!). We are breaking down the sessions into one video/week instead of doing the whole session in one sitting. They we just chat about how things apply to him. We have already had several, "Oh so that's why you won't let me...." conversations (mostly related to movies/tv/music that we won't let him watch). We might skip some of the sessions until he is a little older, but the session on choices, for example, is very relevant to a tween (I don't like that word, I want a new one) who is starting to have more freedom to visit around town without mom and dad!
All said, a productive and happy first week back to school! I am pleased and excited with how things went, although I can see just how busy I will be this year.