Sunday, August 03, 2014

Back To School We Go!

We officially started school on July 14th.  It was definitely a soft launch, but since we've basically been done with school since mid-March, it was time to put some routine back in our days!

Our official First Day of School picture!  It was a good day - can you tell?

We went to a homeschooling convention in early June and I'd had all of our curriculum on hand long enough to plow through the teacher's manuals and wrap my brain around the first six weeks of school.  I'd even found a homeschool planner that looked promising (turns out I love it lotsly)!

Our grade breakdown this year is Thomas and Sarah Grace in 5th, Elizabeth in 2nd, Anna in 1st, and Daniel in keep him occupied so he doesn't get into anything mode pre-school.  Once upon a time, school started at 10, lunch was at 11:30, nap was at 12:30, and that was all we had on the official schedule.  As Thomas and Sarah Grace have gotten older, however, our school takes a little longer each year.  Plus, there are two other students... and Daniel. 

Y'all, don't underestimate the mischief level of a three year old.  Just. Don't.

All that to say, when we started out, school took less than two hours a day... and that included LOTS of reading to them all.  Nowadays, school takes closer to six hours... more, depending on attitudes and what day of the week it is.  Our current daily schedule looks something like this.

It's been tweaked a time or two since we started, but I think we might be on the final rendition.  Time will tell, as it always does! 

Our curriculum choices changed a little this year.  Nothing major, but that's a post for another day (given the regularity with which I blog these days, you better message me if you are serious about hearing about those changes!)  In the mean time, here's another picture. 

 Our morning meeting this year, officially named Convocation (that's a blatant rip-off from LL.  Thanks again, friend!!), is more varied and we are LOVING it!  I can't wait to share more about it, but for now, here's another picture of some of the items we are using for August.  (I know, I'm making bloggy promises.)

I pick on our poor Daniel, though I really shouldn't.  He does manage to find mischief, but it's generally the innocent, curious kind.  However, it is still in my daily schedule (see above!) to keep him occupied the vast majority of the time.  When he works with Sarah Grace, they do colors and sorting and puzzles and such.  He was give a fabulous little toy box/bench/desk for his birthday and a lot of his morning revolves around that little bench.  His favorite toys are in it for play time, and for school, we drop the desk part down and he has a roomy surface to work on.  (Thanks Aunt Amy and Uncle Anthony!)

Anna is taking her school very seriously this year - usually in a pink tu-tu and pixie wings.  She's a December baby, but as any homeschooling mama knows, age is not what defines a kindergartner.  Anna declared last fall (at age 4) that she would start school, and she completed all her kindergarten credits and has been passed on to first grade!  She works hard and is LOVING handwriting.  Girlfriend is all about learning to write letters to people, so be watching your mailboxes

In the middle of the morning, all the older kids are sitting at the table doing various assignments and Daniel is hovering around me while begging for food.  Because that is what he does if he's awake.  I pull him up in my lap and read to him while the other kids work.

New homeschoolers ask me all the time if I think a school room is necessary.  Here's the answer, folks:  No.  A school room is NOT necessary - unless you're like me.  I'm the kind of girl who needs the school room scenario.  My kids don't always work at that table (usually, but not all the time), but for my oh!-look-a-squirrel little self, I work best in a space that's dedicated to the education of my kids.  Plus, we had this weird room (it's supposed to be a formal living room, but that's not my life) that needed a purpose.  Perfect storm, right?

It's a full day every single day, but at the end, they sit on the couch for an episode of Wild Kratts while I check their work and hide behind my computer screen. 

I love how they sit in birth order.  It just cracks me up.  I also love how Little Mister Energy sits ready to jump and go the second it looks like the show is over!    

And this?  This is what we had for dinner one day.  Dinner, yes.  Because some days are longer than others and we all need a treat at the end just for not inflicting bodily damage upon one another.  Right?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! Four school aged kids and your still so sane and organized! Way to go, Mom!