August 13–17 // Back to School
It was back to school week here and we hit the ground running! All in all it was a really, really great week as far as what I planned and what we got accomplished. I’m definitely seeing some areas that we need to tweak, but overall, this was a great start to our 2012-2013 school year. : ) I could tell that summer activities faded and we enjoyed a brief lull this week where I didn’t haven’t to worry about any other errands or outings and could be very focused on setting the tone for our school week and routine. I realized that other than a quick run to Target on Thursday night, the girls and I never left the house all week. No wonder we got a lot done! : )
School pics on Monday … more next week.
This week we started back working on about 2/3 of our expected workload for this year. Why only 2/3? Because several of our school activities won’t start up until the first week of September, such as Classical Conversations, Bible Study (we are part of Community Bible Study), and Awana. However, that gives us several weeks to get a jump start on math and language arts, as well as test out a new daily routine which may or may not revolve around containment and management of a certain almost two-year-old in the house.
I think the key to our good week was our boy schedule. I spent a good chunk of last week with a piece of paper and outlined a tentative schedule to help our days flow. Our plan was to start our day in the school room with activities that can be done with an active boy – this week, we used that time for girls to practice piano lessons and write copy work in their journals. Then, about 10 a.m., the boy goes in his room with a baby gate up for a half hour by himself. At that time, I worked one-on-one with B, while the N’s did their handwriting / explode the code / spelling (N1) – anything they could do independently. After approximately 30 minutes working with B, she’s ready for a break and she goes to play with the boy while I did math one-on-one with N2. By the time N2 is done with math, she’s ready for a short break and she shifts boy-duty with B while I move on to math with N1. B comes back to work on some handwriting worksheets and what work she can do on her own with minimal help from me.
This is what I’m trying to avoid. : )
This gives me about an hour and half of one-on-one time with the girls and the boy isn’t left unattended and/or unsupervised for great lengths. By 11:30 or 12:00 pm, we let him out of his room and either do some group reading in the school room or head down to lunch depending on the day. Having said how well all this worked, I fully expect there to be a few snags along the way. Case in point: the boy can now climb out of his pack-n-play where he naps in the afternoon. This has meant at least a 20 minutes delay in afternoon school business every afternoon while I remind/train him (multiple times) that when it’s nap time he has to stay in bed. But overall, for now it’s working and for that I’m thankful.
This week we checked off several scholastic things:
- N1 finished the last five lessons in her Saxon 2 book. Yay!
- N1 and N2 each completed one week in their respective Writing With Ease books. N1 has about a lesson and a half left in her book before she moves on to WWE 3.
- 1st Language Lessons – at least three a piece – for each girl.
- We went back and read the introduction to Story of the World, Book 1 in preparation for our study of ancient civilizations in both our CC memory work as well as our Bible study on 1 & 2 Chronicles and Kings.
- As we prepare for a semester of biology memory work with CC, we also worked on this animal classifications lapbook from Homeschool Share. I had forgotten how much N1 loves lapbook work and need to make a point to add more of that in my plans over the year.
- B tackled her first four lessons in Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and her first five lessons in Saxon K. As expected, she needs lots of breaks to disperse some extra energy throughout the morning, but for the first week, she did a great job of working when it was time to work.
We started a new lunchtime read-aloud, or rather picked up one we had gotten a few chapters in and set aside for lack of a good summer schedule.
N1 and N2 are both working through some assigned independent reading books. N1: The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book I: The Mysterious Howling and Brighty: Of the Grand Canyon (Marguerite Henry Horseshoe Library). N2: Ramona the Pest and A Mouse Called Wolf. N1 flew through the Incorrigibles and is chomping at the bit for Book 2, but I’m holding out on her until she finishes Brighty. So far, she’s not a fan, but is still plugging along.
I had plans for us to get out and do some nature observation in the backyard on Friday and those plans were thwarted by rain. So, instead we worked on a cooperative project indoors – making chocolate chip cookies for our Friday movie night. A pretty nice way to end a full week.
He can be still.
Linking up with Kris at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers for this week’s Weekly Wrap-up!