Sunday, September 09, 2012

Our First Week - 2012-2013 Year, Part I

Six weeks vacation time is in our experience the right amount so we all get relaxation - Mama has some time to plan for next year - and the children don't forget everything they've learned. We started our vacation back in late July, and started school again last Monday, on Labor Day.

During those six weeks the kids created an enormous card for their grandmother (about 5 feet by 6 feet!), we visited the island of Aruba for a week (where we also visited an ostrich farm), we celebrated Ballerina's fifth birthday, read books, did Chemistry experiments from a kit Builder had received as a gift, read and did some activities from the Leonardo Da Vinci Inventions kit, went to the pool often, and culminated the whole summer with a 6-day trip to Orlando, Florida followed by Builder's birthday. We went to SeaWorld for three days and drove almost an hour one day to visit Legoland! We all had so much fun. When my computer finally wants to cooperate with posting pictures, I really want to post pictures

I find it easier to start the summer vacation around Ballerina's birthday (late July) and ending this time right after Builder's birthday - bookends. It's hard to believe my oldest is nine!

This week we have started building up to our schedule gradually. After a few years of hours lost and wrestling with complicated homemade schedules, I've decided to go the easier route. I simply typed up by subject what needs to be done from weeks 1-6, weeks 7-12, etc. in Mac Pages. These are only the subjects which require some sort of organization in our curriculum, not "do-the-next-thing" curricula. Perhaps I should write another blog post about this, especially how I organized Elementary Science Education - Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding (BFSU 2), as I know many people struggle with implementing this excellent science curriculum.

All that said, my schedule went well this week. I do suspect that I have too many things going on at the same time - for someone with a toddler. However, I like it this way. I only need to stagger, which is my favorite new tool. From Mondays through Thursdays, we do the basics (math, grammar, reading, science, history, poetry) and Fridays we do health & safety, geography, piano, and art. On Sundays, we read aloud Book of Virtues and Builder does Faith & Life on

To speed things up a bit, I have Builder work the allotted time on the lesson - this year from 20-30 minutes - and if he doesn't finish, it's "homework", which cuts into his play and watching-Phineas-and Ferb-on-Netflix time. I anticipate this will reduce dawdling, daydreaming, talking, and interrupting.

To Be Continued..

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