Monday, January 11, 2010

First Day of the New School Year

Whew! We made it through Day One. I didn't have my chore system revamped yet(the long lists by zone are NOT working, so I am hoping to simplify and go back to a 3x5 card system). Nor do I have everyone's daily schedules mapped out for a week yet, but what I did have planned on paper for today worked fairly well. For those who don't know my modus operandi well, you should know that I am a LIST maker, but not a BOX checker. How do those two peacefully coexist? They don't. I think that conflict is partially behind the chronic rearranging that happens in my home--but that's another story for another day.

We followed the newly constructed schedules fairly closely, starting at 7:44 this morning when the kids woke up surprisingly easily. Any homeschooling mom can tell you, though, that fits of perfectionism("MOOOOOM! I just CAN'T!!!!) and cranky tired children are not easily fit into the most smooth-running schedule. I had both this morning by ten o'clock. Granted, one has a cold and the other is recovering from Strep throat . . . .it STILL went remarkably well till lunch.

So here's what we got done today, in list form:
1. Read the LONNNNG first chapter of "Little House in the Big Woods" to the younger three. They ALL(including the Boy)sat still(he was building a "little house" with Lincoln Logs)and listened for the entire chapter--gory details of deer-and-hog processing included. No "EWWWWW, GROSS!" either! I was impressed.
2. The three all did narration. I was surprised the Boy went straight to telling me what he remembered, while the two girls had a slight issue of writer's block with it. The Redhead was most reluctant--she is the little perfectionist in the fam.
3. We traced Wisconsin and wrote down facts about the state NOW. Drew descriptive pictures. These pages will go in their school notebooks and we will add to them a few times a week.
4. Math--Teaching Textbooks--levels 4,5,6--DONE!!
5. Math with The Boy--he is technically just K age, so in lieu of ordering a pricey Math curriculum for K, which I have never done(except with C--but we didn't end up using it!), but was afraid this year of "missing something"; I did some investigative work with him. Lo and behold, he recognizes the numerals 0-9 AND is doing simple addition--and I have not formally worked with him on "Math" at all--this is all just stuff he's picked up. I was thrilled. And glad--glad that I didn't order a curriculum, half of which I would have been frustrated that it was too easy but would have been determined to DO anyway(since I PAID for it!) yielding much frustration for him AND me . . . .
6. J worked on phonics with the Boy for over an HOUR. They had a blast. I never knew letter sounds involved so much giggling. But he is recognizing the letters now by name and sound MUCH better--THRILLED again!
7. I made a batch of laundry detergent. Mt. WashingTONS was getting TALLER and taller. We will hopefully conquer a good bit of it soon again, now.

We are still waiting for C's Language Arts and the three girls' Science stuff to arrive--as a non-box-checker, though, I enjoy easing into our schedule. I think we got quite a good bit done today because the kids were ready to dig more deeply into things than I had thought they would be. You know I am going to LET that happen.

Oh! And my freebie cleaning products from Stonyfield Farm Rewards arrived! There were chunks of ice in the all-purpose cleaner--it is still COLD! Kind of nice to get free stuff for eating yogurt--frozen or not!

It was a good first day.
Time to switch and fold laundry, see to it that some chores somewhere get done, and start dinner.

Happy Day to you!
~april

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