Thursday, August 20, 2009

First Week - Done!

Ok - so it's been a couple of months since I've posted. But, after all, it's summer and this is a homeschool blog.

I had every intention of schooling through the summer to prevent boredom and to finish up what we didn't finish during the school year. However, by mid-July I surrendered. It was a losing battle. The kids are older which means we are a lot busier and going more places. This provides less opportunity for boredom (and less opportunity for me to get any real projects completed).

However, we just completed our first week of school today!! Most importantly, it was incredibly successful! I was able to accomplish most everything I had planned. We began last Friday so we all could get a taste of our new schedule without feeling overwhelmed. After a nice weekend, we did school on Monday, took Tuesday off to go to a friend's (planned months ahead of time) and then did school yesterday and today. As my niece and nephew are coming tomorrow, we doubled up on our work today.

The older kids are studying the Age of Exploration. We are reading through an antique textbook - Explorers and Founders of America (written 1907 - our copy was printed in 1929) - which has made Columbus, De Leon, De Soto, and Vespuci come alive. I love old history books as they tend to stay closer to the truth than modern-day books. Even some of the Christian books tend to slant history a bit more conservative than it actually was. We are also enjoying a mini-study on oceans for our science.

The younger ones are doing Five in a Row this year - Volume 1. Madeline was the book of the week. We also did a little fish project to kind of tie in with the older kids oceanography. Lots of fun. And, even though the craft was simple, it made me look like a fun mom - always a bonus! We are reading The Light and the Glory for children in history this year. I like the style of writing, but I've never been to keen on the slant. It may sound odd, but, as I mentioned earlier, it has a very Christian slant to the degree of changing facts, I believe. I am not sure if Christopher Columbus really came here to spread the gospel - any thoughts on that? Everyone in the book tends to either fight with pride and/or want to spread the gospel to the natives. The next chapter deals with the Jesuit priests who come to bring salvation to the Indians. Not to offend any of my readers, but this book uses this in a positive light and equates them with born again Christians. This makes my job a little more interesting. However, I'd rather have a book add more Christianity to history than to scorn it or take it completely out. Anyone know of an interesting book for kids that has the balanced truth?

Our schedule seems to be working wonderfully. I teach the younger children in the morning while the older kids do their independent work. Then, after lunch, I sit with the older kids doing our read-aloud, history, science, and English. This has only taken an hour, so far, each day, but there will be many days that it will take 2 hours. Our schedule looks like this:

8:30 - individual Bible reading time (I read w/ the younger children)
9:00 - 11:00 - I teach the younger ones - Five in a Row, history/science, spelling, math, penmanship, reading. The older children do their math, any english and spelling assignments, and practice their instruments. If they finish with extra time, they keep Zane occupied.

11:00 - 12:00 - finish up morning assignments, Bible memorization (yet to start), getting ready to make lunch

12:00 - 1:00 - lunch/free time

1:00 - 3:00 - younger children finish any independent work; little ones go down for naps; I do the "together-schoo" with the older children.

3:00 - 4:00 - my favorite addition to this schedule - QUIET TIME FOR MOMMY!!!!! The children go outside or play QUIETLY in the house while mommy goes upstairs to read or nap. This is a great refresher for the evening!

4:00 - 5:00 - dinner prep with dinner @ 5:00

Notice my schedule has become more flexible - it is no longer minute by minute. We often finish school for the younger ones after 11:00 and the older ones, like I mentioned, are done before 3:00. I love the flexibility our school is allowing us - so much less stress for us all!

Have any of you begun school, yet? I would love to hear how it's going or when you plan to begin. Comment away!:)

1 comment:

Sarah said...

How wonderful that we both have started school this week! Glad we are both having super weeks!!

Amazingly, our daily schedules are almost the same for school!

History - Don't think you'll find a "balanced" book on American History since most people already think their view is the balanced view!!! Know what I mean??!

This is my second rotation through American History using Sonlight and WinterPromise curriculum. I love it...I also use History Pockets to go along with it. I may have 1 or 2 I could send you to use with the kids. (Ones we used last year...)

Can't wait to hear more adventures as you "sail" through school this year!