Start your engines!!

Yesterday was the first day of school for us. I think it went great! This will be my 3rd year to homeschool the kids and I think I was the most prepared I have ever been! (That itself is a miracle..)

Here are a few pictures from yesterday, the kids were so excited to get back to school. They even carried their new backpacks from their room to their desk. Too cute!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. 6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Deuteronmy 6:5-9

Bookworms

I took the kids to the library yesterday. We all three had requested books and they were ready for pick up. We were all excited!  Once we got to the library, I noticed a big bus parked in the back of the parking lot.  It has a Scholastic Reading logo on it, so I thought we might check it out.  But, the kids were far too excited to have books on hold, so we of course had to go inside first.

They ran to the hold area and found their books, then they each checked out their books – all by themselves! I love that the San Antonio library has a self check out and my kids love it too. They get a kick out of passing their selected books over the scan pad and printing their receipt, makes them feel so grown up!

On the way out, we stopped in the Scholastic Reading bus. At first my kids were not too excited, most of the activities were preschool aged. But on the way out, they got excited. The lady was giving them a book. Aiden asked when he had to return it, when she answered it was his to keep, his face lit up! All 3 of my kids came home with a book of their own.

We were all so excited! My kids love to read and getting a free book was a great surprise for us! Below is a picture of each kiddo with their book. (And yes, I took the picture before bed tonight, don’t judge!)

Back on the wagon

I have been thinking a lot about the lack of routine we have in our household at this time. And when I say lack of, what I really mean is there is NO routine, none. at. all.  I know how we got here: bed rest for momma + holidays + new baby + moving = no set schedule.

However, I do not like to function that way. It is very hard on me to not have a set schedule in place, so that I know what needs to be accomplished. Especially where school is concerned. I worry that my kids will get behind and never catch up, they will be “those” homeschooled kids, the ones who you wonder what exactly their parents taught them?? I, of course, want others to interact with my children and think “what amazing, smart, well-mannered, respectful children!”

Of course,  I know that I am not going to leave my children to flounder  in their education and that as I work with them the well-mannered,  respectful, smart, etc. characteristics I desire will start to bloom in each of them in different ways. Which is why having a routine is so important to me. It was a HUGE pull towards the workbox system. I knew that the ability to schedule out the day using the workboxes would help my children to work independently, at their own pace, while giving me a smidge of alone time! (That last part is a bonus – but one I crave none the less.)

I have enjoyed seeing the delight and pride my children take in finishing their work and moving their workbox tags to the completed station. I know that my children love to learn and I want to do everything I can to keep that bucket full! I just need some help getting back on the wagon, so to speak!

So, for all you homeschooling, workboxing, unschooling, charlotte mason, and every style in between mommas: Got any advice for how I can get back on schedule with a new baby in the house? (One that is still on most nights waking up twice; even though I thought I had that problem solved,  and of course he requires a lot of attention. What are some ways you worked around the new addition to your family?

Summer School?????

This school year has been full of starts and stops. We started off SO strong! I had a schedule (that we kept!), I was organized, excited and happy with our days. Then LIFE happened. I was put on bed rest 3 0r 4 times, I lost count; had a weekend stay in the hospital for kidney stones, then we had the holidays. And most importantly, Liam made his appearance. Then 2 weeks after he was born, we moved to San Antonio. (Just typing all that makes me tired!) So, needless to say, our schedule flew out the window.

All of the chaos that was the end of 2010, beginning of 2011 has made me re-evaluate the idea of summer break. When my kids were in public school, I looked forward to summer almost as much as them – if not more! The ability to sleep late, wear pajamas all day, and do nothing if we so chose almost made me giddy. Fast forward 2 years and now that is the norm around here! Well, maybe not the sleeping late with Liam here, but the rest is. So, summer is not as exciting as it once was. Especially this summer, being in a new city with a new baby – venturing out during the hot days is even less appealing to me.

So, I have decided to school during the summer. I am not sure how much or how little we will accomplish, but I want to accomplish something other than memorizing Phineas and Ferb episodes! All joking aside, here is what I have decided on for Summer, hopefully starting in mid May:

Math: Continue with Math U See. The kids love the program and it works very well for them. We are currently on the Beta (Olivia) and Gamma (Aiden) level.

Science: Apologia Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day. I am excited to start this curriculim. I know I am starting with the second book, but my kids want to study sea mammals because Sea World is basically in our back yard. I want to take advantage of our season passes and the shows to add to the lessons. We will go back and complete book 1 next.

Geography: I am going to use Expedition Earth: A Journey Through God’s World by Erica  a http://confessionsofahomeschooler.blogspot.com/

Still trying to figure out what to do for grammar……

How bout you? Are you schooling through the summer or taking a break?

Bree