Sunday, September 12, 2010

We Survived Week One!

Well, we have completed our first full week of homeschooling for this 2010-2011 school year and what a week it was! It was a full week but a really great one! If the rest of the year could go this smoothly (which it probably won't), then it should be a breeze!

Some of the highlights of the week:
  • RJ is only 4. She turns 5 in February. She would only be going into Kindergarten next year according to all the government regulations. Well, I like to ignore those and do what I want when it comes to schooling. She started kindergarten this week with a bang! I bought a number of workbooks for her thinking if she was kept busy all morning she would want to play all afternoon, right? WRONG! She spent all Monday afternoon crying because I didn't have more school for her to do! So, we upped the amount of pages for her and that seemed to make her happier - at least until Friday when she insisted she was doing school in the afternoon just like the boys. So, I just may add some grade 1 books into the mix and see how she does with those!

  • The boys are enjoying both geography and science. For geography, they are studying Turkey and they look forward to those days. Yup, they actually enjoy it! And they love making the lapbooks. I did learn that their cutting-with-scissors skills are a bit wanting - the perfectionist in me has to work hard not to cut out the little books for them so they look perfect!

  • Pepe wants to be a zoologist thanks to science. He has taken to writing notes in little notebooks about the frogs he has been catching. Actually, we have now set up an aquarium in their room with 2 American Toads and 1 Leopard Frog. Turns out, you really do need to cover any small holes in the aquarium lid no matter how unlikely you think it is that the frog can escape. Cause it can. Just ask the boys! (When we left the house at 5:30 all 3 amphibians were present and accounted for. When we returned at 8:30 the frog was gone. Jay thought it was burrowed in the dirt. So I dug up the dirt. No frog. Yup, I spent the next 2 hours cleaning the house and searching for it while promising the boys the frog was not in their room and would not jump on them at night. It was found. I returned it to its home. I covered all holes and weighted down the lid! Trying escaping now, oh little jumping wonder!)

  • I was super excited to teach composition to Pepe this year, following the program designed by the Institute for Excellence in Writing. I wasn't sure how he would do but after this week, I am convinced he will thrive! He is loving it so far and has given 3 oral reports about his work. He was scared at first to present the report to us but by the third time he was looking at us while speaking, smiling, raising his eyebrows and using excellent expression. I cannot help but be overwhelmed with pride when I see how well he is doing under my tutelage!

  • Lunch times are so much easier if you actually make school lunches for them either the night before or the morning of. I never thought I would make school lunches for my home-schooled kids but when I was reading this post by Mama Jenn I decided to give it a go. Now, she uses these really cute colored lunch dishes called Easy Lunchboxes that cost way too much to ship to Canada. (Sorry, Easy Lunchboxes!) I had to think of a more affordable alternative so I found perfect sized 2-compartment plastic containers at Dollarama. I also bought a few other smaller-sized containers for vegetable dip, fruit salad or jello or pudding, etc. These have come in so handy and make my day run that much smoother. Now I make their lunches ahead of time and label the dishes with their initials. They can get their lunch on their own and whatever they don't finish goes back in the dish and is handy for snack time! It really does save a tonne of time and they can use that extra time for more playing. I get to use that extra time for chores around the house or getting supper in the crock-pot, etc. I absolutely love making them lunches thanks to the extra time it saves and guess what? When you make the lunches ahead of time you don't serve KD! Imagine that! :)

  • Finally, I have been using the workbox system as Mama Jenn describes (Hey, what can I say? She has some great ideas!). I have no idea how you are "supposed to" use the system but I like what I am doing. Everyone knows what to do next and the day seems to go very smoothly. It takes a bit more organizing than usual but the results are worth it. I have all 3 kids working on their assignments and it is so easy for me to go around and help them as necessary. They know what to do when they finish one assignment and don't have to sit and wait for me to tell them what to do! So, I love this part of schooling as well! And, I use the planning sheets Mama Jenn has created also! They keep me organized and on-track at all times! My day would be complete chaos without them!

  • I love how we can be flexible with our schedule! We accomplished everything school-related we needed to do plus we attended a doctor's appointment in the city followed by some shopping, we helped my in-laws dig potatoes one afternoon and I took the kids to a bookstore one morning. A great, great week!

Well, that is the recap for the week. I don't have any pictures to show you since all 3 of my camera cards are full and need to get developed! That should happen this week! I hope your week was as good as mine and I hope this coming week is even better!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Chantelle,I just love reading about it. It brings back so many fond memories of things that worked and things that didn't! And now the internet is another resource for you home schooling moms and you can share ideas and strengths of weaknesses! What a blessing! I liked the Excellence in writing programme too and all 3 of my kids are really good writers. Another book (for later) is called Formula Writing and it's the "formula" for writing a good essay. Blessings as you continue on the good days and bad days, the good weeks and bad weeks! Your children will thrive! Love you all, s.


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