Now that our Christmas break is officially over, we had our first week back to school! I am hoping for a great year, and if the first week is any indication I think it will be. We have made a few changes and there are some gaps I may need to fill in here and there, but for the most part what we are using seems to be working- hurray!
My goal for the New Year is really to be more structured and organized in both school and everyday life. As much as the kids may complain about having to do certain things, they do so much better when they know what to expect each day. Before we took our break I was struggling to get any work done with Moose because by the afternoon (when I had “free” time) I was tired and he was usually off playing. So this week my plan was to get his school work done first thing in the morning. My work with him really only takes about 30 minutes, and I can do this while the other kids are doing their morning chores and getting ready for the day. So far so good- he now had one solid week of school work done!
We made it through our first week of our new history and science curricula– and both were big hits (especially science!). We are reading Adam and His Kin and the kids are really enjoying this narrative of Bible stories that are already familiar to them. And who wouldn’t love science that was based on the Magic School Bus series?! This week we studied about ants and did a science experiment about worms. Thankfully it was unseasonably warm on Friday and we were able to find a worm in the garden to observe.
We have a new batch of memory work to go through this year. For Bible verses I chose one long passage to work on (Psalm 139) and the shorter passages will come from the Character Qualities we are working on. Our other memory work can be found here.
While we were on our break from school I was having the kids do some math from the Math Mammoth blue series (a lot less teacher intensive than MEP). Well, they liked it so much that they have asked to continue it instead of MEP. As much as I love MEP I am going to let them continue with Math Mammoth for now and reevaluate in a few weeks. Truthfully, it is nice to have a little break from doing as much teaching as MEP requires (especially when you are trying to teach 3 different levels).
Caspian has also requested a break from KISS grammar. Again, it is a program I think it very strong, but it can be intense as times. So for now we are going to use these free workbooks and give him a little break before we make any long-term plans. I think I may try those with Aurora too since she is too young for KISS right now anyway.
Writing is going well for Caspian with the combination we are using. He was very happy to find the passages in Writing with Ease this week came from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. I have the feeling we may end up reading the Narnia series again sometime soon! I am finding that Writing with Ease 2 is a little too much for Aurora. I haven’t decided if I will purchase level 1 or if I will just use the plan outlined in The Well Trained Mind first edition and do it on my own. The frugal part of me usually wins out, so the latter will probably be the result!
Everything else was mostly the same as what we were using before. I am noticing great changes in Little Bear as far as his independent playing. He has grown up a lot- even just since Thanksgiving! It also helps that he has Moose (who is a fantastic big brother) to play with him. Little Bear is also big into Thomas the Train right now so setting up a track can provide him hours of entertainment! He no longer needs to sit in my lap every minute of the day so school just seems more relaxed around here.
I am hoping that next week (and all of the weeks after that!) turn out as well as this week! Have a great weekend!