This post is going to be shared, but it is mostly written to reflect on at the end of the this year and for years to come.
I can honestly say we had a lovely and relaxing summer. A bit of work and a LOT of play!
We started a slow immersion back into our school schedule. First with earlier bedtimes and then a week of school time schedule, but no actual curriculum work. My thoughts on this idea were that it would help ease them out of wake and play mentality and help me work out any kinks to balancing myself, school, Emma, household chores, etc. What I did not realize was how much Emma Lynne needed that week. It was a rough few days for her, but even now half way through our first week she has completely adjusted and finds MANY ways to stay busy with us.
Our first day of school this year was Monday, August 13th. The two oldest were up by 6am and excited! I love that! I love that I am the one who gets to experience every bit of the first day. Awesome. Breakfast, morning chores, and we were ready to begin our school day by 8AM. It was always 9AM, but I have a lot more direct teaching this year (Kindergarten, 1st Grade, and 3rd Grade) along with managing a 1 year old. Our girls are early risers, but we will adjust if their wake time changes in the fall/winter. Flexibility! Love it.
Leah asked to "do school" this year. I had no plans to start her in August (maybe the fall), but she did not want to be left out. Since I thought the My Father's World curriculum I used for Mayah last year (Kindergarten) was a little below grade level I am starting it with Leah. She already knows most of her letter sounds and names. She can count to 13 before numbers begin to sound the same up to 20. LOL!!! We start with the days of creation, one each day. She is doing great with listening comprehension, coloring, and glue! We are having fun, which it exactly how it should be. She starts Cubbies this year so we are also working on her beginning verses.
Mayah completed MFW Kindergarten last year and started using the curriculum Chiara used for Kindergarten, but we started half way through. I wanted to expose her to long vowels-something MFW did not do. What's great about Bob Jones University (BJU) first grade is there is a lot of review at the beginning of the Phonics study. It also has great characters and stories to reinforce what she is learning. I love using BJU! Mayah has Phonics/English, Reading, Heritage (which is social studies), Handwriting, Math, Awana Verses, and eventually Science. It is a slow start, but perfect for her. I love watching things click and come together. By the end of the first week she has memorized John 3:16 and can tell even/odd numbers up to 10. Awesome.
Chiara is using third grade this year for her studies. She is not having the ease in that she is used to and her days are a lot longer. David and I tried to tell her this, but I think her 'smarts' got the best of her. It's not that the work is difficult, it is just that there is more of it and takes time to complete. She is using BJU for English, Math, Spelling, and Handwriting. We are using American Girl for History, Writing, and Reading. My dear friend Dena told me about this over the summer and we are incorporating it into our year. Our first girl is Felicity. American Revolution. I bought a unit study to go with it (super cheap!). She reads one chapter each day (the books are 5 chapters long) and has a variety of activities that go with each chapter. We are only using three girls this year so we will weave in BJU Heritage and Reading when we are not doing an AG unit.
So, our school day goes roughly like this:
Devotion & Prayer time
Mommy with Leah - about 30 min (Chiara and Mayah work on Handwriting and getting worksheets ready for the day)
Mommy with Mayah - about 1 hour for all subjects (Chiara starts her AG work independently)
Mayah starts her worksheets
Snack time is about 10AM
Chiara with Mommy -about 1 hour
I end direct teaching in time for lunch
After lunch Chiara finishes her worksheets for the day and her AG work
*Our day always ended by lunch time, but with 3 kids being taught it is not possible-some of Chiara's frustration.
Here are some pics of our first day!
This is the "master plan". Chiara and Mayah have their own individual plans now.
FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL PICTURES
Keeping up an old tradition....cookies on the first day of school. My mom did it for me and my siblings and I have continued it with my girls. The cookies are not quite the same, but they are still delicious!
Yes, Emma was there in it all....just busy walking around, trashing the school room, and getting on and off the computer chair. Her newest pastime during school is emptying the school room trash. She walks it over to the kitchen bucket and dumps it in. Big Sister Chiara loves this because that is her chore!
So far a fantastic start! I am excited to see what the year brings!