Saturday, August 9, 2014

HomeSchool Review I

The photos in this post are all photos I discovered on my iPad taken either by Teresa or Brigid, though I know the yellow ones are Brigid. 

A few years ago I made a point of doing weekly summaries of our schooling and what we were up to. And then I stopped and haven't bothered since. Melanie over at The Wine Dark Sea has been doing weekly posts of their events of the week and it reminded me of those posts way back when. 

And it occurred to me that, while such posts are valuable any time in and of themselves, they might be especially helpful to me right now given our present circumstances. Packing our home (we are about 3/4 done), moving about 800 miles, buying our first house and with the excited anticipation of baby #6's arrival in October, such a series of posts might be particularly beneficial. I can't worry about too many days ahead right now and I expect, come September, I won't remember too much of our schooling from August. True, I have a schedule that I mark off as we go. I don't mean to imply we'd be totally adrift without said posts. But given the time of transition we are in, they may prove particularly helpful in the long run. 

We began our new school year this week. Cecilia is now in 4th grade, Felicity moved up to 2nd and Elizabeth is beginning 1st. Elizabeth might struggle a little bit but as she only turned 5 in June, I won't be especially demanding or rigorous with her. She still has the last quarter of Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons to finish but was clearly getting bored with the Kindergarten math book and reading comes easier to her than it did to Cecilia or Felicity (she could breeze through the remaining lessons pretty quickly if she wanted to) so I simply think it is best to move on to 1st while finishing her reading lessons and, frankly, even if she gets "behind" on my schedule, she is already ahead so it doesn't really matter. (And since Wisconsin doesn't require notification until a child is 6 years old, I don't even have to worry about telling the state much less what to tell them.)

MONDAY we kicked off just getting everyone back into the swing of things. Interestingly enough, the girls were super excited to get started. They raced through their morning chores to get to school. Clearly they were bored out of their minds and really needed that constancy of school to start again. 
We did History together, which was only half a chapter to ease us back into it. I can't say as I'm too worried about Elizabeth's paying much attention to History as we are about to cover a ton of wars and she is only 5, so what she hears, great, what she doesn't, she will when she is older. Elizabeth did get done her Phonics, Geography and Math. Cecilia got done Geography, Handwriting and Poetry as well as 1 lesson in her Math book (she needs to do 4 each week.) Felicity's mirth began to wane though when she realized the usual 5 pages in Phonics was actually closer to 10 due to the numbering of the lessons. (I think they did that since some of it was such easy review, but I schedule by lesson numbers, not by page numbers.) I told her she didn't need to do all of it that day but she was adamant she wanted to finish the subject for the week. She did finish but I was sorry she had such an unhappy start. 

Fortunately they had fun playing outside that afternoon. Elizabeth and Felicity filled the water table outside with water and when it was warmed up by the sun they decided to make soup of it. Butt soup. Thank goodness they were clothed but yes, they proceeded to sit in it to make Butt Soup. Never let it be said I am not raising perfect little ladies. 

TUESDAY Cecilia surprised me with another lesson finished in her Math book before I even got out of bed. But after that we didn't do any school. I had an OB check up - YAY for normal glucose test results! - and then I picked up a few of their friends to come over for a playdate. James made homemade queso for a chips and cheese lunch and I picked up snow cones for everyone to celebrate Our Lady of the Snows and the kids all basically played with their friends for 6 1/2 hours. Nothing like a holiday the second day of school!

WEDNESDAY was a very long school day, though not by my choice. In the morning Cecilia did another math lesson, her Latin, English and Spelling. Felicity got done her Math, Geography and Handwriting and Elizabeth did her Handwriting, English, 1 reading lesson, and Geography. After lunch I did Religion with all of them. Elizabeth only listens so long on longer subjects like this one but, again, being 5, she has plenty of time to learn what she doesn't get now later. 
At this point, I was fried and totally prepared to call it a day, but Cecilia and Felicity weren't ready to stop. Despite being so done that she struggled to put any words in ABC order, Felicity insisted on finishing her Spelling, English, Poetry and Latin. And Cecilia forced herself through her last Math lesson, Vocabulary and Typing. It was near 5 o' clock before we finished. 

THURSDAY I left the house with Cecilia, Felicity and Elizabeth by 8am to head to a friend's house for a playdate. Teresa stayed home with James since their yard isn't fenced and I'm too pregnant to be chasing a 3 year old into the street. Brigid stayed home because Teresa was and it made things easier for me. We don't normally do so many playdates in a single week but we are trying to pack them in before we move. We stayed at their house until around noon and then picked up Chick FilA on the way home. After lunch I did Science with all the girls and Cecilia and Felicity were done for the week. Seeing Cecilia play Club Penguin on the computer and Felicity play on the WiiU motivated Elizabeth to want to finish school so she could play too. So I took her to James's office and we did her first Latin lesson, 3/4 of her Spelling lesson, 1 reading lesson and began Poetry. Elizabeth struggled with Poetry, similar to Felicity when she was asked to memorize her first Poem. Cecilia had an easier time memorizing poems but even her improvement amazes me with how fast she can memorize. Felicity has definitely improved this year as well, so I'm sure Elizabeth will as well but she got frustrated so we stopped for the day. 

FRIDAY I was planning on a more relaxing day but it never happened. From packing a couple of boxes to giving James a haircut and then finishing Elizabeth's Spelling, Poetry and 1 more reading lesson (she is up to lesson 77 now). I also cleaned up and took down the kids play table outside. Then I vacuumed the living room and playroom, both of which so desperately needed it. 

This week school was a bit squished by the playdates but I never needed to insist any of the girls push through to finish anything and we aren't behind yet! I'm sure we will get behind by the week of Labor Day (the week we move into the new house) so I'm going to do my darnedest to keep us as on track as possible until then. 

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