Monday, August 29, 2011

Back to Busy-ness

We kicked off our third year of homeschooling last Monday, and the day went quite well.  Better than I ever expected, in fact.  Almost too well, if you know what I mean.  Being the planner that I am, I had a schedule –with start times and end times – from which to work, and we pretty much stayed on schedule all morning.  We prayed together, I read aloud to the kids, and we studied a painting by Cézanne.  Each of my elementary kids got to practice reading, we talked about Vikings, went outside to study ants, and the younger two made boats out of egg cartons while the boys read to themselves.  Banana said that she loved school.

Around noon the Hot Lunch Crew, a.k.a. Grandma and Grandpa, came to feed the kids and help with the last few subjects of the day.  (I get the chance to go grocery shopping and run errands in the afternoons on Mondays.  God bless the Hot Lunch Crew!!)  We attended a Back-to-School Barbecue with our homeschool group that evening, after which the boys had soccer practice.  And to end the day properly, I made sure to look over the kids’ math and grammar before going to bed so they could look over their work the next day.  Yes, Monday went very well indeed!

Then came Tuesday.  There was a little less enthusiasm for school that morning.  We hadn’t even started yet when Banana declared, “I’m quitting school!”  She had been a Kindergartener for exactly one day!  She definitely had a difficult day on Tuesday, but things got better after that.  She realized that the older kids have more on their agendas than she does, much to her delight.  She is always finished before lunch, while the older kids still have a few things to work on after lunch.  And seriously…who would want to quit Kindergarten??

I am pretty excited by the number of things we accomplished this week.  To increase the level of couth in our home, we listened to a little bit of the life of composer Franz Schubert, and began learning a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson, in addition to the Cézanne painting.  Oh yes, we are civilized here at the Reddy Zoo.  We also worked on the kids’ handwriting and reading, not to mention the other educational basics - grammar, religion, history, nature study, and Banana’s new favorite subject – Math!! 

Miss M is doing well with her studies so far.  She hangs out with us in the mornings for a little while, but she does the bulk of her work independently.  However, since I have 3 elementary kids and a preschooler this year, I am extremely busy throughout the mornings.  This means that I don’t read e-mails, make phone calls, or check off anything on my to-do list until after lunch at the earliest.  I have never had this level of busy-ness in my entire life.  But it is also the BEST kind of busy-ness I have ever had.

Here are a few pictures from our first week.  I hope to take more pictures of our activities this year.  We do so many things I would like to capture and remember.  These are just a couple of pictures of the kids reading...

...doing math

...and cooking!  (Isn't that one of the 3 R's?)

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