A Personal Note

All were happy at our house today! 

Mom (me) was happy because there was FINALLY a schedule to follow, some structure for the day!  Yippee for that.  This summer was the worst for me in that aspect and I have been itching to get started again.

 For Group Learning Time  today we had a fun activity.  I hid fairytale words around the room.  Then we wrote a fairytale together.  Each child would find a word and add to the story.  They had a blast . . . I'm sure we'll be doing it again.  We also started our family read aloud book, The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker.                                                                                            
JW (10yo son) was happy today because he started public school today (5th grade).  I cried, of course, as he entered the classroom door and on the bike 
ride home.  But once coming home and having the other four to distract me, I was able to smile instead.  :-)  And  he came home pretty pleased with the whole experience. 

B. (9yo daughter) was happy because she caught a spider eating a bee!!  I should have taken a picture  (duh!).  We put it in our bug magnifier. . . the best thing we have found by far for observing nature!! And she got to let Penny (her bunny) run free in the yard.  We have been waiting all summer to find a bunny run for cheap.  Finally, today I just said, "Let her run free."  Both B. and Penny were elated!

A. (8yo daughter) maybe wasn't all that happy to do her spelling but we had a beautiful moment together reading books.  So, that made up for the unpleasantness of everything else.  And she got to make "after school cookies" for JW.  :-)

I think JL (5) & E (3) were the most unsure of what to do with themselves.  They've always had JW around to entertain and harrass them.  Not anymore!  I seriously think they spent half the day wrestling!  Boys will be boys! 

And Mom (me) was happy yet again to enjoy some pleasant afternoon time with JW again and to get all the juicy details about the last 6 1/2 hours of his day.  :-)  Though I've had normal nervousness with this big transition, I have not regretted nor felt any apprehension whatsoever.  This will be a good change for him, my girls, and myself. 

Oh, and Dad was happy because he got a BIG breakfast of eggs, sausage and pancakes.  :-)


Getting Back to a New Year

Yes, it's time!  Back to schedules and lots of activities.  This year, I am so ready to get back to our normal schedule.  I'm excited to start teaching again . . . I've been slacking with my kids this summer.   I'm excited about the things we're going to learn!  Here are some things that we plan on using:

Sequential Spelling - This has been great for my non-readers.  It helps with learning how to decode words.  I'm hoping this will inspire them to write more and to feel more confident with their reading!

To Be a Princess - This is our whole history cirriculum for the year.  Yes, we will supplement with other books and throw in some US history as we go along, but for the most part it's all about royalty at our house this year!  When my girls said they wanted to learn about royalty, I went on a hunt for something that taught about the "real" princesses in history.  I stumbled upon this book on Amazon and instantly fell in love with it.  It's just short biographies of twelve princesses:  Elizabeth, Marie Antoinette, the last Hawaiian princess and others.  Each princess will lead us on a journey into their country, their culture and more.  I'm really excited about this one!

Singapore Math - This will be used for my younger children  (K & 2nd).  I wasn't planning on getting anything for my K child but when looking at math books for the other kids he asked, "What math book am I going to use?"  I told him I wasn't going to get him anything and he didn't like that answer.  I asked if he wanted to just finish the K workbook I'd gotten him for last year and his response was, "No, I don't like that one.  It's too easy!"  And then when his book came in the mail I have never seen someone so excited about math!  I'm also hoping this will be more appealing to my 2nd because she needs a little more nudging.  I will be using Saxon with my 4th.

That's ALL the "cirriculum" I'm using this year.  But we've got a LONG list of read aloud books that I hope to get through.  That is one thing this summer that was so successful.  We read and read and read!  We're almost done with our third read aloud book this summer.  That may be nothing for some families, but that's a big deal for ours!  What did we read?  The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall, How to Train Your Dragon by Clarissa Cowell, and Summer of the Monkeys.  

Oh, and science we're going to do lots more nature studies, kitchen chemistry and some human body unit studies. 

I hope everyone's summer went well and that your year is all ready to get started!  Good luck!
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