Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Back to School!

We started back to school today, and it went very much as expected! Well, in one way it didn't go as expected, so I'll start with that story!

We are planning to go see the Titanic Exhibition in downtown Atlanta next Saturday (Daddy is going to go with us!), so I figured this would be a good time for a Titanic refresher course! I had chosen two Magic Tree House books for assigned reading, knowing that they would be "easy reads." This would be a nice, easy way to slide back into the school routine! After our picture study time, I handed the kids their new books (the MTH book itself for Riley and the MTH Research Guide for Austin) and they decided to start reading immediately. I walked away to get Reece set up with playdoh, and to put some laundry in, start a roast in the crock pot, put the dishes away, etc. They each ended up completely finishing those books in one short sitting! I didn't keep track of the exact time, but it couldn't have been more than 30 minutes! I remember when it would take Austin 2 weeks to read a MTH book! :)

Math went like I expected it would for Austin. I planned for this by taking him back to 2-digit by 2-digit multiplication. He had 'forgotten' how to do it, but it came back quite quickly. We will continue with 2x2 digits until he has a sense of competence about it, and then I'll add 3x2 digits! There is just no sense in moving on until he feels comfortable with it. Once he starts to get his confidence up, I will start slowly moving into division. I had also assigned a page from Singapore Math's Challenging Word Problems, so he can practice on math application while we concentrate on this skill. Grammar went fairly smoothly with Easy Grammar 3/4, and I did start adding in the capitalization chapters. He did a page of review in his cursive workbook, only because I haven't added back spelling yet for him to practice his cursive.

Riley's day went more smoothly than I expected! She started her cursive workbook, without the workbook since they were out of stock at the homeschool bookstore yesterday. She did a couple of pages of math review, which were easy for her. She learned some more about adverbs with First Language Lessons (we'll be finishing this up in a couple of months I believe!).

Together, we did Picture Study (Come Look with Me, Exploring Landscape Art), Music (Began listening to portions of Swan Lake), and Latin (reviewing the lesson we did prior to Christmas). We also did a chapter in History, and they each narrated while I typed. Austin begged for this rather than doing a worksheet that accompanies the book (Hillyer's Child's History of the World from Calvert School). I was actually surprised he would prefer to narrate, because this was such a struggle for so many years for him. I literally cannot believe how much more he 'gets' history now than he did a few years ago. I can ask questions and he knows the answers! Riley just sits and looks at me like she's totally lost. But in her case, I have the experience of knowing it's probably just age. We discuss the chapter a bit, and I guide her through her narration process. Austin's narration was actually quite interesting today! ;) Maybe I'll post it later!

Reece played with Playdoh and the Moon Sand. It's been awhile since the playdoh was out, so it kept her busy for a long time! She goes back to preschool tomorrow! She keeps telling me she doesn't want to go back, but I suspect she will change her mind when she gets there. She does say the same thing about ballet though! But I'm just not convinced that keeping her home from all of her structured social time is good for her at this stage.

Rest time is about over, so I will go! Mom2007 is still struggling, but it's better to get it over with now than to try to go more slowly. I have tried that for the last few months, only to slip back into bad habits when I have a bad or hard day (which is more often than not). That's why I just have to make the things that are causing me the most trouble (namely the no soda or candy) a 'no option' thing. It's hard at first, but it will get better. :)

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