Saturday, July 30, 2011

Into the Groove

It begins. All the school year prep, all the extra's prep, all the questions about how much is too much. Can we do dance and piano lessons? Should we? Can we work one more thing into the schedule? Ready or not, here it comes.

Our school year, at least the first couple of weeks, is planned. We are starting late for us. There is much to be accomplished this year. Isn't there much to be accomplished every year? This year, although we are still doing some subjects together, I have a feeling I will be teaching three different maths. The baby is a 2nd grader, the boy a 5th grader, and the big girl is an 8th grader. The big girl's math is on disc, but that doesn't mean she won't need help occasionally. She's starting Algebra. I am so excited, regardless of whether she is or not. I like the upper level maths. I need to work closely with the baby and make sure she understands the concepts presented. The boy is a math genius. He will do fine, but I still need to keep an eye on him. Some of you may not know this about my boy, but he tends to get in a hurry. Sometimes he trips when he runs ahead, sometimes he whacks his head on a battleship (that's a later blog), sometimes he makes silly addition and subtraction errors. Those last ones will mess up his school work something fierce.

History this year is a series of unit studies and lap books. Our first one is about colonial times. I'm trying to focus more on American history this year. They all come with a list of books and additional resources. I've made a list of books I want to request from the library. I even checked to make sure the library has the ones I want. I told you I'm a freak. I did the same thing for our science. I'm adding an official reading time to our day. That way I know the kids will actually read the books I check out.

We are using a general science concept this year. I have a great experiment book we are using for science. It breaks them down according to concept. The first section is heat. It explains what heat is, then there are 6-8 experiments showing different ways heat works. Pretty darn cool. And, of course, there's all that additional reading. I've made a list of supplies and books. The other topics covered are air, gravity, water, chemistry, and a little physics. I also have a ton of experiments that I down loaded for free. We are going to do at least three experiments a week. If we get them all done in one day, bully for us. If not, we don't. Which ever section the kids want to do first, we'll do. I'm rooting for the kitchen alchemy section. That's kind of my concept for making dinner. Throw a bunch of stuff together and see how it reacts. As long as it doesn't explode, we're all good.

All of the kids are taking a spelling course I downloaded. The big girl doesn't really need it, but it wouldn't hurt for her to take it. I like the way it's presented. It's quick and simple, but I think effective. We'll see anyway. The baby is going to work on reading comprehension as well. She has great skills, I just want to make sure she keeps them. The boy is going to finish the grammar and reading comprehension from his LifePacs from last year. The big girl wanted to do some creative writing. She has always been a great writer and I like that she wants to develop that talent more.

I'm adding arts and crafts this year. The kids have all expressed an interest in origami. I think that's awesome. Because I'm a sucker, and I want to learn about origami as well, I ordered a book. I've been looking at them for awhile, and I finally found one I like. I found a book of origami fashion. You can make dresses and purses and shoes and who knows what else. They're not life size. That's not the one I got. That would drive the boy straight out of his ever-loving mind. I just thought it was cool. I think I might see if I can find an origami unit study somewhere. There's an idea. Who knows, maybe we'll start an origami club. Hmmm...

I see my crock pot being brought out from under the cabinet more often now. It is starting to feel unwanted. When we quit all of our extras, when we thought we were moving, it didn't get used much. We were home. I was unfocused so to get me to remember to put something in it and have it ready for dinner was not happening. I am excited that we are going to dance again. When we get registered, I will see if we have time and money for piano lessons. There is an opportunity, maybe, for a girl scoutish type co-op for the girls. I may see if there is interest in a boy scoutish co-op for the boy. No camping, though. Not enough Hilton's or Hyatt's around here. We still have book club once a month for the boy and the big girl. The kids want to start going back to chess club. Add that back to the schedule. Of course, there are field trips. I have lots of ideas for those. What was I saying earlier? How much is too much? I guess we'll find out.

Have a great day.


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