Quick Takes: First Week of School

1. School

We officially started school this week.  I'm completely exhausted but feeling pretty good about everything so far.  Today's post is going to be all about school because it's basically the only thing I've been able to accomplish all week (well, that and feeding my kids of course).

2. Schedule

I decided to ease us into the school year so this week we've only done three half days (three days because I had a work meeting on Monday and we need a beach day on Friday).  We basically did school work (only math and language arts this week) from about 10-2 with many breaks...more than we'll hopefully have to take once we really buckle down.  Like I said, it's going pretty well so far.  I'm feeling good about our curriculum and about our ability to make it through the year.  

That said, I've already made changes to our schedule because I think trying to cover all of our main subjects everyday is just unreasonable with how young my kids are and with how much help they need with just about everything.  When I wrote my original schedule I thought there would be some subjects that my kids could do semi-independently and, so far at least, that's not really the case.  I'm sure that once we've been into a routine for a few weeks my kids will be a little more focused and motivated but right now they need a lot of help and encouragement with all things.  So, I've decided that there are some subjects we're only going to do 3 days a week (like handwriting and grammar/vocabulary) to give more time for each subject on each day.  I'm sure I'll do a separate post with this new (semi-confusing) schedule so stay tuned for that.

3. Heat

We're nearing the end right now of an insane heat wave.  Every day for the last week has been 100+ here in Ojai.  This means that, unfortunately, we haven't been able to use our schoolroom (there's no ac in the room and it gets crazy hot).  We have a small fan but by 10 a.m. it's just so uncomfortable.  We lasted about 2 hours in there on our first day of school but ended up so irritable and tired from the heat that I moved us into the house for the foreseeable future.  I'm very grateful that we have air conditioning in our home right now.  

4. Curriculum

So far I'm really loving all of our curriculum.  The kids have really enjoyed the Horizons math and Eleanor loves Lightning Literature.  I've also really enjoyed going through Explode the Code with George.  I think my favorite of the bunch though is Spelling You See.  I love how it's laid out and the repetition, for Eleanor especially, is really great.  I loved doing copywork and diction with the kids last spring so this program is right up my alley.  

5. Preschool

I need to figure out some kind of schedule for Ruby.  I've been printing coloring sheets for her and working on her letters with her a little but I'm finding that the day is so monopolized by school with the big kids that there just isn't much time left for her.  Anyone out there homeschool older kids with a preschooler in tow?  How do you juggle that?  I really don't feel like she needs a lot of structure but I do want to figure out a way to spend some more quality one-on-one time with her during every school day like I do with the other two.  Maybe while they write in their journals?  I know that once George starts on chapter books and can do silent reading time with Eleanor I'll have a little more time but right now it's a bit of a struggle.

6. Unit Studies

I've had so much fun planning our first history unit study of Ancient Egypt.  I have plans to do a blog post about it so stay tuned for that.  Planning this unit study has made me want to incorporate more unit studies into our homeschool.  We're using this book (biology) for science this year so I'm thinking that in between lessons I'll do my own biology unit studies.  If you have any resource suggestions send them my way.

7. Photo Dump

(Not a lot of photos this week because, like I said, school.)


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