Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Back to School

Enough slacking already, it's past time for me to acknowledge that school is in full swing again.  This week is our home school's fourth week, and Timothy's third week of high school.  Everything is already starting to settle in, from the inevitable adjustments in schedule, structure, and curricula at home, to the decline in spirits of my teenager who has just realized that even with better teachers and less hormonal swings, school still requires responsible behavior and decisions.

Timothy seems to be adjusting to life on the high school campus fine.  Chris and I met his teachers on Monday night (Back to School Night) and found that he has:
   1 amazing teacher (Geography)
   1 very good teacher (Health)
   5 good/standard teachers (Band, Spanish, Science, Algebra, English)

The hard part is simply trying to help Timothy learn how to help himself.  How to not feel overwhelmed and put a little effort into getting through high school.  He's such a smart guy, but he really doesn't like school...except the social part.  (I haven't taken any pictures of him since I'm still bleary eyed when he leaves in the morning. Sorry. But take my word for it--he got a hair cut and looks quite handsome.)
School books--just a sampling. :)
It always surprises me that regardless of how much planning time I put into the home school year, it is always immediately apparent that some adjustments are needed.  I'm adding in a first grader this year (Audrey's kindergarten year was a little less formal) which has shaken things up a bit as far as scheduling the day goes.  I had some time this weekend to reorganize our history schedule, since all of my desire to use a pre-made schedule couldn't make up for the fact that my kids would be much happier (and learn much more) with some minor changes.
Looks more tranquil that it is--imagine leaf blowers, sirens...
Everyone has had a change in math and English, which has prompted Melinda to look for places to do her work that will help her to eliminate stress.  The adjustment in English has been small and easy for her, but math has really thrown her for a loop.  We are pressing on, however, since I made the change in order to help them adjust to how math is presented in brick & mortar schools (at this point we are planning for Melinda and Andrew to attend Valley Christian next year).
If there is to be a mess, let it be with books.
Andrew has done great with all of his changes.  He had a big change in English and Math, but he has adapted well.  He is currently reading The Fellowship of the Ring (of his own choice) which is something I've never done...he's almost done and loving it.  The thing Andrew has to work the hardest at this year is eliminating careless mistakes in his math, and being responsible in completing all of his work on time.
Audrey made sure to finish her K workbook before moving on.
Audrey is loving school.  Every once in a while she sighs about a specific task, but overall she is eager to do more than required.  She is speeding through her science and history especially.  She loves being read to and loves having a schedule just like the big kids.
Did I mention I'm actually doing better at cooking too?
As far as organization goes, I'm using a method similar to what I used last year: binders with weekly checklist/schedules for the kiddos, schedules for me (used rather loosely) and weekly folders for organizing some of our work.  We've been much better about timelines since I've organized them better, and maps are getting done regularly thanks to the Story of the World Activity Guide.  
I actually have "Completed Work" binders set up.
All of the kiddos got haircuts before getting pictures taken.  Most shocking of all is Andrew's hair cut, since his hair was so long before.  What a handsome guy!

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