Friday, January 23, 2015

Slow Start Back

For the past 2 weeks we've been back to business around here, but not full blast. We started back with what I dubbed quarter days last week. We picked up our read aloud & added a science book with it that we hadn't finished last year. We were suppose to start back to our Bible study as well at that time, but the printer ate my kids book. . . Kinda, it didn't like the smaller size & really did eat a chunk of one page & then gave me so many errors I was tempted to scream.

This week, we've added more to our routine so we've dubbed it half-days. On top of the meagre things from last week we added back in math review for both kids, Bible Study {because the printer did not get the best of me in the end}, & grammar. I'm always keen to jump face first back into things, but the slower start allows the kids to get use to being back into a daily routine!

Next week we'll add in spelling & science, possibly writing all though I'm hesitant with it being a short week for us. I like to give us a little wiggle room should we need all though most of our subjects are only scheduled for 4 days so there should be no issue accomplishing the tasks set before us. We're looking forward to digging into science, especially with the science kits staring them down each day!

Over the past two weeks we read The Puppeteer's Apprentice which is a Middle Ages book from the WP Middle Ages Theme. It's an beautifully written story that had us captivated from the start. There is one portion of a chapter that is a bit intense that parents may wish to preview if you have sensitive children. In fact, we were right in the midst of a very intense portion when one of our birds started flapping around & squealing. I'm not so sure the bird was into the story as much as he'd hurt himself, but it was fantastic timing! The ending is a wee bit sad & joyful all mixed into one, but it's certainly left an impression on all of us.

Both boys were back to math, but only on the review side. I figure there's really little point throwing them in the deep end without a little refresher after having had so much time off. I pulled out Unit Test 1 for the oldest to have a go at & allow us to see what needed reviewing. He'd previously done 11.5 lesson in his book, all while in dire need of new tints, the chances were incredibly high that he'd need refreshing on all 11.5 lessons. Having said that only 2 portions tripped him up which were ones he'd battled with before. A quick review of the lessons & he was off running again, & just to help him along I made him some "Math Cheat Bookmarks". You can check them out HERE if you're interested.

Jayde wasn't quite close enough to a Unit Test to be bothered with one as he was halfway between 2. Instead I pulled out his test booklet that we were a bit lax in using last year & he's done the tests for the past few lessons to see how much he retained. Aside from a few hiccups which had nothing to do with previous studies from his current book he was fine. Now if he'd just double check that the backside of the papers he's doing are the ones he should be, we'd be doing great!

After defeating the printer for a win, I managed to get Morgan's Bible study book printed on blue paper so we jumped back into that too. I'm gonna tell you that I really really wish that Precept Ministries would offer up a pdf of their children's Inductive Bible Studies because the hassle to get my child a book he can actually see to use was hair raising. It's nice to be right back at it & they are pretty excited about wrapping up the book shortly so we can move into a new study.

We also started reading Jayden's New Year devotional. It's traditional for me to give out new devotionals each year so that we can grow spiritually. I noticed Jayden hadn't opened his new one & opted to pull it off the shelf & start reading it with them. Funnily enough I think last year we gave a different Odyssey Devotional. This particular one takes you through the book of Matthew in 90 days.

We started back to our LA which we didn't entirely wrap up last year considering we started mid year. They were a little slow on the first day, but it was all good after that. We reviewed personal pronouns, the various uses of an apostrophe, adjectives,  pronouns, & various vocabulary work They still enjoy the mysteries imbedded in the workbooks so they are always keen to keep moving with them. Don't ask me why he was wearing his alpaca sweater, we did have a few chilly days before the humidity hit us back again & Im' presuming I took this photo during that time?! He's the only one of us who lives up to the whole "Homeschooler's do school in their pj's" theory.

We finished off The Boys Body Book which we'd equally started late last year. The kids were huge fans of it, but they didn't groan either. The book is scheduled in the Sonlight Core F science which is biology based. You'd select books based on teaching a girl or boy. While Morgan had heard the book previously, Jayden had not & his science schedule won't have him onto biology for another year or two yet. I had Morgan sit in on the readings to make it a bit less awkward for Jayde. This book covers a lot of "boy" things from changing bodies to emotions. It also deals with hormone waves, family issues, & peer pressure. There's a section on divorce as well, but we skipped that.

We also read, portions of, Almost 12, & I don't honestly recommend the book. This is also included in the Core F science, regardless of teaching a boy or girl all though the book covers changes in a female & male body. One of the reasons we chose to skip some details. The book does discuss in great detail, with pictures, how babies are made. My kids were non-plussed & decided they were officially scared for life. There are a lot of aspects of the books I was displeased with, but I won't waste time boring you with that detail.

We hit the bike trail a few times over, all though not nearly as often as we like. On this particular day the wind was going in the opposite direction from normal & we were getting blown back down the mega hills trying to get home. I think it's the first time the final downhill run to the car elicited groans from any of us, all though the dog was delighted he didn't need to go at full-tilt in order to keep up.

I told, you that kid lives in that sweater! He's not wearing the same pants, he just owns a half dozen that look identical. Ironically the pants fit him perfectly, but the shirts that match are too small. Go figure! What's the deal with making long pants & short shirts?!

To help encourage, & inspire, the kids to get back into their foreign language I picked up my own lessons again. Mind you, I still can't say boy correctly in French which totally freaks out the computer. My neighbours probably think I'm now obsessed with boys or that we have a French tutor who was shouting at us.. Jayde starts Latin with Rosetta Stone this year which should be interesting for him. In the mean time I keep threatening to label the house in French, but Mr S says then when he'll just have to say, "Pardon my French.." each time he uses something.

With the short days & horribly humid afternoons we've been listening to an Audio book in the afternoons while we each work on something quietly. I pulled out a cross-stitch picture I started a few years ago but it got put on hold due to lack of light in the winter & somehow never got dragged back out. Morgan's been working on his drawings, & Jayden's been flagging things in his newest Lego book for building... or building said Lego... or colouring.

All in all, it's been a lovely start back for us over the next two weeks & most of the hiccups have been worked out so that we can just continue to pick up speed. It makes for more work accomplished when we officially get going.


Kylie said...

Sounds like a lovely way to ease into the year!

Multi-tasking Mama said...

I love seeing what people are using in their own home schools. Thanks for sharing.