Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Summering

I have a bit of catching up to do here...going to post a few what-we've-been-up-to posts here...

We went to Michigan over Labor Day weekend, and it was warm and wonderful, and already it feels like so long ago that we could wear swimsuits and go to the beach!  It was a great, relaxing way to end the summer!









Thursday, September 4, 2014

Favorite Day of the Week


Oh Thursday, you're my new favorite day.

If you've hung around here long, you may know that we have tried a few different education tactics for our kids- especially Mr Lego.  We've done preschool, homeschool preschool, public 1/2 day Kindergarten.  Now he is a big old First Grader, and we decided that for various reasons, 5 full days a week was going to be too much for him.  So...after considering a lot of options, we discovered that it is a) legal and b) a ton of fun to keep him home one day a week.  Technically it is considered "dual enrollment" with our public school and our homeschool.

Because the objective is to help him relax and unwind on Thursdays so that he can better cope the other four days a week, we have declared Thursdays sacred.  No lessons, no outings, no playdates...in fact, no leaving the house!  It is PAJAMA DAY!  It goes something like this:

  • sleep in a bit
  • cook a fancy breakfast together- today it was peach blueberry coffee cake
  • NOT do morning chores
  • NOT get dressed
  • play, play, play, play and play some more.
  • have a snack, maybe do a little art project
  • play play play
  • eat lunch
  • girls nap and Lego and I dig into some serious learning...for both of us
  • girls wake and we all have a snack
  • we clean up the disaster zone a bit
  • eat popcorn and watch a movie- like Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego
  • play, play, play until Daddy gets home
  • eat dinner
  • go to bed
I knew that we would have fun, but I didn't anticipate how much all three kids would look forward to Pajama Thursdays.  Little Bee gets very upset if anyone is NOT wearing pajamas (after some tears, she did decide today that dress-up clothes are allowed).  It is fun to watch the three kids reconnect and play together so nicely after being apart for much of the week.  It is nice to snuggle with my boy and let him learn at his own pace, after a week of structured school.  And it is pretty darned fantastic to wear pajamas all day long.

Ironically, though we do "nothing" all day, I seem to get a ton more done than the other days when I'm running around.  Cooking and baking, laundry...because I don't expect anything to get done, the few things that do get done seem like a bonus.

We have had mixed, but mostly positive reactions from the school district.  His teacher this year said, "I've taught for nearly 30 years and never had a student stay home one day a week, but I see no reason why we can't make it work!"  We are blessed to have him at an incredible school that really treats him like an individual and challenges him.  We do a Thursday journal where we list what he read and a few things we worked on, and I jot a few notes about what we did...I don't anticipate having to "prove" what we've been up to on Thursdays, but just in case, we're covered.

And it is AMAZING how much we can cover in a few focused hours with this kid!  I'm learning right along with him...it is humbling.  A few things we've done:
  • read about the Romans, made a scroll map and a cardboard shield
  • learned Roman numerals from one to a billion
  • computer programming lessons on Kahn Academy
  • long division
  • joined the Scripp's Spelling Word Club
  • learned the elements of the periodic table
  • played Settlers of Catan and Ticket to Ride
It is pretty fun to homeschool just the fun stuff.  The pressure is off because he is getting the basics at school...I am just here to challenge him and feed his little brain.  I think I can really get into this Thursday thing!




Wednesday, September 3, 2014

First Day of School 2014

First day of First Grade, 8-20-2014

Pancake breakfast on the first day- family tradition!


First day of 4s and 2s preschool, 9-3-2014


Excited to be back in Ms Kathy's class!

Back at our favorite place- this time with Mommy as a teacher too!

More than ready to be in the 4s class with her buddies from last year!

If you want to see how much these critters have grown, here are links to the past first days of school in 2013 and another, 2012 and 2011.   But I'll give you the cliff notes...they get bigger, smarter, and even more ready to go each year.  And that, my friends, is a very good thing.