In a homeschooling house full of 7 kids & 3 guniea pigs....there is never a dull moment! A lot of people show genuine concern for us and want to know how we are doing, as the road we've left behind was not a pleasant one. So, here I am, to tell some of our stories...share some of our days...and open up a part of our world to you! Come join us on our journey so you won't miss the moments that take our breath away!

Friday, August 30, 2013

The School Bell Rings!

School is once again in session!
We did not intend to take a summer break, as we rarely do...but this year we had a lot of catching up to do and really couldn't afford to take a break over the summer.  In life, things don't always go as planned, right?  Well, of course, we didn't school over the summer.  With the move, we just couldn't and nothing happened in the time frame we expected it to, so one week turned into one month and one month turned get the picture.  

So, we moved and since we took majority of the summer off, we decided to take the time to set things up right.  We FINALLY, for the first time since December of 2007, have a dedicated classroom.  Not a we gave the dining room up for some school desks kind of classroom.  I mean we have a full fledged classroom.  The kind we used to lock ourselves into during school hours, the kind that we THRIVE in!!  We just finished up our first week of school and let me tell you, while there were a few bumps in the road (aka issues with Dove) but we had an amazing week!  Eagle thrives on routine and schedule.  He functions so much better when things are neat, organized, routine and when he knows what is expected from him.  The past few years have really been a struggle for him.  I made him start third grade over near the end of his third grade year and he has struggled to catch up ever since.  That is a decision I still stand behind as I have seen him grow through all of this, yes he has struggled but he has benefited from it so much it was definitely the best schooling decision I have ever made and I think he "knows" it.  I feel that he knows he has grown and is better because of it.  He started back to school a few weeks ago.  We eased into a schedule, not working everyday and more so worked on routine rather than schedule because he doesn't take too well to sudden changes and it worked well for him.  By our first "official" full day of school he knew what was expected of him and he has done fabulous.  He has worked so very hard these past three weeks and while he is not as far as we had hoped he would be at this point, he as come very far and at the pace he is going..he will finish only a month later than we originally planned.  

I wake up at 5-5:30 and start my day.  This gives me a few hours to do a bit of cleaning, laundry and making sure things are ready for our day.  Our school day starts promptly at 8:00am.  Some days, Eagle starts at 7:00am.  Each night, I prepare the work for the day ahead.  Next week, I'm going to pull work for the week to try and make preparing at night a little less time consuming.  It's important to have the days work out and ready for them before they start their day because otherwise, they will run off and play and then it's too hard to get them to refocus.  They eat breakfast and may have a few minutes to play before school starts, but they know that they are expected to start school by 8 and they don't challenge that because they know that is what is expected of them.  Macaw, Emu and Duckling stay busy with free time activities (activity bags, puzzles, etc) or busy work, or anything they can work independently on while I do instructional lessons with Eagle.  Macaw and Emu are still waiting on their curriculum to arrive (it will be here Wednesday), but I have had a few things to start them with.  Once I'm done with instructional lessons with Eagle, he works on independent lessons and projects while I do instructional lessons with Macaw.  All this week, we have been finished with our school day by 12:30-1:00.  We have completed all the lessons and optional work and have also done some supplemental activities as well.  It's such a great feeling to have the time and dediation to do these extra things again.  I really like to make sure they are truly "getting" the material and at times it felt like we just flew by the seat of our pants doing the minimum to get by because I didn't get to do the extra hands on supplemental activities the way we used to.

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