Thursday, September 15, 2011

Three Weeks In

We are three weeks in our home schooling year and what a whirlwind it has been. September is a busy time in itself and I am feeling particularly in 'overdrive' this year. We are still receiving so much fresh produce from the Hutterites. While I love getting this local, chemical free bounty I know that I have to preserve or process it all in some way. My goodness we have been eating carrots every day and tomatoes every day. Don't get me wrong, I will be remembering these vine ripened tomatoes in February when what passes for a tomato shows up in the grocery store.

We had a hard frost the other night so I had to pick all that I could from the garden. The last of the tomatoes sit ripening on my kitchen window sill. I will surely savour each delicious bite. I am equally thankful for the roots. These don't ask much of me, just a cool dark place to be stored. That I can easily provide. Who does not love new potatoes with dill and cream? Who I beg you? That is another flavour to be savoured, only to return next summer.

But back to the school year. Yes, we are three weeks in. Actually we started in August just doing about an hour a day of math and reading review. This worked out well for Athena. We kind of eased into a longer school day for her. Easing in is always a good thing. While her sleep schedule is a little off due to the summer break we are slowly getting back into a rhythm on that front as well. She must be growing AGAIN because I can't keep that little belly full and she is sleeping around 11 hours each night.

My plans to begin the day at 8:50am have not materialized yet, nor do I think they will. She likes to 'play in bed' as she calls it. After she awakens she rarely comes down to breakfast before a good half hour of it. I don't know what she does but her bed linens are all over kingdom come each morning. Oh that imagination! No matter to me, it is her job to make her bed anyway.

So, yes, back to the school plans. It is a good thing that I didn't plan the school year all the way to the holidays because we have made some changes already. Some things just didn't work out. Some things I scheduled too much of, others not enough. For instance, we are following the Classical Education Method (except the religious parts) but this is the second year I have tried to go with Ancient History. We did it up until January last year and we have done a few weeks of it this year and it is not a good fit. For me or for her. More so for me I think. I love history. Love it. But this is not working for us at this time. So... here I go adding more to my list... I have decided to work on a Canadian History plan for this year. Why not? Americans learn American History over and over and over again. I don't recall learning much about Canada in school and certainly not in a comprehensive manner. Sure we learned about the Explorers and The Last Spike of the railroad and Canadian Geography here and there, but I have a different idea. I am putting together a History/Geography study for us to do. I have a lot of books. I have been a collector of Canada books for years so I have a really good base for developing what I think will be a great year.

Moving on. Science. We are using Elemental Science this year. I really like how everything is laid out on this one. Lots of experiments, which Athena likes. Lots of projects which she also likes. Oh my, we already made a papier mache earth, sun and moon. (Can I just say I am not a fan of papier mache. What a mess.) My one complaint is that it moves too quickly. We are supposed to do Earth Science and Astronomy this year but I have slowed it down so I think we will only accomplish the Earth Science this year and save Astronomy for next year. This way we will get more in depth learning, which is what sticks best anyway.

Math. Oh my the girl loves math. It seems to come so easy for her. She is adding and subtracting double digits like nobody's business. She is moving quickly through her book so we may have to add some third grade math in the new year. Again, the beauty of home schooling. We can accelerate the learning where we are able and slow it down where necessary. Love that.

The rest of the subjects are going just about as planned and today... today she starts ballet. Not the 'hair in a bun, don't eat cookies, stand up straight' type of ballet but a community class. Her love of classical music fits right along with this. Now as long as the little bird pays attention and doesn't flit and fly all over the room. She is so excited for this.

And tomorrow we are off on our first "family" trip. All of our girls and their families are coming with us to a cabin up north for the weekend. All of us. In one cabin. Twelve people. 4 littles. I'll let you know how that goes. We plan to eat hearty food, go on a pontoon boat together for a few hours, sit by the campfire and sing campfire songs. Just kidding about the songs. The men would never have it. Two of my girls are bringing their knitting for a little refresher course. I am bringing a box of fun for the kids. (Hey sisters, remember Grandma's Rainy Day Box?) I am really looking forward to it. I really need to relax a bit but not so much as Paul needs to.

And on that note, I better end this oh so long post. I have a school day to wrap up, a house to clean and food to prepare. Busy day.

And I leave you with a few pictures of the full harvest moon. Too late in the evening to see its full colors. I'll have to look earlier tonight as I really NEED to gaze upon it a re-centre.


Dawn said...

Ballet! :-) I hope she loves it! These picture of the moon are gorgeous. I haven't been able to see the moon the past few nights...too cloudy.
Have a great time on your getaway!

Tara said...

Owen really loves project based learning too - building or making something and of course getting his hands dirty or making a big mess!!

The moon is magical!