Wow! Lots of changes here at Casa Stro!
- I have a Jr. High Schooler! My oldest began 7th grade!
- My two younger kids are in 4th & 2nd grade respectively
- I will be working (telecommuting) part time for a social media agency
- We will file as an R-4 school after many (happy) years with our umbrella school
Today was our first day of school, and as has been the custom for a year or two now, it coincides with the first meeting of the FLL Robotics Team meeting for my oldest.
While his team conducted their meeting, my daughter embarking on what was my favorite book around her age: Island of the Blue Dolphins. It took her awhile to embrace it (I introduced it earlier this calendar year), but she is now beginning to like it. My youngest worked on sight words and reading.
This afternoon found us at the Community Recreation Center for rehearsals for our 3rd year participating in The Nutcracker (well, the third year for my younger two, and the second year for my oldest!). My oldest reprises his role as the titular character, the Nutcracker Prince. My daughter has a long-desired dream fulfilled in her role as a member of the Party Scene, and my youngest is prepping for Fritz through his role as one of the mischievous Party Scene boys.
We started the day off with our memory verse for the week: “Do everything without complaining or arguing.” –Philippians 2:14 (NCV)
Here’s to the beginning of another wonderful year of homeschooling!
Playing catch-up, as usual. My last post had us scrambling up and down the peninsula due to my mother’s ailing heath. She passed away in September, and it’s all been making straw and still producing our bricks.
My two youngest were in a local production of The Nutcracker this weekend (six performances (though we skipped one due to attending church services)). This after a week of three-hour rehearsals. And did I mention this was directly following the weekend with my oldest’s 10-hour Robotics competition?
We’ve also embarked upon a new service project for the year. We’ve done a few things through the church we attend, as it relates to the Christians in Zimbabwe & the deplorable conditions there. Since all three of the children knit, we’re also making blanket squares for a Native American reservation.
Our weekly Wednesday Spanish class is on hiatus, and our weekly Wednesday Homeschool Choir class met for its last time for the year, as we wind down for break.
I’m trying to get us back to our usual “semi-structured” schedule after our crazy start last week. Due to my Mom’s declining health and a couple of crises, we traveled 100 miles round trip every weekday last week. Thus, most of our “schooling” occurred in the car (with the exception of our outside classes: Spanish, ballet, homeschool chorus).
Our homeschool philosophy is pretty ecclectic. Because of my own learning disability (ADD), and my background in Early Childhood Education, I do believe learning is life-long. Because many of my early experiences were negative due to the (undiagnosed) ADD, I want my kids to enjoy learning. I don’t believe learning just occurs between the hours of 9am – 3pm.
Thus, we do have some fairly structured time that tends to be “work-booky.” Though many workplaces are very flexible and are still evolving, everyone needs some sort of self-discipline (as not all of us will hold jobs where the jammies we now wear to “school” at the dining room table will be en vogue!).
However, having said that, I really do believe that kids have a bigger investment in learning when they help choose and guide what will be learned. Because of that philosophy, my oldest is into Lego Robotics. Something he asked to learn. My daughter is in ballet, and my youngest is in acrobatics…all because it was self-guided interest.
Our days are a big mix of “formal” instruction time, free play exploration and structured outside classes based on an interest the kids have. It works pretty well for us!
Like much of our homeschooling journey thus far, today was an unusual day! My mother is in the advanced stages of cancer and her body is shutting down. Our days have consisted of trips up to the city where she lives (50 miles each way) to see her. Her health took a very serious turn for the worse yesterday, so our first day of school for the 2008-2009 school year occurred on the road!
The kids enjoyed it, and after doing a few Bible drills and singing some songs that they love (and an impromptu Spanish lesson from Dad!), my oldest & middle child hauled out their books and read.
We headed back this afternoon so my youngest son & the aforementioned middle daughter could make their Nutcraker ballet class. Today was a big day because the cast lists were posted and advance tickets went on sale (apparently they go like hotcakes!). My son is not only a Bon Bon, but only one Bon Bon each year is chosen to be the Bon Bon who gets to perform a cartwheel, and this year my youngest was tapped for the honor!
His sister is a mouse in the service of the dreaded Mouse King. She liked being a mouse, but upon further reflection was not happy to be “mean to Clara.” When I explained that people actually get awards for pretending (called acting), she still wasn’t too sure. I said, too, after an exciting night with an exciting day to follow (and the added bonus of staying up late to eat lots of candy), some children have vivid dreams, and we all know dreams are not real. So actually, she’s not really being mean to Clara. Let’s hope that “Mom-Logic” sinks in!
All-in-all, a very exciting, if not unusual, first day!