Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Our Home School Year 2016-2017 Is Still Not Over

Since I never got around to posting our school pictures when we were actually starting school, I figured I'd go ahead and post along with everybody else's 2017 first days.

We kicked off our homeschool LAST YEAR on September 12, 2016.

Here are my adorable students and their ages as of that date:

Noah Paul
14 years old
8th grade

Saylor Kathryn
11 years old
6th grade

Gabriel Isaiah
9 years old
3rd grade

Atticus Joseph
7 years old
2nd grade

We have been working through Ambleside Online Year 3. This is our official "curriculum." My bigs do some additional work at their varying levels. Noah, especially, carries a huge workload. Translation: he is reading a LOT of books at once. But our family as a whole works together in most subjects, including Bible, church history, British history, early American history, Greek hero stories, American tall tales, natural history, fine arts, foreign language, literature, geography, science, and Shakespeare.

We try to get our individual math and grammar lessons out of the way first thing in the morning and then move on to family subjects. Copywork and/or dictation exercises help us to transition into a time of independent work, during which my bigs have other assigned readings. Independent work time is when we finish up math lessons, try to do our vision therapy homework, enjoy a bit of free reading, etc.

We decided to take time off from our fine arts co-op this year. And it was just as well. If you could've seen our weekly schedule, you'd completely understand! We had one in soccer twice weekly, one in ice skating twice weekly, one in ballet twice weekly, one in vision therapy twice weekly, and for a time, one in hand therapy twice weekly. It was a killer schedule. We couldn't do any more than what we were already doing. So fine arts had to take its place into our OWN daily schedule. Right where it belongs, really. We have enjoyed doing our own picture studies and composer studies here at home. Although, I will admit. It is hard to fit it all in.

One area that I have really struggled with is making sure we all get enough time out of doors each day. There just isn't a lot of time. Besides, we are not the most focused family in the world, especially in the morning. Getting in gear is rare around here. :( We are working on it.

Some time between 3:00 and 4:00 in the afternoon a couple of times a week, we try to have tea time with poetry readings. The kids look forward to this so much! Sadly, though, there are days when we canNOT have tea, simply because we are not all home (see above schedule). We also live in a neighborhood full of public-schooled kids who come home and then knock on our door to play right at about the time we'd be sitting down to tea. It just doesn't always work out the way we plan. So we go with the flow. And that's okay.

We also like to go somewhere fun-ish about once per week. Sometimes it's just to a park to do our school; sometimes it's a hike and some nature drawing; sometimes it's a museum or a dollar movie or roller-skating. Fun activities help break up the busy week and give us something to which we can look forward.

We are FINALLY coming into our last couple of weeks of this school year. The home stretch!! ...Just in time to start the next school year. Waaaah!! (I promise, we take plenty of time off. Just not when everyone else in the world does it.)

Stay tuned. Maybe I'll actually manage to post OUR first day of school soon (2017-2018, that is). You know, if it ever rolls around.

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