Well, finally, the neighborhood kids are back in school and I'm able to get into the groove with the kids. The schoolwork is going much smoother and we are moving along nicely.
I added in History this week. History is pretty time consuming but we've been good about doing it every day. I'm wrapping up a little bit of Sonlight Core 3 (1st 1/2 of Am History) over the next few days and then we'll jump into Sonlight Core 4 (2nd 1/2 of Am History). We're in the "middle" period of "post American Revolution but pre-Civil War" that doesn't have much for elementary-aged kids to study other than "people went west". We don't get into the politics of expansionism or Manifest Destiny at this level, so there isn't much to discuss until the Civil War.
I still need to add in Science. The kids have picked some experiements they want to do from our "Critical Thinking through Science" books for us to do but I'm not quite ready to do them yet. Each of our books has a unit on "observation" at the beginning and since we are just focusing on a bunch of experiments this year, I think it will be valuable to start with teaching them how to actually "observe" and then we'll get in. We'll do our first observation experiment on Monday.
Latin will also start on Monday. I didn't start it this week because Monday was a holiday and the book is structured in "5 part" lessons so I'd like to start on a Monday to try and get it into the "week" mode. Latin is really just for Samantha but Michael wants to watch the DVD too, so I'll have him listen in. The curriculum is 3rd or 4th grade to start, so its a little advanced for him, but not much.
The teacher got a new cart!! Each of the kids last year got a rolling ELFA cart for their books and papers. Its easier than keeping them in one room and using them in a variety - we just move them around. But my books kept moving back and forth from the kitchen table to a pile on the desk and back and forth. Now I have a rolling cart of my own with the books sorted by subject (teacher books, answer keys, test booklets, extra school supplies, etc) and I can already see the kitchen will be neater as a result.
Lesson planning is still happening pen to paper. I have a great program to do my lesson planning but I'm just not there yet. Some of the subjects will be easy - they just have 160 or so lessons numbered, you guessed it, 1 - 160. But there are a few that I'm doing a bit different, and others have 32 lessons, with 5 parts, and its just harder right now to put it in the computer than it is to write it on a piece of paper. We'll get there, just not yet - I'm focusing on getting them into the work right now, which is more important.
Tomorrow, Samantha has her first Drama rehearsal for the season and she's playing with a homeschool friend that we have hardly seen over the summer. She's pretty excited.