Friday, September 6, 2013

A Peak at Our Week: The One that Begun

Welcome Year 10!

In Our Homeschool This Week
On Wednesday, Jake woke up early (for him), nibbled a quick breakfast, grabbed his backpack and bagged lunch, and for the FIRST TIME EVER set off for public school with a friend. Not your TRADITIONAL public school, but a hands-on STEM charter high school without grades. And then Cati, Sam and I started our new year, right at the diningroom table.

So, How Did the Day Go?

6:15-7:30am Getting a Move On, Sort of
Jake and I got up and got moving at a snail's pace. I'd never consider us MORNING PEOPLE. Staying up late doesn't make the early hours appealing, but we'll adjust...eventually. I woke Cati and Sam before driving Jake 7 miles to meet up with a friend driving him to the school (which isn't nearby). 

7:30-9:00am Language Arts Block
I'm trying out a BLOCK SCHEDULE this year. Something new. Yeah, always tweaking. The kids started their new reading books, Bridge to Terabithia (Paterson) and Dinosaurs Before Dark (Pope Osborne), filled out a Who Am I worksheet (for their portfolios), started Grammar, and took their :groan: Spelling Power placement tests.

9:10-10:00am Math Block
I snagged a couple of Mind Bender books for FREE earlier this summer. Have you seen them? They're wonderful critical thinking puzzles. Anyway, we started Math with a "Bender Warm-up" and then plunged right into our text books, Saxon and Math-U-See.

10:00-10:25am Science Block...and a Shower
We're focusing on Life Science with notebooking and experiments this year. Cati is working out of a middle school Prentice Hall textbook and on-line website, and Sam will be doing Mr. Q's Life Science on-line free here. Cati took a shower and got dressed then did a few minutes of independent Science reading while Sam and I worked together on-line.

10:25-12:00n Band and Nibbles
We hopped into the van and headed off to the public middle school for Cati's first band practice. But while there, Sam and I got hungry so we drove to Subway, then back to the school for a picnic lunch on the grass. Cati ate her sandwich on the ride home, while reading her Language Arts book.

12:00-12:30pm Science Block Continued
We finished up our Science, notebooking information on the scientific method, and biotic and abiotic things.

12:30-1:15pm History Block, but Running out of Learning "Steam"
Looking for something video-based for U.S. History this year, I decided on the National Repository of Online Courses (NROC). Definitely for older students, we'll focus on just the videos and record people and events on our wall map from here, adding in Netflix documentaries and "America: Story of Us" videos (History Channel). It's a perfect, less focused way to end our school mornings.

1:15-4:30pm Free Time, Mostly
After chores, tidying up the livingroom - Ugh! Legos! - and catching up dishes, the kids biked and played with a friend that was in the neighborhood. And MAMA had some Facebook and Words with Friends time before vacuuming and sweeping and folding laundry and pondering what to make for dinner.

4:30-7:00pm Everyone's Day Wraps Up
I picked Jake up at his friend's house at 4:30pm. He was tired, but happy with his first day at B____. Today, the entire school went to a state park (with a BEAUTIFUL light house) and did team-building exercises. Not your typical public school!

I Rewarded By Kids This Week By
Having Chinese take-away to celebrate our first day back to school and going to Zeb's General Store for "penny" (i.e. QUARTER) candy!

7:00-10:00pm TV/Video Game Time and Off to Bed
After a productive, busy day, the kids and I settled down for SCREEN TIME before showers and climbing into bed. 6:15am will come much too soon again!

What about Fine Arts?
Did you notice that our schedule is "stream-lined" this year? and it didn't include fine arts? Oftentimes I over-schedule and over-complicate our day-to-day schooling. I have come to realize the VALUE in SIMPLICITY and allowing the kids more unscheduled learning and exploring time. I'm not ready to go UNSCHOOL though. :wink: Fine Arts will be accomplished on Fridays through a homeschool co-op starting in October. This Mama is concentrating on Core.

Our Favorite Thing This Week
Our FIRST Wellsummer hen egg! The "baby girls" are FINALLY laying! (Just in time too as 3 of our "old girls" are molting and have shut down egg production.) Just for comparison: L. to R. Pekin duck white egg, Ameraucana-Barred Rock hen pink egg and a Welsummer hen tan egg (which will get bigger as she lays more).

People and Places
On Tuesday we hopped into my friend's van with her and her kids and we headed to New Hampshire for some WATERFALL FUN. Diana's Baths is SUCH a cool spot to "hang out" and get wet! But the water is downright CHILLY!

And you know I would take my own photos too, right? LOL

As ALWAYS, linking up to these WONDERFUL blogs:
Homegrown Learners photo 79396fe0-1f8b-44f8-a90e-f8ca7bfa801e_zpsa74bcc3b.jpgHip Homeschool Hop Button


  1. Wish we could have joined you at Diana's Bath this week! We were studying New Hampshire!

    1. It's a pretty cool place to explore, Nicole. The kids had a blast climbing boulder and playing in the falls. A little scary for Mama though! LOL

  2. What a fun first week. You are so organized. I love your first day photos. They look so grown-up. We are going to take our first week photos on Saturday.

  3. Schedules are always a work in progress around here. The new STEM school sounds interesting. To my knowledge, there's nothing like that around here.

  4. Philip is reading Bridge to Terabithia this year. He loved the book. He finished it in one day. I don't want to know how late he was up reading. Now I have to get him to do some sort of project on it.

  5. We are always tweaking our schedule here too. We have great plans to get up early (before 9 am) but lately it just isn't happening for Amber.

    I'm eager to hear how the new STEM school works out too. It sounds like you had a great beginning to the school year!

  6. Cool falls!! I hope there wasn't snow in them when you played there! :-D Have a wonderful year, all of you!

  7. Great pictures and I love your block schedule. I was actually considering the very same thing. I will be starting up next Monday. I've missed your blog and think of you often. Hope you are doing well.

  8. The charter school sounds really interesting. What an awesome opportunity,I think your week sounds great.
    Blessinsg, Dawn

  9. I love the block schedule. Looks great. I hope the charter school is so wonderful. Hope this is the best year for you and your kids! I can't wait to see all you accomplish!!

  10. Looks like a fun first week. The block schedule looks intriguing!

    I've always wanted chickens but with a beagle I don't think it's going to happen!

  11. Sounds like a great start to a new school year. You are definitely busy. No wonder you cut out the Fine Arts. Total unschooling is very hard to do. We are pretty laid back around here, but I still think everyone needs to at least learn to read and do math using a math textbook at age level especially if your state requires testing like ours does.

  12. So glad to see you back at Thrilling Thursday! I missed your posts! Looks like a great start to your year and, as always, your overview style makes me smile.

  13. What a great week! So glad you've had a good start to this transition of new things this school year. Focusing on the basics is not a bad thing, and carving out blocks in your schedule makes so much sense. We've set up our day in a similar manner.
    Happy schooling!


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