Friday, August 19, 2016

Weekly Wrap-up ~ First Week of the 2016/2017 School Year


Welcome back to another year of homeschooling fun with Journey to Excellence! I cannot believe we are starting our 7th year of home education!


We had a great summer of learning ... nine weeks of summer school which consisted of lots of reading, both read alouds and personal reading, a daily Summer Bridge activity sheet that covered so many concepts I can't even begin to list them here, and P.E. in the form of swimming and softball.


We ended the summer with our annual trip to the lake with our friends from Oklahoma. While there we did a whole unit study on the Olympics.

We planned to take off the rest of the month of August and start our fall semester on August 29th. But after we factored in time we want to take off in the winter months and a rapidly approaching due date for the birth of our first grandchild, we decided we needed to go ahead and start a couple of weeks early. It just so happened that CNN Student News started their new year on August 15th, so the kids decided that might be a pretty good day to start.


Boy, was I excited! The kids ... maybe not quite so much. But with my enthusiasm they were, at least, not totally dreading it!


I woke early Monday morning to get back on my own personal schedule and had just woke the kids up to start getting ready for the day when I got a phone call from my daughter telling me that she thought she should go to her OB appointment early because of some issues she was having. I didn't think it was wise for her to go alone so I announced to the kids ... "Good news for you! No school today!" I packed a bag, just in case, left the kids with Dawson, and drove up to Kansas City with Kyndal. Thankfully, the "something's up" issue wasn't serious, and she was able to come back home with another appointment in a week. The real good news for her is that things are starting to happen!! ...

The kids were also pleased that I was home early enough that we could go ahead and get in three hours of schooling. Not.

I had a whole themed day planned called "School is Cool". We were going to spend our day doing cross-curricular activities having to do with cold and ice. We had to cut those activities down to just a couple of things, but they were fun and gave us a good first day back to school.


The rest of the week couldn't have gone better.


We started on time, ended mostly on time each day, and got everything done that we planned to accomplish. Each day we did our absolutes: reading, writing, grammar, spelling, math, etc.

My observations ...


Doing activities outside the home during the school day is going to be an adjustment for us. Typically all of our extra activities are done on the weekends or evenings, but this year we will have speech therapy one morning a week and archery one afternoon a week during regular school time. We are having to figure out how to juggle our regular school work around our time away from home.



Our new binder organization system (aka Each Kid is in Charge of His/Her Own Things This Year) is working famously! Who knew my kids were actually capable of taking care of their own supplies and work?? They have done so great, and it has kept me from switching out their worksheets all day for them and doing all of the leg work while they sat and waited for me to do it for them. What was I thinking all this time? My need for order and organization kept me from allowing them to figure out how to do it on their own. They have been more than ready to do these things themselves. I have only been making more work for myself. Silly me.



When you allow your kids to attempt hard things on their own, they will most often rise to the occasion. We have always done everything together with me supervising (actually micromanaging) their work. But this year I am handing them some of their work and just walking away while they complete it, asking them to dig a little deeper to find answers they might not be able to easily find. They have reached a level of maturity and independence that makes me so proud!



We are studying some fun topics this year! Greek mythology, astronomy, Missouri History, fun literature.


The Summer Triangle: Cygnus, Aquila, and Lyra

Homeschooling is one of my most favorite things I have ever done in my life. I am truly honored to have the opportunity to spend every day with my kids, learning alongside them and watching them grow.



We ended the week with Rick and I going to a Kansas City Royals game, a late birthday gift for me from him. It was so much fun!! We won the game handedly and even got to see a grand slam. It was an awesome night!


We also gathered in the living room to introduce a classic to the kids: the original Pete's Dragon. We always try to read the book and/or see the original movie of any current movie playing, if there is one. What a fun classic!



I'm not going to lie .. we are all tired and ready for the weekend. Brynne's birthday party is tomorrow evening at the park, so we are going to be busy. But we have plans to do some major vegging on Sunday and get geared up for Week 2!



2016-2017 School Hours Logged: 28.25 hours, including 2 hours outside home. Plus Summer Hours Logged: 141.5 hours, including 54 hours outside home.

Linking up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.


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