While I have greatly enjoyed the last few months, and having a life outside of homeschooling, it is once again time for the book learning to begin!  The fact is, once we moved, I kept the homeschooling up for a few weeks, as we had gotten behind with all the housing maintenance events of last year.  After a while, though, something had to give.  Friends and fellow homeschool moms, and even CO law made me realize that it would be OK to just relax for a while, and allow the children to learn from life itself.  I finally gave in, and we officially began an early summer break.  We still found time to review handwriting since I had the kids write thank-you notes periodically, math skills when they helped me in the kitchen, history and Bible during our family worship times, and science with all the animal goings-on around here.  As I saw all they were learning in our new life, I quickly felt better about all those unfinished worksheets remaining in their textbooks. 

Now, though, we are officially settled in, so it is once again time to begin.  The first thing I did was set up our “Home Operation Center”, details of which can be viewed here.  It is currently missing the If-Then Chart, as I haven’t decided whether to use it this year or not.  You’ll also notice the Extra Chore List (chores the children can earn allowances for) has grown substantially with their ages and abilities.

Next was getting everything organized–a slight challenge in itself since M will officially be doing K5 work this year, meaning I will be formally schooling 2 children in different grades.  As a result, I decided to branch out on my own a little for the first time.  I still ordered the Abeka system for the cores such as math, handwriting, phonics, and reading, as I love the ease with which I can allow the children to work independently, yet, I can also easily evaluate their level of understanding when I check their work later.  I also absolutely LOVE Abeka first-readers.  I think I have purchased far too many little books for our library, but I love the moral lessons found in each book, and the children seem to very much enjoy reading them.   Then again, I’m not sure you can have too many books, as M is already reading many of JR’s books thanks to her rapid increase in reading skills since last summer.  For science , I decided to attempt unit study this year.  A friend introduced me to the Young Explorer’s “Exploring Creation” Series, and I have fallen head-over-heels in love with it!  Finally, I also have to get JR officially registered with the state this year.  Hard to believe he is that old!

This past Monday was our first homeschool day of the year.  

M, age 5, grade K-5

….

JR, age 6, grade 2

 It has been interesting seeing how the summer break completely renewed the children’s interest in school, and they seem to be having a great time.  Every day, they are so eager to start their worksheets.  They seem to feed on each other’s excitement, and perhaps a little sibling rivalry and competition is helping those worksheets get done quickly.  Even A has jumped on board, and I am having him work on some Montessori activities and do his Starfall computer lessons independently.  N is asking for school as well, but I am still limiting what he does at this point.  I just hope I can keep their “fire” lit.  I love seeing my children eager to learn.  It is one of the big reasons we homeschool!

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