Back to Homeschool: first week

We started {not} back to school this week, and overall it was wonderful. We celebrated our first homeschool day with chocolate milk and molasses cookies. And of course, a few photos which quickly turned into giggles and a tickle fight.

silly homeschool first day at

Our homeschool evolution = big progress.

Last year, any sort of formal work with the little kids was simply an exercise in frustration because Scout simply did not have the attention span, and because they’d interrupt any time I attempted to work with the other. That’s when I changed my expectations and switch my focus for them to Core Phase learning.

I already see HUGE improvement this year. Scout is reading so much better and her attention span has clearly improved. Jem sits and listens to read-alouds well and does well remembering about the stories later on, like when we tell Daddy about it at supper. I’d be fine with him doing no formal work this year but he feels left out if I don’t, so I do just a few pages of workbooks with him.  {Didn’t he do a great job on that stingray?}

elementary homeschool

Another valuable homeschool lesson I’ve learned over the years: it’s completely worthwhile to set aside inside work any time the weather is beautiful enough to play outside. It’s a good happiness booster for me, too!

So far our only snag is in scheduling. We are gradually working into a routine which will have to be tweaked in the next few weeks as we see what does or doesn’t work. Mostly, this is figuring out to make sure that my work with the kids doesn’t interfere with Kathryn’s independent work and vice versa.

Field trip to the Georgia Aquarium!

dolphins at Georgia Aquarium

Spending a day at the Georgia Aquarium seemed like the perfect first field trip for our year of oceanography. We went ahead and bought annual passes; it seems like a boatload of money but it pays for itself in two visits, and I knew it would be worthwhile since we’ll be learning about so many of the animals there.

aquarium fun

One of our favorite parts of the aquarium is the touch tank. Jem’s little arms just weren’t long enough to allow him to touch the rays or sharks but at least he got to see them up close. He had an easier time in the other touch tank with starfish and sea urchins and such. I’m glad we’ll get to go again later in a couple of months, after we’ve read about many of the animals they met this week.

Back to enrichment classes, too.

Both girls are continuing Choi Kwang Do and are each taking one other enrichment class. Kathryn is doing a crafty sort of class that focuses on the book of Proverbs, and Scout is in a class about the solar system with lots of hand-on activities. While the girls are in class, Jem and I are having some one-on-one time. I think this will be good for everyone.

At church, Scout and Jem are both doing children’s choir and a missions class. They enjoy it, and it’s another worthwhile outlet for Scout’s super-extroverted personality and Jem’s love of music and singing. Kathryn plans to volunteer in the coffee shop again this year.

I look forward to sharing more as our homeschool year goes on!


I’m linking up with Kris’ weekly wrap-up.