Week 26 wrap up

I’m going to blog more regularly about our school days. I love to look back on it later, and it might be helpful to someone doing the same things I am at some point.

Dorothy; Bookshark Level Pre-K with K readers.
Gloria: Bookshark Level 3 with advanced readers
Trixie and Gilbert: Bookshark Level 6

Monday: Dorothy read two books from Fun Tales. She starts with deep trepidation which switches to tears, then sniffles, then smiles. Every time the unpleasant reaction gets shorter. I had the same experience with Gloria, years ago. I asked her (Gloria) if she felt emotionally scarred or resentful about learning to read and she said she barely remembers it, and not as a bad thing. Hope Do is the same! Gloria reads voraciously now.

Trixie woke up, started her math, made many frustrated noises, shed a few tears herself, then went back to bed and slept for another two hours. Woke up and said, “I think I can do my work now.” And did, went right through all of it.

Sean and Dorothy read the read-alouds at bedtime. They’re on The Berenstain Bears Big Book of Science and Nature. She likes it as much as I did when I was her age. Heart eyes.

Tuesday: I got a tooth pulled, ow. I expected the kids to take the day as their Fifth Day, but only Gil did. Gloria and Trixie got out my Instructor’s Guides while I was out and did all their stuff. I was impressed.

I shirked a bit myself, though. I couldn’t manage our read-aloud, The Shakespeare Stealer, because my mouth hurt! Day off for me.

Wednesday: Gloria was the only one up before 9, a rarity. I roused the rest and we were off. Dorothy is using Reading Eggs along with my instruction, which she also at first resists then likes. Kids.

I changed something this week: science in two days instead of our usual three. Trixie will get days 1 and 2, Gilbert days 3 and 4. It’s laid out so clearly already that it’s easy to break day 3 in two and give half to day 1, half to day 3. Day 4 is experiments, which we don’t do that often, but can easily fit in any day. So this was the first week with the new schedule for science and I liked it. Kids didn’t notice a difference so, yay? Heh.

Finally got to read aloud and start Shakespeare Stealer. It’s first-person, which is fun to read aloud because I always feel a little like a noir detective.

Thursday: Gil complained that the calculator won’t do fourth roots. I was unsympathetic. Gloria is reading Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by herself, even though it’s scheduled as a read-aloud. She likes it a lot and is a few chapters ahead of the IG. I’ve read it too – if I’m not reading a given book aloud I read it myself so the kids get a book-club style discussion partner. She and I both think it should be called (SPOILER) Carry On, Mr. Bowditch Even Though Everyone You Love Dies.

Friday: Gil’s the only one today, since he took Tuesday off. I use the fifth day to look over the kids’ journals that they write in 4x week and to check on their math with Teaching Textbooks. Trixie seems to have a fundamental misunderstanding of division and fractions, unsurprising given that this is her first year with structured math. I’m dialing her back and starting with Division 2 from Math Mammoth, my favorite gap-filler.

Fifth day is also my catch-up as well as the kids’, so I read some more Shakespeare Stealer. It’s a good ‘un!

Lent First Monday

I had a hard time sleeping last night. I’d say I sleep poorly about half the time. I’m still deeply grieving my parents’ deaths, and I think that has something to do with it. It’s not the babies, really, both little boys sleep well. Perry might wake in the night once a week or so, and Malcolm nurses around 11 and then is out for several hours. Nobody to blame but me.

So I’m pretty groggy today. I’m offering it up. The children are all still sleeping as I write.

Sleeping baby

Except for Dorothy who just woke up.

Little girl with stuffed animals

She’s watching one of the nine or so iterations of Littlest Pet Shop, a cute, if predictable show with bug-eyed animals learning important moral lessons. There are worse things. Notice her row of animals in front, to watch it with her. I do love six year olds. There’s my Bookshark IGs in front of her, I was in the middle of reading up for the day when she came in.

I think I hear Perry, and I need to go rouse the slugabeds.

Lent First Sunday

[Housekeeping: I changed to an Instagram plugin over there in the sidebar, along with a new theme. If you’re on mobile, the Instagram feed is down at the bottom now. EDIT: the plugin is janky, I’m working on it]

I want a real social life. I can’t go visit people because I have an autistic almost-five year old who needs all of my attention when we are at someone’s house or in public. The only place I can socialize is here. So! Now I’m setting a new goal: weekly open house. I’ll be home, with the kids, on Friday afternoons and evenings. I’ll have a snack and even dinner if you stay that long. All will be welcome. Don’t get too excited, I cant start this until mid-April after the kids finish drama class. But pencil us in. We have a whack of kids, a lot of wild land, a fenced, slightly less wild area, a ton of Nintendo games, and open hearts.

I miss the socialization of my youth, where things were more loose. I can’t manage that, but I can do this, what, planned spontaneity? Sure. I have two friends who do this but I can’t ever make it (see above re: autist.) I hope someone takes us up.

The time change cut us up this morning. Like many others, we missed Mass. Sigh. I’m a grownup, really.

Lent First Saturday

So far so good on the Facebook fast. I’ve caught myself a couple times defaulting to the website, by accident. I just closed it up and did something else. I have to check the group I moderate about twice a day, so I bookmarked a direct link.

The BILLY bookcases are filling up so quickly Sean told me to get two more. They’ll come next week, I’m still deciding where to put them. There’s room on that wall, but I have a giant world map that I want to put there. Those two are almost all homeschool books, with more to come.

We got a Memoria Press catalog last week with some penmanship material I ordered (they seem to have the best cursive program for an older student.) Sean really likes their curriculum but there is no way I could manage it, nor do I want to. I told him he needs to trade us in for a new family, sorry. I’m all in for Bookshark. He relented.

This year has gone well so far, speaking of Bookshark. We are on week 25 of Levels 3 and 6. A typical day is: wake the kids by 9:30 if they aren’t awake, though usually most are, eat breakfast, check in with each kid for their scheduled work for the day and what needs to be done, or questions from yesterday’s work. Then off they go. We have two computers that they use for Teaching Textbooks, so there’s usually no waiting, and they all have their own books for the other subjects.

I tried once to have Faith and Abby share a Sonlight Core and it was unpleasant, so now if two kids are in the same level I buy two of everything but read-alouds. Used copies means it only costs a little more than new.

While the big kids are working independently, I get Dorothy set up. She’s learning to read and write this year, with a mix of Reading Eggs and paper books, and Handwriting Without Tears. It takes about ten minutes with me and however long I let her do Reading Eggs. She does read-alouds too, but those are with her daddy at night.

The big kids check in with me as they finish each item, math, history, a chapter of a novel, and science. (We completely dropped the science experiments, sigh. Nobody was into it and it was a lot of work. I think next year will be better, it’s robotics!) They also write at least a page a day in their journals, for our unstructured language arts.

We also have a read-aloud going most of the time, which I read about every other day, to save my voice.

And on Tuesday they do homeschool drama class and PE.

Everyone’s done in a few hours and then they are free!

Lent Day -2

I’m off Facebook for Lent. It doesn’t start until Wednesday so I’m just prepping. I’m really looking forward to it though. I hid everyone on my feed and kept groups because I have to moderate a few, and it’s already less stressful. I’m also reading Digital Minimalism and liking that so far.

My birthday was last week and I turned 45. Hot damn!