Saturday, August 29, 2009

Week 1 Report

I'm going to try the weekly reporting thing again this year, mainly for my own accountability and record, but also on the chance that someone out there is mildly interested!

We had a rough week, to be honest! I posted the picture at right (taken at Cloudland Canyon while on our anniversary trip last month) because it reminds me that in our school year there will be times we are on the mountain-top and times we are in the valley. And times in between where we, with firm resolve, struggle to climb back to the top!

Monday was spent organizing last-minute details for the boys' first day at Veritas Classical School, as well as getting books ready for M & A to study here at home. I hadn't run errands - or run my feet - in a while, so I ended up doing both Monday afternoon and evening, and was a little scattered and tired Tuesday as a result.

The boys liked their classes and teachers, but it's going to take some time for them to adjust to the workload. S (almost 15) did a tutorial three years ago and we learned the hard way how easy it is to leave too much work to do at the end of the week. So the 2 boys and I sat down Wednesday morning and mapped out their assignments by days. S. had quite a lot of literature / writing to get done over the weekend and will have a busy day Monday. C. has been able to keep up with his assignments, but he's a fast reader.

The other big change for the boys is that we've dropped Saxon math. It simply wasn't working for us anymore, and the DIVE cds weren't helping, either. So S is doing Jacobs' Algebra, and so far is loving it's straightforward lessons and narrative style. C. is using BJU Press 7th grade math. No cd-rom or DVD means Mom will have to be more involved in the instruction, but I've scheduled that during K's (3yo) nap and A's rest time. I'm pretty good at algebra and at least this way when they have a question, I won't have to spend 45 minutes reading through what they're doing to answer it - we'll all be on the same page, so to speak! ;-)

M (10 -5th gr) and A (5 - K) got a little bit of work done each day, but I'm still tinkering with the schedule and still trying to get my planbook organized. M is really motivated this year, and is already reading ahead in history! I'm stremlining for these two, using mostly curriculum from Christian Liberty Press, with a little A Beka and some living books thrown in.

My mission for this school year is:
-to help S & C succeed at Veritas and spread their wings as young men, learning to be responsible for themselves, be challenged academically, and begin getting out from behind Mom's apron strings and into the world;
-to get M up to grade level. As the middle child (and one with special medical needs that at times distract us from school), her academic progress has gotten kind of lost. I'm calling her a 5th grader, though some of her work is still 4th, but I'm optomistic by the end of the year, we'll "be there." If not, we'll just call next year "5th grade, part 2!"
-to simplify!!! I'm learning more and more that the specific curricula we use and the grand plans I make matter less than just "doing the next thing" - just diligently working through whatever we're using.
-to create a pleasant, Christ-honoring atmosphere in our home, no matter what we accomplish academically. I've only a few years left with S at home, and I want to impart a love for the Lord, His Word, His people, and the nations. He can always study and learn and fill in the gaps of "information", but I don't get a "do-over" in training his heart.

I finally posted C's 7th grade line-up here, and M's 5th grade on this page. Kindergarten ideas still to come. (And no, I've not forgotten about chores! More on that coming soon, Lord-willing.)


Kate said...

you are such an awesome mom and amazing friend. you inspire me.
love you!

Kate said...

and ps - i'm "mildly interested" in reading about your school year! ;)