This week turned out to be fall break for us. I’d planned to take Tuesday off following a field trip on Monday. Then, we’d do our outside classes on Wednesday and have a regular school day on Thursday and Friday.
By Tuesday afternoon, when my to-do list was still rather long, I decided we’d just take Thursday and Friday off too. After all, we usually take two weeks off in September for vacation. We didn’t go on vacation this year, so we’ve been working steadily since the first week of August. We were all ready for a break!
Monday, we met my in-laws for lunch, then went to the zoo before meeting up with some of the folks from our homeschool group for a tour of “Messiah’s Mansion,” a life-size replica of the tabernacle that the Israelites built in the wilderness.
It was the perfect day to go to the zoo. It was cool, so all of the animals were out and active. In all the years that we’ve visited the zoo, I have never seen the jaguar up close. Monday, he was lying right against the glass at the viewing station and we got to watch him clean himself just like a house cat would. It was awesome! He’s such a beautiful cat.
Our next stop was Messiah’s Mansion, which was very interesting, if a bit long. We were expecting a fifteen minute walk-through, but they actually take you to several stations within the tabernacle and explain the symbolism of the various aspects of the temple. We wound up being there for nearly two hours, so the younger kids were getting restless, but the explanations of the symbolism were very interesting.
We saw the outer court…
The inner sanctuary…
And the Holy of Holies…
Josh and Megan went home with Brian’s parents and Brianna had a friend spend the night, so Tuesday was like having a day all to myself! Ahhhh…heaven! I spent the day at home taking care of my to-do list blogging. Hey, we all need a day to do whatever we want every now and then, right?
Wednesday I had to drop Brianna off for an orthodontist appointment, meet Brian’s parents to pick up Josh and Megan, and get Josh to music class by 10:30, then, go back to get Brianna. I’m quite sure that I’ve mentioned not being a morning person, right?
We were supposed to have our co-op Wednesday afternoon, as well, but we had sick kiddos (my niece, “Nim,” has walking pneumonia), so we decided to call that off for this week. The kids and I missed it, but it was nice to have some unexpected free time Wednesday afternoon.
Thursday was chore day – for me! I made myself a list of things that I had to do before I could get on the computer. I really should have taken some pictures. I’d have had a nice “Tackle it Tuesday” post. I tackled the kids’ closets, rotating summer for winter clothes and culling out the outgrown stuff. I wound up with seven or eight large bags to donate. And, I actually managed to take them to donate on the same day! I was so proud of that. Usually, the bags sit in the back of my van for a few days.
I’ve still got things on my to-do list for today, mostly school-stuff, such as writing out lesson plans and making copies. Having heard wonderful things about Phonics Pathways from a friend who tutors both home schooled and public schooled kids in reading, I borrowed a copy from another friend. It looks really good. I think it may be really helpful for Josh, since I’ve been rather disappointed with Scaredy Cat Reading’s Level 3. I’ll be able to use it with Megan and even Nim, too. I also picked up some books at the local used book store, including Abeka’s A Handbook for Reading and a couple of workbooks with activities to reinforce all the phonics rules.
I plan to put SCRS back on the shelf for now and try those things, along with simply having the kids read aloud from their own books, as I’ve been doing. I hope to have some exciting things to report on the reading front before too long. Based on what I’ve seen, I think Phonics Pathways will give Megan just what she needs to really take off with reading fluency since it’s evident that she’s ready and appears to need little assistance. For Josh, I’m hoping it’s going to provide the order and cohesiveness to build his confidence. And, for Nim, it looks like the self-paced, low-key foundation that she needs.
Since we were off yesterday, I was able to get the grocery shopping done and there is nothing major on tap for this week. I love those lazy, relaxing weekend at home. So, even though there’s not much exciting to share on the school front this week, it was a wonderful and much-needed break for our family.
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