It’s the first Weekly Wrap-Up of the 2010-2011 school year for my family. Finally, something besides, “We slept till noon, got up, watched a little TV, played on our laptops, ate some food, and went to bed.” I appreciate all the input on the Weekly Wrap-Up poll. The vast majority of you, seventy-five percent, prefer having it posted Friday afternoon so that you can include what you do on Friday. That works for me, so we’ll just keep it that way.
We started school on Wednesday. The first week has not been without its bumps — surprisingly, attitude problems don’t magically disappear over the summer — but it’s not been awful either. We spent Monday and Tuesday cleaning up around the house, in preparation for starting school, and feeding Brianna soft foods. It’s been just over a week since she got her wisdom teeth extracted and she’s just now starting to be able to eat regular foods. It’s been a rough week on that front.
Monday evening also included a first-ever event for new homeschoolers in our area. It was sponsored by the local branch of our statewide group. I was one of the veteran homeschoolers who went to share with new homeschoolering families tips and encouragement. We then broke off into smaller groups so that the new homeschooling families could ask questions, look at some of the veterans’ favorite curriculum, scheduling and planning tools. We’re also going to match up those who were interested with a mentor for the year. I wish there had been something like this when I was a new homeschooler. I think it would have been so helpful and reassuring.
Tuesday was try-out day for our homeschool high school volleyball team. Brianna made the team! I was so proud of her. Last year, there were barely enough girls to make an A- and B-team, so everybody got to play and it was an instructional year. This year, word had spread and there were about 25 girls who wanted to play, so they had try-outs. I don’t know who was more worried that Brianna might not get to play — her or me. Volleyball is the only sport Brianna has ever shown any interest in, so I’m really excited that she’ll get to continue this year.
Wednesday, we started slowly with a light schedule: Bible, grammar, math, reading, and a little history. We also spent some time looking over new books and talking about the upcoming year. I introduced Josh and Megan to their assignment sheets. I don’t think that Megan has looked at hers since, but Josh checked his this morning, just to see what was in store for the day.
Our second day of school was a PE day at the pool. We were invited to join some friends in their annual “the day after public school resumes” trip to the pool. I almost said no since it was only our second day of school, but I decided that going was in keeping my motto of more friends, fun, and field trips this year. I’m glad we went; we all had a great time.
One of the things the kids were supposed to do was describe the objects using mathematical words. I started with Megan since she’s the youngest and I thought Brianna might be able to figure it out a little more quickly. I was very proud that Megan described the Post-It notes as “square” and the soap box as “rectangle” without any more prompting than the instruction to describe them with mathematical words.
For civics, we’re using The Land of Fair Play. Today we read chapter one and talked about the five principals on which America is founded. We’ve got an older version of the book (the second edition), but when I read this paragraph, I was thinking that it could have been written last week:
…Gradually, though, as we have become more prosperous, we have also become less willing to shoulder individual responsibilities. More and more, we have government do what the individual should do. Either we will again assume the responsibility required by freedom or that light will go out in America. And, if it does, it will go out all over the world. If the wealth, luxury and leisure that our system has brought us make us smug and complacent, willing to load our responsibilities on our government, we will lose — and deserve to lose — all these fruits of freedom. — The Land of Fair Play, p. 2 (emphasis mine)
Wow. Kind of prophetic.
We ended by listening to one of my favorite Schoolhouse Rock songs, The Preamble. All in all, it was a good first week and I’m glad to be back to a predictable routine that keeps everyone constructively occupied….now, just remind me that I said that in a couple of weeks when I’m looking forward to our next break.
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