I'm glad that our first week was a short one. Not that it went badly, it was just exhausting. Between the holiday Monday, a power outage Tuesday night (that kept us all up late playing The Game of Life), and an attempt at a Not Back to School movie trip Friday, it was even shorter than I had planned.
We are starting our days with a little yoga/meditation, in the hopes this will help us start calmly. The kids enjoyed it and wanted to suggest poses to do (from when they did yoga at the Y or the Wii Fit, I assume). We are starting simple and building up from there.
I didn't plan any history, science, etc this week and I'm glad I didn't. We had a couple of days where just getting through the core stuff took all day. Since we are using so much new stuff, I figured it would take some time to judge how much they could get through each day.
I already adjusted my schedule. I was planning to start the day with George doing his independent work while I work with Vicki, then switch after an hour. But it turns out I'm not the best judge of what they can do independently and what they will need help with. And I'm slower to get going in the morning than they are, so we can start earlier if they begin while I'm still waking up with my tea.
Anyone who has been a reader here for a while knows that I was always looking for the right set-up and best way to organize so our days would go smoothly. The kids are older now and I've pretty much given up on that. They prefer to work sitting on the couch or lying on the floor so I'm just going to go with it (only opening up the big folding table when we really need it). Both kids have storage clipboards to write on and to hold their "binder" work (they still call it that despite the lack of an actual binder), and can sit at their computer table if they want a flatter surface.
Squidy had a little trouble with math this week. Not with his Jousting Armadillos, which he liked, but with his Math Mammoth. It was too many weeks since he started the Percentages chapter and he was forgetting too much. I reprinted the chapter and we are going to start over from the beginning. It's really important that he has a good understanding of the basic concepts before we get too far into Pre-Algebra.
He liked Mosdos Press and really appreciated that any of the longer assignments from the workbook I was letting him type on the computer. I may start letting him type them right in an email window so he can send them to my computer, where I can print them if I want or just review them. I found that idea in a blog I was reading this week, but I don't remember where.
Beast Academy went well. He is still working on the Division chapter and he's finding it pretty easy.
Spectrum Writing and Vocabulary from Classical Roots were both new but he found them easy (at least so far).
He did NOT appreciate having to do handwriting again. I pulled out the Scholastic Practice Jokes & Riddles so he can work on handwriting at least occasionally.
He is currently reading Redwall as his assigned book, and lots of Big Nate on his tablet at night. I signed up for a trial of Epic (getepic.com), which is an ebook borrowing service. They have many of the literature books I'm planning to assign this year, plus non-fiction and fun reading.
Vicki had a little bit more trouble getting back into the swing of things than Squidy did. She gets easily frustrated when things are even a little difficult.
Her comments this week:
"it looks scary" - about reading The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate
"Awww crap" - when looking at the triangles in Beast Academy
"my brain hurts" - the logic puzzles
"It was Amazing!" - the story Leah's Pony from Mosdos Ruby. So at least one thing went well. :-/
She didn't have any trouble with Spectrum Writing once she was sent back to read the page more carefully, Vocabulary from Classical Roots was easy, Spelling went fine, and she seems to understand fractions in Math Mammoth.
Mosdos Press uses cursive for the vocabulary words in their workbook. Vicki did have trouble reading the words, so I had to write them out in print underneath. She does okay writing in cursive and has finished her Handwriting without Tears book, but evidently we will need to work more on reading it.
She did end up enjoying The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate once she started it. It's going slowly and it's longer than what she's used to reading so I'm sure it's going to take her time to finish it.
Next week starts swimming lessons and yoga at the Y, and we're going to work on finishing up US History so our days will be a little longer.