This was a bit of a short week because Vicki wasn't feeling well on Monday. Nothing awful, just a sore throat, sneezing and coughing. Allergies are kicking up strong this fall, but she's never shown any particular sign of having hayfever, so we took it easy and skipped swimming and choir. I also let her go light on school since it was "hard to think about anything". ;-)
Vicki finished The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. It took her quite a while and she was reluctant to even start but once she finished, she said she really enjoyed it and it was "amazing". Unlike her brother though, she had no desire to read the next book in the series. While she is a strong reader, this book was a little rough for her. She's definitely out of the habit of stretching herself when reading, whether it's length, grade/lexile level, or content. Scholastic and Junior Library Guild give the book a grade level of 5.3/5.4 so not too much above her current grade level, but she's been reading mainly Thea Stilton, Rainbow Fairy, and Garfield comic books lately.
I will be assigning more books for their hour of required reading and then encouraging them to read their choices at bedtime or during screen free time.
Both kids have now started their current grades in math.
We have hit a milestone with Squidy... I am now using the answer keys when checking over his math. It's not that I can't solve the problems, it's that they would take longer than it's worth to figure them all out by hand. I will sit with him to go through the steps if he gets any wrong.
This week the lake had the swim team dinner and awards meeting. Vicki was unable to attend because Daddy took them to visit his parents, but I went because I was running for a board position. I didn't get the position, but Vicki got a trophy! She won Most Improved Girl (she had taken 11 seconds off her time for 25 yard free-style) and also received a 4th place ribbon for the relay she swam as a 9 year old. Considering we had to underage girls running that relay (only the 2nd time Vicki swam 50 yards instead of 25 yards), that's not too shabby.
We still haven't started our content subjects, other than some reading and it's all my fault. I've been sleeping very poorly lately, which means I get up late, which means we don't start school until after lunch (the kids eat early), and then with all the extra-curricular activities, we just aren't accomplishing as much as I would like. So, I'm taking some steps to remedy the situation.
The biggest problem is that I was setting up their schoolwork for the day AFTER I woke up in the morning. I'm still getting up by 9 am, but I'm not what anyone would describe as a morning person, so I need my tea (CAFFEINE!!) to be functional. This meant that the kids weren't able to start school until 10, 10:30 am, when 11 am is lunch time.
My solution was to set up a modification of the crate system that was really popular a year or so ago. There was no way I was setting up 36 weekly folders for our entire year, but I did set up packets with all the work for a day for about 4 weeks. I even wrote these lessons into their planners. Each morning (I'm really going to try for the day before) all I have to do is pull out the next packet, check which books they need (since the Mosdos textbooks and assigned reading won't fit), and circle the current day in their planners with a yellow highlighter. When I check each days work, I'll cross out that day with a yellow highlighter to show it was completed. Hopefully this will keep them from being confused by all the stuff being written in already. Honestly, they are barely using their planners unless I tell them to look, so I don't see it being a problem. :-/
Despite them barely using them, I'm going to continue with the planners. It serves as a record for me of what they've done (I don't have any mandatory reporting so any records are only for me), and I'm hoping the habit will take hold one of these days.