Say it ain’t so…

Did the summer really go by that fast?  We had a fun summer beginning with a fun beach trip, swimming in the pool and at the lake, and ending with fun with the cousins!  We made many terrific memories this summer as I am sure many of you did also! 

My summer also was filled with days of prepping for this year.  At this point I feel ready and comfortable in the inevitable-it will all change in time!  What I feel is our reality now, I know will not be our reality in the months to come.  For now, we are doing the following:

  • A Waldorf curriculum that incorporates many aspects of education
  • a mixture of math including Saxon, Montessori and math games
  • Language Lessons by Susan Wise-Bauer
  • Nature Journaling/Journal
  • Handwriting without tears
  • Geography
  • A Child’s History of the World.
  • Writing from the Institute for Excellence in Writing
  • And more as it comes. 🙂

So has it begun?  Yes, and with a bang!  We now have THREE students at Lake Norman Preparatory.  We worked hard this summer to work on the school room and to come up with a plan.  THis week we are easing into the schedule and hope to go full in next week.  We ended the school year at the beach dissecting crazy animals and that is how we have begun the school year also.  The kids found a dissecting kit in some materials we were going through.

The next thing I know-they are running to the freezer to take out a frog that they froze over the winter after finding it dead in our friend’s pool (let me state here that the frog was in my friend’s freezer and this all took place at her house-of which, I am very grateful).  They decided to go kayaking for a little while so that the frog could defrost.  Lovely.  By the time, my friend and I returned back up to the house from cleaning up out at the lakefront-the kids were into the frog.  We may have some surgeons in the making.  They found the stomach, the muscles, the intestines and many more body parts.  I am amazed at how fascinated they are by this.  I love learning about the body; however, in this situation I thought I was going to hurl.  I was very close to losing dinner.  The frozen frog was quite odoriferous as it thawed.  As wonderful as it is to see how excited the kids are with this science project, I can not express how happy I am that this is not at my house. 

So the school year has begun for the Whalen family.  We look forward to keeping you updated with our journey.  We love to hear your stories too!  Please let us know how your school year started.

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Serenity at last!

Finally, a peaceful week.  Yes-that means this post may be extremely boring and pointless!  This was a very simple week.  The kids decided last week that they want to learn about electricity next.  I was not quite prepared for this yet so we had a calm, boring and beautiful week.  While my kiddos were in  Montessori, I have always been told that it takes the class 4 to 6 weeks to normalize.  I guess this is what happened this week.  We were all calmer and things just sort of came together even with some added life craziness.

Monday, the kids had their first “substitute teacher.”  My dad came up for a couple of hours so that I could get to a doctor’s appointment without kiddos (well, that was the plan but Parks ended up staying home from school so he stayed with me).  The kids knew that they needed to get their lessons done before he came so they could do some independent work while he was here.  They busted a move and got it done.  Then they worked on math and reading aloud with teacher grand-dad.  They thought that was pretty neat to have a substitute in home school.

Wednesday the kids went to Latta for a biology class on worms.  They came back with all types of good info on the importance of worms for our soil and the worm’s anatomy.  They each dissected their own worm.  Neither of them were too excited to go to the class but they could not stop talking about it when the left.  I think that is the sign of a well taught class!

I picked up Parks early from school so he could come hang at the park that afternoon too.  We introduced him to the nature study.  He made it for about 30 seconds.  He was so excited about being by the water and exploring that he couldn’t sit and relax.  He climbed rocks, explored and found his own natural balance beam.

Thursday was a beautiful day.  I told the kids that I needed to get a few house things done and would need five minutes before I could start lessons.  When I came back into the school room, I found Sims helping Sawyer with her math.  They had the materials out and he was giving her math problems to figure out.  Today was low-key.  Math and spelling tests and back to Latta for biology.  Sims went through the anatomy of a frog.  He got his own 7.5 lb frog to dissect.  As much as I think he was grossed out by eat, I think he was hooked.  All day he has been telling my about how things are connected inside the body and what each organ looked like.   He was fascinated by the heart, the spine, the kidneys and the digestive system.  His main disappointment was that he had a female frog who had eggs in her egg sac.  He said when he saw it he began to feel sad for the mama frog and her babies.

Next week we will hopefully be on to some new stuff including electricity and a new math curriculum.  I also am attending a class for parents and teachers at a local school on the basics of Orton-Gillingham training.  I am very excited.  I sat through the first class which went over different ways dyslexia presents and children who have it learn (or don’t learn).  I loved the teacher immediately when the first slide said that our main goal is to preserve a child’s self-confidence.  I knew then that I definitely made the right choice for my kiddos.  All three of them are happier and able to relax.  I look forward to learning more through this class.  I already have some info that will help me with how I teach on a daily basis.