We had a good “holiday.” Just good. Definitely better than last year, but it wouldn’t really take much to beat last year. Dh and ds2 were in Disney World at a Biomedical symposium but my brother and his wife and my nephew and his son came over and we enjoyed ourselves.
On the menu: Bones, Green-Eyed monster cookies, and punch served in googly eye cups. I traditionally serve a vegetable-filled “Halloween Soup” in preparation for the candy gluttony, but my heart wasn’t in it this year and we ordered pizza. With mushrooms, which is a vegetable, so there.
My nephew’s son (maybe we should call him ns here on the old blog) and ds4 playing with the inside decorations. Those green alien things are balloons that have a blinking led light…they were super cool and are still blinking three days later!
The boys have been plugging away at school, having more good days than bad, and for that I am thankful. All my planning has paid off (for the most part) and I have been prepared enough to keep things flowing. The other day, ds3 actually said that school had been fun, and we didn’t even do anything special. Gotta love that.
However, we have been doing some fun things to help reinforce lesson plans.
Like using Oreos to chart the phases of the moon. And of course eating the broken ones and the extra stuffing (that’s called preserving our resources folks.) Oh, the sacrifices we homeschoolers make for our kids. Sigh. ;)
Ds4 is making huge strides in his reading. It amazes me how a child can go from struggling to read the most basic words, to *click* just getting it and reading big words he’s never even seen before. He and ds3 both are reading books on their own this year in addition to the books I read to them during school. I know a lot of kids do this from the get-go, but mine didn’t and now they do and I am beyond happy about it. Ds4 is reading The Swiss Family Robinson and doing a great job with his cadence and expressions. So far I am quite pleased with our curriculum choices and hope that the school year continues to be this productive.
We had a pretty good transition from summer to school. Both boys got right back into our routine and suffered from no supposed “summer memory loss” that the schools love to complain about. By the way, our “routine” is pretty much the same as last year. Boys get up, get breakfast, brush teeth and get dressed, and meet me at the school table. There is no strict time that all this occurs; one boy may sleep in while the other is up and at them. I just let the morning play out so we have a smooth school day and just because we can. :) I have the boys work individually on their math and language workbooks first, then we tackle the “group” subjects of history, science, geography, reading and nature studies.
The homeschool room was transformed over the summer into a clean, bright happy place for learning (that still blends in with the house.)
Can I just say, it’s freakin hard to get good pictures of a whole room. ;) Here is the view as you walk in from our kitchen. My desk is in the middle facing the window (love this!) with two folding tables butted up together and against the end of my desk. Ds4 on the right, ds3 on the left. The tables provide them with plenty of working room and I am close enough to keep an eye on their progress.
This view is from the opposite side as you enter our home. That is why I like that the space is relatively uncluttered…it’s the first room people see when they come into our house. I am proud we homeschool and love that we have a room we can devote to it, but it’s nice too that the room doesn’t stand out as much.
Top shelf holds non-fiction resources filed in magazine holders by subject. Middle shelf has three large magazine holders for the books we use daily and room for the various binders that keep my life (somewhat) organized.
The back of the door leading into the kitchen holds a whiteboard that we use everyday. It’s been a wonderful addition to the room, and having it on the door is rather handy. There is a magnetic cup for holding the markers and a magnetic eraser as well.
In the middle of the work tables is a muffin tin with cups for crayons and a lazy susan to hold other supplies such as pencils, pens, markers and scissors. No one has to leave the table to find supplies. :)
That’s it, the new and improved school room! I wonder how long it will stay looking so neat and clean. ;) If you are curious as to what the room has looked like in the past, click here or here or here. But not here. I’m adding this post to the “Not Back To School” blog hop, it’s lots of fun and tons of inspiration so join in (just click on the image.)
I am officially down to my last two homeschoolers.
We began homeschooling when our oldest was in 4th grade so we are now entering our 14th year of this wild and wonderful adventure. Only 9 more to go.
We painted the homeschool room over the weekend, a lovely shade called Spring Hill or Spring Cottage or something. It’s beautiful, whatever it’s called.