Monday, August 27, 2007

First Day of School

After a few delays, and a much bigger break than I had intended to take, we're officially back to school again. We didn't finish everything last year and, because of our busy summer schedule, we didn't get the chance to pick back up again until now. I had hoped to have a more year-round school year, but we ended up taking a full 3 months off instead.

Caleb woke up early today, shortly after 7:15. He might have been excited, but he wouldn't admit to it. I woke Jacob up shortly after 7:30 and had the boys get dressed for the day and eat breakfast. I wouldn't let them get on the computer until after we had finished with school, which they hated. That's one of the new rules.

As I was getting Caleb's books ready, he told me he wanted to do his math first. That's his favorite subject. He jumped right in, picking up where we left off with very little trouble. He was a little rusty on adding two-digit numbers, but after I worked with him on one or two, he got right to it.

I had planned on history (his least favorite subject) for Mondays and Tuesdays, but Caleb wanted science on those days. He wanted to do plant science again, but I told him we had completed that unit. He has the opportunity to participate in a science fair sponsored by our homeschool association for grades K-8, so he decided to do a project on plant science for that. We reviewed our journal entries from our experiments so we could come up with some ideas. Since he really wants to plant some more seeds, and the ones we planted in small cups this spring quit growing because they ran out of room, we decided to make that the focus of the project. This weekend we'll get seeds, good-quality potting soil, and 5 different sized pots so we can start our project next Monday.

After we planned that out, we got back to our human body science. Today and tomorrow we're studying bones. We actually have a library book called Dem Bones: "The toe bone's connected to the foot bone. The foot bone's connected to the ankle bone..." Next week we'll study muscles. Then we'll move on to the nervous system, the circulatory system, and the respiratory system. Finally we'll be able to get to this year's study on earth and space sciences.

Following a quick snack break, we worked on spelling, English, and writing. Part of our spelling this fall will be working on the 2nd grade spelling bee word list. Caleb participated last year and did really well, especially considering we didn't start working on the word list until only 2 weeks prior to the bee. In English, he learning about the different types of sentences. He's having a lot of fun with that. This year I need to increase the amount of writing he does. I need to be sure he does some copywork each day and gradually work in some writing of the narratives after his science and history lessons.

I also need to get him started early on reviewing his AWANA verses for this year. It starts in two weeks, but since I know the first few verses he'll need to know for this year, he may as well get started. I have also thought of two visitors he can take with him this year, so he'll get that part of the green jewel requirement met. We've struggled with that the last two years.

I set aside 30 minutes this afternoon for him to complete the second side of his math worksheet, then do some silent reading. When his time was up, he said he wanted to read some more, but that only lasted about 5 minutes before he was back to playing with his Hot Wheels.

While Caleb was working on his copywork, I started working with Jacob on learning to read. I'm using a phonics program, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Seigfried Engelmann. I used that with Caleb and he was reading Dr. Seuss books after only 3 months. Jacob did really well with his first lesson today. He surprised me by already knowing the 's' sound without me telling him first. Thankfully the lessons are short - only about 10 minutes each right now. I had trouble keeping him still long enough to complete the first lesson. Maybe he'll adjust as the lessons get longer later on.

I wonder what tomorrow will be like!

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