Friday, August 27, 2010

Back to School!

This was our first week of school. Overall things went really well. Monday was a long day for us because it took a while to get everything organized in between subjects. I think we finished up a little before 3:00. Most days we're through around 1:30.

Daily schedule:
9:00 - AWANA
9:15 - language Arts (journaling, spelling, Wordly Wise/vocabulary, grammar)
10:15 - snack/break
10:30 - math
11:30 - science
12:15 - lunch/break
1:00 - history

On Mondays and Wednesdays, we add beginning piano. I spend a few minutes going over a finger exercise or music theory concept, then they take turns practicing.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we'll be adding geography. Jacob has a basic map skills workbook he'll be working from. Caleb has a world geography workbook that we'll use over the course of two years or more. I hope to get started on that next week, after I get our scanner/copier set up. (I want to keep Caleb's workbook for future reference, so we'll be using photocopied pages.)

Fridays are short days. We do AWANA, language arts, and math. Then we go out for lunch, spend some time at the library, run any errands, and stop by ALDI for the next week's groceries.

Jacob had a meltdown a few days this week because he wanted to play instead of do his schoolwork. Both times I sent him to his room until his attitude was better and he was willing to work. The first day (Monday) he cried loudly, trying to distract Caleb from his work and trying to get attention. I warned him that he'd get a spanking if that continued, so he hushed. The second day (Wednesday) he cried again, but not nearly as loudly as before. Hopefully he's seeing that he's got to do his work and that throwing a fit isn't going to get him out of it.

I came up with a way to reinforce positive school behavior, and hopefully it'll work. I call it "School Spirit Stickers". Each day, whoever had the best attitude for school will get a sticker. At the end of the week, whoever has the most stickers will get to choose where we go for lunch on Friday. Of course, there will be limits on where they can choose. If I give them free reign on that, we'll end up at Cici's Pizza every week. Some weeks will have Cici's for a choice; other weeks will have Panera Bread as a choice; most weeks will have McDonald's, Wendy's, and Braum's, though. I may need to come up with a weekly schedule of restaurants so they won't accuse me of rigging the list each week. I should probably have the boys list their favorite restaurants, then divide them evenly each week...

Tuesday we went out to the pool after we finished our work, but we didn't get to stay long at all - maybe 20 minutes. When we left the house, the sky looked fine. But by the time I pulled into the parking lot, we noticed how dark the sky was to our north. I kept a close watch on the weather while the boys played with their new diving rockets. The clouds kept getting darker and rolling in a little faster. Soon the wind picked up, and before long the water in the pool was white-capping. Not long after that, thunder started rumbling, so the boys and I hurried out of the pool. After we got settled in the car, we saw a few bolts of lightning strike in the distance. Not much happened after we got home, just a lot of wind and thunder and hardly any rain.

Yesterday we invited some friends from church to spend the afternoon with us at the neighborhood pool. We spent about two hours out there - the weather was perfect! Tricia and I really enjoyed relaxing in the water or sitting poolside and chatting. The boys had fun swimming after their diving rockets or playing with the pool Frisbee. Some other friends from the neighborhood joined them for a bit. We'd like to have them out again before the pool closes for the season. Thankfully the management has extended the season to late September instead of Labor Day.

All in all, it was a great first week! If only the rest of the school year would go so smoothly...

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