First week of the new school year (8.15-8.21.2016)

We are back to school at home 🙂 Kids had their fill of summer and were begging to start school since pretty much the end of July and since our co-op was due to start on the 19th, we decided to get a head start and begin our school at home on the 15th.

The beginning of the school year for us coincided with the house project that extended well beyond our initial timeline.

First day at home was idyllic, we sat at our new table next to our new bookcase and got everything done. The rest of the week required more flexibility. We still managed to finish most of the things that were planned, but had to improvise a lot too.

Tuesday was our “Anything can happen” day, I am hoping to have at least a couple of those each month to shake up the routine, take our learning outside and delight the kids who made the most of our first Anything can happen Tuesday. We went to Denver Museum of Nature and Science and although there are no special exhibits at the moment, kids paid a lot of attention in the regular ones, they took notes, talked to docents and discussed their findings afterward.

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Friday was first day at co-op and kids had tons of fun there (and mom got a much needed break), D. also had bootcamp with his choir on Friday and Saturday. The choir is even more serious business for him this year, because it’s the concert choir at last and the workload and responsibility has increased. On Friday D. turned 11, it was a very emotional day for me, because he was just a newborn and BOOM! I have a pre-teen on my hands. Reminded me once again how fast the time goes by really, and how tall kids grow when we’re not looking.

Sunday was my birthday, seventeen times two is no joke, although I think I’ve changed so much since I was seventeen that it didn’t quite feel like a blink of an eye. But still, years went by rather fast, seventeen times three might see me a grandma. We went for a hike in our beloved Roxborough State Park (which we haven’t visited since spring, so hot it was this summer). It is gorgeous as always and full of colors- yellow and purple of flowers, reds and greens of berries and leaves…

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Kids read : D. – Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt and Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table book which he got for his birthday. C. reads “The One and Only Ivan” by Katherine Applegate, she loves animals and it’s a perfect book for her.

Overall it was a good week, and I believe we can call our first week of school a success. I feel I am better prepared this time around, mainly because kids’ activities fell into place nicely (I finally have both kids doing the same thing at the same place on the same day, YAY!), and I make rest a priority this year. (Another lovely article on rhythm helped me cement this decision) D. is  often tired and dizzy, which I am told is normal because his body is getting ready for changes, he grows fast now too. I was very tired last year, I couldn’t have a conversation without complaining about being tired and sick all the time. I am determined not to let it happen this year.District’s schedule is rather cruel- an odd day off here and there and no big breaks until Thanksgiving, we followed it last year and got promptly burned out. So this year I am hoping to take a longer break  every three or four weeks if kids feel like it or a full week off in the beginning-middle of October. We’ll see how it goes. In the meantime, the temperature goes down (especially at night), yellow leaves are starting to appear and we are mentally ready for the fall.

Hope the rest of August is kind for everyone and happy learning to those that are back to school (or starting soon)!

September- week 1

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September is here! It means fall fall fall is almost here. It definitely feels like fall, there is noticeable yellow among the green, the nights are cool (oh, to snuggle under the comforter!), and the air is crisp in the morning. It rained quite a bit too.

So what have we been doing this first week?

1. School at home: We are still getting used to the rhythm , it takes us a while to get things going in the morning and sometimes we end up finishing our work deep into the afternoon. Otherwise it’s not too bad. I can’t figure out yet how to make our days more fun without sacrificing academic load. Although I question the said load every single day, they both need to be challenged, but sometimes it’s too much stress for me to get things done.

Best memory of the week: Playing soccer in an empty park Thursday morning, the air smelled so automn-y, the breeze was cool, so wonderful!

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Monday and Tuesday

Our school started Monday. Kids did pretty well for the first day, regarding the fact that they had almost the whole August off aside from reading and some writing when they felt like it.

We started a new journal for D., he likes writing a lot, so this year instead of having just one notebook for all his writing, he got his special personal journal (“like the one mommy has, yay!” (C)) . I found a wonderful idea to get him to write more about personal stuff, it’s called “Awe-journal” and while I don’t exactly expect him to write all of his “awe” moments every time, I think it will serve as a good inspiration. We decided to make this plain composition book more personal by decorating it.  There’s an excellent idea of how to personalize composition books with duct tape sheets and metallic markers at Art Projects for kids,  we went with white contact paper this time. I thought D. would make it more colorful, but he opted out for softer colors. “Astronaut landed and can’t tell the difference between pencil and his rocket” is the theme, should I expect great things from him regarding this project? 🙂 We’ll see.

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