Even though I try to keep our traditions light and simple (and we started school in early August, so we could lighten our load in December), I still find myself frequently overwhelmed during this magical yet oh-so-busy month. As often as I can, I try to curl up in bed (made toasty by a heated mattress pad, of course) with a mug of green tea steaming on the nightstand, and a good book leaning against my knees. If you find the opportunity to sneak away and do the same (which I highly recommend you do), I’ve got a few book suggestions for you… as well as one that you might want to skip. Here’s what I’ve been reading lately: [Read more…]
I apologize for it being quiet over here at GC&M lately; our family has been adjusting to a new school schedule. Yes, we’ve been doing school since early August, but a lot of our programs and extracurricular activities begin after Labor Day, and it can get a little crazy! I’m delighted to report that all the “helps” I’ve enlisted this year are turning out beautifully. Logan is enjoying preschool, and I received an email from his teacher a couple of nights ago saying that Logan’s off to a great start at school, and he always has a smile on his face. I’ve also put my name in the running to chaperone his upcoming field trip to the apple orchard. Would you believe I’ve never been apple picking? Fingers crossed I get to go! I’m also really pleased with Shane’s online Latin class. I observed his first class and was a bit skeptical at first, but I’ve noticed that the content has gotten “meatier,” and I love that Shane’s working on Latin for more than 2.5 hours/week (vs. the 1/2 hour-ish we were doing last year). He enjoys the class and participates frequently. (Conner and I have to crawl on the floor Mission Impossible-style to avoid being on the webcam, which is all kinds of fun!) When the stars align (AKA Shane is doing his online Latin class, Logan is at preschool, and Theo is napping), I am able to work one-on-one with Conner, who is still very reliant on me for his schoolwork. Our mornings are so much calmer, more productive, and restful.
Besides our new school routine, I’ve got some other favorites I’d like to share with you! Here they are, in no particular order.
Do you still need to print your 2017 Student Resource Packet? Don’t sweat it! I searched online and couldn’t find any instructions, so I tried to figure it out myself. I’m a first-year Essentials mom, so it is possible I made a mistake, but my son’s SRP looks pretty good to me! 😉 Read on the for simple instructions! [Read more…]
It’s 7:42 AM, and the door closes with a thud as Dan heads off to work. FREEZE! Where are the rest of us? I am standing by the kitchen sink, loading maple syrup-coated plates into the dishwasher. Baby Theo, having recently finished a light-breakfast nursing, is supervising from his bouncy seat on the kitchen counter. Shane is seated at the keyboard in the living room, plunking out “The Entertainer” (his recital song) for the millionth time. He likes to play the tune in a different synthesized instrument each time, and this time it’s the saxophone. Conner and Logan are charging up the basement steps in the midst of an exciting game of “robber and spy.” I’ve got a full day of school planned for the boys, so how on earth do we transition from this kaleidoscope of activity into our school day? [Read more…]
One of the questions I get asked most frequently about homeschooling is whether the state determines our curricula, or if we get to choose our own. The quick answer is, in the state of Wisconsin, homeschooling parents have the freedom to choose their children’s curricula as long as we provide our children with “at least 875 hours of instruction each school year” and “a sequentially progressive curriculum of fundamental instruction in reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, and health.” Yippee! In my opinion, this is one of the major benefits of homeschooling. The freedom to choose gives me flexibility (what works great for one child may not work for another), and I don’t have to deal with not being able to help my child with his homework, because I don’t understand the “new math” that’s being taught at school. I was going to write about our curriculum choices for this year, but, as I began to type that post, I realized that I was referring to Classical Conversations a lot. Which brings me to another one of the most frequently asked questions I receive: What is Classical Conversations?
If you’ve asked me this in passing, I might have responded, “Oh, it’s our co-op.” If I said this, I’m sorry. Classical Conversations isn’t a co-op, but it’s a term many non-homeschoolers are familiar with, so I often say that to avoid going into a lengthy explanation. Please forgive me and see below for my real answer. [Read more…]