Back to school

We started our school year at the beginning of August, so now we are nine weeks in already. It gave us a good solid four weeks before all our crazy extra-curriculars kicked in, and that was nice. Because now, we are lucky to get 3 days of actual 'school at home' accomplished each week! Not that the other things we do aren't learning activities, but we're just go-go-going so much of the time. I always kick myself for overscheduling in the fall and we always have fewer activities going on in the spring. (WHEN WILL I LEARN!?)

This year we are doing Sonlight again. I know there are things about it I really like and things about it I do not like, but the likes outweight the not-likes. My favorite thing is that I can adjust it to be used with all three kids at the same time. Obviously Lucy gets the most out of it as it's designed to be a 4th grade (approx) curriculum, but the younger two enjoy it as well. We are doing a new math program this year too - Singapore Math, which turns out, is way more challenging than the math we did last year, so Lucy is doing 3rd grade level in Singapore, but it's tougher than the 4th grade level of what she did last year. She is doing well - her usual frustration and irritation at having to slow down and t-h-i-n-k comes up at times, but mostly it's smooth sailing. Truman and Penny are also doing Singapore Math. Penny is breezing through the K level and will be done with it, I'm guessing, by February and will start on first grade level at that time. Every kid is different! The readers are all about American history. We really enjoyed Pedro's Journal, but no one is a big fan of The Witch of Blackbird Pond so far.

Lucy is continuing to take piano lessons, twice a month, and is progressing nicely with those, though she doesn't seem to particularly love playing piano. Still, it's something we feel she needs to know how to do. She is also in Girl Scouts again - Junior this year. She's in a very small homeschool troop that meets at our church and the leader is a good friend of mine. At co-op, she is taking a class on the 2012 presidential election, where they are learning about political parties, the candidates, and will hold a mock election the day before the real election. She's also taking a stage skills class, where they will put on a short play during the end-of-semester program. She really loves this class and has made friends with a couple of the girls in there, and they all sit at a table together at lunch, which meets right after the class. I think it's great - she is learning projection and confidence. And her third class is jazz (dance) - which she took last year too.

Truman has started cub scouts, though at another church (ha!). At our church they don't start til 8 years old but he was anxious to get started, so he's a Tiger cub at a Methodist church. It's a really big pack. They needed a Tiger cub den leader so since a parent has to stay with the Tigers at all times I told David he should sign up. So now David's a den leader, which is turning out to be more work than we'd originally thought! Truman is selling popcorn right now, so he's getting good at being friendly and speaking in a loud clear voice (things that can be hard for him). At co-op Truman is taking arts and crafts, and Boomwhackers - a music class, and they are learning notes and scales. He likes both of his co-op classes.

Penny is finally being "really" homeschooled as a kindergartener this year and she loves school! She's so enthusiastic about things. She's in Girl Scouts too - a Daisy scout, which meets at the Montessori school and has the same troop leader as Lucy's troop. She likes going and doesn't even want me to stay with her while she's there (sniff, sniff). Penny is also taking Boomwhackers at co-op, as well as a sewing class. I've been really impressed with her projects so far, and after about the third week, her teacher told me privately that "Penny is the youngest student but the most advanced and most determined to finish her projects." Aaaah! Mommy pride! 

All three of them are taking swim lessons once a week at the Y, and immediately after swim, Lucy takes a watercolor class there as well. I make Truman and Penny go to the child care room for about a half hour, which they hate and insist they are too old for, so I can get a quick workout during Lucy's art class. Hey, I have to take time to myself when I can get it right? 

It ends up that between co-op, swim, art, piano, scouts (of various types), and other random appointments or engagements, we are only home two or three days a week. We try to cram in a lot of book-work on those days, and so far we're staying on schedule. I definitely hope to pare down the schedule a little bit next semester though! I wish they could offer swim and piano during co-op - would make my life easier!


  1. You are a fantastic mom, Heather! Look at what a rich, full, happy life you have provided for your kids. You have put so much work into it, and everyone who knows your kids can see the reward your work is earning! Thanks for posting these updates, they give me a lot of inspiration and encouragement in our own homeschooling adventure.

  2. Thanks Vanessa! I need the encouragement too. :) Sometimes I feel like we aren't doing nearly enough, but if I have photographic evidence of it, I feel better about things.


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