Friday, July 13, 2012

2012-2013 Weekly Report: Week 1, July 9-13
Easing into a New School Year

It's hard to have a big, celebratory "First Day of School!" when you school year-round.  We just finished up last year's schooling in May, and now we're starting up again just six weeks later, which doesn't give me time to plan some elaborate Back-to-School activities.  (We actually have a whole lot more fun with "Not-Back-to-School" celebrations during the week that our public school district starts school!  It works better for us.)

Yes, we have started a new school year.  I'd gauge our week at about a 75%, as I didn't want to just jump in and drown my kids in new subjects.  Penguin is entering the ranks of full-time schooling, so I went a little easier on her as she adjusts to doing more than three subjects, and Bluebird...well, the girl has a strong will, and I've learned not to poke the crazy too much in the first couple of weeks.

It's a Year 3 for us, which means:

Religion:  Book of Mormon
History:  Colonial (1600-1850 AD)
Science:  Chemistry
Art:  Sculpture
Music Appreciation:  Baroque through Classical

As mentioned before, Penguin is starting in on full-time school, which means that, in addition to her regular Math, Penmanship & Phonics, she now also studies Spelling, Grammar, Writing, History & Science.  (And all the extracurriculars, but she was already participating in those subjects to some degree.)

Bluebird is starting the third grade, which means Latin!  Our curriculum won't arrive until this next week, and then I'm going to spend a few days getting familiar with it, so we'll start actual Latin lessons in Week 3.

This week, we read a children's adaptation of Don Quixote; which we didn't really enjoy, but didn't hate either.  It was just something we read.  I've tried to read the original a couple of times now and just get overwhelmed by the length.  It was nice to finally read the stories inside that tome.

Penguin's draw-up of the Spanish mining for gold
in South America.
We studied the Spanish conquistadores and their glutting of gold from South America, and we're also scheduled to do a read-through on Mary, Queen of Scots this afternoon.

Science will be done tomorrow.  It will just be a brief introduction to the history of chemistry, no experiment scheduled.

Highlights of the Week:
  • I am loving our new spelling program!  It's "clicking" for Bluebird and she is zooming through her lessons.  Penguin is coming along as well; it's nothing like it was the last time I did First Grade spelling.  Love. it.
  • Bluebird is a dictation champ.  I hear all these complaints about how hard it is to do dictation from so many people, so I am very thankful that I do not have to handle that sort of struggle (so far).
Lowlights of the Week:
  • Dear goodness, my eldest was particularly stubborn today.  I decided to adopt the practice of knitting when she starts getting grumpy, as it disengages my temper quite nicely.  Plus, it packs the bonus of allowing me to do something I thoroughly enjoy while waiting out a stubborn "I'm not going to do it" streak from Bluebird.  I just tell her that I can sit here all day just knitting while she wastes away her free time with her heel-pricking.  After about two hours, she calmed down considerably and just dug into her work and got 'er done.  So, technically, that's a highlight...but it's not fun to deal with that and I consider it a low.
  • My new, shiny writing curriculum that I had placed so much hope and exalted expectations upon has failed to rise to my expectations.  I am a deflated balloon.  But don't worry, I've figured something else out.
Funnies of the Week:

Quesnel is jealous of Penguin's full-time schooling.  The two share some weird spiritual connection and are always together, and this week marked the beginning of Penguin being unable to cuddle with Quesnel for most of the day.  Quesnel has taken to sitting on the homeschool table in front of Penguin and just staring at her while she does her schoolwork.  It is one of the weirdest things to witness.  Quesnel has also become very whiny whenever Penguin goes outside to play in the backyard, and she just sits at the back door mewing pitifully.  She's lost her monopoly on her best friend to the inevitable responsibilites that accompany growing-up.  I include it here as a funny, but it's actually sort of sad to watch this poor cat's world turn upside down.
Sorry, Quesnel.  At least Penguin is still home each day, instead of away at public school.  (I imagine the cat would OD on catnip if it came to that.)


  1. Way to go mom! The first week is done. Don't you hate when you feel a curriculum will be a hit and it isn't. I love the cat and Penguin. Lol at OD on catnip. Can't wait to read all your posts as the year unfolds we are still on break but we did not finish until June so we have a few weeks left.

  2. I love that you're teaching Latin. That going to make things SO much easier for her down the road...


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