Monday, August 31, 2015

Conjunction Junction, what's your function?

It's been a hectic week for me, getting everything we need for school plus a few other things taken over to the new place and organized. But I did it. I might have eaten nothing more than Dr. Pepper and Jalapeno chips this week, but I did it. We were ready to start school this morning, right on schedule.

We started our day off right, with a breakfast of champions, sure to sustain us to lunchtime.
After we finished eating, we hurried out the door. We didn't want to miss the bus on our very first day. What a disaster that would be! We took the obligatory pictures lined up for the bus. Naturally.
Then I hopped into the driver's seat, and we drove from the old house to the new. We excitedly entered the classroom and even tried to take pictures at the desk with the teacher.
We may need to work on our photography skills this year. Oh well. They were just excited that they each got a turn with my good camera, something they are rarely allowed to touch.

We finished our beloved FIAR at the end of last year, so we are launching headlong into new curriculum. Previously, I had loved the freedom and flexibility FIAR allowed us to have. I loved the fact that it was all based off of great children's books. I was able to really tailor or days to what we were interested in. However, after over 2 years of year-round school, I was growing weary. 

What I really wanted was for somebody to just tell me what to do each day. 

But I wanted it to be challenging.

And I still wanted some control.

And I wanted to be able to have the same core for two different grade levels.

And I didn't want to have to locate things every week at the library.

And I wanted to be able to do it in a 4-day week.

And I wanted to be able to custom fit math and reading levels for each child.

And I wanted to use real books.



So we settled on Sonlight. I was giddy the day EVERY book I would need for the entire year arrived in the mail. I was also a little intimidated. Second grade for the big boys, baby. Intro to World History. This stuff just got real.

It's too early to say how much (or whether) we love the new routine. Day 1 was a success, though, and I can say that I am looking forward to teaching my crazy, curious little men this year.

These boys are getting so very big. They amaze me every day.

Today we had some great conversations.

Some of those conversations were about Star Wars and whether Mace Windu should have been able to defeat Chancellor Palpatine. Or whether Luke would have stood a chance against Darth Maul's double light saber.

We also chatted about what they would like to be when they grow up. You know, typical first-day-of-school stuff.

Mr. N wants to be a zoologist in charge of his own zoo/aquarium. He was very specific about the "in charge" bit. He wants absolute control over every aspect.
Mr. W wants to be a firefighter and a lifeguard. He basically wants to be a superhero. To save people. And perhaps swim while doing it. He almost kind of still wants to be a zoologist. But he thinks he'll just visit with the animals every day after work.
Little Mr. L has been unwavering in his desire to be an artist and illustrator for many years. He actually would like to be a Caldecott-winning illustrator. But...since that's not entirely within his control, he didn't add that to his sign. He's in "catapult" kindergarten this year (as opposed to "cuckoo" last year) because he's being launched into elementary school.
Then there's me. My life goal is to one day become a beach bum. I really just want my hiney in the sand and a pina colada in my hand.
Hey, a girl can dream, right?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Real Life is Calling

We just got back from a week's vacation. We left the kids at Grands Camp. The hubs and I headed for the ocean. It was glorious.
A week from today we will head back to school. Things 1 & 2 are headed to second grade. Shorty will be in kindergarten. It is our third year on this homeschool adventure.

What are we doing to celebrate our last week of summer break? Hitting the pool everyday? Going on hikes and adventures? Lounging around in our PJs watching the tele? Those all sound like brilliant ideas.

But we are not doing any of that.

We are purging, packing, hauling, unloading, reorganizing.
We are moving.

Just across town, which is unusual for us, but we are moving nonetheless. We are trading our duplex on a soul-crushing street of other duplexes waaay out on the edge of town for a tidy little apartment a bit closer in to civilization. 

On the bright side, we will have year-round access to a pool (insert loud cheers from the children) in exchange for a fenced yard and attached garage. 

Giving in to the dark side, I have a sneaking suspicion that when the handsome husband throws around comments like "I'm looking forward to downsizing," he's mostly talking about my stuff and the kids' rather than his own.

This week I do not plan to come up for air. I am in beast mode. I have seven days. Seven short days which are also full of things like laundry, meal prep, soccer practice, and speech therapy. Just seven days to convert chaos into a classroom.
I have a lot of work ahead of me, but I sure do have some handsome little helpers who are also eager to get the job done. Or so they say...
Anyway. We are taking it in stride. Learning to be content in any circumstance. Even less-than-ideal, week-before-homeschool-starts, I'd-rather-be-poring-over-lesson-plans kinds of circumstances.
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