New Homeschool Year

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We decided to go with simple uniforms this year, after both a real-life friend and a favorite blogger gave me the idea.  We actually have had an unofficial uniform the past few years which would be considered a PE uniform at most schools.  Now we are attending daily Mass frequently so they need to look a little sharper.  We decided on single-color collared shirts and single-colored shorts.  I found some very soft cotton polos on clearance at Target for my most sensitive kids, and some very soft elastic shorts from Land’s End.

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First day of the 2014-15 homeschool year

 What was I thinking when I purchased white shirts??

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Off on our first nature walk of the year–now we really look like we’re playing hooky!

In the past I’ve started off the day after Labor Day with a full schedule, and it hasn’t gone very well.  My thought was always that since we homeschool, we don’t need to mess with the “wasted” first week or two of learning procedures like institutional schools.  Now I think those beginning days serve a psychological purpose as well as procedural, especially for the kids who don’t love doing schoolwork (in other words, the boys!).

This time around, for the first week we did fun, active work the first couple days, just a bit of seatwork the next few days, and then a nature walk with drawing on the last day of the week.

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We forgot our field guide, but William has most of it memorized, and he said it was a juniper.

I’m going to try to keep Fridays mostly open for nature study, at least for the beginning of the year, because slow-paced walks tend to fall by the wayside as our schedule fills up.

The second week of the year we eased into math, reading, and handwriting for the youngers/ grammar for William.

This week it’s the real deal.  Monday-Thursday, unless we have an outside activity, we aim to complete all main subjects before lunch.  We read together after Teddy goes down for a nap, and then have the rest of naptime for the younger kids to play in their rooms while William completes his reading and Mama recuperates.  After Teddy’s nap, the kids tidy up the house and practice piano, and then play until dinner.

We have a weekly park meet-up, a monthly book club, a monthly co-op, and a monthly field trip, so it will be a rare week that we actually follow that schedule four days in a row (at least until cold & flu season starts ruining all our plans).

Fridays are still in the works.  Besides nature study and a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd class for Ben and Marie, we might also do some extra art or history & geography.

This year William will study the Civil War-Modern era, and I’m not sure yet how much I want to include the younger children in all those dark events.  But coloring maps and listening to Geography Songs is always a hit.

As the course load grows in our homeschool, more and more errands and housework get pushed to the weekends.  Happily, each year the kids become more and more capable of taking on housework themselves, so I think it all evens out.

Nitty-gritty curriculum post coming soon, so I know you will all be waiting with bated breath!

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