This Week In Home School – Week 1

school year 2015 2016 collage

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And so the school year has begun.  My original intent was to not start till September.  However, George has started school, so it just seemed to make sense to start Jack as well.  This week I am going to focus on read-alouds, audio books, and introducing some subjects.

Olaf will also be joining us, again, several times a week.  Unlike the past school year, he will be coming in the afternoons, which works out really well for our schedule.  Jack does a lot better in the mornings, so we can get school out of the way and play whenever Olaf is here.

Here are some of the activities, audio books and songs we will be using this week.

Read Alouds (some are audio versions):

50 Famous Stories (LibriVox) – Sword of Damoculs

Our Island Stories – Albion and Brutus

Paddle to the Sea – Chapter 1

Aesop – The Wolf and The Kid

Parables from Nature (LibriVox)- Lesson of Faith

Just So Stories (LibriVox)- How The Whale Got Its Tale

A Child’s Garden Of Poetry Verses (LibriVox) – read a poem a day

Free Reads:

Plenty of Fish by Millicent Selsam- read together

I Saw You In The Bathtub – read together


Composer – Brahm – Variations on the Theme of Hyden


Each week, I intend to share with  you what the upcoming days will hold, as well as how the previous week has gone.  A lot of this is to help me plan and record what has worked, what needs to be adjusted, and where we are with various subjects.

We are following along closely, though not completely, with Ambleside Online’s Year 1 Curriculum.  I first came across Ambleside Online when the kids were preschool aged and I was looking for a list of good books to read.  Once I started looking around their site more in-depth I realized what a great resource I had found.  Not only are all of their resources free, but there is also a forum you can join and seek further help.  Ambleside Online follows the teaching methods of Charlotte Mason, but allows room for you to personalize how you choose.  For example, I am using a history and Bible curriculum we already had, as well as ordering a math curriculum that fits our needs.

So far, with a whole 1.5 days behind us, this is working out well. We spent 5 minutes on copy work (hand writing, basic reading skills), 15 minutes reading 3 various books aloud, 10 minutes on a worksheet from Jack’s Bridging Activities book (while waiting on his math curriculum to come, we are using this to hit various subjects quickly each day), 20 minutes listening to a composition by Brahm while moving about the room, 5 minutes on art, 5 minutes on geography, and time before lunch to do a lesson each in Reading Eggs and Math Seeds.  In between there are potty breaks and LEGO building breaks … and a few tantrums, just to keep it all honest here.

first grade first week collageThe pictures above are from the past few days.  Sunday we deviated from our normal eat-out routine and stopped by Meatheads.  The kids had read 5 books to earn a free Meatheads burger.  I think we will be doing this once a month to add some variety to our routine while also not having to spend a lot per person.  With the boys getting bigger and eating more, gone are the days that we can split a burger from here with them and have them be full.

Afterwards we went to a local garden/park.  My husband offered to give me a bit of alone time to read while he took the kids on a walk.  I had a destination in mind, but found a bench among the trees in a shade garden that looked too perfect to pass up.  I was able to sit and read more of a book I am going to be reviewing here soon.

Monday found George starting school at the local public school and Jack starting at home.  We took George into school and stayed around till they were dismissed to go to their classes.  Once we got home I showed Jack the folder system I had set up for him.  He was excited to get started and happy to find that he got to use a time for his work.  His first folder held his copy work notebook.  Each day I have given him a short sentence to copy.  This will help him practice his handwriting and spelling.  “My name is  ____ ____.” was the first sentence, followed by, “I am 6 years old.” this morning.

Jack’s second folder contained some books for us to read together.  Plenty of Fish by Millicent Selsam was the first up to be read.  I was not sure exactly how Jack would like it.  My uncertainty was alleviated when I realized he was acting out the story, even mimicking the holding of his breath like the main character was doing.

Olaf also came before lunch on Monday and stayed for a few hours.  While waiting for lunch to be finished, the boys entertained themselves with a can opener and an old canning lid.  Jack figured out how to use it, doing circles around the lid.  He would use it one way, turn it over to see if work from the other side, explain it to Olaf and come show me what he learned.  After lunch we skipped quiet time and headed to the park with friends.  Jack, Olaf, and our friend (also a boy in their age range) are all full of attitudes and energy.  I am never sure if they all like each other or not.  However, we moms like each other so at this age they get to work on playing nicely with others.  I am going to chalk it up to a change in routines for all 3 kids and we will try again in a few days.

Jack learned that he can let go of the monkey bars and still land okay on the ground.  He has had several of this “ah ha!” moments recently in various different areas.  It is so fun to watch these things happen and be aware when they do.  This is one of my favorite things about being a parent.

The last picture in the group above is where Jack ended up during quiet time today.  For some reason he thought the bathroom rug and his body pillow were more comfortable than his bed.  I really thought, and hoped, he had gone to sleep, but such was not the case.  I think later on he will wish he had, but there is no telling him this while the sun is still up.

Hope your day is going as fun as mine has been.