It has taken about a month but we are settling into a good routine with our school day. Using a crate to make a work drawer system was a great decision. Jack loves to go through the folders and can now start on his work, even if I am otherwise busy. Last week there was even a day when he got upset with me for (gasp in horror) doing the dishes instead of starting school with him. His solution? Go to his work box and start on the item in his first folder. It helps that the first folder always holds his copy work notebook, so it can be a very independent activity.
We also are not sticking to a very strict routine. If something comes up that delays the start of our school day, then I do not stress about it. We just start when we get back, or listen to our stories on tape in the car. Last week, this meant that when George asked to ride bikes to school, I agreed. It mean a long ‘commute’ time for Jack and I, but this was something George really wanted to do.
On the return trip, Jack asked to choose the route. I said yes and he proceeded to take us 1/2 mile further from the house. Not exactly a route back home. He would have taken us further except that, honestly, my patience had run out and I took over the route planning. An hour after we left the house, we got back. We then proceeded to pick up our ‘routine’ where we would have been if we had come right back home.
Although our plan says we are in Week 5, we are actually in Week 6 of school. There was one week that was cut short due to a holiday and something else. I used it as a catch up week. There was not a lot to do, but it felt better knowing that we could focus on things we had missed or that I wanted to start doing.
One of the changes I have made is using more real books and less audio books. Finding actual books that we are reading has helped, though I have not been able to find all of them. Seems that once I started looking, certain titles kept appearing. Last week at a library in Big Town, while browsing their used book shop, I came across a paperback and hardback editions of one of the books we are reading. For $.50 it was not a hard decision. That amount of money is worth the purchase for me as it saves me time requesting it from the library, going to check it out, renew it, and avoid late fees, which I am not always good at. When I started this year using Amblelside Online, I really did not see why people even considered buying books when you could get them from the library. I quickly found out why. We have had late fees a few times and have been unable to find certain books up to this point. It can also be a pain to have to plan your readings around whether you can get the book from the library or not.
We switched which Brahms songs we are listening to for the week. Jack has found that he likes the Symphony in D more than the No.1 in C Minor. I really did not think he would pay much attention to them, but it seems I was wrong. This kid keeps surprising me with his musical tastes.
- The drywall in the house was finished. Keeping Jack’s attention and physical presence while the workers were here was an ongoing exercise in redirection for me. I tried to get his academics done every morning before they came so he could watch them as much as he wanted. He also was his usual self and asked 1,001 questions.
- While looking at flooring samples, Jack was very taken with this sample (top right photo). He liked the look of it on the stairs in the picture and had a hard time understanding why I did not take this one home to share with Daddy. I was glad to see that he has a sense of taste though, as I too like the look, though not the effort it would take on my part to keep the dust away from the edges.
- On our way back home on our bike ride we rode past, and stopped for a very long time beside, a construction sight. This chicory flower (lower left) grabbed his attention for quite some time, as well as the bee who kept flying around it. We then proceeded to talk about and surmise what the construction workers were doing and why. I am pretty sure he was in Heaven at that moment and could have stayed right there all day without getting bored.
- This past weekend found us at a free event hosted by a local business. They were hoping to bring in customers, I was hoping to entertain the kids for an hour or so. There were all sorts of animals, most of which you could pet or ride. Again lots of questions were asked, by both Jack and George. The most often asked question: “Does he bite?” This one was asked in the tent where you were able to feed the animals.
- The addition of My Calendar Book has been a easy one for our morning routine. I was not sure how Jack would take to it, but he has enjoyed looking at the clouds every morning to see what kind are in the sky. Each month also has a black and white picture showing kids doing something related to that month or season. Coloring can be a source of frustration and reluctance in our home. What I have found that works best is if I also coloring along. So every morning Jack and I would pick out a part of the picture and color. One day was apples, another grass or clothes or baskets or …, well you get the idea. It took us about two weeks to color the whole picture.
- Thursday my husband was not going to be home for lunch, so I took Jack and Olaf to the park for a picnic lunch. We invited another mom and son to join us. To our surprise there were two more families also there, so it turned into quite the party with 9 kids running around laughing. We stayed for a few hours then came back. Olaf’s comment, “I don’t think my legs can walk back” was all the acknowledgment I needed as to the amount of playing and running that had taken place. Our friend, who live about half a mile further away from the park than we do, said that she had to stop along the way to let her son rest. Seem it was a good day for everyone.
So that was our week. I had thought it fairly calm till I wrote it all out. I am not sure what this upcoming week holds, but I hope it is as much fun as this past one has been.