First week of school!

posted in: extra 6

~ A real week in our simple, classical, holistic homeschool ~

our classical homeschool summer term plan

Summer Term, week 1

Yes, we started school this week. I know we aren’t the only ones, but we are still the rare ones. However, we’ve been off school since early May, we will take all December off, and we take a week off after every six weeks of work. So it’s worth it to begin in early July.

I’ve shared all about our plans and still have a few more posts based on questions you’ve asked, but it was exciting this week to actually start putting those plans into action and seeing if they were going to roll or if the wheels would come off utterly.

I think we’re on a roll.

The Good

~ Good Start! ~

I think this has been the smoothest first week of school we’ve had yet! It’s just possible that I’ve actually been learning the lessons over these years as I’ve written my way through them. Practice does help. It helps not only my own expectations and ability to anticipate and plan for the sticking points, but it also helps the kids. This year the expectations of my older two and my own expectations were much more in line than in previous years. Previously, I didn’t think to prep them or talk them through some things beforehand. This year, I casually brought up my plans and changes and what our flow might look like here and there for two or three weeks beforehand, and I think that really helped smooth the way.

The Bad

~ Bad Reactions ~

One of the primary stressors in a homeschooling day is always juggling multiple people’s needs, requests, and busyness. I don’t want busy work. I don’t want interruptions. I don’t want lolly-gagging and thumb-twiddling. I don’t want a crowd of people hovering ‘round. I don’t want the piano playing while I’m trying to read or listen. I don’t want kids to play before their work is done. Um, actually, I don’t want to listen to a/ay/aw ever again.

I also can’t have everything I want, just like I tell the children.

Truth is, although I can manage work and lists and kids and dynamics to make things better or worse, I can’t arrange things so everything always flows tranquilly and efficiently. There’s always going to be a bit of chaos, a bit of noise, a bit of busy hubbub, and more than a bit of multiple people needing me at once.

I can, and sometimes unfortunately do, get ugly about it, but when I do, the fault and responsibility is mine, not the plan’s or the kids’.

The current quote on my weekly list reminds me what my response ought to be:

[Gratitude] is one of the chief ways that God infuses joy and resilience into the daily struggle of life.  –Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Gratitude is the response I have to choose, not one I wait to come to me.

The Beautiful

~ Beautiful Habits ~

New to us this year is incorporating ICAD into our Morning Time. The kids love it, especially during this first week of fresh crayons and colored pencils. It gives us a moment to get settled before diving into the memory work binder and it helps people (including myself) to not get antsy while listening to certain somebodies sound out words when reading turns are alternating around the table.

~ Organize your attitude: sandwich the bad between the good & beautiful; the way you tell the story, even to yourself, matters. ~

The Books

~ some books read this week in our homeschool ~

Simply Connect

~ other things I’ve done lately ~

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~ other things I read this week ~

I’m on Instagram!

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6 Responses

  1. Tiffany
    | Reply

    Looks like such a great first week! We started this week, too and had a lot of people in shock that we would start already!

  2. Tristan
    | Reply

    Looks like a nice first week back! I had not heard of ICAD before, though I’ve done a drawing a day challenge with some of my kids (I have 8 going on 9 children). I like the size of ICAD but have a question – do you have any children who take FOREVER to draw because they’re super creative and make masterpieces every time? Because that is what my 3rd child would do and it would derail the whole day. She would be there for at least 40 minutes drawing, coloring, shading, etc. even with an index card. Oh well – it could still be a fun activity to do in a day, maybe I would just set a timer and when the timer beeps they are done and can finish up the drawing after they’ve done their work.

    I hope week 2 goes just as smoothly for you!

    • Amber
      | Reply

      Oh my goodness, that is exactly what my first child is like! I had to practically give up on art projects with her, because they would take so long and she always had to do it her own way. I started putting her in art/sculpture classes occasionally and made sure she had lots of her own supplies so she could do it on her own time – because it just makes me crazy (and then the endless talking about options… gack!).

      At 13 I think she could probably handle an activity like this and might even enjoy it occasionally… but that’s a recent development! I am considering doing it in no small part because I think it would be a good character building/anti-perfectionist exercise for her. :-D

  3. Dawn
    | Reply

    What a lovely first week. We have one more week of break before we return to school.
    Blessings, Dawn

  4. Jennifer Bogart
    | Reply

    We restarted on Wednesday after breaking in mid-May! First day went well, second day flopped. Shedule change, followed by days 3 and 4 going well again :). I have to tell you, my children are liking our beefed up together time!!

  5. Amber
    | Reply

    Sounds like a great week – and I so wish I could somehow find the perfect schedule/flow that would make everything run smoothly and peacefully – but no matter what it would only work if I was dealing with robots rather than children. And while that might be more peaceful, it isn’t exactly what God has called me to do, is it.

    Thanks for the link to ICAD, that looks like a great idea.

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