I’ve had several people ask about how the kids are doing in school, but I wanted to give it a few days before I wrote anything.
The short answer: all five love it and are having the time of their lives.
Tucker told me they didn’t do any school work in his class. “Yeah, we just have a snack, and story time and math and recess…” Apparently math isn’t schoolwork to him.
All five have talked about the friends they are making. They are excited about music and PE and the school library. Apparently when Tucker’s class (first grade) got to tour the library the teacher said, “Those are the chapter books, so you won’t need to go there this year”. Tucker spoke up to inform her that he already reads chapter books. I’m not sure how the academics will go. Tucker brought home a little workbook he had made where they were “learning” the sight words: we and will. Hopefully this is just “busy work” until they get the classes and reading groups sorted out…
Another highlight? School lunches. A reader asked about it and I said that should probably be post of its own. Basically, we had trouble all last year with Mordecai’s lunch. He carried a packed lunch from home. He had two lunch boxes and a shelf where we kept all of his lunch foods (granola bars, applesauce, etc). And we had constant trouble. We had to inspect his lunch every morning because he would pack the most bizarre items in the most bizarre ways. For instance, making a PBJ sandwich, folding it in half and stuffing it, unwrapped into his lunch box. Or hacking off piece of cheese and just tossing it (no bag) into a dirty lunch box. Or an apple and an unwrapped graham cracker shoved into a little side pocket together, getting crushed. Or half a hamburger bun. Once he packed two fruit cups…but he opened the lids on both and drank the juice out first so he had two opened fruit cups and no spoon. This despite having all of his supplies out and showing him how to do it. I worried that someone as school would notice his lunch and think we didn’t have enough food in the house. We often packed his lunch for him, but liked to pack his own and often did before we managed to get it packed.
Our school, amazingly, offers fruit and/or veggies at every meal. The juice they serve is 100% fruit. They have “baked french fries” on the menu once for the whole month. No tater tots or chips. It is a far cry from what school lunches were when I was a kid. I feel blessed that our school is actually serving decent food. If you read my blog regularly, you know how much my kids love fruits and veggies- they are thrilled to have them as a choice. Jubilee told me, “I ate my broccoli first because I didn’t want to miss out on that“. Naturally. So to save everyone stress (and that is why they’re in school this year, after all) they get school lunches. I have been making sure there is a nutritious snack for them on the table every afternoon when they get home.
This morning Jubilee said to me, “The only thing I don’t like is we can’t just do our math. The teacher has to read it out loud. Then she says, ‘okay, you can read it now’ and it takes forever before we can just do it.”
She also said during reading the teacher reads the book out loud (Because of Winn-Dixie) and they follow along in their books. She doesn’t like it because the teacher reads too slowly. Oh, how I remember those days from my school years. Jubilee has read Because of Winn-Dixie herself several times. It was also one of the first read-alouds we did when our Liberian children came home.
She also said during “reading” time she sits with a partner and they take turns reading a paragraph out loud.
Quite an adjustment for my former (and hopefully future) homeschoolers. No doing your work then running off to play…
Judah and Tilly are enjoying Switched On Schoolhouse and so am I. I was able to type in our custom school calendar, starting early and taking off the two weeks we will have company from New Zealand. The computer then arranges the schedule for me. It tells Judah and Tilly when their assignments are due. They read their text and listen to the lectures right on their laptops. The computer grades most of the work and I go to check the essay questions and written work. Their Science classes includes plenty of hands-on experiments. I was able to order the supply kits from Home Training Tools.
Enoch and Kalina are moving along at a steady pace with their Lifepacs. Their Science also includes plenty of experiments. Yesterday morning I headed to the dentist and left Kalina in the waiting room doing her schoolwork She did fine and even asked the receptionist for help when she got stuck! The other four stayed home with Apollo.
I really like that Mordecai and Jubilee’s teachers are coordinating their work. They agreed together on no formal homework. Both teachers are using Because of Winn-Dixie as read-alouds. It makes things really nice for this mom who has a student in both fourth grade classes.
So far, so good.
As always, I’ll keep you posted on our year of learning.