Wednesday, September 7, 2011

First Day of School 2011

We had a really great first day today. I got up early and went for a walk, luckily missing the bad weather that plagued the rest of the day. We had some french toast for breakfast, and I introduced the newest permutation of the chore plan to the boys. I got total buy in, until I told Thing One that he can't get credit for any of the for-pay chores until his regular chores for the day-Including Schoolwork-are done. He didn't think that was fair, so we had a long talk about it. He said he already knows everything. He said he can't do a proper backbend because his head is so heavy with knowledge. I reminded him that there are a lot of things he still has to learn, and that I have a legal obligation to teach him since he is not attending public school. He countered with "I'll be happy to do school as long as I get to pick the subject." We agreed that we would study what he is interested in, but that there will be days that I have to introduce other subjects and ideas to fulfill my obligation.

Both Thing One and Thing Two did their everyday morning chores (straightening room, making bed, getting dressed and brushing teeth)and their Wednesday chores (taking the recyclables to the curb).

Thing One begged to do IXL math (since curricula have not arrived yet) and he did that until I literally had to pull him off the computer to return our rental car. Oh yeah, we just bought a new-to-us car when our old one died. Boy, am I glad that we are mostly back to normal after that ordeal. Meanwhile, Thing Two was experimenting in the back yard with a water balloon, and drawing robots.

After returning from the car rental place, we had lunch and then did our chemistry lesson. We're using a Science Wiz chemistry kit, and a Real Science for Kids Pre-Level One Chemistry curriculum. Thing Two has been begging for a chemistry set. Yes, he is only 4 and a half. But he is my little scientist and engineer. Ironically, he deemed today's experiment "boring," but Thing One, my creative artsy child, loved it.

I stopped "school" at that point so I could get some housework and prep work done. I say "stopped" because Thing One spied one of the books I was looking over, Jason and the Argonauts, yoinked it, and read two chapters over afternoon snack. He just finished the five Percy Jackson books over the summer and he is very interested in Greek mythology right now. We will be using Story of the World Volume I, especially the activity book, History Pockets Ancient Civilizations, Greek Mythology Activities, and the Kingfisher Book of the Ancient World, for our study of ancient Greece. I'm hoping to move on to the Roman Empire in the late fall or spring.

We are continuing Voyages in English this year. Thing One is writing his first book on a word processing program, and he is picking up spelling and grammar rules very quickly as the computer underlines any mistakes in red, which he cannot stand. We will be trying Saxon Math for the first time, and doing some geography terminology and map reading. I have put together an art history and fine art curriculum drawn heavily (see what I did there) from Discovering Great Artists, and some homeschooler friends will be joining us each Friday. Thing One has also requested intensive drawing lessons, so we are trying out an online subscription to Mark Kistler's website Imagination Station. Add a few awesome classes and field trips in the DC, Annapolis and Baltimore areas, weekly gymnastics classes, lego club, and chess club, and I think we'll have a great school year!

Monday, September 5, 2011

The End of Summer Wrap Up

We had a great summer! We had a ton of fun finishing 10 of 24 Parkquests. We read tons of books, mostly Goosebumps, Animal Ark, Bernie Magruder, and Percy Jackson.

We also entered some things in the Maryland State Fair. Thing One entered a drawing and his cactus garden.

Thing Two entered a drawing and a painting.

I am so proud!! I think they caught the fair bug, and can't wait to exhibit next year.