Homeschooling Update: We Have a First Grader!

2015 2016 first day of schoolWe also have a Pre-Kindergartner, and a Toddler, but we’ve had those before. Sorry, non-oldest children, but the first one gets the headline. I’m a middle child, I survived it, and you will too.

Scheduling Decisions

I grew up in Florida, and the school systems were county-wide. Whichever county you lived in, that was your school system, and so all public schools in the entire county were on the same schedule.

Why do I mention this? Because I *still* find it somewhat weird how Indiana has so. many. school. systems. All in the same county! There are townships here (also something new-to-me) and those may have their own system. Some townships combine to form a system. Some systems I still don’t fully understand their boundaries.

What it all means is that back-to-school around here is so spread out. I have friends whose kids went back in July. Some started the first week in August, some the second. Some probably still haven’t started, and I won’t realize that until their “first day of school!” pictures pop up on my facebook feed. It’s not one-county-one-system here.

On the plus side, it makes it not so obvious when I’ve got the kids out around town on a “school day” – no one can keep track of days off for the various systems so no one seems to bat an eye at us. I realize this may change as my kids get older and they’re all obviously of school age.

Anyway, it made for a not so clear “when” of when to restart school for G after our break. We could follow the school calendar , but which one? Ultimately I followed one of the closest locations, because it also worked out really nicely with us no longer having house guests. Back to reality kiddos! I don’t promise to follow that same system’s schedule all year, but it worked well as a start date.

Our Restart, and Where We’re At with Curriculum

G first day of 1st gradeWe’ve been back at it for a week and a half, and we will soon be taking a little break (yes, already!) because Grandma and Grandpa will hopefully be visiting from Arizona. When they’re at our house, we won’t do school. When they aren’t (because they’re here for a reunion, and won’t always be with us), we will. We’ll see how much we get done between now and our next update, but I’m not too concerned.

So far with the newly-titled 1st grader we’ve gotten back to reading (beginning All About Reading Level 4 this week), math (closing in on the end of Math Mammoth 1A), history (Sonlight Core A, week 8), and science (Sonlight Science A, week 6).

I have not resumed spelling (where we’ll be starting All About Spelling Level 2), but will add that in next week. We’ve done a “graduated restart” with the intent of making for a smoother time, and I think it’s worked well.

Next month I hope to get back to art and music (Harmony Fine Arts Year One), and begin Spanish (Song School Spanish, requested by my son). That should have us back to doing everything!

However, when I mention science above, that’s with a big caveat. We have done zero science experiments. We may need to take a day and just get a bunch of them done. Which means *I* need to suck it up and get myself mentally prepared to do a bunch of science experiments. They’re not my favorite. 🙂

The Other Two

H first day of PreKAnd for the Pre-K student? We’re reading through Sonlight’s Core P 3/4 books, doing All About Readings Pre-Reading Level (when she requests it), and Mathematical Reasoning or Miquon (when she requests it).

She sits in on any of the Sonlight A reading she wants to, as well as the extra library books we read, but I don’t force her to listen to them if she’s not interested. She also enthusiastically participates in art, so I know she’ll be happy when we resume that.

She adores workbooks, and I got her a set of 4 to do. She finished the first one in 2 days, so who knows what else we might end up doing once she gets through them.

The baby pulls books off the shelf, is a menace with any writing implements she can grab, and is delighted if we ever forget to put the gate up on the stairs to then let her practice her stair climbing. She’s also super cute and likes listening to stories, although she has to be watched lest she rip pages in her enthusiasm to flip to the next one.

Organization

First Grade August 2015 Deliberate Reader
I’ve done some rearranging of my house, and some re-figuring on our scheduling. It’s still so new that I want to wait until next month’s update to report back on how it’s working. So far it’s going well, but at only a week and a half into it (less than that when I’m actually writing this post), it’s still in the honeymoon stage. I know enough to know that doesn’t always mean something will work well long-term.

I also made some additions to my binder for organizational help. I briefly thought about making my own forms to have them be exactly what I wanted. Then I acknowledged that the time that would take me was better spent elsewhere, and using “close enough” printables I found online was a smarter choice. If I end up liking what I’ve got, I’ll share about it as well.

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