The first day of our eleventh home schooling year was a success, thanks be to God! The kids and I haven't really felt like hitting the books; this summer flew by way too fast, and we definitely don't feel as if it were time for school to begin again. But despite our longing for more summer vacation, our first day went well.
We started off with Bible lessons in which we're starting with the book of First Chronicles. After I read the Bible verses aloud and we have prayer time, we studied our memory verses; we're learning the 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians over the next six weeks. Then I read some poems aloud to all four kids, after which E went back to her room to do her work where it's quiet. After she left the school table, I read aloud to the boys from their religion book for Sonlight 6, The International Children's Bible Field Guide which had some interesting information about the Dead Sea Scrolls. Right now the Scrolls are on display at the Natural History Museum in Balboa Park, and we're looking forward to our lecture and special showing in early October.
Then the boys tackled their new Latin and Greek vocabulary book in which they're learning the root word "ped" (foot) this week. Then math was next on the agenda; I explained the concepts to each of the older boys, then worked with B on his math and phonics while the other two worked their math probelms. At least it was all review! :)
After a short recess during which I watered my flower beds, we went over the boys' language arts which yesterday included a lengthy dictation section. From there we did copywork, penmanship, and spelling. Our first Latin lesson from Latina Christiana brought our morning session to a close.
After lunch and recess, we hit the history books for Sonlight 6: First Half World History (Story of the World: Ancient World and Usborne Encyclopedia of World History), followed by art history (Usborne introduction to Art -- a gorgeous book!), and literature in which I started reading aloud from The Golden Goblet, a story set in ancient Egypt. The day finished up with Physical Science; we're using a new program that involves a lot of hands-on work and all the info is on the computer where the boys can check their responses to the questions all by themselves as they fill out the pages in their log books. Later this week they get to build a racer about which they're really excited! Then the boys only had their readers and piano practice to do on their own.
Overall, it was an excellent day. Except for their readers and piano, the boys were done with their work by 3 PM, after starting at 9 AM and having two breaks. E also finished by 3 PM with all her high school work.
After starting off the day with us, she went back to her room to do her religion curriculum from Sonlight 300, then she proceeded onto Algebra lessons. Then she did her poetry unit for world lit, her biology, her Latin II, her world history, and read part of Great Expectations for her online literary analysis class that starts next week.
So a good day was had by all. For us, the key is getting the more difficult subjects like math and writing done when the boys are fresh so it goes quicker and easier. I've also started handing them the answer keys when they've showed me their finished math pages and allowed them to find their own mistakes which saves me a great deal of time and trouble. I wasn't sure how the boys would take to Latin, but J claims it's his favorite subject while T prefers science.
So off we go on another year of the home schooling adventure! It's nice to get used to our schedules befoe we have to add in Class Days starting September 13. Those days will be long and tiring, but they'll be greatly helpful as the kids will all receive tutelage in subjects I'm not so talented in, like art, PE, and biology lab. I'm also looking forward to teaching a class again -- actually, I'll have two: a college-prep class and an honors/AP class. I love being in front of a class, something I haven't done much of since dropping Class Day several years ago. It will be a hassle getting us all down to Del Cerro by 9:30, packing lunches, grading papers, making sure the kids do their Class Day homework, etc. But it will all be worth the trouble and stress ... and that's the key to home schooling. To offer our kids Latin and art history and other subjects that simply aren't available in the schools anymore is worth the trouble and stress.
More than worth it, actually.