Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Just a little back story before I dive into this post . . . we started school this week. Finally. Our initial goal of starting right after July 4th was put on the back burner when I got a great deal on baseball camp and signed Noah up for two more weeks. Then, during that time, we found ourselves unexpectedly hosting a student from Spain until early August, so we pushed back our start date yet again. Which brings us to this week.
My goal in taking off only the month of June was to avoid a repeat of last year, when we had a very challenging first week as we struggled to get back into our groove after three whole months of summer vacation. I now know that two whole months off is not a bit easier to recover from.This week has been a total roller coaster - a nice start on Monday, a total dive into a terrible Tuesday and back up to (so far, at least) the high point that was today.
Today was like the cover of "Perfect Homeschool" magazine . . . the picture I chose from the catalog when I ordered up this whole homeschooling adventure. At one point, the kids were both working happily and independently on handwriting, while I prepped for math with classical violin music playing in the background. Yes, really. They flew through their math assignments, and we actually had time to play card games and chess plus do an impromptu art project before heading out to music lessons. It was the kind of day that I should have videotaped to play back to myself on days like yesterday!
Our morning began with a thunderstorm, which meant that Ava's riding lesson was canceled. Selfishly, I was glad to have the extra time since the kids music lessons (normally on Mondays) had been moved to Wednesday this week. But instead of getting an early start, I let them play for a bit to get myself (and the classroom) a bit more organized.
When I was finally ready, I decided to mix up our schedule a bit. Rather than jumping into the heavy stuff first to "get it out of the way", we instead began with our new yoga/meditation routine - the one part of our week that's gone consistently well. (In case you missed it, I blogged about my new vision for incorporating these into our day a few weeks ago.)
We started by reading one of our favorite books, Have You Filled a Bucket Today, followed by a few minutes of yoga and a guided children's meditation. Afterwards, the kids wanted to talk a little about the meditation (the one we did today was about making friends with your emotions) and about the book. Their enthusiasm sparked the idea for a bucket-filling art project, which is pictured at the top of this post.
Spontaneity has never been one of my strong suits, but since our theme for this school year is "fun", it's a skill I need to develop and put into my repertoire. The kids loved both the spontaneous art project and the unplanned pillow fight that followed, and it really set the tone for a great day of learning!