Monday, April 2, 2012

A Good Day One

Okay, so I know that today is typically my Not Quite Ordinary Observations day, but I am so excited about day one of school that I have to share that instead. Back to regularly scheduled programming tomorrow…

But, today was the day. Day one of our new school cores. The bookshelves were arranged…school1

…and the crates were in order. So, we dove in!school2

Steven was…well…full tilt. He was loud and mobile, but he got his work done! After about the third or fourth loud exclamation as I was trying to explain something to Olivia, I threatened to make him go work in his room by himself. He got quieter after that, but no less energetic or silly! (Which is why I have no pictures of him today – I couldn’t get him still long enough! Smile)

I think he’s happy with his new schedule and routine. It’s less busy work and more reading. He used to absolutely love busy work and workbooks, but learning to read “spoiled” that for him. I’m not surprised or bothered by that fact.

Angela started the day feeling a little overwhelmed – which school5might be why I found her in a hiding place doing her independent work! No, wait…that’s just typical Angie. Anyway, for the first time since she was four, she’s not tagging along academically with Olivia. I told her that she’d be getting assigned tougher assignments than Steven (they’ll be doing Sonlight Cores B and C history and science together for the next two years, going back and redoing what she did with Olivia when she was four and five). I could tell she was processing. She doesn’t mind doing challenging things, as long as she can master them quickly and easily. She just doesn’t like to be stretched too far. But, the more we discussed the kind of things she’ll be assigned, the more comfortable she was with it. (And yes, I’ll be stretching her – gently, though.)

We did discover today that her spelling level almost school4matches her reading level. We always knew she was a natural speller, and I love that our new spelling program will actually help me challenge her from where she really is. I think it just might help her grow less bored with spelling enhancement.

Oh, and as you can see, I did manage to get her a bit out of hiding. (Actually, I insisted that she open her “roof” so as to have light to work by! Her response? “I don’t need light!”)

Olivia, though, is the one who really dove into school today. We’re starting Sonlight’s Core F, which is a big jump in demand from Core E.  A lot more daily work is expected of the student. I think she’s a little intimidated by that, but her excitement about the subject material is dwarfing her intimidation. We get to look at and research the Eastern Hemisphere, and part of our emphasis will be learning about various countries in light of how they need the Gospel to be presented to them. She is delighted about that! She’s also thrilled because a good portion of her assignments involve research. And she’s thrilled school3about science, which focuses on the human body this year. Her favorite book title? Blood and Guts. For history, she’s most excited about Ships, Sailors, and the Sea.

All in all, she soared through the day, and I was so incredibly proud of her work and her enthusiasm. It’s going to be a challenging year, of that there is no doubt. But, it’s going to be a fun year. I won’t be surprised if Olivia and I look back when all is said and done and call this our favorite year to date.

Oh, and we’re excited about the new spelling course for Olivia, too. (It’s called Spelling Power, by the way. This review helped me determine that it just might be what we needed.)  Sequential Spelling has been great for us, but after three years the kids were getting really tired of it. Okay, so not just the kids. Anyway, unlike Angie, Olivia is not a natural speller. She’s not a horrible speller, but it just takes a lot more effort for her. I was excited, though, to find with evaluation that Olivia is actually just above grade level in spelling. She was delighted, too, and very encouraged! It dawned on me that her vocabulary is more advanced than her spelling skills, and she tries to use her wider vocabulary when she writes. So, I told her we’d try to incorporate some of her favorite vocabulary into her word lists so she could learn to spell those words, too. She seemed very happy with that.

All in all, the day took a little longer than I’d hoped, just because of needing to explain some things to the kids. But, I think it’s going to be a good year. 

2 comments:

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Hurray for a good first day! I've always loved new beginnings :D

Julie

Choate Family said...

We loved that core, too! If you need any help with the Pacific Islands studies, just let us know :-)

Joanna