Sunday, 6 January 2013

Starting school and gabby girls..

Tomorrow is our first day of school. First day of a new semester. First day of a new school year! It's also another very special first. It's the first day of preschool for my two preschoolers. Z is 4 and H is 2, almost 3. I'm excited and nervous, because it will be the first time for me to be schooling more than one child.

We school year round, divided into 3 semesters, with about a month's break in between. So, school from January to March, taking off April, from May to July, taking off August, and from September to November, and off December. It works really well for us, because we hit most of the major holidays, and in the summer, we get the best weather in August, typically. So the first semester of the year is usually intensive, the 2nd lighter, and the 3rd review. This year, it will really work well, because of our new baby coming in April. The timing should be perfect, or close to it! I hope, LOL.

This semester we are going back to Student of the Word (SOW) for Bible, which I really really like. It teaches inductive study, as well as giving ample opportunity for exploring topics and biographies. We are not doing the writing response this year though, like we did last year, as I found it difficult for my oldest, L (who is just 9) to really make the connections yet. I think she needs more time before we do that more. We are using a couple of old-fashioned texts (written in the early 1900s!) for writing and math, and Grammarland for grammar, spelling and vocabulary. This is an old story I found introducing the parts of speech, that I adapted for the basis of language arts, that my daughter is really enjoying. Then we are using Tapestry of Grace for history, Abeka World Geography for geography and Apologia's Exploring God's Creation series for science. Whew. I know it's intensive, but as I said, we do lighter in the spring, and review in the fall, so it really works.

For my preschoolers, I'm using an online preschool, Chalk Preschool (www.chalkpreschool.com). From what I've seen, it looks quite thorough and has a lot of entertaining videos and songs. I think all I'll need to add is a Bible lesson, since it is secular-based. But one of the reasons I was attracted to it is because it offers lots of hands-on opportunities for the kids to play and explore, without me having to do much prep besides grab all the materials. I don't have to look it up, tweak for age-and-stage and match to the lesson -- it's all done for me. It's designed for ages 2-5, so both my kiddos should be able to get a lot out of it.

Hopefully the toddler (V) cooperates! Thankfully Daddy's still home right now, so I'm hoping I can get him to keep her occupied while I'm with the preschoolers, and then they can all play together when I'm with L. Plus the usual chores and cooking... it's going to be a busy day. Frankly, I hope I'm up to it! Energy has been in short supply this pregnancy.

So.. off to bed for this tired mama, after a bedtime snack. G'nite all...

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