Monthly Archives: August 2012

And so it begins!

School, that is.

Yep, the Reindl Academy of Books, Binders, and Paper Clutter has officially begun!  Ethan is in 1st grade and Caleb is in pre-K (if you wanna be technical). We started Monday and were done by 9:30!..? Apparently, I thought that going from Kindergarten to 1st grade was going to take over our whole morning, but when you start around 8am, it really doesn’t!

I spent a lot of time prepping for this year since we follow the Charlotte Mason style, and it has you reading a lot of books at one time on different days. I based some off of the Ambleside Online curriculum, http://amblesideonline.org/01sch.shtml, borrowed some resources from Simply Charlotte Mason, http://simplycharlottemason.com/ , and got a TON of practical ideas from this experience mother’s blog, http://www.charlottemasonhelp.com/ ( I really really love this site!) to come up with a workable plan for us.
Then I printed a one page word doc that has every day listed with things to do that day (color coded for the visual learner in me), and put it in the front of my homeschool binder. At the bottom it lists some informal activities to work on with Caleb (workbook, tracing, manipulatives, busy basket, etc.) and lists all of our Read Aloud books for this year with the subject next to it. It looks like this…

Monday’s list looked like this:

  • Quiet time w/Ethan and his journal (encouraged to do this from that woman’s blog post on how she taught her kids to have quiet time with the Lord),
  • Breakfast,
  • BBWs ((bed, brush teeth, wipe sink) and a morning chore
  • Storybook Bible
  • Math workbook while Caleb works out of his basket
  • Copywork
  • Read Aloud from “A Child’s History of the World”, Ethan narrates,
  • Add a picture to History Wall Timeline (a string to hang pics of each topic from the world history book in order of time)
  • Free Play/Lunch
  • Nap/Rest time
  • Have Ethan practice reading to me
  • Handicraft/Free Play
  • Round Up Time (pick up anything that’s yours around the house)/Dinner
  • Read to Caleb (at some point alone during the day is the goal)
  • Bedtime

Each day will have a little variation since we only do history, science, and art and music 1-2 times a week. Science is covered by nature walks and nature journaling, and Apologia’s Land Animals book. We debated on this one but I love how you just focus on one topic for the whole year!! We let Ethan pick, and since he heard the word ‘spider’, he picked this one.

I decided this year that each day we will do something different for Bible time:

  • Monday – Read from The Jesus Storybook Bible (If you don’t have this, get it! Its brought Keith and I both to tears, and its written for children. It’s written as the love story that the Bible truly is.)
  • Tuesday- Read from A Child’s Book of Character Building
  • Wednesday- Proverbs
  • Thursday- Old Testament
  • Friday- New Testament

Math is similar since Ethan really struggles with doing the workbook.

  • Monday- workbook math
  • Tuesday- Math games/manipulatives
  • Wednesday- Starfall math
  • Thursday- workbook math
  • Friday- NO MATH!

Fridays are planned to be our easy days so we’ll do some art and music time, and run errands, or have playdates and such!

I thought that this would be a full (verging on cumbersome) schedule, but so far this week, it’s gone fairly smoothly minus some whining from the eldest that we have to do school “again?!” and we’re usually done well before lunch. Charlotte Mason also had the Year 1 kids starting to learn a foreign language and learning to recite a scripture passage and some poems (broken up over the year), but I was afraid of overdoing it at first. I think I may gradually work these in starting next week.

Overall, its been a great first week and we still have so much time for just exploring other interests. Today, Ethan wanted to know what kinds of clouds there are so went spent some time on Youtube and looking at weather books! I really believe they learn and retain so much more when it’s their own curiosity that sparks the study.

I’m sure our schedule will get tweaked once or twice…or more…as we get further into the year, but I feel good about how everything is flowing. For all you Mamas about to start the school year, YOU CAN DO IT! And as one Mom told me, “Teach them to love the Lord and everything else will fall into place.”