Friday, September 19, 2008

One Week Down - A Lifetime To Go

It feels so good to have the first full week of school completed. I love the work leading up to, and the excitement surrounding, the first week, but now that it's over, we can really get back to just living.

Most of the kinks have been worked out of the schedule throughout this week. Everyone has settled into this new routine. I'm not foolish enough to believe that the adjustment phase is entirely over, but I know that is the direction we are headed at least.

As expected, all of the kids just love the new schedule. It sounds like an oxymoron, but my children flourish on a schedule. I, on the other hand, seem to fight it at every turn. This is when it pays to be smart and understand that if a schedule is the best thing for my kids, it's also the best thing for me in the long run. I think I can suck it up enough to just deal with it. After all, I'm a big girl, right?

Anyhow...back to school. Isabelle is really enjoying all of her new books. She was a little unsure the first day, and did a little complaining about the amount of work, until I reminded her that she is now in fourth grade and every year will get a little harder than the last. After that incident, there have been no problems whatsoever. I am so proud of the work she's already done this week. I have a feeling it will be a great year for her.

Here is my school in-box, full of all the work I have to check from this week. That top picture there is a squirrel Isabelle shaded for art today. She loves all things artsy and her talent is really starting to blossom.
Alex and Olivia are Crazy (yes, with a capital C) about school. It's the first thing I hear when I wake up in the and the last thing they ask before bed - "are we going to do school again?" I'm not sure how they'll handle it tomorrow. I've tried to explain to them that it will be the weekend and we don't "do school" on the weekends. I think they understood, but whether or not they will actually remember this remains to be seen.

We are using Letter of the Week as our core curriculum. We are also going to read through A is for Adam, which ties in perfectly with Letter of the Week. This week we focused on the letter A, Adam, cows, the number 1 and squares. I think their favorite activity was when we spent 20 minutes crawling around the house pretending to be cows. The second favorite would have to be these cow puppets that we made.Gracie is having the most difficult adjustment phase. You can not tell that little girl she can't do something her brother and sister are doing. I swear it just breaks her heart. So I pulled out an extra notebook from our stash, gave her a couple of markers, and set her up at her own little table next to Alex and Olivia. That is working so far. I'm going to have to brainstorm so more ideas to keep her occupied yet still involved while we are working. Fortunately she is easy to please as long as she is included.


jessica 8:00 PM  

i don't know how old olivia is but maybe you could find some coloring pages that focus on letters or shapes or other things age appropriate for her to be "learning" as the older children do their work. that is what i did last year with my 2 year old and preschooler (yep, the preschooler had homework!)

Sonshine 1:37 PM  

I see that Jessica beat me to the punch with what I was going to suggest to you for Gracie. I would just print off another page of what the other two are doing. Like for the cow puppets even just printing out the cow and not cutting it out but letting her color the page. I would be sitting her on my lap while I read aloud to the kids as well. I would just pick one thing each day where she is involved with what you are actually doing that way she feels like she is involved without fully eating up all your attention. Also, you might want to think about pulling some her toys and putting them in a bin that becomes her "school toy bin", in other words toys that only appear when she needs to be occupied and you have your attention on the other kids.

Oh and I hear you about a schedule! I would rather just make a list of things to do and see how much I can do rather than actually following a schedule. But for the sake of my kids, I have been working us into a schedule that hopefully will be of help rather than hinder our progress. :)

Thanks for sharing about your week!

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