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First Day of School!

Hey everyone! I’ve been trying to get around to a new blog post in a while; I know I have been a bit quiet on here lately. And I am way overdue for a new video too! It seems like whenever I start a new project like that something crazy happens immediately afterward and I have to take care of that and then the new project goes by the wayside.

But I haven’t given up on my videos and I have one in the works for you! Today’s post is about school though. We had our first official day of classes! We have a new school routine this year that worked out great today (minus the flashcards blowing around…). We are doing school work outside!

It’s kind of crazy, but between all of our kids’ various medical appointments, grocery shopping, weekday liturgies and other inevitable errands – we always seemed to be gone. Especially this last year we have been struggling to keep up with all our school work being in and out constantly. And then when we are home, cleaning has to be done before anyone can concentrate on school!

I will be perfectly honest. We got to a point where we had a serious conversation about one of the local charter schools. It was a hard year. But then this brilliant idea came to us. What if it was our daily habit to prepare outfits and school work in advance to be out the door every morning? What if we didn’t have to stop school to wipe down the table or make someone more food? What if all our school work was done away from home? What if errands and appointments didn’t derail school because we were always a mobile home school?

And in our area, with two state parks and a national park within reasonable driving distance and a bazillion awesome city parks and playgrounds to choose from – why not do school outside every day? So we bought the kids lunchboxes and committed to our new plan! The first two weeks we just focused on getting up and out the door every single day.

Today was our first day of lessons. We did math, reading, bible recitation, nature study and foreign language. It was a smashing success! The kids had a ton of fun and a solid six hours in the fresh air and sunshine. Not to mention we got all of our scheduled lessons done.

But my absolute favorite part of the day was reading lessons with Jacob and the flight-happy flash cards. When I first attempted to teach Jacob to read he could not retain the information at all. If I took two days off, several weeks of hard work would be gone just like that. It was impossible to keep up with and eventually I took a very long break from reading with him. It was obvious that he just wasn't ready.

Last school year we tried a bit more, but didn’t get very far. He had two sight words and was struggling with the third. Then we took several weeks off of reading. We try to homeschool year-round, but his reading was something I needed to let go in the craziness of the summer. So when I pulled out those flash cards today I expected to be back at square one. But no!! He remembered!! Everything he had down, he retained. We picked up exactly where we left off with zero catching up required.

I am beyond thrilled! I finally have evidence that he is ready to learn to read. And that is going to be such an amazing thing for him. He was quite pleased too. I am pretty sure he surprised himself. All in all it was a great day. We are exhausted, but so ready for this next year!

Here are a few pics from our day:

Sign Language Lessons

Sign language lessons, practicing sentences!

Jacob and the amazing flying flashcards!!

Mommy and Christinie Beanie. She wouldn't smile for me!

Evangeline and Stephen "fishing". Or at least feeding the fish...

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