Monday, September 1, 2014

First Day of School!

Today proved that students aren't the only ones who learn something at homeschool. I learned a very valuable lesson that until now I thought wouldn't need to apply to us because we homeschool, but something that almost all parents know: bedtime must be strictly enforced when the next day is a school day.

Since before this "school year" we started at 10 am, it was never a problem if the kids slept in some because the night before they had gone to bed later. But with the increased workload this year we need to start at 9:30am at the latest. The boys slept in until 9am, and our special start of the school year breakfast took an hour to cook and eat. Add in pictures, and we didn't start school until 10:20. And the late start affected attitudes as well...

When we eventually did start, it was difficult to get focused in the beginning. Another lesson Mommy learned: just say "no!" to doing morning school outside. It's either too bright on one side of the house or too cold on the other side of the house. And to distracting with all the outside toys. And being outside makes Builder Boy want to outside pee on the tree rather than use the much closer bathroom. And then argue with me about which is closer. And devise methods of measuring the distances instead of We went inside before the first subject (vocabulary) was finished.

Once inside we finished vocabulary, grammar, and handwriting. The boys asked if they could draw (we did handwriting with markers today) and I let them since it's good fine motor practice. Then we tired to do the copywork for writing at 11:10 (yup, three subjects, a potty/argument break, and a coloring break took 50 minutes. Not cool.) Builder Boy did fine, aside from needing a lot of redirection. Early Bird had a meltdown because he wanted to use a pencil not a marker any more, but the new rule is he has to use the pencil properly with a pencil grip, and he hated it today. Thankfully Principal Daddy was home to help while I worked with Builder Boy to finish his sentence.

Early Bird joined us again when Builder Boy was done with his copywork and we did spelling and one of the last 20 lessons of Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading. When we finished we barly had a 10 minute break before lunch needed to be made. Since they never got a real morning break, I gave them until 1pm. At 1:00 we started a review of the history we started in.....Builder Boy's first grade year. I re-read two chapters, we looked at my old blog posts on what we did for those chapters, and then the boys drew a picture of a part of the story that they heard.

After that they each got a turn of one hour on the computer. At 4:00 we will begin a half hour of quiet book time, and at 5:00 they will ride their bikes out front while Lady Bug and I sit in the shade.

I'm trying to keep myself organized and accountable this year by using Homeschool Skedtrack, a free online scheduler. Our printer died right before I needed to print out papers for math and science, so those are going to be put on hold for this week and we'll be doing history four times this week instead of science twice and history twice. I love that Skedtrack will automatically reschedule stuff that we don't complete. We'll see how it all works out.

This day did not go timing wise the way I had hoped. We'll see if I've got it figured out by the end of this week.

 No affiliate links in this post, but if you're interested in what we're using this year for our subjects, I have it all on the 2014-2015 Curricula Page.


  1. This post made me lol. It sounds so much like my first day back, including trying to pee on trees. I've been a long time reader and I really enjoy hearing of your family's adventures. I also have 2 boys (2nd and pre-k) and a little girl (2 years old). Much of what you write about is very familiar. Here's to a great year, filled with many distractions.

    1. Thank you for commenting! I must say I LOVE having a little girl after two boys; so much cute and fun. :) And Builder Boy seems to be going through an "outside peeing" phase because he did that against a tree on our church! (Thankfully no one else was around to see.) I was so busy with Early Bird and Lady Bug that I didn't notice what was happening until his pants were around his ankles and he was already watering the tree. :P


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