The original plan was not to start until September, but J was anxious and asking for it. So, we went for it! Might as well set tradition for starting “formally” on the first day of public school. We took the obligatory first day pictures, but that’s about where the similarities to our public school friends ends. Daddy went and got doughnuts and koloches for breakfast, and then we went off the Houston Museum of Natural Science! It’s never overly crowded there, but it was much less so than during the summer. We were a few days too early for the SHARKS! exhibit (another reason to go back!), but the boys love that place. We even got a little chemistry show, and J was thrilled to be asked to help with an experiment.
After nap, we did tackle his first day of school work. He did great with Lesson 1 of All About Reading, and we knocked the entire lesson out! He was beaming as he put that first start on his Blast Off to Reading! countdown. He also did a few Brain Quest workbook sheets, and we did some reading (currently: The Children’s Book of Virtues and Johnny Appleseed: The Story of a Legend). It was quick, but effective.
It completely threw off all my planning that I did to start three weeks early, but I survived my own first lesson at embracing the flexibility that homeschooling offers! We’re a week in now, and things are going really great!
A few weeks ago, we took advantage of Jony working remotely in Florida and went with him to work! From Houston to Juno Beach, it is about 1, 126 miles. Not terrible. We’ve done the drive a few times before and both boys are much older than the last time we attempted it two years ago. Of course, we didn’t do it all in one day. We’re lucky that the boys are great travellers and can be kept pretty content in the car. With the help of movies, the ABC game and magnets, they were having a great time! J got really into watching us play the license plate game (got all but 7, including a US Government and one from Canada!) and is now really interested in learning more about each state.
We planned our timing so that we could spend the weekend in Orlando. Not quite enough time for Disney World, but we were able to see some family and spend a day at Downtown Disney. The boys (including Jony) loved the Lego store, and we had an awesome lunch at T-Rex. Unfortunately, our day was cut short a little bit by getting caught in a huge rainstorm, which was a bit of foreshadowing to all of the afternoons on our trip.
While on the Gold Coast, we were staying specifically in Juno Beach, but we spent most of our week in West Palm Beach while Jony was working. Our trip solidified a major interest in sharks and whales for J and brought along a new fascination for sea turtles for G. Both learned a lot about the ocean and enjoyed seeing all the sea creatures, animals and going to the beach.
No more vacations on the horizon after a crazy summer, and the routine of fall is extremely appealing. This adventure definitely solidified a little dream in the back of our heads to head out for some road schooling one day in the future, but we’ll enjoy being home for now. Travelling does look good on them, no?
Since we have no testing or regulation in Texas, I figured it would be a good idea to set some homeschooling goals for each year to gauge our progress. After all, it was bashed into our head repeatedly in my secondary education training to assess before and after any/everything to ensure adequate learning! While I’m not going to be using an actual “assessments,” I know my children well enough to know where they’re at without them.
- PATIENCE! J, in particular, is a squirmy little thing and I need to remember that he’s still so little even if he’s capable of doing so much. This one carries over into parenting, and I imagine (hope) that it’s on every parent’s yearly goal list as something that they can improve upon.
- Maintain organization and routine, yet remaining flexible. I’m not one who’s ever been good at sticking to a routine, but both boys very clearly thrive on it.
- Stay in the present and not focus entirely on planning the future
Goals for J
- learn to read at a basic level
- read a clock/tell time
- ride his bike without training wheels
- write both uppercase and lowercase letters with ease, as well as numbers 0-9
- continue to work on sharing (especially with G) and other similar virtues
- tie his shoes on his own
- regulate his impulses and activity level
- to find new interests and passions and build upon current ones
Goals for G
- recognize all the letters in the alphabet and numbers 0-9
- work on small motor skills in preparation for writing
- continue to increase vocabulary
- find interests of his own apart from what J is interested in
This past weekend was Jony and I’s 6th Anniversary. My parents offered to watch both boys while we went on a weekend away, so we took them up on it! We hadn’t had a weekend (or even just one night) just the two of us since before G was born, so it was time. It ended up being a lot of driving, but it was so nice to just be the two of us and do things on our own schedule. We got a good deal on Groupon for a hotel near downtown Dallas and just took it easy the entire weekend. We had nice meals just chatting and only worrying about our own food, had a leisurely visit to the Perot museum and even got to meet up with an old college friend for a long brunch and going to the 6th Floor Museum (about the assassination of JFK).
Our favorite part, though? Sleeping. Not worrying about bedtimes, nap times or if someone was going to be tired when they shouldn’t be or awake when we didn’t want them to be was so freeing. We slept in both days, and it was amazing. Worth all of the hours in the car!
After two days, we were ready to be back with our babies again. I wasn’t necessarily pumped to deal with bedtime again, but I’ll deal with that so I can spend time with my boys. Even thought having a nice anniversary trip is fun, nothing is better about a weekend away than having your kids run up to you when you get back.
August 2, 2008
6 years later!
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