Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Start of a New School Year

I enjoy live-blogging. I sometimes follow live blogs for sporting events, especially since we don't really have t.v. (beyond what might or might not come in on regular reception minus cable). I like being able to follow along inning by inning in a big baseball game, reading the highlights of what happened.

Most of the time I don't think of my life as something that would be worth live-blogging (can you imagine the boredom of the description? Did the dishes. Folded laundry. Read chapter. Cleaned up spill. Checked email...) but the first day of school is always a day which makes me wish I could do a live-blog feed. Not so much to chronicle all the little things we do, step by step (though that would, at least, make for slightly more interesting reading than the above) but to remind myself of all the little things that bring joy and encouragement in our homeschool life. Not to mention to provide notes to myself about what we can always "tweak" to make something in our learning life work better.

The beginning of the year always feels shiny and new, but this year, thankfully, it's felt more that way than usual, and I'm extra thankful. The summer whipped by and was filled with so much work that it almost felt (almost) as though we'd not gotten a break at all. In fact, physically and emotionally, I'm still pretty tired as I move into this new fall...and I'll admit that had me a bit worried last week as I lesson planned and thought through all the "shape of our days" sorts of things I need to think through when we move back into this season. 

But the sweet girl was rarin' to go yesterday morning, and that makes such a difference. When you have a student who loves learning and is excited about getting the adventure going, it means the world to a teacher!

I was truly amazed at the kinds of leaps she has made learning-wise. It's not just that she's reading and writing and thinking with more confidence. She's taking ownership of her learning in new ways, and that's exciting to see.

Not that we haven't hit a wall already. At least this year it took us until day two to realize, once again, that this adventure we're on is all about learning as real human beings with lots of flaws. Not that we really forget, but sometimes in the shiny newness, we discover temporary amnesia! We are trying Latin (again) after our rather dismal Latin failure two years ago. A shiny new curriculum I am excited about, but the sweet girl still has the taste of the old one in her mouth, and balked about seventeen minutes in. Sigh. But this too shall provide good food for learning, both for student and teacher. Or so I declare.

So what are we studying this year? Besides our usual morning prayer and scripture meditation, we kick off each day (Monday-Thursday) with language arts. That includes spelling, grammar, and writing.  After that we take a little break before diving into math. Right now, while we're still in shiny new school year mode (getting up early!) and the weather is nice, we're getting in a nature/exercise walk after math, sometimes followed by journaling or reading time. Then after lunch we do either history (M-W) or science (T-Th) with supplemental subjects on different days (geography, Latin, health). Fridays are devoted to art and music (with math again afterwards) and with homeschool group later in the day.

Day two done...and tired as I am, so utterly thankful we're rolling again, and especially thankful we've managed to step, with courage, into another year on this journey.

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