Thursday, September 10, 2009

fall semester rhythms

(The kids reading aloud to each other.)

So, we're back in the swing of things with our new school year. Our basic daily rhythm (Tuesday through Saturday) for this semester is as follows:

Wake, free play, breakfast, chores, exercise, story work, snack, practice time, creative time, lunch, rest, afternoon adventures.

On Sundays The Map Man will be doing woodworking projects with the boys after an extended exercise period, and we will be watching football as a family during the afternoons. On Mondays we will have our homeschool co-op classes starting after chores.

(The kids spent their free play time on our first day calculating the amount of time various space probes took to reach their destinations.)

Some defintions of the above: Free play is just that, they can do whatever they choose. Many times it involves drawing or reading or some combination of the two. Chores are farm chorse, the boys are responsible for caring for our poultry (ducks and chickens). Exercise at this point is mostly morning walks and/or bike rides, although on rainy days we'll do an adventure circle (I'll keep the same circle for the entire fall, since we won't be using it every day). Story work for our first block (a 1st grade type LA block) include reciting a poem every day (a new poem each week), reading a new story on Tuesdays and Thursdays (followed by an hour of creative play), recalling the story and drawing from it on Wednesdays and Fridays, and writing out the story verse on Thursdays and Saturdays. (On Thursdays we'll write the verse from the old story, and then read the new story.) Practice time is for handwriting practice, math worksheets, cuisinairre rod work books, etc. Creative time is for baking, cooking, handiwork, crafting, and painting. Rest for the most part is taking place in the car on our way to our afternoon adventures -- just a neccessity at this point, during the winter we'll be resting at home more because we won't be going out as much.

(Petting a Ball Python at the local children's museum yesterday.)

Afternoon adventures will vary by the day of the week. On Tuesdays we'll be visiting museums. Wednesdays are our "day home" but might include running errands. Thursdays we're hoping to get together with other Enki families in the area. Fridays are sports days, with sports classes and other phsyically active things planned. Saturdays are Family Adventure Days and will probably include a lot of outdoor activities during our beautiful fall season.

(Oscar the Screech Owl and Zoo Boy the bird lover contemplate each other.)

We're a bit over-scheduled, but I've figured out our seasonal/yearly rhythms, and this is the time of year that I have the most energy and want to be involved with things the most, so we are packing quite a lot in while our family has that energy need. J has quite a lot of classes planned, both because he really wants to do them, and also to provide a bit more mental challenge and focused work since he's a bit beyond what we're doing for school work at home right now (catering to the 1st grader in Zoo Boy). We'll switch to more challenging material during the winter (Grade 2), at which time we'll back off the outside activities a bit as J will be getting what he needs at home.

(J proving my point about needing more contraction -- this morning he spent his free play time reading about and drawing pictures of the various space probes that have been launched.)

For classes, J is taking a living colonial history class (that I'm actually teaching), a spanish class, and a drama class, all through the local homeschooling co-op. He's also taking a homeschool sports class, various museum classes at both the CT Science Center and the local children's museum, a bread baking/cake decorating class, and will be participating in both the youth chorus (which reherses once a week) and a local drama program (which reherses twice a week). Phew. Zoo Boy will take spanish and the occassional children's museum program, but he does not need so much to meet him where he's at, we're catering to him at home for the Fall semester.

So hold on tight as you follow us through our fall semester, and enjoy all the activity while it's happening -- I can promise that things will more or less come to a screeching halt at the end of December and will start up again at no more than a snail's pace come the end of January....

No comments: