Monday, June 23, 2008

First Day of the 2008-09 School Year!

And we survived!! I forgot to hype it up to everyone last night, lol, but still Cassia and Greyson managed to start the day with an exceptionally educational activity. They played with the Lentil Science kit for quite a long time while I was shaking off the morning cobwebs. Granted, their lessons were more about sharing than about science or math, but it was good tactile fun. Cameron even joined in for a little while.

As Shadowlight Academy tradition dictates, we started the new school year off with a couple sentences of copywork.

"My name is Cameron Bermxxxxx. I am now in the second grade."
"My name is Cassia. I am in Kindergarten."

Cassia was more excited to start it than Cameron was, but he was more enthusiastic about getting it perfect than she was. In fact, his second try practically was perfect where as hers was actually a bit worse - though the inclusion of spaces helped a great deal in the legibility. ;)

Meanwhile I spent a long time vacuuming lentils off the carpet.

Next was Phonics. Cassia chose to go first and really, really did a great job reading. She wasn't just guessing or parroting me. She was reading. :) You go, Girl! Cameron started out well but faded about a third of the way through the lesson and just started making up random words instead of reading. I hate when he does that. I gave him a "pep talk" though and he perked up for the last third of the lesson.

Grammar/Language was reading a fable called The Camel's Nose. In the story, a camel talked his way into his rider's tent and then tricked him out to sleep in the cold. The kids did a decent job of narrating it back to me, working together to give important plot points. That's at least as useful as narrating it back individually, right? I'm thinking that rather than floundering with trying to remember the important points, the play off each other's ideas has got to be more fruitful. It's easier for me for them to work together, at any rate. ;) There was also a "discussion" section in the book which talked about the camel being like a bad habit that has pushed itself into your life which I thought was pretty good but then it went on to compare it to bad friends and how you should only surround yourself with worthwhile companions. That was kind of weird to me, I thought. I've been trying to get them to be accepting to everyone and to model good behavior instead of shunning people for whatever reason - but discussion of alternatives is always good too.

Next was math and again they chose Cassia to go first. She did a lesson on the concept of halves and quarters. The activities were so fun that Cameron wanted to get in on them too! So we spent a bunch of time making and coloring half and quarter shapes that would fold out to full shapes to demonstrate the equal proportion of the sections. I really love the way the Earlybird Math shows concepts like this. I just noticed today that they have discontinued the series in favor of one that is "in compliance with the California State Standards." Eeek. Um, no thanks. I really don't want my Kindergartener being drilled in addition and subtraction in preparation for standardized testing like the state seems to want. That's WHY we homeschool. I like Singapore because it is different. It's a different way to look at math and I'm afraid to see how that has had to be tweaked to be in compliance with the standards. Hopefully I'm just overreacting. I guess we'll see in a couple years when Greyson is ready for it. Maybe I'll just scan in C&C's old books and Photoshop out the answers, lol.

And then suddenly I noticed that it was time for gymnastics and we were going to be late again! Amazingly, we were the first ones there though and Cassia had private lessons for a few minutes, lol. Eventually four more kids trickled in. Don't you just love the lazy schedules of summer? Nothing too spectacular happened during Cameron's class except that they were working on dive rolls. He loves those.

We hit the grocery store on the way home but Greyson was sound asleep so I had to carry him through the store while Cameron pushed the cart. Wow, were my arms tired. Unfortunately, he woke up while we were checking out and had a screaming writhing fit in my arms. Yikes. Fortunately, he calmed down in the car and after a quick trip to the potty, decided to resume his nap once we were home. Then it was finally time for Cameron's math and he did a lesson on adding money. He did fabulously. He didn't make a single mistake in the entire practice section or exercise.

Now both kids are playing video games. It's so much more complicated now that she's wanting to play too! We had a minor setback when they both wanted to play (her Boom Blocks, him Legend of Zelda) and there wasn't enough time before dinner and bed for them to both have their hour, but they worked it out and decided to play Mario Galaxy with two players for one hour. Hopefully these boys we know, M & S, won't tell them that they have their mom convinced that they should get double time when they play a two player game. ;) LOL.

And that was our first day. Nothing stellar, but it was good. We didn't do history or science. I have science slated for twice a week and history for 3 or 4 times a week in our schedule. I want to ease back in without feeling behind when it just doesn't happen... but I also want to hold myself a little more responsible for getting things done when it can happen. I think scheduling and allowing for a day off here and there will help that. Besides, I haven't looked at our history books in at least two weeks so I would have no clue what I wanted to do anyway, lol. Hopefully, I'll motivate myself to glance at the Activity Guide tonight and possibly print some stuff out.

Time to get dinner on the table. Have a good evening everyone. :)

1 comment:

G said...

Sounds like a great start to a new "school year"!