Dude has suddenly "clicked on" with schooling here recently, and I do hope I'm not too soon in posting this, as I am still in disbelief at his change in attitude and work ethic from our fights last year to our lack of them this year! The first week or so we had a few go-rounds, as I was determined to let him know then and there that the boundaries still stood firm, and I wasn't going to put up with the antics we've had to deal with in the past. We had a pretty good time even then, believe it or not, as he was pretty excited to get into his new history, science, and reading books! By about week 3, we seemed to have found a reasonable rhythm, and I was relieved to see how easily Dude was beginning to step into multiplication (my biggest teaching fear of this year!). He actually GIGGLED his way through multiplying by 1's and 0's! By week 4, he was suddenly not only happily doing school lessons, but eagerly doing them, and we had 3 out of 4 days at 3 and a half hours or less. I was surprised, to say the least! We had a week off last week, and now 2 more days have been completed. Yesterday was a reasonable day, but today was once again 3 and a half hours! This time I didn't even get a bit of complaint over his reading workbook - and he was done ahead of his allotted time! In the midst of all of this shift, he is now fully a week ahead in his scheduled math lessons. I believe I may go into full shock. Last year, we had quite the battle over doing a page or two of math lessons. During the first few weeks, he accumulated a couple of days of being ahead in his math studies from what I had planned, wanting to move on. Yesterday he decided he didn't want to wait to complete this entire lesson on multiplying by tens, and instead of only completing the 48 problems I assigned, he continued to work even into the evening off and on, finishing off 140 problems!!!! He took his test today so that he can go on to the next lesson tomorrow. Forgive me if I pass out in amazement. Needless to say, I'm gaining much higher hopes for this year than I started out with! I'll also need the next math level if this keeps up!
What's Monkey up to? Well, she's catching on to her letters, one by one! This week is our first review week, as we have now covered A, B, and C. It's now sticking with those three, and she is beginning to listen for the beginning sounds in words to see if they "match" any of those three - all on her own! We're also still working on her numbers, as most past 5 still are not quite steady for her. They will be worked on through the year. I'm being challenged to come up with new worksheets and illustrations for her, as I've decided to put together a Kindergarten curriculum to use after her as well that will match the letter review at the beginning of the first grade curriculum I've started building. She is enjoying her personalized dot-to-dots and activities! We are also still working through "Little Lads and Ladies of Virtue" that I have reviewed, and I am finding it helpful to reference those concepts when working with her on attitudes and kindness towards others! We are also enjoying Five in a Row, particularly the reading of the books. Even Dude tries to finish in time to catch the book we're reading! I do believe we have finally found a balance (for now) that keeps both of us happy - just enough lesson time for her, without being too much for me right now. It tends to even out to around 20 minutes.
What's Scoot up to in all of this? She's hilarious to watch, following Monkey into the schoolroom to "do Kindergarten" alongside her big sister. She was introduced to the scissors today... and what they can do to your fingers if not careful. Ouch! Thankfully, no actual cuts, but it was unpleasant enough that I think she'll be a bit more careful from now on! I will be interested to see just how much she catches onto, as she sits (for now) at Monkey's desk, coloring the same pages, and learning to cut and paste. She very much so enjoys naming the pictures on the pages! She will be quite ready to step into "pretty school" next year and reinforce her colors, as well as learning her numbers and the rest of her shapes. By then, she'll have her own desk in the schoolroom. =)
What about the teacher? Well, I'm trying to keep up!! The schoolroom still is not finished, although tiny steps are being taken to get it done. Little by little, I'm getting down my organization of what has been moved. And boy am I glad to have the desks in place this year! Last year it was lugging the books in and out of the laundry room to the breakfast table to do lessons, and packing everything up by the end of the day so that we could use the table. This year, everything is still cleaned up, but it is as simple as putting books back on the shelf after each subject's lesson, and putting away pencils and crayons in their place on the desk at day's end. What a relief! I'm also getting used to having 3 of my manuals on my tablet. That is becoming more second-nature to use. I may still sometime in the future print them out and put them in a binder for my use, but for now, it works just fine!
So, now it's your share time! Have you started back yet? How are things going if you have? When are you planning to start if you haven't?