I follow a fantastic blog written by another homeschooling mom called Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. My friend, Mindy, lead me to her last spring, and I've been reading her posts ever since. Each Friday, she writes a weekly wrap-up post, and I've decided to challenge myself to participate. I think it's a fantastic way to remember the ins and outs of our school year memories and to catch up on little things about which I didn't take the time to blog, and I can sign her Mister Linky and share it with other homeschoolers who are looking for new ideas. I can't promise that we'll do something phenomenal each week, but maybe it's okay to read about the basic, everyday schooling too. We can't always be doing something over-the-top creative, right? So here's my first Weekly Wrap-Up.
We had a four day week this week beginning on Tuesday after an eye appointment for me took away our Monday. Our week ended up being the best week of school we've had in ages (Dare I say the best week of the entire school year so far?). School going well was much needed in the midst of an excess of difficult life circumstances that seemed to come our way all at once.
We switched things up to start the new year. My children expressed in December that they were "sick" of studying Egypt. I agreed whole-heartedly. The thing about My Father's World is that it's well organized and full of fantastic project ideas, but for some reason, they really stretched the study of Ancient Egypt out a wee bit too much for our family. While I understand their reasoning behind this (We've read through Genesis and are now beginning Exodus), we're over it. Instead of skipping ahead to the next history unit, Eric gave me the fantastic idea of taking some time to not study history and taking time to do some of the other things for which we always seem to run out of time. Art lessons, music appreciation, in-depth Five in a Row for Ava and fun writing assignments. While my ultra-perfectionist, always follow the rules personality initially bulked at this idea, I decided that he was right. Then, when I was planning for the first two weeks of this month, I discovered that MFW had a similar plan. We're spending extra time on Bible study, so very little history study is planned (because, uh-hem, studying the Bible IS history). Still, no more Egypt for us.
We spent time writing two journals and two short stories this week using Write Shop Storybuilders. Check them out. I can't guarantee anything, but I think your kids will love them. My kids were begging to do a Storybuilder this morning rather than a journal. I caved. We had a blast! See yesterday's post for what happened when their creative juices got flowing using Write Shop.
There are two perfect times to change our regular routine into a new regular routine, the start of the school year and the start of the new calendar year. Of course, we change things as we need to, but I felt the Lord leading me to a new routine this week, and we loved it. We began with devotions, as usual, followed by a brief music appreciation lesson after which we listened to the composer's music while completing the day's writing assignment. It's going super well, and it sets a gentle, calm tone for our school day.
We began a simple study of Vivaldi this week. I found this great series of books at our library by Roland Vernon all about different famous composers. I'm keeping it short and sweet by reading 2-4 pages per day from Introducing Vivaldi and then doing some listening, as I said. If you don't think you can teach music appreciation, you can. Anyone can include music appreciation in their homeschool. We take it a little further in our house when time and interest allow, but you don't have to. Keep it simple the way I have been this week!
Stop back next week to find out if our new routine is toddler-proof as I'll be starting to babysit one, possibly two toddlers next week.
So what about you? Do you stick to your curriculum? How do you make it fit the needs of your family? How often do you re-evaluate your typical routine, or don't you have one?