It is Day 1 of the new learning year. While families and children spent the morning trying to get back into their morning routines, filling backpack, packing lunches, rushing off to catch school buses, etc. my family slept in, listening to the quiet sounds of the rain pattering on the roof. After a morning run with my husband, I did some laundry and began the first lesson of the year: unloading the dishwasher!
This year I’m planning on doing more homeschool stuff with the kids, which means I’m going to need help with the housework. As part of my own morning routine (which I’ve been slowly easing into over the past week) I do a load of laundry, empty the dishwasher, and fill it up with any dirty dishes that didn’t make it in last night. This morning I had the kids unload the dishwasher, and I stood by making sure they knew where everything went. They actually seemed to enjoy it, playing together as they worked. Mr. Boo enjoyed pulling the chair over to the counter so he could put things on higher shelves.
To celebrate the first day of Not Back to School I made them their favorite breakfast: English pancakes. These are basically crepes rolled up with lemon juice and sugar. These were my favorite treat as a child, and I’m happy to have passed on the tradition.
After breakfast the kids had some time to play while I finished tidying up, and then it was Math time. Mr. Boo has not done any math for over a month as I decided to give him (and myself) a break towards the end of summer. I was pleasantly surprised to see he had forgotten nothing of the exercises he’d last been working on. He even advanced through the lesson and picked up a couple of new concepts. He really has an amazing head for numbers – the challenge is getting him to sit still and focus. He made it to 15 minutes before he started getting really squirrelly, and finished up at just shy of 20 minutes in total. An excellent first day back!
While Mr. Boo uses a program called Dreambox Learning, Miss Em has decided it’s too “babyish” and so we are giving Khan Academy a try. Today she took the Placement Test and began some lessons. She enjoyed the ones about graphs, reinforcing my belief that she is a visual learner. She also learned how to carry numbers today for adding 2- or 3- digit numbers together. It was a chance to view the instructional videos that come with Khan Academy, but also this was part of a lengthier video about adding in general so she got bored pretty quickly. In the end, I grabbed a sheet of paper, showed her how to carry, and she immediately got it and was off. She ended up adding the numbers and doing the carrying in her head, simply typing down each digit of the answer as she progressed. She hasn’t decided whether she prefers this to Dreambox, so we’ll continue for another week or so until her old Dreambox account is about to expire and she can make her decision then.
I have been preparing the kids for this week and the work definitely payed off. I had no meltdowns or tantrums today and the kids followed the plans to the letter. We’re done for the day now, which is fair since the school kids are only having half days as well today. Plus I want to ease them into their full weekly schedule slowly. Most activities don’t start until next week, and some even later, so it’s the perfect slow transition into busier days. I’m feeling really good about this learning year and looking forward to sharing our progress with our Learning Consultant.