With the end of August upon us we welcomed in the new school year this week and I think the kids were actually as ready as I was. We all sort of like the routine and rhythm of our days I guess. We had a great weekend to celebrate the end of summer with lots of relaxation and fun at home. We spent some time with our good friend Chippy before setting him free. As you can see, he was fond of the pampering he received here. Even after we set him free, he hung around here for the entire day, even coming to the door for treats and water like this: We thought he finally set out on his own until we realized the next day that he had snuck into the garage and stayed in there overnight! Unfortunately, when we tried to get him back out of the garage he ran into a hole in the wall and has not been seen again since. We are hoping for the best and have left the door open a lot in anticipation that he found his way back out and is living in the wild and being brave. My gut instinct is telling me something very different though…
The weather last weekend was perfect for breaking in the new fire pit too so we made sure to do that a couple of nights. We had friends over Sunday night to kick off the new week and enjoyed the fact that we didn’t have to worry about getting kids up early for school the next morning. Instead, we stayed up late roasting marshmallows and eating s’mores!
Monday we took a family trip to the zoo and topped it off with a picnic lunch at the park. The rest of the day was spent around the house, working in the garden, planting some fall lettuce, and getting ready for the week.
But, the school week did begin yesterday and it was a really great day. Toby is really starting to understand the value of getting his work done efficiently in order to have more time to play so I anticipate this year going very smoothly. He even slept in a little late but still had his chores done with time to play before lessons began at 9:00, and with a smile on his face!
The typical first day of school pictures.
Lilly will be 4 this weekend and I can see signs of how much she has matured already since last year. Last year it was all about keeping her busy and quiet so that Toby could get his work done. This year, she is very much involved and wants to work with us. I am very encouraged to see how my planning will help me stay on track with providing her enough to challenge her this year.Toby has loved everything about lessons so far and I have a lot of faith in the changes that I made from last year. Simple things like shorter lessons and letting him have a little more say in the order of things. We are starting our days reading some books and doing a couple of fun activities together, mainly to give Lilly more attention before we get down to business with Toby’s seat work.
For geography yesterday, Toby started working on identifying the continents on a map. I planned for this to be a week long project but he loved doing it and it is almost done already! Today we started our science curriculum which is all about astronomy so we’ll be studying the solar system all year including many fun experiments and projects along the way. The kids requested this one so it should be fun.
My goals for Lilly are very simple. She is a very beginning reader already and is capable of sounding out some simple 3 & 4 letter words but I want to slow her down a bit and make sure that she is strong in all of her lower case letters and their phonetic sounds as well. We’ll also be working more on writing her letters and numbers, counting higher and higher and continuing to expose her to lots of great literature. She’ll also be involved in all of Toby’s history and science activities and many other activities and things along the way. It’s wonderful to see the amount of knowledge that she picks up just from being right along side with him.
Toby continued to read through the summer and I am very impressed with how he has not only held onto what he learned last year but has even improved since a few months ago. He was not thrilled at first to see the size of his reader for this year but as soon as he realized the small amount that he will be required to read each day he dove right in. After a sentence or two, he was hooked on the content! He is reading Christian Liberty Nature Reader Book 1 and it is a fabulous book about the wonders of nature, mainly insects and small animals. What more could a young boy ask for? Although Lilly and I really enjoy listening to it too!
Yesterday we spent the afternoon at the library picking out books for our next few weeks of lessons. It is bittersweet to see how big they are getting. Sometimes they like to spend time at the train table in the kids’ corner but more and more often they want to help me search for the books on our list. They are getting really good at finding the call numbers/letters and then the books we are looking for to check out. They’re even starting to request certain books now! I can certainly see a love for reading growing in them and I pray that I can continue to foster that love.