Monday, October 13, 2014

First Day of School ~ 2014

 Our traditional breakfast out on the first day of school!  Clockwise from left to right:  first day of 10th grade, first day of 7th grade, first day of 9th grade, first day of 12th grade, first day of 10th grade, and first day of 4th grade.

We came home from breakfast out and made our traditional cookie dough maps.  Because we are studying Year 1 of Tapestry of Grace this year (the Ancient World), we once again made maps in the shape of Egypt.  We used chocolate chips for the mountains and blue frosting for the Nile River, Mediterranean, and Red Sea.  Daughter G also used gold sprinkles for the desert.  Click here for detailed instructions on how to make cookie dough maps.

Son C's finished map.
Little man's.  

Daughter H's.

Son L's.

Daughter G's.

Son G's.

Hubby and I spent considerable time this summer evaluating last school year and praying about what we could do to put a framework in place that would be more conducive to success.  Attitudes of others we cannot control.  Routines and methods we can!  We made the "radical" decision to require all our children to work in the schoolroom during the morning, and to do their work in a specific order.  We expected some balking from our high schoolers since they were used to working in their bedrooms, but nearly everyone was surprisingly amenable to this idea!

Three of our children begin their day with math hour, and the other three with English hour.  I literally set a timer for an hour, and when it beeps the math students switch to English and the English students switch to math.  This degree of structure is something we've borrowed from brick and mortar schools, and it is working very well!  If math or English work is not completed during this time, it becomes "homework" for later in the afternoon/evening.  This is followed by science hour, and then it's lunchtime.  After lunch we have book time and history all together, and then the children are free to finish their work anywhere in the house where they feel they can get it done.

Little man has both his regular desk (behind him in this pic), and the old fashioned wooden school desk, where he likes to watch his math lessons on dvd.  We call this area under the stairs his cave!  He loves to spend time in it, and he's pretty much the only person who can comfortably fit there. :)

This is the view from my desk.  Little man and daughter H's desk is slightly behind me and to the right of this pic.

I am thankful for a dedicated place to work.  I'm thankful for children to teach, and for the privilege of learning together with them at home.  I'm thankful for the full support, encouragement, and wisdom of my husband.  I'm thankful this school year got off to a much better start than last year!

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