Tuesday, August 25, 2015

First Day of School!

Yesterday was our first day of school!  As far as there are grades in homeschool, Sierra is starting 6th grade, Sedona is starting 3rd grade and we're playing it by ear for Secora (doing a little bit of Kindergarten work because she insists on it, but she's not really Kindergarten age yet)
We did a mix of regular work and fun stuff.  First up was painting everyone's nails to look like the ends of pencils.
After covering a little reading and history, we took a mid-morning break for our first tea time (well, lemonade time, it's hot out!) of the year
Then it was time to buckle down for some work.  Sierra's doing typing this year, so she took a pre-test
We're trying out Mango Languages for Spanish at the girls' insistence that Rosetta Stone is just too hard (I think it's just that learning new languages is difficult, but I'm willing to take their opinion into account when choosing programs).  While Sierra worked on her typing, Sedona took her first Mango Spanish lesson:
Then we took another break to play around with some ink and quills that we got over the summer.  I learned that cutting pen tips into quills is not a skill that comes naturally, but I finally got a "good enough" job done of it.  Sierra learned it was even more difficult for lefties to avoid smearing ink in the old days, so she gave writing with her right hand a try.
Secora waited patiently and then took a turn
Secora also insisted SHE is ready for school too.  We started the Kindergarten math book and she did just fine with recognizing 1, 2 or 3 on sight (our math program discourages counting) and "translating" numbers between fingers, tally sticks and objects.  She worked on patterns too.
The big girls also did their first physics lesson.  The science curriculum we use just put out elementary level physics and I wanted to go ahead and do it with Sierra, so they're both doing the same class, but I'm adding on some enrichment activities and tests for Sierra while Sedona is sticking with doing the class as it's written.

There was also plenty of time reviewing last year's math with Sedona, working on multiplying and adding numbers with exponents for Sierra, brushing up on identifying subject nouns, verbs, adverbs and adjectives and working on spelling.  I didn't quite realize how unstructured we'd gotten over the summer, it's back to the daily grind for now.  Each of the big girls only does about 3-4 hours of school work each day, but since I'm going back and forth teaching each of them, I'm teaching pretty much non-stop from 9a-4p and answering work emails "in the background" (while they work a practice problem or write a spelling sentence).  This is about the same routine we had last year and I suspect as Secora's ready to do more, Sierra will continue to get more independent, so this will probably be our school norm for several years.

Overall, looks like it's gonna be a great year and I think we're all ready to be in some semblance of a regular routine again!

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