Sunday, 11 September 2011
A Fine First Week
That's our lovely boy, Reece who's had a wonderful week of reading to Mom! His reading was slow and a bit laborious last year (Grade 1), but I didn't push him as I knew he'd "get it" and it would come easier to him in time. Has it ever! He picked up this new (to us) book and read it all right to me with hardly any pausing for sounding out. With his new found skills, he's thrilled to sit me down and read to me off and on all day (which I am LOVING!). Good work, Reece!
While it's important to get our actual lessons done, it's equally important to first work on establishing good habits and routines for the coming school year. After the unscheduled, busy summer that we had, we were all completely lacking any sense of predictable structure to our days. I felt a little overwhelmed with this prospect as I've literally been in the garden or in the kitchen canning for the entire summer and the house was an unruly mess!
We slowly eased into our week by first reading some inspiration about the virtue of orderliness (wink), then the children did a diagnostic of sorts, taking pen in hand, writing lists of areas to clean and organize :) We then set to task and focussed on neatening and cleaning, paying particular attention to the areas in which we spend time doing our schoolwork. So good to get things straightened up!
When all was tidy and organized (it took a whole day), we were able to begin our lessons in earnest, and so began our official school week. I expected a little bit more out of them each day, and by Friday, they were almost up to full speed. This week, I'm purposely NOT stepping up the pace of lessons further, as the kids will each start extra curricular activities (dance, piano and swimming) and I don't want to overdo it. They will need another gentle school week to get used to our new routine and the addition of the "out of the house" activities.
While this transition plays out, for the entire month of September, my focus will be to make sure that we don't all get burned out. All too often, homeschool families go great guns for the first month and by the end of the month, everyone is burned out, exhausted and sick. I am aiming for steady progress and sanity through September :) We have the entire rest of the year to pick up speed (which is much easier when good habits and healthy routines are firmly in place).