Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Back to School: Our first attempt at juggling

Here's our cheesy first day of school pictures!  Here's just a little bit of what our year looks like!  

Claire is enrolled, this year, in a Independant Study Charter School called Sage Oak.  I was not sure about going this route and fought against the idea for a while.  I was going to homeschool completely independent of anyone or anything, pick my own curriculum based on my own child's needs etc.  But I found this "school" and not only are they letting me do my own thing and pick my own curriculum, supplies, activities and curriculum are paid for, within a certain dollar amount, by the school.  Shoot. I pay property taxes.  Might as well have some of that go back to my kid. And post adoption, we had a few unexpected financial issues that we were a little blindsided by. So enroll we did.  Thus far, we've been very happy.  Claire's TF (Teach Facilitator) is fantastic as we see her about every 20 school days.  The online system is super easy to log our instructional days (including days I decide that a zoo trip is a better learning opportunity than sitting and working through a textbook.  We can't use our funds to purchase our curriculum, however, since we use a religious publisher, BUT I can easily show what she has learned using a couple secular resources so it works out great.  
She'll be doing My Father's World 1st Grade Curriculum. She started with their Kindergarten curriculum last year and it worked out GREAT for her.  It was perfect since it was a very gentle approach to Kindergarten so I decided to move on to 1st Grade this year.  It's Charlotte Mason based, which I really, really love. 
For Extracurricular and PE, Claire is doing her first year in an American Heritage Girls troop as a Pathfinder.  I'm glad there's an organization nearby that seems really good!  She's also gotten more involved in her dance studio. This year, she'll be on the Mini Company Dance Team as well as starting her first full Ballet 1 class (she's been taking combo classes thus far).  

Ashlyn will start her first preschool homeschool year.  Her school activities only take about an hour a day.  After going back and forth with a few ideas, we settled on doing Before Five in a Row and then added some workbooks from Rod and Staff called "About Three" that help with tracing lines and teaching to cut and color and that sort of thing.  Before Five in a Row is a program where you read the same book everyday and do activities surrounding that book.  So far, we've done Jesse Bear What Will You Wear? and are in the middle of Yellow Ball.  We talked about dressing for weather, counting, the color yellow, matching clothes, the letter "B", the letter "Y," art, the ocean, the story of Jesus calming the storm, rhyming words. . . just using those two books.  It's been a lot of fun. 
Ashlyn starts dance class this year. She's in the 3/4 Combo class and is learning to follow directions :-)  and having a blast doing it.  She can swim, not, so I don't have her in class, at the moment but we may revisit this when we have a little extra cash.  

 So our mornings look a bit like this.
We start school at around 9am, after baby brother is down for his first nap and daddy has left for work.  Ashlyn works for about an hour or so and Claire is usually done by 10:30 or 11 (if she gets involved in a project, she takes more time).  Sometimes they are still in pjs.  Other days they are not.  Just depends on how the morning goes.

In the afternoon, when Ashlyn and Reed are napping, Claire usually gets a piano lesson. I am teaching her myself until she gets to a point where I can't anymore and then I'll see if her Gramma can help or I'll find her a teacher.  So far, she seems to enjoy it and is understanding it.  She's excited to work to the point where she can start playing the Christmas Songs in the Christmas book.

I picked the Alfred Basic Prep course since it's pretty all inclusive and great for a young beginner.

One day a week, we'll be involved in a Co-op program.  Each kid will have their own class (even Reed!)  We were supposed to have started that last week but Christian and I took Reed to Utah for a Convention so we skipped it to let the girls just be home and enjoy their grandparents who took care of them for the week we were gone.

So here we go!  Happy School Year!

Our summer. . .in a whole lotta pictures :-)