Monday, August 12, 2013

The First Day of the 2013-2014 School Year

We started our school year on Monday, August 6, 2013.
Rosalie started Pre-K. She is doing history, science, Bible, art, and music with Jonathan and she does handwriting, reading, and math on her own. She LOVES doing school with the big kids!

Aaron started 4th grade! He is enjoying all of the independence that comes with 4th grade and is doing a great job with it so far. We start school at 7:50 each morning. We have devotions and prayer for 10 minutes and then Martin and Aaron work on Science and Music from 8:00 - 9:00. Martin practices trumpet while Aaron does his Science independently. Aaron practices clarinet while Martin does his Science independently. (I don't think that I mentioned that Aaron is playing the clarinet now!! I taught him some fundamentals to get him going and he has taken off with it! He will be in the beginner band this year) While they are doing Science and Music, I work with Rosalie and Jonathan on all of their lessons. 

Jonathan started the 1st grade. He is doing really well so far! He has already finished about 30% of his first grade math book since we worked on it over the summer. He really enjoys math and I am trying to capitalize on that! His reading has come a long way and he is discovering now that he can read other books than just his reading curriculum book. So, I expect that it will really take off in the next year. He has a much better attitude about it this year, which makes it so much easier on me! He is adapting well to having Rosalie with him during his lessons, although sometimes he gets frustrated that she is so quick to answer the questions. I have to be super diligent about saying the name of the child that I want to answer the question. I do not desire for their to be any sort of competition between those two.  
Martin started the 6th grade! (he was not at all interested in having his picture taken) I have a middle schooler! It's so hard to believe.  He and I both are excited about the content of his curriculum this year. He will be studying the time period of history from the Resurrection to the Reformation. So far, we are both enjoying the history so much! We have an excellent routine and schedule going this year that has contributed to one of the best first week of school I have ever had. I was way too unstructured for my liking and my personality last year. So, I have tightened things up a great deal and we are being very careful to follow the schedule and stay on task. It's working out well for all of us. A new thing that I have instituted this year is that they all have to be out of bed and downstairs by 7:00AM. They have 50 minutes to eat breakfast, get dressed, and brush their teeth. School starts at 7:50 and they are not permitted to be late. Rigid? Perhaps. However, at some point these kiddos need to understand that the rest of the world operates by a clock and that being on time is an absolute necessary skill to have. So, Martin sets the alarm and they all wake up and start their day. Rich and I drink our coffee together and we all get an early start to the day. Perfection. 

Our first day of the school year celebration included a dinner of roasted hot dogs, potato chips, and S'mores. FUN! 

We are all glad to be back in the school routine. No doubt we will have good days and bad days, but so far we have all enjoyed the structure that we were lacking last year. I am checklist kind of a girl - and I am in a very happy place when we are all checking off our lists!

I plan to put up posts very soon on what each child is doing and my curriculum choices for the year. I will also be sharing about our new chore system. I am thrilled at how productive we are all being and the excellent training in life skills the children are gaining!


  1. Wow... so early!! Glad it is going well and all are enjoying it. Do you plan to take a fall break when the weather is nicer in NC?

    We will be starting Sept. 9th.

    PS - I had to chuckle when I read your kids must to be up by 7 on school days. I wish my kids would sleep until 7. They get up between 5:30 and 6 :(

    1. I always start the first Monday in August - I like to follow the 8 weeks on 2 weeks off model. We all seem to do better with that schedule. We will be due to take our first break in October. I love October here in North Carolina!

      Yes, all of my kiddos are starting to sleep later and later. The alarm clock is working really well.

    2. Now that you mentioned it, I do remember you starting early August.

      Forgot to mention that you school room has a fun and happy feel/look to it!

    3. Thanks, Janet! I enjoy our school room so much! It's such a blessing to have the dedicated space.

  2. Sounds like a great routine and great first week!