Every family is different, but I find it works for us to start in with a full week while the children are fresh and enthusiastic (for the most part), then lighten the pressure a little when they get increasingly tired as the term goes on. By the end of the school year, they are usually getting through their work quicker too, just because they are more adept at working at that level.
All in all, I think this is probably the best first week I've had since we began, which is encouraging; however, the second week may well be dreadful, which is a scary thought. We managed to get through all I planned, though there was lots to do, and, in general, attitudes were pretty good. My eldest got a bit bogged down in his Latin one day, probably because he's a bit rusty after a summer break, but he cheered up a lot when we broke off for a while to go on a nature walk.
Going for walks each day has been a staple of our routine for a while, but this year we are using Exploring Nature with Children as a guide one day a week. We set off for a local hill which is covered in trees and brambles and plenty of wildlife, bringing our sketchbooks and bags for samples with us. Everyone enjoyed looking for seeds, though my 5 year old daughter was particularly enthusiastic about finding as many acorns as possible. The children all love drawing, and the boys in particular enjoyed illustrating a page in their new nature diaries.
|My 9 Year Old's Drawing|
|My 7 Year Old's Drawing|
We have also started a Nature Table, following directions from Exploring Nature with Children:
We are still working through The Story of the World, and this week we were reading about the Celts in Britain. The boys remember dressing up as Celts 4 years ago as a highlight of our history programme, so we did it again. This time, our daughter was able to join in too (with relish!).
My husband has continued to teach science to the children. I thought my 10 year old was being silly when he told me that Daddy was going to get them to lift the piano, but it turned out that that was exactly what Michael was doing. This was a memorable experience, and a great visual demonstration of what they were learning about levers.
|Lifting the Piano|
In the middle of this slightly hectic week, was Bake Off, and I helped my 7 year old make a white cottage loaf for bread week. It tasted great, and he loved making it. Typically, my maths loving boy likes weighing out the ingredients best when he is cooking.
Today was our first home education group meeting. We are in Europe this term, and this week our focus was on Norway. We made Viking shields and brooches, and decorated reindeer cupcakes. The older children met for their book group, and I started up our new book group for younger children. I'm still feeling my way a bit with this, and I think I will be honing the sessions over the next few weeks - though it seemed to go okay.
Finally, in what has been a good and encouraging week, a major highlight for me was teaching my first Classical Greek lesson to my 10 year old. He absolutely loved it, which is not surprising as we are just learning the basics of reading and writing the alphabet at the moment, but it was such fun for me.
|Learning to write - Greek alphabet|