~1~Having finished our second week of homeschooling this academic year, I am finally feeling that we are getting into the swing of it. Even after eight years, I still forget how very time-consuming homeschooling is. Yes, I can throw a load of laundry in and fold it while they school, and I can call a doctor's office or the carpet cleaner at lunch time, but for the most part the day is consumed at the table, schooling. It truly is a full-time job and any homeschooling mom should consider it so. I sheepishly admit, however, that my favorite time a day is when the table gets cleaned off and the bookcase filled up neatly. Sigh.
~2~Speaking of the end of the day, Sara turned me on to Homeschool Skedtrack, a homeschool tracking program. I love sitting down at the end of the day and checking off assignments and recording grades. It's a free program, and after spending a little time watching the tutorials, it's very easy to use. Thus far it has kept me very accountable (even though I'm accounting to myself) and I feel very organized.
~3~Dogs of homeschooling children have an interesting life. Instead of being left to nap the day away, they are constantly on their toes. This is what happens to the Schultüte when the treats are gone.
~4~Noah made a leaf collection this week for his first Life Science lab. While I thought I knew all of the trees in our backyard, I did not (teacher doesn't know everything!). We used this website, What Tree Is It?, to identify the tree by the leaf -- it was really a lot of fun.
~5~I reserved quite a few books geared toward fall from our library for Faith's reading. As I was recording a few she read this week, I also threw in a couple of our all-time favorites to share here.
Sky Tree by Thomas Locker -- Faith really enjoyed this one
Oliver Finds His Way by Phyllis Root -- and though this one was a little young for her, she liked it and wanted to read it again
Every Autumn Comes the Bear by Jim Arnosky -- one of my favorite nature authors
In the Woods: Who's Been There? by Lindsay Barrett George -- a favorite series in our house for at least ten years
Country Crossing by Jim Aylesworth and illustrated by Ted Rand -- while not technically a fall book, I love reading this one in the fall. It has been a favorite in our house since college boy was a little guy. Oh, how I loved reading this book to my little boys.
Oxcart Man by Donald Hall -- a classic good book
~6~If you're a homeschooling mom, you've heard the comments on socialization. "Oh, my goodness, how will it ever happen?" Well, believe me, it happens. You'd have to live in a cave for it not to happen (and you'd have to be the only cave on the street). The other day the little boy from down the street came to the door for Faith. He is homeschooled as well. This is the exchange that occurred (they are eight and six years old):
Faith: Hi, Micah.
Micah: Hi Faith. I'm getting ready to go to soccer practice, but when I come back, I'll come down to play.
Faith: O.k., Micah. I'm really looking forward to it.
I don't know how normal that exchange was between two children. It sounded to me, from my spot in the kitchen, like an exchange between two teenagers. On second thought, teenagers aren't that polite -- make that two adults.
I also found a note in my 14-year-old's wallet (yes, I snoop in my children's personal effects). A love note, for a girl in his homeschool gym class. Like I said, you'd have to live in a cave.
~7~It's this time a year when I am so grateful for my menus. When the table is finally cleared at 4:30 in the afternoon and it's time to think about dinner, I already know what we're having. If you don't plan ahead, I highly recommend it. Check out my menus for ideas and recipes and get organized. ;-) I update every Friday.
Have a wonderful, beautiful, blessed weekend. I'm planning an Our Lady of Sorrows chaplet giveaway for next week, so stop back soon. And stop by Jen's for more Quick Takes.