Phew. At the beginning of this week, I wasn't sure I'd make it through—not because we started school but because of taking our oldest to college. I was really in a funk but it started to clear out about Tuesday, and by Thursday I was probably pretty close to back to normal. It's so great to have texting capabilities! Definitely closes the mileage gap and eases this mother's heart.
So we began this school year on Monday, we three. Laurel is now in 8th grade and Duncan in 4th. In the morning we did our traditional measuring. Laurel grew a whopping 4 inches since last year, and Duncan grew his usual 2.5 inches. At 9 1/2, he is an inch taller than Jesse was at 10 1/2—and Jesse was not short! I'm still predicting that Duncan will be the tallest in the family, and I'm betting on 6'2". Laurel is now just an inch shorter than I am, and I think she'll end up being an inch taller than I ultimately.
We also did our annual "all about me" page. We vary this between being a book (Enchanted Learning has some great ones) and just a sheet of paper with a photo that lists things like favorite foods, activities, movies, books, as well as height and weight. I keep all these in a big box called appropriately, "The Big Box of Books." The box also includes lapbooks and various other books they've made throughout the years. Tons of fun to look through each year.
On Monday our co-op high school classes began, and that included Laurel's yearbook class at 2 p.m. She had a great time, but I was still at the "please don't ask me how I'm doing or I'll get all weepy" stage. I was glad to get back home so I could be depressed some more.
The rest of the week we added all of our subjects back in. We did spelling evaluations, a few math drills, began grammar and handwriting books, and read lots of Narnia. To get in the Narnian spirit, we made Turkish Delight (a dismal failure) and a jelly roll for afternoon tea. The jelly roll was just okay. We all thought chocolate would have made a better filling.
This year for science we're going through a book called Focus on Scientists. It has biographies of dozens of different scientists in various fields and includes a couple of pages of experiments or other activities to go along with each one. My plan is that I will do the introductory lesson with the kids, and either my Dad or Randy, who are both biologists, will do the follow up experiments/activities with them.
On Wednesday the kids and I went down to my parents' house, and Dad and the kids took apart a couple of old watches and discussed gears and other things. We had read about Benjamin Banneker, an African American mathematician and astronomer. In the mid 1700s, Banneker constructed a working clock without ever having seen a clock.
I'm not sure what we'll be doing for art this year. I just haven't found the perfect thing, although last year I used Focus on Artists for awhile (until it was due at the library) and really liked it. I may have to break down and purchase that.
All in all, it was an excellent first week, in spite of my melancholy. Jesse is doing great at college. One thing that really strikes me is how absolutely delighted he is with his classes. He loves learning, and for me, that was a huge reason to homeschool: to foster a love of learning.
And so we continue.
Linked up at the Weekly Wrap-up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers