Monday, July 10, 2006

Happy New Year! Our first day back at lessons...

Today was our first day of lessons for the 2006-2007 school year.  It was awesome!  I've been excited about a new school year for a few weeks.  Today it was finally here!


For curriculum this year we are switching from McGraw Hill math workbooks to Saxon Math.  Our first lesson was a huge success.  I loved the way the text is worded.  It is not dumbed-down for the student.  Walker T.'s 54 book already began with some beginning pre-algebra type problems.  It was terrific!


For history, we are studying the Middle Ages.  At the curriculum fair we picked up a game called Medieval Alliance.  McLane wanted to play the night we returned from the fair, but we've kept it for our new year.  We couldn't wait another day!  We played our game late this morning.  It was very fun and very educational.  I'll be blogging more about this game at another time.


But before all this, we began our day and our new school year with our first inductive bible study.  We are using a Kay Arthur study for children on the book of John.  The boys and I are all studying the same material.  I'm very excited to see how God will use this bible study to draw us closer to Him and each other.  We are definitely going to get to know Jesus better this year.


Our other plans for the year include Spelling Power, which we began with the first assessment test this morning, and English from the Roots Up.  We have not begun "roots" but I'm excited to do so.  For science the boys selected astronomy.  We will be completing lots of projects and notebook pages on this subject this year.


This was our first structured day in almost a month.  Although the boys said that they enjoyed our summer break, they didn't have the same level of animation over break that they normally have.  But today, I could see a difference in our sons.  They have always been children who love a schedule.  That's one of the reasons we have lessons all year without a lengthy summer break.  Today, the boys had a better general attitude.  They didn't bicker or complain.  They were more animated during our family talks over the dinner hour.  They didn't admit it, but I knew they were happy to be back at the kitchen table with the routine of lessons to which they were accustomed.  I could see a change in their countenance from the past month which had no agenda.


Charlotte Mason recommends giving a child three things each day, "Something to love.  Something to do.  And Something to think about."  Today, I clearly saw how the boys blossom when given these things.  Lessons give them something to think about.  Our bible study is giving them something to love.  Projects surrounding our study, such as our game today, give them something to do.  As lessons drew to a close, their creativity had been primed.  McLane spent his afternoon creating and painting a little wooden figure that he made from found items.  And both boys enjoyed telling Daddy all about our day over supper and playing a game of Liar's Dice after our family meal.  God so clearly showed me how home education in our little home in the country is integral to the growth of these two young men.  I'm so grateful for His spark in our home school.


Have a very happy new year!

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