Friday, September 25, 2015

A Look at the First 10 Weeks of School

I can scarcely believe that 10 weeks of school is already complete. It went by so quickly. But then doesn't everything? We had a great rhythm to our first 10 weeks. We aren't as worn out as I thought we would be after 10 weeks with no break. However, we are feeling a little bit worn (or at least I am). It isn't the schooling (it never is); it's life and all of its demands. The To Do list is very long. The house is still standing, and although my To Do list has grown long, the most important things didn't get bumped week after week. There are a few things have helped us tremendously.
  • I revamped chores before we started back to school. Now we do certain chores before we start school (laundry rotation and dishwasher rotation), a big chore time in the afternoon and a quick kitchen/dining room clean up after dinner as a family. The kitchen evening chore time means that things like mopping the kitchen floor and cleaning out a cupboard can happen more frequently because more hands are working. 
  • We are keeping our weekends free of activities more often this year. They will get busier soon with Nutcracker rehearsals in a few weeks, but we are trying to keep closer to home most weekends. 
  • I am doing a better job of setting aside activities that are not working. There is no reason why we have to waste time on activities that turn out to be a bad fit.
  • Instead of taking an entire week off for a break, we are taking a day off here and there when we need it. I find that we can often make up a day we took off by adding one extra subject the other days in the week. 
  • I am taking a few minutes during my weekend lesson planning to plan our meals, as well. I don't decide on which day we will eat a particular meal, but I do know what meals we have on hand and about how long they take to prepare. 
  • Chores can count for home economics as long as they are new to the kids or not yet fully mastered.
Dean's take on the year so far ~ 

He likes his writing and guitar classes. The guitar is much easier than he thought it would be. He is having a hard time with the really old version of Teaching Textbooks math that we have for 7th grade. He can't erase problems that he has gotten wrong and retake them. Also, the Teaching Textbook DVD glitches sometimes. I may need to replace it. Can you believe he wants to try Saxon Math like his sister is using if we do switch it out? I better find one with an answer key if we do. (Anne's old version doesn't have an answer key, and I am having to work out each problem in order to grade her work.) Dean thinks we have been doing a good amount of field trips and wants us to keep that up. He is relieved we are almost done with studying Ancient Rome. He likes the literature we have been doing so far this year. He is looking forward to performing in the Nutcracker. He was happy with his report card that had a good mix of A's and B's.

Anne's take on the year so far ~ 

Anne is very pleased with all of her dance classes. THEY ARE GREAT -- according to her. She is liking Saxon Math (she is currently getting a 97% score on her lessons) and our weekly writing projects. Spelling is still a huge struggle for her, but I am seeing improvement with our switch to A Reason for Spelling. Reading time is her favorite time of  the school day, and she is cruising through American Girl Doll books, one historic doll series at a time. She does not like her American Sign Language class and will hopefully come to terms soon with the importance of knowing a second language and stop complaining. She is picking up the words and has learned about 60 signs. She loved our zoo trip and learning to kayak.

We are going to continue schooling for now in the hopes of having an extended break over the Christmas holidays.

Blessings, Dawn


  1. What a lovely year so far. I know what you mean about being tired and it wasn't school. For some reason it seems like we have so much going on all the time not matter how hard I try to not schedule too much. I remember how busy you always are with The Nutcracker!! But I'm sure it will be wonderful again. Happy weekend.

  2. Wow, 10 weeks already! It does sound like you have a great rhythm going as well as good plans to keep up on the housework. We too are trying to incorporate housework in our daily life instead of waiting for break times. Enjoy your weekend!

  3. I think it is smart to have a point at which you reflect on how school is going. I think I will try that, too. I love your candid assessment of their strengths and weaknesses.

  4. I can't believe you have already done ten weeks and we have not even started yet! It sounds like you have a great balance going. I will have a look through our books to see if we own any of the Saxon answer books. I think they all went with my book give away but if I do find some I would be very willing to send them to you if that would help any?

  5. 10 weeks does go by fast. Wow, almost a third of the school year is done!!!! Looks like a great first part of the year!