Sunday, August 22, 2010

My Eldest Daughter's Birthday -15!

Raeley had a birthday last week.
She is now 15.
She has started studying to get her driver's permit.
For her birthday, we started a business for her.
A business.
In photography.
Then I took her to have lunch with a friend who is a photographer, Robert Raush.
Now she is learning how to use this fancy camera.

We believe God has given her a unique view on life and she's always been so very observant. She has an obligation to be a good steward of this talent.
But don't take my word for it, check it out for yourself.
(That's not the camera we got her in the above photo, for all you camera buffs. It was a Panasonic Lumix DMC G2)

Friday, August 20, 2010

School Week 2

This week brought forth some issues we will be trying to correct:
Jonathan doesn't like all the independent work with his schedule, so he and I will do history together. He is really struggling with math, so we may change his curriculum.

Cameron is still the trooper and is coming along nicely, but I need to break up the one on one time with the boys to be shorter sections dispersed throughout the day to have her one on one time in smaller chunks also.

Raeley was out of town most of last week and is very far behind. I will spend this week evaluating where she is so we can be a little more structured next week.

The boys have not been diligent to work on their projects like their president page or creating campaign buttons for the president we are studying, so we are trying to figure out how to increase their dilligence on these projects. First thing will be to get them out of their bedroom, second thing will be to get me working less so I can oversee this more closely.

My work took up too much time and kept me from working with the kids as much as I would have liked. Friday and Saturday were spent hitting it hard to catch up.

As we had foreseen the kid's school taking up more time than last year, which creates the need for me to have less of my time taken up by work, we hired an operational assistant for me. She is a former employee who had a baby so she will get to work from home and still be a part of our staff family. I am very excited about this new change to our schedule.

Being this well organized has really helped our weeks go smoothly.

I hope you enjoy the photo of Robert holding a snake.
No, we are not studying reptiles, he's just playing with it.
Yes, he really did lose it in the garage!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Our first week of school

On the whole, it has gone over better than I expected. The longer school days have made for a grumpy Cameron, so we backed off of her school some. I have also gotten a little behind with all the kids due to dentist and orthodontist appts and a few surprise meetings for work I had to fit in last minute. I'm not gonna get discouraged that we are already behind on the first week! I am determined this will not be a pattern. And we just hired someone to take a little off my plate at work. Phew!

Here's my schedule, but I still have a little more adjusting to do. I haven't found a good way to fit in cooking dinner and our school days have been long. Here's the schedule I try to stick to:
5:45 wake up
6:15 to 7:30 work out
7:45 - 8:30 Cook breakfast, wake kids, wash dishes from night before(not optimal, but reality)
8:30-9 Get kids started on school, shower quickly
9-10:30 Bible lesson, read aloud, writing, language arts with boys
Check in on Raeley
10:30-12 school with Cameron
12-1 lunch
Check in with Raeley
1-2:30 school with Cameron and
review what boys have done, additional work with them if needed.
2:30 -till ? work related work
6 pm-ish cook dinner
8 pm work more with Cameron while kids clean up.
9 pm bed times, computer work for work
10:30 pm my bed time

We've started school

Clue solvers on our annual back to school treasure hunt

We've started school.
Things are different this year.
I am going to be more prepared each week and although I say that every year, this year I have a specific PLAN for doing that. Many ideas I get from my friend Roan (like the back to school treasure hunt).

Here are a few of the differences:
I touch base with Raeley more during the school day. I enjoy our times of conversation about her curriculum. I even have hopes of reading some of the books on her reading list.

The boys are more independent. Although they spend too long on their computer or making obstacle courses for their hermit crabs, they have kept up very well. I need to add a little more detail to their weekly plan so they use their time more wisely.

Cameron's work has increased substantially. She's shed her fair share of tears. This is mainly because I worked with her so little last year. I am extremely proud of how well she's done. Even with my lack of attention thus far of her schooling, she's doing better in some of the books than her siblings did at her age. That's the beauty of homeschooling. I can't have a lax year with her this year too, but homeschooling is fluid enough to be very forgiving!