Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tache Kick Off

This past weekend we spent some time at a Pine Cove (or "piney Cone" as Rebecca called it) campsite for the TACHE kickoff. Tache is the Home school network that we are a part of. It was a great time, and although I didn't get to meet too many new people (my kids are still much to hands on to have a ton of social time) I did enjoy the great family time. There are so many fun things to do there. Everyone had a different favorite thing. For Andrew it was probably putt-putt.

Rebecca loved her horse ride

Aidan showed his bravery and his new swimming skills off as he jumped off the high dive. I was so impressed. He wouldn't even swim more than a few feet before the summer began and now he is going off the High Dive. I just couldn't believe it!

We all also loved the fun swings and super cool, huge tree house.

Rebecca attempted the rock wall, but her legs were just too short to get her up. She gave it a solid effort though.

Aidan also took a pony ride on the trail and thought it was so fun to get to steer the horse.

It was great fun!

Hagler Academy

I am way behind on my blogging! I know most of you are perfectly fine with that, but I do try to use this as a family journal and as of late this journal has been boring!!! We are halfway through our second week of school and we are not only surviving but I would say we are thriving. I have felt a sweet kind of closeness with my kids and in our home. Things are by no means perfect, I mean we have 5 people living in this house and we all have our hangups, but life is good. It seems to be the time of year when life is gearing up and things are getting busy, but there is a calm here that seems to be unaffected by the busyness.

Homeschooling has helped me to focus more on home. I am doing a better job getting laundry done, toys put away, and keeping the clutter tamed. I think I feel like I have to do a better job since this isn't just home, but also school. We aren't running around frantically and the best thing of all is that there is no mad dash to be on time to school at 8:00 in the morning. I always hated that! Now if we are running 10 minutes late or have a rough start it is OK, life will go on and we will adjust throughout the day. Having so much focused time with the kids has given me the opportunity for some much needed training time to address issues of the heart. The kids seem to be closer and be getting along better also since they are not only classmates but playmates much of the time. I am so thankful for this time that the Lord has given us where we can focus on our home, our kids, and their hearts. I truly feel like this time is a gift (talk to me 4 months down the road when I am worn out and that might be different).

I did take a few pictures to mark our first day because that is just what you do on the first day of school, right? Here are the kids in the school room. That door is a pocket door between the kitchen and school room/office and I painted it to be a chalkboard which is great fun to use.

I am going to write out our school day for my own benefit(down the road)and for those of you that are interested. If you have no interest at all; this is where you want to stop reading.

We start our school day off at 8:30 with Bible. We usually spend about 30 minutes together in the morning and we spend this time doing scripture memory, reading the story, discussing it, praying together and singing at least one praise song. It is a sweet time together and it is a time that we simply were not finding to do together when Aidan was in school. We did try to do something simple over breakfast, but the available hours were just not long enough when he was in school and if we were running behind that went out the window. We follow that up with math, phonics for Becca, spelling and grammar for Aidan, and then handwriting. Andrew loves to be a part of handwriting time and that works some of the time (until he colors on someones paper, gets corrected, and has a 2 year old melt down). He isn't actually handwriting but he has his own "book" to work in and insists on using a pencil like his big siblings rather than crayons. When I am working independently with one of the kids the other one plays in the room with Andrew. This works most of the time, but we always have unplanned breaks and interruptions to deal with some conflict or issue.

After handwriting we take a break for outside time and lunch. Then before Andrew takes a nap we all snuggle together on the couch and read. It is truly the highlight of my day! Andrew takes a nap and the bigger kiddos join me for a simple history or science lesson (I do mean SIMPLE!). Then they rest and read in there rooms and I get a little quiet time.

That concludes our school day (usually history is finished about 1:00-1:30)and the remainder of the day consists of planning for the next day, doing laundry, cleaning, cooking dinner, and running errands. The biggest struggle for me right now is finding time to get to the grocery store. I just can't seem to get that done during the day and have been making late night trips after the kids go to bed. Trace and I will have to figure out the details as time goes on.

We also have chosen to be a part of a co-op called Classical Conversations and we have loved it so far. The kids all seem to like it, they get a morning in a very structured environment and they are learning so much! Most of the families stay after class time for lunch and playtime together and we have enjoyed having this time scheduled into our week. We go on Wednesday mornings and take off those afternoons. The style and philosophy of the co-op fits perfectly into my homeschooling philosophy so far and the material overlaps and helps tie the loose ends together. I expect many hard days ahead, but I am so thankful that this is the place where the Lord has us for this season of our life.

And here are the pictures that the kids took turns taking with there new teacher on the first day.