And things are CRAZY busy but LOTS of fun. The kids seem to be enjoying the school side of things...last week I skipped our history reading and they begged for me to read. The same thing happened today, we were running so late that I read aloud while they were eating lunch.
Let's see, Emily and Rachel start off the day with English/Grammar, they have some workbooks that they found at Mardel's that they absolutely love. They love knowing all the rules for possessive nouns and direct objects and pluralizing. Things that I felt they knew already, but they're enjoying practicing directly. While they work with those, Sam and Dan and I sit down with different manipulatives and make words. We have foam letters, bananagram tiles, Scrabble, lots of stickers.
Then everyone moves on to math, which has been fun for me, since everyone likes different math subjects. I'm basically the ping pong of numbers. Back and forth between kids...even Ava loves to sit with her little dollar tree workbooks and ask "Mama...what do I do on this page?"
At this point, we decide if we want to work on history or science, it's been a pretty even divide, the kids love both of them. For history, we're using A Picturesque Tale of Progress, a series of books that were my mother's, and then mine, and now theirs. They're old, but really wonderful set up with the story line...like a living book. We've spent three weeks on the Stone Age, and I think tomorrow is the last day. It's been awesome taking each of the sections (creating fire, the 'hack hack stone', flinting rocks, making pots...on Friday we went to the natural history museum and spent hours in the Hall of the People, which has never happened! They didn't want to leave the area, because it was all so real to them. Makes me want to swoon!
For science, we have a set of elementary books that we got from the local Lutheran school, and a set of middle school that we got from a public school that was buying new curricula. They run with each other pretty well, and being a science nerd, it's been pretty fun for me to get hands-on stuff set up for them. I usually read to the younger kids, and the bigger kids sit and read in their books a little more detail. Then we'll run and do an experiment or observation. For example, last week we were talking about the five kingdoms, so we made our own charts and ran out to the park to find examples of each one.
We've dabbled in Spanish, French and Latin, but their love is American Sign Language. So we're sticking with that. On Fridays we get out and do a ton of trips and driving around. Josh is getting into the groove of his classes. He was really overwhelmed at first, and we struggled with how to continue. But he's catching on and really loving his stuff. Sundays we sit down and I help him plan his week, splitting up his studying for his classes. We have so much free time to still play around with what we love. I hope to go back through and blog some posts with pictures about our experiments and hands-on experiences.