Monday, August 25, 2008

And so it starts ...

Today we start our first day of St. Athanasius Academy for the 2008-2009 year. LegoManiac (9), String Bean (8) and Bam-bam (almost 6) will be our "student body" ... with me as there teacher, companion and co-learner. I love homeschooling, especially since I can steep the days ahead in the rich and vibrant Catholic heritage and teachings our Our Church!

We'll start today with Mass -- always a great way to start the day. Our plan is to head to Leeslyvania State Park after for a bit of nature study, playground time and history. They have some great programs at the end of this week (bees and backyard habitat) which will fit in nicely as an introduction to our science program this year.

We'll head home to work on our aprons. Each year at the start of the school year I like the kids to craft something that we'll use all year: fabric lunch bag, canvas field trip bag, etc. This year, we'll fabric-paint canvas aprons for use during cooking, cooking-math, gardening, craft projects, etc. [We did aprons a couple of years back, but all three have out-grown the "kiddie" ones!]

We'll make a fun lunch ... than a read-aloud for quiet time. Today we'll start Cartier Sails the St. Lawrence by Esther Averill, a great story about Cartier's explorations of the Northeast of the continent which will mesh nicely with our American history unit.

After a chapter or two, I'll pull out all their books and ideas for what we'll do this year. This will be the first time the kids see it all laid out and I'm sure they'll be thrilled with some of the changes this year. One thing, I am trying to get them more self-led with some of their work -- so I have worked out weekly assignments for spelling words, math assignments, copy work and memory work which they will do at their own time (as long as they're done by Thursday evening). If they can't finish by Friday morning, rather than having a relaxed, "specials" day, they'll make up the work.

We'll round off our day with one-on-one mom time, 30 minutes each of working on their chosen electives:
  • Bam-bam will learn all about the history and strategies of Chess
  • String Bean will learn about journalism, creating her own newspaper or magazine (she will also be responsible for this year's family Christmas letter)
  • LegoManiac will research American military history, with a particular emphasis on the U.S. Marine Corps (including joining the Young Marines in September).

Looks like a pretty full, fun day for the little tikes (and Mom!).

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