We started our school year on August 19th this year, starting with a full day at CC. Both of the boys had new tutors this year and I am the Director for our community for the first time. Ethan has most of the same kids he was in class with last year, but has a couple new ones. Micah has mostly new kids in his class. And I’m feeling a good mix of emotions about my new role, but mostly I’m feeling thankful for the opportunity to serve these families. We’ll be studying about the medieval period during CC this year and reading a lot of good books set in that timeframe. Here are some CC pictures from day 1:
And on Tuesday we had a more laid back start to the school year. We began with French toast, went for a bike ride, and ended the day with ice cream. Don’t worry, there was some learning in there, too. =) Ethan is in 4th grade; Micah is in 2nd.
We also took bi-yearly measurements for both boys: Ethan is now 4’10” (and has almost the same size feet and hands as me). Micah is 4’3″.
Micah also had his first soccer practice after CC. (Ethan started the week after.)
The first two weeks of school were a bit of a whirlwind, as these pics might attest. Our first day of school was actually on Monday, August 20th (not the 22nd like I accidentally wrote on our super rushed “first day of school” pics). And I didn’t weigh the boys until today and still haven’t measured them for their height. Our first day was also our first of Classical Conversations community day and we had a lot to pack in order to get out the door (thus the picture of our list).
Micah sat in my class for the first week of CC and has chosen to stay with us during Essentials (the afternoon program focused on English grammar, math facts, and writing). Ethan gave his presentation on our big summer trip – he just highlighted Yosemite for this one. Micah, since he wasn’t in his class, gave a presentation to our family about his shark tooth and getting it removed at the dentist this summer. He may use that presentation again when he’s in his real class.
My mom was here for a field trip visit – she arrived in the middle of CC and spent some time with her sister until we were ready. I’ll include more pictures from her visit and our field trip in another post. But here are a couple fun ones from around the house (before and after the Mesa Verde field trip):
Mesa Verde occupied most of our first week of school. This week, however, we had a more typical school week. Micah went to his CC class and had SO much fun. His tutor said that he was “GREAT!” in class. He now calls CC days the “fun day” of the week and plans to attend his class every week. Ethan, meanwhile, has been an all-star in our class. I’ve been really impressed with his quiet leadership and kindness. He’s been participating well, taking chances in Essentials even when he feels way out of his comfort zone, and being a very good example to others around him. What a treat! Speaking of treats, we treated the boys to ice cream after such a wonderful second day at CC! And then I even had the energy to *finally* get them their rewards for all of the books they read over the summer.
And here are some shots I took from around the house during our homeschool days. Ethan is doing 4th grade math this year and Micah is starting his first Singapore Math book with 1st grade work. I’ve discovered that he really likes to be artistic during math, so he will never just circle when he could color. =) Just today Micah asked if we could do harder math…which was such an encouragement to me because he’s not always one to want to be challenged. I assured him that this book would get more tricky in the coming weeks and that he should just enjoy the easy lessons while he has them. We also are taking advantage of borrowing “Code Names” from my Mom and playing variations of it with vocab and sight words.
Can you tell I’m over coming up with the titles for each blog post? I just don’t have anything catchy to call every day life anymore (not sure I ever did…).
E and I have been playing a lot of Dominoes since GC went back home. We’re really enjoying it. In fact, today while Micah had a super fun play date over, E and I played a full game of Dominoes. He won. =)
I measured the boys this week for our health insurance stuff. =) They are growing up so fast! E is usually closer to 70 pounds, but he hasn’t crossed that threshold, yet.
It wouldn’t be a blog post about life if I didn’t give a little schooling update. Some days are super hard and I question a whole lot about what we are doing, but those days are, thankfully, few and far between. I did have one such day on Monday when we had to have a lot of chats about doing hard things, what it looks like to actually learn new material that challenges your brain, and how attitude matters so much more to me than getting answers right or problems done. I am happy to say that the talks sunk in because the rest of the week the boys would ask me every afternoon, “Mom, how was my attitude today?” “Mom, do you think I had a good attitude today?” And that explains the big smiles they are giving me when I snuck some pictures. =) And sometimes I get to reward them for having a great attitude!
Ethan started doing difficult division problems with remainders. Micah finished his first writing notebook and most of his math notebook. E loved reading the classic start of “Anne of Green Gables” and thought it was very similar to the actual book which we had listened to through audiobooks. We have also since finished “Anne of Avonlea” and started watching the movie…which really features more stories from the next few books, so we ordered those through the library so we can listen to them! I can tell that Micah is picking up a lot from these books because when he hears a phrase we heard in the book being said on the movie, he perks up and says he knew that part!
Here’s a short little video of the boys outlining the US while listening to a fun states and capitals CD we got from Auntie! E usually outlines right along with the music, but apparently I didn’t catch that in this video. =)
Classical Conversations Updates:
We just finished week 12 of CC which means we are on break until the new year. We will be doing all of our normal homeschooling, still, but we won’t have CC to attend for over a month. Our final day at CC (besides the party in a couple weeks) was a good one. We put our bodies together after learning about the different parts while coloring them over the past 6 weeks. Micah joined my class for that part and when his class went downstairs to put their bodies together, so I got to see his presentation this week and help him with putting the body together.
Ethan presented on Robert E. Lee after reading a book about him that morning. Micah presented on his birthday gift from Grandma Cleve.
We hung their bodies up on the office closet doors and are working on writing science sentences around it…such as “what are some parts of the excretory system?” which E and I decided should be placed near…well, you know. =)
I painted the easel that Auntie gave us this week and I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out!
We played at the park and went for a walk together this week.
Micah was briefly sick. And I love when he sleeps on me in the middle of the day.
The boys did some raking.
E played football with his buddies after PE+. Micah played tag with his.
A shot of their bunk beds during a brief window when their room looked clean:
Big milestone news for Micah – he lost his first tooth tonight!
We started our school year this past Monday (8.21) in conjunction with the solar eclipse and the start of Classical Conversations (8.24). I’ve learned some things over the past two years and opted to start this third year slowly easing into the routine. I just barely started math and writing this week, but will hopefully have both going full force next week. It takes some time to get used to not playing all day and when you don’t switch locations (like you do when going to school), it can be a little extra difficult. =)
Monday was a fun day. We went for a family walk to get smoothies and cereal boxes (for enjoying and then making our solar eclipse boxes) in the morning. We also took some first day of school pictures and did most of our measurements (I’m still missing Micah’s height). We watched solar eclipse videos and made our boxes. Then we headed to the park to read, play on the playground and get ready for the eclipse. We ended up coming back to our yard for that and were able to use our neighbors’ eclipse glasses!!
Ethan is now weighing in at 65.6 lbs. He’s 4.5 feet tall.
Micah weighs 43.4 lbs now and is probably about 3.5 feet tall, but I’ll have to confirm that next week!
Tuesday was another fun day. We made slime – thanks Uncle Brad and Aunt Sal for the kit!! We also did some fun Math and English outside with sidewalk chalk. And the boys worked in their notebooks writing “All About Me” pages and drawing pictures of themselves.
Wednesday was a chill day. We spent much of the morning at the park meeting Ethan’s class for CBS (Community Bible Study). I didn’t take any pictures from the day, but we did school work around the house, too.
Thursday was our first day of CC for the year. We have new kiddos in each of the classes this year. I’m Ethan’s tutor again. We had hoped it would work out that I could do Micah’s class, but that didn’t work out this time. He spent the day in my class, but I’m hopeful he’ll get comfortable in his class soon. Thankfully he behaves incredibly well and participates the whole time, so he’s not a distraction to me.
Friday was spent here at the house. We did some CC review, listened to “Anne of Green Gables” (which I am personally LOVING) on audiobook, spent time writing, and did some drawing. Ethan finished his first chapter book of the school year, “The One and Only Ivan” and he’s now calling it his favorite book.
We made our first CC videos of the year. This was only day 2 of learning our memory work, so there’s a lot of room for improvement. Micah made up drawings to “help him remember” the science sentence…I’m not sure how helpful they really were, but he wanted a video showing them. =)
It was a good first week of school. Overall it was pretty painless, even if I did have a cold for a chunk of it. I’m finding my rhythm and am hopeful that this will be a fantastic year of growth for all of us.
We planned to finish our school year by the time my parents’ made their summer visit out to Colorado and we managed to finish everything (almost!) necessary to start summer break nice and early!
Ethan worked hard to finish his Singapore math workbook and finished the week just doing flashcards. Micah’s math has been all over the place this year, so we just worked on number recognition at the end just to make sure we had taken care of that important part! So, he would read the math problem on the flashcards and Ethan would answer as soon as he heard it. =)
I snapped some pictures as comparisons from our first day of school. They have both grown in so many ways this year – weight, height, intellect, maturity – we’re very proud of the young men they are becoming!
First Day: Last Day:
We went for a bike ride to the park and then out for lunch to celebrate our last day. The weather was gorgeous and we had so much fun! The boys wanted to take those pictures of marmalade jam for my Dad since I had told them that he always loved it on his sandwiches when I was a kid. =D
We finished the year with a fun art project. I worked on making new summer reading charts for them. The boys loved my castle, so they worked on their own castles, too! I wanted to include pictures of the boys with their summer reading posters from last summer, too. They stayed up until we put these new ones in their room! =D
We had a great homeschooling year! So proud of these boys for working hard all year and making it *mostly* a very enjoyable experience!!
Well, you know me well enough by now to realize how much I dislike going to the Doctor…for any and all reasons. I’m notorious for missing those yearly check up appointments, but there comes a time when I need to be responsible…in the eyes of a school. =D So, Micah went for his…4/5 year check up and Ethan went for his…let’s call it his 7 year check up. Both went well and both boys are healthy and strong.
Micah’s measurements (4 years 9+ months: 41 lbs and 42.25 in (3.5 feet)
Ethan’s measurements (7 years 3+ months): 60 lbs and 51 in (4 feet 3 in)
Micah started a Jr. Kindergarten program at a church up the street from our house. He’s going 4 days a week. He’s not thrilled about it, as he’d rather do homeschool or just play with his brother all day. =D
Here are some pictures of his first day. We had a special pancake breakfast and made sure to measure his height and weight. His first day was pretty fun as I got to sit in with him for most of it. We had a little hiccup when he was supposed to go play on the playground while I got some more information. Doing new things doesn’t come easily for this family (with Mike as a notable exception), so it doesn’t surprise me that this was hard for him.
He had two more days of school before our big trip to Wisconsin. Ultimately, they went well but drop off was decently breezy one day and very difficult the other. We’re praying for him to be brave and for him to find so much joy and peace while he’s at school.
…and we’re off and running! Ethan had his first official week of homeschool this past week. I’m happy to report that all went extremely well. He was eager to start and we had lots of fun together, with very, very little complaining. Win!
This was his first day of 1st/2nd grade (listen, when you homeschool the school year just doesn’t matter much…technically, he is starting his 1st grade year because had we done public school, we would have wanted him to be one of the oldest in his classroom…but he is doing 2nd grade math and reading at a who-really-knows-what-level-but-it’s-probably-past-2nd-grade level):
Ethan is 7 years old and 58.6 pounds. He’s 4 feet 3 inches. His favorite color is now blue and his favorite sport is soccer. He had blueberry pancakes for his special breakfast. And we made sure to take a picture of him with his teacher this year. =D
Here are various pics of E doing schoolwork around the house.
Thursday was our first community day at Classical Conversations. It was also my first day as a tutor (that’s CC lingo for teacher) for Ethan’s class. I will have 7 kiddos most weeks, but one boy is out of town right now. We took a first day of class picture and you can see their sweet and silly personalities shining through in these pics! It’s going to be a fun year!
Micah took a picture of Ethan with his tutor after we survived our first day. =D
Micah starts preschool on Monday, so he was in and out with us this week. He really enjoys homeschooling, too, so he is feeling a little sad to be missing out. We are hoping and praying that preschool is a blast for him on Monday!
Our last day of the first week of homeschool was spent at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. We took our cousin along with us, which made it extra fun! We stopped by Auntie Jen’s kisii stone product first, which is always surreal to see in a store!
We took this mink picture for Grandpa in honor of the awesome pictures he sent of a mink catching his food this week.
Also, check out what we will look like when we are 70 years old. Eek! =D
And, time for a throwback to another time we posed as moose…in 2012!
In honor of Micah’s 4th birthday, we did a little measurement check on the boys. Unfortunately, Micah was not interested in getting weighed, so I don’t have that number recorded. =/
Ethan: roughly 4 feet 2 inches (a solid inch growth since May) and 56.2 lbs
Micah: 3 ft, 5 inches
We measure Micah in a very unorthodox fashion. He gets measured standing next to Ethan’s board and then we translate that over to his board (which he accidentally broke a while back and is no longer hanging on the wall). I like him to lie next to it on the ground…but that doesn’t actually show his height very accurately, obviously. =/
Note of comparison: Ethan was 3 feet, 7 inches when he turned 4. So he was a good 2 inches taller than Micah. I imagine he was heavier, too, but I have no proof. =D