Back to School

3:12 PM

Just in time, after weeks of endlessly hot days and not a drop of rain, there is a reprieve.

The heat backs off a bit. It may still be in the high 90's, but at least it isn't 112. In the evenings, in the shaded parts of my yard, it's downright pleasant. In the middle of the night, it could even be considered slightly cool. There has been rain. Blessed, blessed rain. One tiny minor power outage, but even that wasn't so bad because it wasn't unbearably hot outside while our a/c's blissfully rested.

Just this morning, there were three consecutive storm cells that blasted my neighborhood with "deadly lightning," ferocious winds and plenty of rain. 

I know it was deadly because as I squinted at my iphone Accuweather app at 2am to determine the severity of the storm, the Severe Thunderstorm Warning told me there would be deadly lightning. Oh goody.

Fortunately, it wasn't deadly to us and our trees dug their roots in firm and stayed upright and the ground opened up its mouth and drank thirstily. In spite of the nonstop ominous thunderclaps, my children stayed asleep. 

And woke this morning to start back to school.  We're in year 2 of homeschooling here on Goshen, and I have to admit, I'm pretty excited. The kids are too. 

Brooklyn is starting 1st grade, although she's doing a Language Arts program for 2nd graders. She's actually reading on a 7th grade level. Crazy, huh?

And August will be doing the same kind of kindergarten things Brooklyn did last year. He's only just turned 4, so please don't think I'm pushing him...I just know from last year that he wants to be in the thick of things. And rather than making stuff up for him to do off the top of my head (which I'm no good at), I went ahead and ordered a Handwriting book, his own math workbooks and the rest he'll just do with Brooklyn. 

Last year, he was constantly asking for "activities" to do. This year, he'll have some! He loves math and he really likes handwriting, believe it or not. He's my perfectionist. And independent. When there are things he's supposed to trace or copy, it bugs him that he can't do it all from scratch. It's fun seeing the differences in the personalities of my children. 

I learned last year, after following the order in Sonlight's instructor guides to a T, that it might be easier to come up with a different order. For instance, the guide takes this order: Bible, History/Geography, Read Alouds, Math, Language Arts: spelling, copywork, handwriting, creative writing, reading practice and then Science. I found it difficult to channel their early morning energy into a good read-aloud time. And they were not as focused as I wanted them to be for their math time. I knew something would need to be different.

At the suggestion of some notes in the curriculum, we started with Bible, then went straight to math and then did Read-alouds last, just after lunch and right before naps. That worked perfectly! 

Dorien was still a little bit of a wild card. He had his good and bad moments. 

Good: playing quietly by himself and looking at library books and talking to himself while the kids worked on their stuff...eating his bananas and raisins peacefully during morning snack time...

Bad: Screaming NO! NO! and trying to push Brooklyn and August off their chairs while they did their handwriting...eating the erasers off our pencils...bonking Singer on the head with his sippy cup while she gnawed innocently on her bone beside us...turning our math addition activity into a kamikaze free-for-all...Yelling MommaMommaMomma at the top of his lungs while I try to do anything other than pay 100% attention to him.

It'll all work out.  
In the meantime, I'm so grateful I have the opportunity to teach my kiddos and be with them all day and see them learn and figure things out and hear Brooklyn reading just fabulously with enthusiasm and the proper tone, inflection and hear them ask good questions about things and think about why things work the way they do and wonder out loud what "injustice" means and what a runt is and hear them laugh out loud at the thought of "Wilbur" being a beautiful name. Life is good.

We're blessed.

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