Browsing Category: homeschool

Back into the groove

After taking three weeks off for Christmas break, we hit the books again yesterday.

The great thing about homeschooling is that I get to decide the school calender.

The bad thing about homeschooling is that I get to decide the school calender.

In retrospect, taking three weeks off was a bit of a rookie mistake. It was hard getting back into the groove yesterday and no one  skipped into the school room, whistling a happy tune about getting serious about work again.

We got so serious today, that our work took over not only the school room but the kitchen table.

(note the container of marshmallows…they make jumping feet first into a new school year just a bit easier to take)

We did some school in December, but most of it was uber-fun and holiday oriented. One science project even involved cookie dough, which makes learning more enjoyable in everyone’s book. However, December is past and we are staring straight into the face of January. There is still much more to be learned and accomplished, thus prompting us to get right back into the swing of things right after we rung in the New Year.

Hello, second semester, I am (mostly) glad that you are here. Hopefully we will finish you up before the 4th of July…

Tuesday night is family art night

Back in college I lived with four other girls (women? ladies?) who are one of my life’s dearest treasures.

Around the mid-point of our Junior year, we started “Pancake Night.”

Although we lived in a four bedroom house (with an exterior wall that was literally falling apart) with a kitchen, no one ever really cooked. Meals consisted of things that could be easily combined or purchased at the local fast food restaurants. These days, all five of us can cook and can cook well. I am not sure why the inspiration to cook never really struck during those college years. Perhaps it was a blessing so we could fit into the Gap-inspired denim/khaki/black combo that seemed to permiate all of our wardrobes.

Despite a lack of activity in the kitchen, we did manage to be insipired to host the famous “Pancake Night” every few weeks.

Pancake night involved a lot of Bisquick, eggs, potential guests, singing (yeah, there was a theme song…and a dance) and someone was usually wearing a wig.

Yes, it is amazing that all five of us are now married to completely sane, responsible men.

Yes, when we get together someone usually breaks out into the Pancake Night song while someone else laments the fact that we gave away the wig.

Pancake Night was a great tradition, one of which many of us carried over into our married lives. Here at casa de phillips, we often have Pancake Night, especially when mama is tired and cannot think of anything decent to cook.

Another thing we have added to our rotation is “Art Night.”

Homeschooling means many things, one of which is that I now wear many caps. I am the teacher of academics, teacher of music (seriously…post about the tin whistle coming soon), teacher of PE and teacher of art. Some of these areas will be farmed out as our children get older and more advanced, but for now it is just me leading the herd.

Although I love a good craft, I am not particularly artistic. Fortunately, our learning community provides great instruction in teaching art and art appreciation. I took art in school as a child. I have vivid memories of painting a large clown and calling her Barbra Bush, yet I had no idea there were five basic shapes in art and how to use those shapes to create anything.

Now I do.

So do my kiddos.

A few weeks ago, we all sat down after the supper dishes were cleared and had Art Night. I taught the lesson and everyone followed along, creating their own masterpiece. It took us a period of two nights to complete, but we all enjoyed the family time and liked channeling our inner creative spirit as we worked on a fall scene.

 

 

 

Interested in doing art with your family?

Here are some great resources:

Draw, Write, Now (an excellent copywork book that includes drawing. After following the steps in this book, I can now draw George Washington.)

Drawing with Children. (Love this book…it is made for those of us who only paid enough attention in art in school to draw a clown and name her Barabra Bush.)

Art Projects for Kids (This is the website where I found the instructions on how to do our famiy art night.)

 

Homeschool check-in

It is Day 21 of Homeschool.

In honor of this day (which really had no significance other than the fact that it is Thursday and that temperatures might slightly resemble fall), I thought I would do a little check-in in regards to how homeschooling is going.

It is going well.

Really, really well.

Initially when I began to contemplate the idea of homeschooling, I had no clue as to how it would all come together. Being the one in charge can be a bit intimidating, especially when it comes to something like educating a child. Then I reminded myself I felt similar emotions when it came to things like birthing a child or teaching a child how to walk or talk. I jumped into the homeschool pool, (finally) selected curriculum and set a schedule for our days.

Then we got started on school.

Fortunately, my first homeschool student loves to learn. He can sit for an extended amount of time to do work and his complaints are minimal. When a grouchy attitude does arrive, the student has a pretty obvious Achilles Heel (the Wii)…which ironically we just read about a few weeks ago in our daily reading time.  We have even had a few days of “I don’t want to go to school today” complaints. Yep, friends. Such statements fall out of the mouths of children even when school is located about ten feet from the breakfast table.

Despite the few grumblings that have occurred, we are having fun. Isaac is learning what it means to be a student and to work hard. I am learning that homeschooling does not need a particular formula to be successful and am attempting to be flexible at times. This morning, the boy was all about wanting to do science and science experiments. Ignoring my inner Type A personality that was screaming “Stick to the nice, neat lesson plans, Lady!”, I said okay. I directed him to a pile of science books we open, instructed him to start reading through them while I threw some laundry in and then we did science for quite the while this morning.

By the way, do you know what happens when you put raisins in a clear container filled with Sprite?

Check that one out in your spare time.

We ended our morning session outside. The children drove remote control cars with the boy across the street (who is also homeschooled….and is super polite and does not mind driving a Strawberry Shortcake battery-operated car despite being ten years old) while I worked on cleaning up items for an upcoming consignment sale.

 

I have realized a few things that help our homeschool day run just a bit more smooth.

 

Have a plan.

As mentioned before, I have a lesson plan book. She is a beauty and is filled with good intentions. I plan on a two week basis in order to make adjustments where needed (for instance, doing science for a large portion of the morning when I did not originally plan to do so). A plan sets the tone for our day so I am not scratching my head thinking of ways to teach my child.

 

Have the spirit to let go of the plan and go with one’s natural desire to learn.

I am still being formed in this area. One of the great things about teaching child one-on-one is that the teacher can allow the child to lead the learning at times (notice I said “at times”). Isaac recently taught himself how to play chess (don’t ask). There have been some mornings when he has played a game of chess or read about the game of chess as part of his school. No where did I have this written into my lesson plans, yet it works for us. Following one’s natural desire to learn is a great way to shape and mold one’s education. When learning becomes personal and relevant, it suddenly takes on a life of its own and thrives.

 

Unplug

During our school hours, I stay off the Internet for personal use and do not answer the phone. It is easy to check Facebook really quick and then realize thirty minutes of the school day has been wasted. I check everything early in the morning and then hold off on computer time until lunch or the afternoon.

 

Enjoy my children.

This lesson was taught to me by a fellow homeschool mom, one who is pretty seasoned and displays such a tender grace towards her (five) children. She spoke recently about having joy that is supernatural, joy in moments when no sane person would ever think of feeling joy, joy that comes from a faith in a mighty God. The great thing about homeschooling is being with one’s kids all day. The bad thing about homeschool is….being with one’s kids all day. There have (already…I know it is just day 21) been times when our day has come to an end and I am so ready for my darling angels to be in bed and out of my direct line of vision for 12+ hours. That is simply the life of a parent. Yet I am also attempting to remember to enjoy these little people who talk incessantly about things of minimal interest to me, who laught hysterically at vintage Scooby Doo, who fight with each other and then cry when they are told they can not play together for the rest of the day, who seem to forget what “inside voice” means and who unload the dishwasher (one of their morning chores) despite the fact that the dishes inside were dirty.

 (By the way, I did not have the heart to tell them of their mistake. I quietly loaded the dishes back into the dishwasher while they were off in another area of the house. The tricky part was retrieving the dirty silverware that had already been put in the drawers. Advance apologies to anyone who might dine in our home over the next few days and is mistakeningly given a previously used fork…)

 

What lesson are you learning through the education of your child?

 

“What do you do all day?”

Since we started this journey of homeschooling, I have had several people ask me ‘What do you do all day?”

Educating at home can seem like a daunting task, especially when one realizes they are suddenly school teacher, school nurse, school janitor, school cirriculum supervisor, PTA president, and head administrator.

However, educating a child anywhere is a daunting task. Drive past a school after curriculum night or Meet-the-Teacher and you will see streams of parents exiting, arms laden with information packets, with a glazed over expression on their face.

Back to the question: What do you do all day?

My answer: A lot.

Allow me to break it down for you.

On Mondays Isaac and I have our Classical Conversations community and Miss E. has Pre-K. We are out of the house by 7:30am to make our long trip, since neither Pre-K nor CC is near our home. I might not have mentioned that we live near a lake….a lake that no one has deemed necessary  to build a second bridge over that would make accessing neighboring suburbs a bit easier. On Mondays, our family station wagon (which may or may not be sporting a slight dent after I may or may not have hit a cat on a busy street) goes to work getting E. to school and Isaac and I to CC and then makes the trip in reverse at the end of the day.

By late Monday afternoon, I feel like we are all well-educated upon arriving home and instruct the children to find something to watch on TV while mama takes a power nap before it is time for her shift as school cafeteria lady.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays have more of a cohesive flow (E. goes to Pre-K on Wed. mornings, but we stay on schedule by doing some school in the car.) and looks something like the breakdown below.

7:00-8:00 am: Breakfast, Kitchen Clean-up (kids unload dishwasher, wipe down table), get dressed, make beds and tidy rooms.

8:00 am: School is in session. Isaac gets started independently with his copywork. We move on to calendar and bible time.

 

8:30 am: Classical Conversations Memory Work (This is the time I really drill the new grammar. However, we are constantly working on our memory work throughout the day.)

9:00 am: Math

9:30 am: Break. Currently we are going rather quickly through math because it is a review. We drill facts (addition, subtraction, multiplication to the 4’s) every day, as well as take timed tests and have a lesson and work. I figure as the lessons become more challenging, our math time will need to be extended and our break might be shortened.

10:00 am: Lanuage Arts/ Spelling / Writing

11:00 am: Reading

11:40 (ish) am: Science (We have Fine Arts and Science every Monday at CC, but are also doing an animal classification study at home.)

Noon: Lunch (On Wednesdays, this is when we scoop up Miss E. from school.)

1:00 – 3:00 pm: Quiet Time in Rooms

During Quiet Time, Isaac takes some work up to his room to work on. He works on more math, a United States coloring book, freehand map drawings (he is learning to draw both the United States and the continents through our CC cirriculum) and also reads during that time.

Right now we do not do any school after 3pm unless we need to finish up something from the morning. The afternoons are open for playdates, time outside, and just time to be a kid. On Friday afternoons we have co-op, which gives us a chance to spend time with other homeschool families. Isaac’s class at co-op is doing a study of the world, examining a different country each week through music, art, geography and physical education. Evelyn’s class is covering basic preschool skills.

And some days we do things just a bit out of the box, like have “recess” at our community festival (as we did this morning).

 

Our days are busy and seem to fly by quickly. Gone are the lazy days of summer where I sometimes questioned what I was going to do with two energy-filled children all day.

Now I wonder how I will get it all in before it is time for their little heads to hit the pillow at night.

What does your child’s day look like, whether he is homeschooled, attends a school or spends the day playing?

 

Children who lunch…and the mothers who fix it

 

Mommy confession time: Last year I did not have to pack a single lunch.

Throw your stones now, readers, because I know such a statement can make many a mother green with envy.

Want to know how I know? Because this year I DO have to pack lunches and I am none too thrilled about the idea.

First allow me to explain as to why there was no lunch packing last year. The children attended preschool two days a week, yet went to a program who did academics from 8:00am to Noon. Students could stay for lunch and rest time or parents could come retrieve their bundles of joy at noon. Last year, I scooped up the kids at noon and fed them at home. Our set of lunchboxes stayed neatly tucked away in a kitchen cabinet.

This year, E is eating at school one day a week, Isaac and I are eating at our learning community one day a week and then the whole family is eating at co-op one day a week. I know the extent of this lunch packing is incredibly mild compared to the mamas who are making lunches for multiple children five days a week. However, most mothers can attest to the fact that repeated lunch box preparation is a bit tiring, regardless of how many times a week one must do it.

I do not know what it is about the actual packing of lunch that makes mothers want to run screaming from the kitchen by mid-October. Obviously, parents want their children to eat and feed them lunch when children are home during the day. Perhaps it is the monotony of doing the same job of putting in a milk box, an apple and a sandwich in a cartoon-covered cloth box 180 days a year that does us moms in. Maybe it is the stress over packing a lunch that is both appealing to the child and the teacher (everyone knows the teachers always quietly “discuss” the child with the weird lunch…at least I did when I taught). It might even be the desire to be Martha Stewart-esque and provide some fun new lunchbox trick, such as writing on a banana with a toothpick, that makes moms completely over the whole lunchbox thing and perfectly willing to give kids the $2.75 to eat in the cafeteria each morning.

Whatever the reason, lunch packing can be a burden at times*

(*Know that I use the word “burden” for humor’s sake, as all of us moms know how fortunate we are to have food in the pantry to feed our children with on a daily basis. Recognizing the blessing of food to be prepared should never be taken for granted.)

As I prepare to re-enter the world of lunch box packing, I developed a few organizational tips for myself to make the process as painless as possible.

 

1. Know the rules

I have a child whose main source of protein is peanut butter. However, we live in a time when most schools/groups are nut-free zones. I have no issue with the “No-Nut” policies that are prevalent these days, contributing the rise of nut allergies to the ways to today’s society (read up on it and you will understand what I am talking about). Also, I do not want to be the parent that packed a PB&J sandwich that caused another kid to have to use an epi-pen. In packing lunches, know the rules of the school. If there are specific guidelines, observe them knowing you would want other parents to do the same for your child. As for my peanut butter obsessed girl, we are looking at other options for packed lunches this year and saving the peanut butter for home.

2.Make a checklist of lunch items

Make a master list of items needed for lunch boxes to consult when grocery shopping. This helps prevent the Sunday night panic when one realizes that she is both out of organic fruit snacks and juice boxes. A master list also helps mom remember what things she has packed in the past that went over well with the kiddos.

3. Take a poll

I love these lunch box polls, even if some of the feedback might hurt just a bit. 🙂

 

4. Create a lunchbox station.

I am a big fan of the station, simply because they cut down on wasted time and misplaced items. A lunchbox station houses all the needed items to assemble a quick, healthy lunch. Keep these items out of the normal daily rotation of snacks and foods so that when it comes time for the child to eat his packed lunch, all the food is exciting and slightly different than the fare at home. A lunchbox station houses reusable bags, prepacked snacks (either purchased that way or divided up when bought in bulk), lunchbox notes, plastic silverware, napkins and small containers. By housing all the non-perishables together, lunch box assembly is streamlined.

 

5. Assemble lunches the night before school.

The tip of preparing lunches the night before has been around since Ma on the farm was packing tin pails and sending her children off to the one room schoolhouse for the day. I really like the notion of preparing lunches the night before, yet I detest a soggy sandwich. When prepping the night before, I fix everything but the sandwich and then quickly add that in the morning. Being organized and on top of your game is great….until you bite into soggy bread and wilted lettuce.

 

What is your lunch box tip?

 

Curriculum 2011 (Alternate title: “Why Amazon delivers to my house on a weekly basis”)

Once we made the decision to homeschool, I felt like we had jumped the main hurdle in the whole “educating-your-child-at-home” process.

Then I realized that I need to choose curriculum and that the options were limitless. My head would spin as I thought that I was now the one to decide which math program to choose and which spelling workbook would be best. Did I want something prepackaged that told me exactly what to do or did I want to take a more eclectic approach and pick and choose from a variety of options?

As I was searching, I knew that I was consistently drawn the to the classical method of educating a child. Back in my teaching days, I saw education fads come and go. During my four year stint in a school, students were taught how to do multiplication by counting their knuckles, allowed to choose their own spelling words (nightmare for teachers who had to administer 25 individual tests…and also created a potential scandal when a child unknowingly choose a part of the female reproductive system as one of his words) and recess time was shortened by the state legislature to allow more time for standardized test preparation (Then the state government realized that there happened to be a child obesity problem and we did ten minutes of “calisthenics” in the morning via the TV).

That being said, I taught at a wonderful school filled with excellent teachers and lead by a God-fearing principal. Students knew they were loved while they attended that school, something not every educational establishment can proclaim to be true. However, the school succumbed to some trends, as do most things in life (including people). Nothing too outrageous or harmful (the inappropriate spelling word was quickly replaced by a gentle correction) occurred and a quality education was provided.

When it came time to decide how I wanted to teach at home, I immediately was drawn to the basics and away from trends. I want my childrens’ brains to retain knowledge rather than to merely learn and dump it. I want them to be well-read. I want them to be able to write clearly and descriptively. I want them to be able to locate things quickly on a map.

I never, ever want them to never be a part of a “Jay-Walking” segment. 😉

A Classical approach to education is where one teaches children the proper use of the tools of learning based on their stage of development. These stages, called the Trivium, are Grammar (Pre-k through 5th grade), Dialectic (grades 6 -8) and Rhetoric (grades 9-12). Having a background in child psychology and understanding the role development plays in learning, I am a firm believer of the principals of learning on the Trivium.

This is the part of our story where I discovered Classical Conversations, a national program designed to equip parents with the skills to teach their children classically at home. Classical Conversations also meet once a week, for 24 weeks, in communities where members come together to learn the new material. Parents sit in on the classes with their children, while a tutor leads the class through the memory work (Science, history, Latin, English, Time Line, Geography), a science project, a fine arts project and class presentations (each child presents a 2-3 minute speech every week….even the four year olds) and thirty minute review every week.

We have found a wonderful community for our family. Isaac is in the Apprentice’s class, consisting of six boys and two girls (Pray for that tutor!). This is such a blessing because I have been prayerful that he would find male friends to bond with this year. I am tutoring the Master’s Class of students, who range in age from 9-13 years old. I am excited to work with the older kids who are so eager to learn and who know so much already.

I am also excited to learn the presidents of the United States, as well as how to draw the USA freehand (both part of the History work everyone learns in CC this year), since I never learned such material in school.

A community’s morning schedule for a meeting day resembles this:

9:00-9:30         Large Group Time & Family Presentation
9:30-10:00       New Grammar Introduced
10:00-10:30     Science Experiments or Projects
10:30-11:00     Student Presentations
11:00-11:30     Fine Arts
11:30-12:00     Grammar Review

A community time of lunch and play happen from noon to 1:00pm.

Classical Conversations has their own curriculum that parents and students follow. For children ages k4-4th grade, the following is used:

Foundations Guide (outlines what to study each week, provides science and fine arts projects and has all the memory work)

Veritas Press History Timeline Cards (we learn 8 a week, for a total of 180 cards learned this year)

201 Awesome, Magical, Bizarre and Incredible Science Experiments

My Body

Classical Music for Dummies

Discovering Great Artists

Drawing with Children

 

Classical Conversations tells parents they need to supplement their curriculum with a quality math and language arts program (until children complete the fourth grade, in which CC’s program becomes more extensive and intensive). This is where I found the guidance of the book The Well-Trained Mind to be extremely helpful.

 

Math

 

Saxton Math 2: It was a toss up between Math-U-See and Saxton. Saxton won. We are starting with second grade based on what Isaac learned last year in Pre-K. So far, I am really enjoying the scripted method of Saxton.

 

Language Arts:

 

First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: I love this book. LOVE. IT.  It is a solid way to introduce grammar and grammar rules to children. It also requires learning narration, dictation and memorization skills. It is simple in the way the material is presents and is constantly building on what has already be learned.

Spelling:

 

Spelling Workout Level A: I opted to start with a basic spelling program. Despite Isaac’s higher level reading skills, he has never really displayed an interest in spelling words. I wanted to make sure he had a firm grasp on phonics before moving on to a higher level spelling program. This workbook is easy and we usually do two lessons a day.

 

Writing:

A Reason for Handwriting: We are practicing basic copy work skills with this workbook. Isaac also does copywork for other subjects, all of which are placed into portfolios.

The Complete Writer: I plan for us to begin this in the second semester of school this year.

The Write Start: An excellent handbook for helping parents nurture a love for writing in children.

 

Reading:

Reading is the subject that we are having a lot of fun with, especially because Evelyn takes an active part in it with us. For Isaac’s reader, we are using the McGuffey Eclectic Reader,  the Third Edition. This book was written in the 1800’s and I love it. Some of the text is in cursive and some of the words are incredibly old-fashioned. It has really opened up the door for some conversations (for example, today I had to attempt to explain what a needle book is) that might not take place otherwise. Fortunately our library carries these, so we are enjoying them for free!

We also read a lot of books, stories, fables and myths from the Ancient time period. The Well-Trained Mind does an excellent job of outlining books to read that fall into these categories. The children have loved them, even when their mother stumbles over ancient names on occasion. After reading, Isaac and I do a reading comprehension narration and an illustration to go along with our story.

Isaac also spends about an hour or two a day reading independently in his room during our quiet time. He chooses the books for this time. You can read more about his book selection here.

 

Science:

 

We are doing a three part science curriculum this year, along with the science covered in Classical Conversations.

DK’s First Animal Encyclopedia: We are studying 20 animals from this text over the course of 20 weeks. We read about the animal, do further research, write narratives about the animal and do “field” study about the animal when possible (Yesterday we went in search of spiders and spider webs and came across a slightly disturbed, injured squirrel. We did not study him due to fear of rabbis. We did make a quick escape to our car.)

The Kingfisher First Human Body Encyclopedia: We will be doing a 10 week study through this text, doing narrations and experiments each week.

Green Thumbs: A Kid’s Activity Guide to Indoor and Outdoor Gardening: The final six weeks we will be digging in the dirt and learning about plants in a hands-on way. This study could be useful for the teacher as well as the students :).

 

Bible/Character Studies:

 

One Year Bible for Children: This is our nightly devotional text that we have been using since the first of the year.

Read-Aloud Bible Stories (Volumes 1-4): We read a bible story every morning after calendar time. This series is a very basic retelling of popular bible stories that we have been reading with the kids since they were babies. They love them though and it has been a simple way to begin the morning.

Your Manners are Showing: Character Study (I feel like we do character study 24/7. As a parent, character development is not something that can merely be taught, but rather a consistent practice.)

 

Teacher Resources:

 

Here are a few books that have been very helpful to me as I have learned more about homeschooling and helping me decide which path to take with our children’s education:

The Well-Trained Mind (Love, love, love this book!)

The Core

So, You’re Thinking About Homeschooling?

Classical Education and the Homeschool

A Charlotte Mason Education

Mitten Strings for God

 

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All of this being said, let it be known that this is what works for me. I do not believe there is one correct path to educating a child. I do not believe there is one correct way to school, rather it be homeschooling, public schools or private schools. As I tell my children, God made us different for a reason. It would be so terribly boring if we all fit into a cookie-cutter mold of life. This is the path we have chosen for today. Who knows what it may be tomorrow.

 

 

 

1 Day Down…184 left to enjoy!

Well, the school bell officially rang this morning and first grade has begun.


Our proud new first grader on his first day of school:



The required teacher/student picture:



Our home school class:



Day one went really well. The teacher seemed to have things together. The students were eager to learn (E. called me “Teacher Mommy” most of the day). The janitorial staff was a bit questionable but the cafeteria lady did serve up a mean lunch of leftover mini hamburgers and yogurt. The principal even managed to stop by a few times and see what was going on (and let the students practice their new skill of jumping off the kitchen island into his arms. Potential PE credit??)  Overall, everyone was pleased with Day One.


I have many, many more sentiments and thoughts to share regarding homeschooling. However, this teacher is pooped after day one and Season Three of Mad Men (thanks, Kelly S!) and my husband are waiting for me downstairs.


I will share soon about our decision to homeschool, the path we plan to take with homeschooling, pictures of our school room, our curriculum for the year and our daily schedule.


In the meantime, one more picture of that cute little first grader (and his sister) who now lives under our roof here at casa de phillips


The first day of….having a library card

The alarm clock went off early this morning, as it does every week day morning, signaling that it was time to get out of bed and start the day.

Boot Camp, Shower, Breakfast, Chores….all were checked off the list.

The only thing not checked off the list this morning was “Send child to first day of school.”

Technically, Isaac should have headed off to school this year. We red-shirted him last year due to a late summer birthday, completed pre-k at a magnificent preschool and have officially come to the age where it is time for school. After large amounts of researching, many late night discussions and lots of prayer, last fall we came to the conclusion that we would homeschool our children. Since reaching that decision, we have become a part of a wonderful learning community as well as a fun weekly co-op. I have learned more about education and the process of learning than I ever did in a masters program or in four years teaching in the classroom. Amazon.com has received quite the pretty penny from us as curriculum as been purchased. Our downstairs playroom/office has been transformed into a school room. Lesson plans have been written and plans for the upcoming year put in place.

I suppose all we are waiting on is for the school bell to ring.

This morning as I watched Facebook fill up with First Day of school pictures, I realized that we had actually done it. We had taken the leap into home education. Technically our school year will not begin until Wednesday. We are starting off slowly, gradually building up to a full school day. Our learning community and co-ops do not start until after Labor Day, giving us a chance to get into the swing of things around casa de phillips before going full throttle.

As peers were settling into classrooms for the first time this morning, Isaac experienced another first.

A first he has been looking forward to for quite the while.

Today, he got his own library card.

The library has always been our home away from home, a place we visit at least once a week. The boy loves books and devours a large amount of literature every week. Now that school is back in session, it is time for him to share some of the responsibility of borrowing library books (as well as help in carting them to and fro). It was also time for him to read a variety of books as opposed to sticking with favorite series.

Because my own library bag can only hold so many books, Isaac now has one of his own. Attached to the handle are his library card and a list of the types of books he needs to check out every week.

 

Every week, he will check out at least:

 

One science book

One history book

One art or music appreciation book

One craft or how-to book

One biography or autobiography

One classic novel

One book of poetry

A few books for reading enjoyment (No problems here, as he normally clears out the shelves of series he loves)

 

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