I just walked back to my bedroom and took a deep breath. I don’t have anything I have to be doing right now. This is unusual. Dinner is in the crockpot, the daily chores are done and the house is in a reasonable state. Jovie and Benji are napping after their second day of preschool and we just finished the last of the school lessons I had planned for the other kids today. I’m staring at four laundry baskets of clean clothes that need put away but they can wait. The house is quiet and one of the first things I thought when I had a chance to sit down was that I haven’t blogged in so long!
Summer came to a close so, so quickly. I honestly can’t believe it is September. Keith has been back at school for 2 weeks now. He’s in the same district but at a different building, once again teaching music after a several year hiatus teaching other things and doing more administrative work. It’s an adjustment every year when he starts going back to work, the kids and I get so used to having him home with us during the summer and we miss him when he’s gone all day.
We have jumped back into school here at home - our official start date was September 2 though we worked on and off all summer on getting Lilly caught up and on phonics/reading with Mayer. Lilly just got enrolled in our public online school program and was officially placed in 3rd grade. She was not thrilled with the idea of being in 3rd and I agreed with her that she should probably be in 4th (she says at least 5th but that’s pushing it!). We are working with our ELL teacher to do some official testing and determine what grade level she needs to really be working at. She’s such a smart kid! She’s a math wiz and if you ask her what her favorite subject is, she will tell you math. Her English is progressing wonderfully. Our biggest hurdle so far has been reading comprehension and writing. I don’t believe she had ever been taught how to write beyond copying sentences. Her penmanship is great but she has no idea how to pull thoughts or ideas out of her head and get them on paper. So we’ve been working on that a lot. Also, world and American history, basic geography and basic science. We’re pretty much starting from the beginning there. But I know she’s going to learn all these things quickly. She really is a bright kid and seems eager to learn (most things! writing is probably her least favorite thing to do!) We are doing Sonlight with Mayer and really like it so far. We’ve added Story of the World for some history/geography (we really like it!) and are planning to do Math U See for math, though haven’t started that yet. He’s still doing Reading Eggs for phonics practice and Mathseeds for math practice and also doing A Reason for Handwriting. I was a bit nervous jumping away from the very structured, very organized online public school program we’re used to but I’m glad we’re homeschooling him the traditional way this year. Jovia and Benja are both going part time to preschool. This is Jovia’s second year (you can read about her first year’s first day HERE) and she was excited but also acted like we were making a big deal out of nothing, she’s an old pro at this school thing! :) She was a bit sad that none of her friends from last year are in her class this year. We once again sent out a letter to all of the families in her class talking about Jovia and sharing some pictures so that the kids could get their questions answered before the first day of school. I think it helped but this group of kids seems quite a bit younger and maybe a bit less mature than last years group. She still had to deal with a good amount of questions and lots of stares from the other kids her first day. It frustrates her but we're trying to teach her just to roll with it (no pun intended!). We know she'll be dealing with this her whole life. She handled it well and I know the kids will adjust soon and before we know it they will just see her as another classmate. She’s learning to be a bit more forceful, which I’m happy about. I watched her very loudly tell a little boy “No! Stop it!” who was playing with her hair. She can’t get a way from other kids very quickly/well so we have talked a lot about using your voice and also going to an adult for help if you need it. She’s starting to pick up on those things. Benja started going for the first time this year. He is very much our baby and gosh, it was a bit hard for me to see him heading to preschool like a big boy. He did great! He loves it and hasn’t wanted to leave each time I have come to pick them up. Since we are sending him to a private Christian preschool the school district wouldn’t provide an aide for him so we ended up hiring a very sweet college student who goes to school with Benji and helps him while he’s there. It’s been a good set up so far and we’re hoping things continue to go well. Millen, Kensia and Finn are doing the BJU Press homeschool programs this year and really ,really like it. It’s been really good for them and I’m impressed with it. If it weren’t quite so expensive I think I’d have tried it with all the kids this year but it is costly. All of us are signed up for fall homeschool co-op and classes start next week. I’m excited about this school year, I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.
What else? We’re prepping for fall/winter sports and the kids are anxious to get back to the games they love. It seems like baseball season just ended, then summer soccer came and went and now I already have fall soccer and hockey signup dates on the calendar! I’m glad the kids love sports (and I love it too!) but whew, it can be exhausting. :) Kensia, Finn, Lilly and Mayer are all playing fall soccer, which means four days a week of soccer. Finn and Mayer will be playing hockey again this year. Practices start in October. Finn is planning on joining the team while Mayer will be in the Learn Hockey program. Lilly wants to try ice skating but her intense dislike of anything cold makes me think this won’t be a sport she’ll stick to. :) Both Kensia and Finn are still in gymnastics. We're staying busy!
Everyone here is doing really, really well. The kids are growing and happy and healthy (Benji is going on 19 months seizure free, thank the Lord!) and I feel like I’m getting back into a normal (for us!) routine after such a crazy couple of months since Lilly came home.
I will write more soon, I have several drafts waiting to be finished and published….I will try hard to make time to blog more often. Thanks for following along on our journey! (Some random summer pictures below!)