Friday, August 19, 2011

Back to School 2011!

While I always knew home school would be a good thing for the kids, it has been years since I thought of doing it. Carter's time in public school was difficult, which I wrote about here, but his difficulties were not something that could be solved with a new teacher, or a new building. Carter needed a complete change.

Over the summer I spent time doing a bit of homeschooling with the boys. I was shocked- literally shocked- at how quickly Carter would pick things up. While I knew that he would be learning more about ABC's and 123's in the fall, I decided to make learning about our religion and faith as the cornerstone for summer. I am amazed and the very deep testimony that Carter has gained during our short summer session, and I am so thrilled for him and his desire to "Choose the Right" in all that he does. His prayers have become more personal, and his desire to learn more has increased.

Kurt and I decided to start Carter's K12 program a few weeks early. I watched all the videos, and even sat down in online classes, and I felt ready to go. More than being ready- we felt the need to start early so we would have more wiggle room during the school year for vacations and sick days. I would rather start early than have to ask Carter to work on Saturdays (and as our good friends, Jennifer and Aaron, shared with us- SERIOUS blessings come from NOT touching any school work on Sundays). Because I am planning a trip to Peru this November, I will not be here for a few weeks to help Carter. It would be much easier on our family if school was an option during that time, rather than a requirement. Carter will still have a few appointments to attend, but the bulk of his work should be able to be postponed (or already done!).

The K12 program is amazing. I am already impressed. They shipped Carter a new computer and printer, as well as all of the materials he will be needing this year. Today is our second day of classes, and I have already learned a LOT about what will and won't work for our family. For example: Carter is NOT an evening learner. He took an assessment last night and did pretty poorly, but when he took the same assessment in the morning, without ANY additional corrections, instructions, or explanations, he got a perfect score. Mornings it is! **By morning, I mean the time that Carter naturally feels like waking, has a shower, is dressed for the day and has been fed a healthy breakfast... this generally puts us at 10:30 or so- he is NOT a morning person, so he does every action very slowly in the morning, and I let his own internal clock run his day. There will be a time in his life that he has to wake with an alarm- but right now is not that time. Carter gets between 9-12 hours of sleep per night, and Harrison seems to consistantly get 12- this is fine, as neither of them nap, and both of them are VERY active children. Ninety percent of the time they are in their beds at 7:00pm, but they are free to read, view a movie (they do not see TV or movies any other time of the day), or play handheald games. They are not allowed to talk to one another- this is their alone time, and they both use it very differently.

The pictures here are from today. Carter is holding a beach ball globe with various animals taped to different continents. Carter enjoyed learning about continents (although he knew most of them already- thank you Clever Island!) and oceans, hearing stories, working on math, and working on rhymes found in poetry! After we were finished, we went to McDonald's and the kids ran around in the Playland. Follow that with a trip to the grocery store, and we were all feeling pretty accomplished! The kids decided to use some of Carter's blue-colored school materials to build a Smurf Village, and that was how we finished up our day! (Yes, I am aware that trips to the Evil-Arches are bad for us... however, as the summer has come to a close, we have been out of the house a lot more- and between our hours or errands or events I would rather take the kids there so they can play on slides and run around with other children. I also like that they have a lot of gluten-free options, and we can stick to our paleo diet fairly simply- as long as we remember our fish oil. In everything- moderation. And THANK HEAVEN that Rollo McFlurries are gone! Those were the ONLY cheat that Kurt and I had an issue with... now, they are gone, and since they have disappeared, we have had 0 refined sugar).

Next week Harrison will start "Mommy School" with me. We will be doing our Mommy School while Carter takes a school break. I think it will be better for them if I seperate them, and that way they each get 1:1 time while they are learning. Next week is also the start of school for me. I have three semesters left until I am finished with my BS in Anthropology, and I am very excited =)

Welcome, Fall 2011! We plan on you being the most wonderul one yet!

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