Monday, August 07, 2006

We started school today!

I meant to start school last week, but we just weren't ready. I had some projects that were taking huge amounts of time and the children wanted just a little more freedom. This morning the children were ready and I was able to scrape it together. I would have liked to have been a bit more organized with the books and manipulatives, but we were able to move through the plan quickly. We were finished with organized school in 2 1/2 hours. The children are, now, doing disorganized(free) school.

For science, we began talking about plant cells. I told the children that they needed to learn all the parts of the plant cell, so Pink Panther studied the diagram in Essential Atlas of Botany. Once we finished organized school, Pink Panther and Princess pulled out the microscope and began looking at plant cells and other stuff. I am being intentionally general with the word stuff because they have looked at everything they can shove underneath the lens (regardless of whether light will pass through it). They just left the office with a slide of my blood. Neither of them wanted to be the stuck pig so they came with a sterile needle (like a sterile needle is reassuring when wielded by 10 and 7 year old children) to get my blood.

I thought school went well. The children were happy, helpful, and focused. I think they were also thankful that they didn't have to go to public school and sit around for 7 hours today. We will slowly add segments to our school day, but will never get up to 7 hours. I, too, am thankful they don't have to go to public school.


baggage said...

My daughter is learning about cells in homeschool too. I need to get a microscope so she can play around with that.

wisteria said...

We got a great microscope (real, not a toy) from They are a homeschool family and oh so helpful with those 60 thousand questions. They also have free activities and resources.

Susan said...

I am amazed after the crisis of yesterday that you started today. I would have had to take a break.

wisteria said...

We were ready. We've been moving toward ready for a few weeks. Disaster or no, it was time. Of course, there will be interruptions. Yesterday, a refrigerator repairman came. He was young. He took one look at the refrigerator and said, "I just don't know." An older, wiser appliance man will interrupt today.

All kitchen tasks take longer because we have to walk back and forth to the shed every time we need something.

mull-berry said...

The "older = wiser" theory was the reasoning behind my oldest son routing for Bush the first time around. The younger generation is from such a disposable society ... and thinks $$$ grows on trees ... "it's only $1,000 for a new one!

Hope today's repairman is wearin' a belt! : )

wisteria said...

The repairman came at 7:15 a.m. He was finished by 8. As soon as the new part gets here, we will be back in business or at least refrigeration. The television will have to be replaced.

Natalie said...

So did we. Happy homeschooling!

zilla said...

Considering all of the teachable moments that life presents to us regardless of the time on the clock or the date on the calendar, and considering all of the hours wasted in public school classrooms on discipline, administration, transition, discipline, discipline, and even more discpline, homeschooling comes out so far ahead.

We had a sad moment during dinner last night. Beanpole, my step-son, was wise-cracking about his friend Henry, who has to "crack the books" already, even though vacation isn't over. Henry will be taking AP English, and he has work to do in advance of school recommencing for the year.

I pointed out that AP may put a thorn in Henry's side for a couple of weeks, but if his parents are planning to pay for his college education (they are) then AP English will save valuable tuition dollars, so, unless Henry will be working his way through college (he won't be), he should suck it up and appreciate everything that's being done for him.

Sometimes Zilla is a bit snippy.

Anyway, during this exchange, Mr Z got that far-away, unhappy look in his eyes. He took advantage of AP because his mother made sure he did. Beanpole would qualify for AP, but neither of his parents thought to look into it.

We tend to latch onto the teachable moments in this house just because we value learning. However, our kids attend public school with hundreds (thousands) of kids whose family do not value learning, and it is an uphill battle keeping a bright child challenged and engaged. During that conversation Mr Z realized that he had failed his child by not registering him for AP English.

Too many of us are too busy for our kids, but what better do we have to invest our time and interest in? Nada, zip, zero, zilch.

You're a golden example, Wisteria, of what it means to invest in the future, because you so wisely and so lovingly invest in your children.

wisteria said...

Tell Mr. Z that there are usually a few available openings for motivated students. Yes, Beanpole would be a bit behind unless he was so motivated that he read the books or wrote the compositions his friend is reading and writing.