This week felt like we were in a normal groove- moving through things, making progress, seeing some smiles again (finally!). The move to a 3-day program has been rough on the notsolittles. We are up by 6 and going all day long. They aren't used to so many people, the demands of a posted schedule, having other adults and kids making demands on their time, energy and emotional resources. But, finally, I think that they are re-grouping and beginning to enjoy some aspects of the week. Flower has been inspired by Art class and has spent every free minute creating pictures and texture and cutting and pasting.
On Monday we do school at home. Cub and Flower do copywork (MP), cursive (MP), math (Horizons and Saxon), read-alouds (The Trojan War by Olivia Coolidge- an excellent read!) and literature (MP study guides). Cub is working through the Hobbit and Feche-Boy is almost finished with the The Trojan War, then on to the Odyssey and the Iliad. The boys are also taking Apologetics, and FB is deep into Algebra. We are adding in Latin and Bio next week. Slow and steady and we'll probably be well into summer before he finishes the coursework but that is one of the bonuses of Parent Directed Education.
On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we go to TDA. We have morning worship for 1/2 hour, then 45 minutes of Memory Work. Then 3 separate groups for English, which consists of Phonics, handwriting, narration, and dictation. Our spine is Writing With Ease along with Explode the Code, AlphaPhonics and MP's lit guides. I am sitting with the first graders individually to go over their ETC lessons and AlphaPhonics (everyone is at a different place). The kids are really getting it and there is some healthy competition developing with the kids who are behind in AlphaPhonics working hard to catch up to where other kids are at in the book (I'm using sticky notes to mark the pages so they see where the other kids are at. Not my origianl intention but it has one student especially motivated!).
Then Math, gym, Meditative Prayer, lunch. In the afternoons we do Latin, Science, Bible, History, intercessory prayer, VP cards. We have 14 kids doing VP cards at the same time and I don't know why it is such a thrill to me to hear them recite the memory work or VP cards but it jazzes me to hear them saying the sentences in unison, watching their faces, eager and thrilled that they are getting it. Woohoo. They are making cool connections. For instance this week the history sentence was: "The four things that follow war are Pain, Panic, Fear and Oblivion" and Z said, "Hey, Sodom and Gomorrah (one of the VP cards) - that's oblivion!"
Tuesdays and Thursdays are full and busy days. Yesterday all of the kids won a prize from the point system we've put in place for behavior and that is a GREAT indication of how well everyone worked on relationships and being diligent in their work. They spent a 1/2 hour playing together, sharing and trading prizes and generally having a great time. Everyone went home feeling good about the week and what we'd accomplished.
Today is a home study day and in our house that means more math, VP cards, copywork, dictation and literature. It also means some vacuuming, catching up on laundry cause the washing machine died this week and going grocery shopping.
We (me as Administrator and Viking Man as Director of Discipleship) are meeting with each set of parents to talk about educational and behavioral goals, the focus and purpose of the program, etc. and it's been just as much fun to get to know the parents better as it has been the kids.
And lastly, we finalized the TDA logo and colors. Another week before it's totally finalized and we can start using it!