Monday, January 22, 2018

MFW Exp to 1850: Weeks 1 & 2

Our first two weeks back to school have been slightly bumpy, but overall great! It's always tough transitioning from vacation mode back to a schedule and assigned tasks, even when you homeschool. On top of that, we had some frightfully frigid weather keeping us homebound more than is typical.

We started off our year with some back-to-school pictures. E insisted on donning his Viking costume since we were learning about Leif Eriksson on day 1.  I have found that costumes are one of the best ways to get my son engaged in what he is learning. The nice ones can be pricey, but if you shop costumes on Amazon when it's not close to Halloween, or check the clearance sales just after Halloween, you can usually get some good deals on historical types of costumes. 

Miss M was completely ready to begin our school year. She loves academics and appreciates the routine of our school days.  Our first two weeks were a bit of a light start with some subjects not being added in until Week 3. Miss M is excited to start Writing Strands: Intermediate and Vocabulary from Classical Roots in the coming week. E is not so thrilled to be starting cursive in Week 3, but I'm confident he'll survive.

On Fridays we meet up with another family using Exploration to 1850 to do some activities together. We sailed ships from Spain to the New World. I'm sorry to report that only the Pinta made it across as the NiƱa and the Santa Maria were not quite seaworthy. Care to guess which child managed to fashion a suitable ship from aluminum foil, a hunk of clay, and a bamboo skewer? (Hint: it was the only boy in the group).

Week 2 brought us to some national leaders of the 1500s and some exploration of the people who were in this great land before the arrival of Europeans. Miss M wisely asked why they don't get the credit for "discovering" America, and E was just happy to spend hours and hours in his makeshift teepee with a "campfire" to keep him company.

Ever since I first heard that we get to memorize the book of James in Exploration to 1850, I have been looking forward to it! We memorized James in my 7th grade Bible class and it was a great experience. The kids were a little unsure about the idea, but so far they've done great keeping up with the daily memory work and recitations. I am fully confident that they are capable and have high hopes for staying on track.

Miss M has really enjoyed the Draw Write Now books that go along with our studies. E isn't interested since they are "too cartoony," but he got really into our still life artwork from God and the History of Art in Week 2.  Even after homeschooling for 7 years, things like that still surprise me. I can never accurately predict how either child will respond to an activity like this. One loves it, the other hates it; one spends tons of time and effort, the other gives it a lick and a promise. I really just never know what to expect. But I was very pleased this time with the effort both children gave and more than that they both seemed to really enjoy it and asked to do it again some time. Score!

We are looking forward to moving out of the introductory weeks and into the full swing of things. We're also really glad that the major cold snap we had has broken and we've gotten some more humane temperatures lately.  February is right around the corner and experience has taught me that February is a brutal month for homeschoolers. I call it burnout month! We'll be taking two full weeks off in February to watch the Olympics and generally ride out some of the dull days of winter. Spring can never come fast enough.

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