This week Therese and I officially started first grade. And let me say, I’m pooped! I’ve been using the book, “The Well Trained Mind,” by Susan Bauer as a guide to how much we should be doing at this stage. I pieced together my own curriculum though. Essentially we need to do about 3-4 hours of learning a day in writing, reading, grammar, spelling, math, history, science, religion, and Latin.
We’ve had our challenges though. Therese is not an independent learner yet. She wants me sitting with her while she does her work. My hope is that in the next 7 weeks before Baby G comes along, I can ween her from my being there every second. However, she’s a fantastic reader. I know she can read the directions on her own. She’s actually surprises me at how much she can read. Now, I’m working on comprehension and synthesization with her.
My other challenge of course is that the other kids want my attention too during “school” and each wants me just to work with him or her. Gianna is pretty independent when she has some good books with her. Fulton wants to do what Therese is doing or wants his play buddy to be available. He also expressed a desire to learn how to read. So I’m going to give it a go with no expectations–that is, if he decides he doesn’t want to continue, I’m not going to push it.
Schooling this year has demanded a bit more organization on my part. Because so much time is demanded each day I really need to be careful at how much I plan outside of school time for the week especially since we have Adoration and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd on two days of the week. The last couple of months we’ve establish a nice and consistent routine in the morning that is flowing nicely into our school time. It also has be a springboard for establishing who among the kids does what chores in the house (such as putting away dishes, setting the table for meals, putting away toys). In addition, since Therese is starting to count money she feels like she wants to earn money for chores . So we’ve come up with a nice list of things she can do outside of what is expect of her as a member of the family at this point (such as sweeping, folding laundry, clearing and wiping the table after meals).
This is all a learning process. Hopefully we can get into a nice groove that will not change too much with a new baby and lack of sleep! 😉