Back to School

After a summer living in the camper, it was nice to come home and have a couple weeks of staycation. Then, it got a bit boring. Kids were fiesty and picking on each other. We needed to get things rolling with school.

We joined the YMCA, so now Zoe has a place for archery classes and we can all go workout. She and I have enjoyed the yoga, and the kids went for a Kids Night Out and had a blast. They want to continue gymnastics, but we are waiting for a space to open. They also started back to piano and music lessons at the Schoolhouse of Rock downtown. Avi has been riding at the BMX track again, and his fall baseball team starts up next month. Zoe is seeking a pottery class again as the city Parks’s and Rec class she was registered for was cancelled. I found a cool local studio, but as many things are in this city, it’s quite the drive. Sigh.

The driving is something I still can’t get used too. I miss Albacete and walking or biking to everything. I schedule our days so we leave once to get things accomplished in one big trip instead of hacking the day apart.

It seemed we may’ve needed to be doing a lot more driving, as Avi’s name came up on waitlist for a nice alternative school downtown. He went for a couple days, but the drive, the waiting for other kids, and the need to pare down extra activities settled him back to homeschool. It was his choice and we helped with pros and cons. He enjoyed it, but didn’t love it and was grumbly after day 2. At first it seemed such a great opportunity as we have been sans a social outlet for the last few weeks of being home, but after being in the car two separate hours daily, and him not just being over the moon, I’m glad to be settled on homeschool. He is too. Especially since we started our co-op this week!

In credo co-op, we meet with about 20 other families for a whole afternoon and the kids take classes from other parents. Zoe is taking sewing, cooking, and a store project class where they create their own shop. Avi is taking electronics, math games, and yoga. I teach a mid level literature unit study focused on Asia. It’s a blast and both kids and I have made some great friends. Zoe came home and made us all some power balls for camping this weekend!

On Monday the eclipse took over our day. The local library had a gathering to watch it; just a partial eclipse where we are, but still so very cool. We followed along the NASA live show the rest of the day!

Last week, we also went to the pool party opener for the huge group we attend PE with. It’s a weekly class at a park quite near our house, and another great organized group of homeschoolers with a maybe two hundred people.

At home we have started into academics in earnest. We are following the Bookshark language arts and culture curriculum this year for English – it has lots of reading both for the kids as assigned books and me as read alouds together, and incorporates writing, grammar and spelling all into the themes. I love it. Sticking with Singapore math for both kids as it’s been so great since Zoe was in kinder (how was that 6 years ago already?) Avi is still trudging through his Parents Guide to Teaching Reading lessons – we are onto the harder phonics and I can see it all finally clicking for him. Slow and steady! Certainly, attending Spanish school delayed them both a bit from their trajectory in English skills, but it was a fair trade for the Spanish acquisition (mostly Zoe) and experience. They both do an online course in Spanish with Middlebury Interactive; Avi is in the elementary Spanish 1 class, while Zoe is taking a high school fluency level 1 course and finds it easy.

In the afternoons we have focus time – either co-op or history, science, or art once a week each. We are doing Elemental science again this year – chemistry. And, as always, we follow the Story of the World history curriculum cycle. We are on year 2 – Middle Ages – again this year with Avi doing the elementary lessons and Zoe more independent with her own take on things. Our Art program is called Artistic Pursuits and it’s awesome! Walks is through a lesson with some instruction, some focus on master works, and then a project.

Some afternoons, though, we just go to the zoo, and this past Wednesday didn’t disappoint! Mr. Tiger was out in all his glory roaring and bellowing and spraying on his ball. He seemed agitated like his lady lion was in heat and he wasn’t allowed to see her. When the sprinklers turned on, though, he calmed down and rested in the cool water.

My garden has also enjoyed the sprinkler. While we were gone, it really took off! I have lots of eggplant, and some pumpkins coming. Tomato and pepper plants look good, but aren’t producing much. But, it’s the sweet potatoes that are taking over! I only planted them since they sprouted in our pantry.

Essentially, we are settling in as best we can. Being the Rambling Family, though, we can’t stay still for long. Kids are already asking to go on a camperventure again. I promise something is in the works; short trips this fall, and one may involve goats!

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