Monday, August 26, 2013

Back to School 2013-2014

Although we've been gearing up for a few weeks --- adding more subjects each day --- today was our official first full day of school!
Check out these "official" first day of school pictures. Their outfits are funny. No new school clothes or haircuts. Ha ha! But here they are on the first day of 2nd and 3rd grade....

 We continued the tradition of presenting the boys with first day schultutes filled with school supplies and treats.

 Here we are busy learning...

 This year -- instead of our morning workbooks -- we are doing daily journals. Today they wrote three goals for the school year.

Adam's Goals

Ray's goals.
 We are learning about sound waves. This afternoon we did some hands-on experiments and designed our own musical instruments.

It's hard to see in the picture, but this is the old "two cups and a string" trick.
Adam's homemade guitar

Ray playing his homemade "pan pipe."
The day seemed long... but went well. This year I made a weekly checklist for each boy so that he can see what needs to be done each day and mark it off as he goes. I'm giving them more freedom to choose in which order to do their work.

We also instituted mandatory quiet time in the afternoon - after school and before playtime / video games. We are having the boys earn their video game time by competing in a daily Math facts flash card drill. The length of time they get to play their video games is determined by how many Math facts they answer correctly in five minutes. They compete as a team.... taking turns but adding up one tally of facts correctly answered. We plan to use harder cards and then shorten the time period as they get better at it. Today they earned 43 minutes, which is more than we usually want them to play... but they were excited at their accomplishment. The deck is already "stacked" for tomorrow. ;)

So... one day down. 180 to go. Pray for us!

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