Friday, September 18, 2009

First Week Back...

Time to blog school as we know it...

We start our day with this (one each);

And then onto the workboxes, which are working incredibly well- like SOOO well!! OK - it's a lot of prep at the weekends a takes some time out of every evening to get the boxes filled, but it is worth it. I have JA pretty much finished by about 2 - and that's including breaks. Lunch sometimes slows things a little, but he is completing 10 activities every day!! I am amazed. Neither he nor I know WHY it is working so well, but whatever the reason, it is and that's all I care about. And it's not only working for JA, but for just about all the others too. Despite not quite getting ourselves into gear by 9am (target start time), it hasn't mattered too much :D
Bleb hasn't quite managed his box right through any day, in fact he has disappeared off to bed after lunch each day. I guess that means he's finding it a little tiring (although the nap is usually induced by me saying "no" to something or other!!). I think he will adjust slowly, because I'm not working him that hard - how hard can stories, playdoh, matching shapes and copying your name be? Belle runs out of steam round about number 8, but usually the last two activities are easy-going ones, so she is mostly managing to finish. The others are doing fine and even the group activities went better. Everyone paid attention well enough (JA still made a few irrelevant wise cracks, but was apologetic for being a pain!) and it wasn't nearly as stressful as it was last year - hope that lasts! We even managed some cookery - two at a time worked really well :D

Boo & JA made brownies the on Tuesday - completely independent of me, save for the putting in and removing from the oven. Beefie & JI made muffins this morning (not without my help).
There's been a ton of Hama'ing, Bas-relief creations from clay (Art), and clay-tablet making in History.

It all sounds idylic, but - and there is a but - around about Wednesday I was all spent! I had been up way too late for several nights preparing for the week ahead and I was trying to keep on top of housework and still catching up with washing from the camping holiday and ongoing life (it's not exactly 2 loads a day drying weather). Thankfully Paul offered to stay home the evening (he was meant to be out) and I crawled off to bed. It helped - a lot!! I got through Thursday OK and now it's the weekend and I all I have to do is fill up the boxes tomorrow, so I'm hoping it will get easier in that respect from now on in.
NJ has not been so enthusiastic about his tot-trays as I had hoped he would be. He prefers to have free-reign and not have me encouraging him to choose a tray. It's not been easy. Even the things he has shown initial interest in, he quickly is bored with and chooses to make a mess with instead. Not sure whether things will settle down with him, but I hope so. He has, however, latched on to the idea that one or other of them is free to play with him at regular points through the day and is enjoying that very much (I've put him in as an activity in their boxes!). I'm hoping that he will gradually choose to do his trays with them.

Anyway, here's some captures from the week - tot-school included.

Bottle-cap names for C (Bleb) - this idea is courtesy of Carissa :D
Slip-pegs for NJ - he liked this but was annoyed by the boxes - something more sturdy next time.

kids doing various activies at the table.

one-to-one counting for C & peg board for NJ (with JA)

JA writing his blog.

Wii time for Beefie and C.

Sink & Float experiment :D

Clay tablets (history)

puzzles - BIG hit (he's done these over and over this week).

tweezer pop-poms (also quite popular).

hunting shaped beads in macroni was met with enthsiasm, but...

he found the dog and the bear and played with them together - momentarily - just before he started...

'raining' the macaroni from his hands - it went everywhere!

cooking cake-in-a-cup...


Not a good shot I know - a good activity (matching two shapes) which I'd like to make a 3D version of if I can figure out how.
Hama - lots of it!

Muffins (JI & Beefie)

Brownies (JA & Boo)
Think that's about it :-D


Jan said...

All sounds amazing - so glad you've found a system that's working so well for you. We're all struggling a bit to rediscover our groove here, but it's getting better.

Sheri said...

Wow! Looks like a great week for you all. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Love to hear from others using the system too-we love it as well. I am reviewing Sue's book for the TOS magazine, and I am glad I was finally able to get to read it.
Blessings to you and your family!


Rebecca said...

Wow, what a fun week!