Today was the day I decided would be our first day of school. Just on principle, I never make our first day the same as the public schools. Often we start after Labor Day, but it's late this year and we are all feeling the need for more structure in our lives, so I didn't want to wait until then. September 1st seemed like a good day; plus it's in the middle of the week so we can ease into things gradually.
Our family tradition is to never do book work on the first day of school, but to go to a museum instead. September is one of the best months to go... everyone is in school and the field trips haven't started up yet. We have the place virtually to ourselves. This year we headed down to the Field Museum (after stopping and having a picnic first). There was a special exhibit on mammoths that some of us (we went with a friend and my sister-in-law plus children) saw and the rest of us went to some other, permanent exhibits. I thought that K. would love the mammoths, but they turned out to be a little too big and the saber-toothed tigers which were also part of the exhibit were a little too scary. M. said he spent a lot of time alternating between stopping and freezing in his tracks and clinging to her saying, "Too scary!" I guess I have to readjust my sense of what his little system can handle.
Tomorrow we'll start on our schedule. When I made it I planned for the next two days to be "practice". We'll find our math books again, continue to work on learning our new chores (they switched this week as well), and ease into things slowly. We'll probably also be reading a lot of books. For the next two months the younger ones will be learning about the Mississippi River (we'll be reading the Holling C. Holling book, Minn of the Mississippi and we're in the middle of Tom Sawyer as our lunch time read aloud); nature studies will be about wolves, foxes, and dogs (this was P.'s choice); and in art and music we'll be focusing on Rembrandt and Beethoven. I'm actually looking forward to starting in again. Everything is easier without newborn twins!
It's a last minute notice, but if you're in the area and interested in homeschooling, I'll be part of a panel of homeschoolers at a homeschool information night at the Skokie Public Library at 7:00 pm.