Monday, August 18, 2008

Teach them diligently...Deuteronomy 6:7

This post contains photos that may not
be suitable for squeamish visitors.
Viewer discretion is advised.

Last week we "officially" started our school year. The kids have all been doing some school since the new books started arriving in the mail. M couldn't wait to get started on his Spanish, J was eager (yes, eager!) to do his new math program, and Sacagawea begged to start reading. S was the only one who wasn't keen on starting school...until I told him that if Sacagawea kept up at the pace she was going, she would pass him up by the end of the year. That got him started!

Our school day started promptly at 8:30 as The Man was leaving for work. He gave a health & safety lecture/demonstration as he removed the
stitches from S's leg. One of them out... Then the next one... Then the third... All done... There! I certainly hope S learned that lesson!

The Man gave M his assignments and then went to the office. I decided we (the three younger children and I) were going to ease into the school year by just doing science on Monday. I really like the Apologia Zoology book we are using this year. After I read the first part of the chapter, J and S got started on an experiment related to why birds are able to fly. It involved experimenting with water and air currents.
Once they got the table (and each other) nice and wet, I had them dry off the table (and the floor) and take their water outside where they could experiment to their hearts' content. Then, Sacagawea and I sat down at the table and got started on her bird lapbook. It was loads of fun, involving lots of paper, glue, and staples.

Just before 1:00, I called a certain child to clear the table for lunch. I heard a scream. Apparently the child decided to play with an item instead of putting it away.

"Take me to Daddy's clinic, NOW!" the child wailed.

I tried to hold in my giggles at the predicament in which the child had placed himself. It was NOT funny. The child was in pain. "There's no reason to go to the clinic, Daddy is on his way home for lunch." I did attempt to call The Man on his cell phone, but he didn't have it on yet, so I called the office. He had just left, but I was transferred to The Man's assistant. I explained the predicament, and after he asked a few questions about the situation, I was given permission to deal with it on my own.

I went back inside (I had gone outside to place the call since the child was crying too loudly) and explained that The Man was on his way home, but I could take care of it...right after I took a picture (to show The Man, of course).


Yes, the staple went in all the way. After I took the picture and retrieved the pliers, the child refused to let me touch it, but preferred to wait for The Man. Fine. I did give him some OTC pain reliever, not that I thought it would do any good, but I wanted him to think I was trying to help.

We went into the living room and I read him a book to calm him down while everyone else started eating. He was afraid he was going to lose the finger until I told him that people go to the ER all the time to have The Man put staples INTO them. He was going to be just fine.

I tried calling The Man again, and was able to get through. I told him not to stop anywhere, including the post office, on the way home, but just come home. He arrived a few minutes later. The child still did not want it removed. He insisted on a shot of Lidocaine until The Man explained that the type he had would hurt worse than the removal. After about 10 minutes, he finally consented to The Man pulling it out of his finger. Less than a second later, it was out and the child was on the mend.

Whew! We made it through the first day of school...barely! Fortunately the rest of the week involved more academics and less drama and trauma.

Over in the sidebar to the right I have included some of the books the children are using this year. Those are not complete lists (I haven't included the Bible/character resources...we use so many and they vary from day to day), nor do we do every item every single day. They may or may not be the exact edition we are using, and they may or may not be linked to the exact place we bought them from, but I tried to include links to all of our favorite homeschool suppliers. Please let me know if you find any broken/wrong links. I put those lists together rather quickly.

Some of the items are things we have used in the past, such as the Story of the World history series. I really like the activity books and CDs. I can do one or two other things while they are listening to the chapter being read to them, then they can go outside to work on the activity. This week they gathered sticks to build nomadic shelters. "We're HAPPY! We're No-mad!" they declared to The Man when he arrived home for lunch on Tuesday. They pulled him outside after lunch to inspect the structures.

Other items, such as Rod and Staff English, are new for our homeschool. The reading program that M used through his elementary years had quite a bit of English built into it, but the reading program the other two boys are using isn't quite as extensive. Since J has never done "English" before, I started him with S at level 3. J is breezing through it, and I'll probably have him skip the next book or two if he continues doing well.

M thrived with Saxon math up through Algebra last year. J was doing ok with Saxon, but when I saw the Teaching Textbook program, I thought it might suit him better. I was right. I'm glad we made the switch. Math is far less stressful for both of us. I'll probably use Saxon to supplement some of the lessons, but the computer/audio format works for J.

S's favorite subject is definitely Art! He is loving that this year.
I'm loving the art because it is a perfect activity for the children to quietly work on while I take my afternoon nap! S is hovering between 2nd & 3rd grade level work, depending on the subject.

Sacagawea's list seems pretty intensive for a first grader, but she loves doing school. She can get through the entire list of subjects in less than an hour. She plays while I get the boys started, then we work together in between the boys needing help.

The Man and M designed M's freshman year courses. I told The Man that he had to put time limits on how long M could spend on each subject...he was spending so much time in his room studying that J was complaining that he didn't get to see him anymore! He's only been working on 3-4 subjects a day. So far, he seems to be enjoying it all. He's anxious to learn Spanish well before the mission trip to Chile next February!

M did tell me that he needed a graphing calculator for his Algebra (he's finishing up the last few chapters from Algebra I before he starts on the Algebra & Trigonometry). I pulled out mine that I used in high school and college. After we get new batteries for it, it should be suitable at least for this year. I told him that it a piece of history!

*The child later gave complete permission to blog about the incident IF I would finally post the child's birthday post first.


Rachael said...

That is a very disturbing photo, indeed. And, that coming from a person who also puts staples in people for a living! :)

Lori said...

Lucky you to have such eager kids for learning. I wonder if it's just the newness of it or if it will last all year.
As for the picture: Ouch!

Ann@His Grace To Me said...

Wow, I wonder what else the school year holds for your household?!?!?!