And back to school we go!

Today was our first day with curriculum, but (to use my friend Rose’s term) we soft opened yesterday with a little photo booth back-to-school shoot at our house:

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A first grader and a preschooler, oh my! We had a good and productive, albeit exhausting, day today. I am reminded of how it felt to open in my classroom. This gig takes some energy, man. Especially now with two of them working on legitimate work simultaneously… First grade is no Kindergarten, either, I will say that. We were at it through lunch today with our four core subjects. I definitely felt back at work today, and there wasn’t much sitting.  I almost can’t believe we turn around and do it again tomorrow, but I know from experience that we’ll settle into the routine of things.

We’ll take a more abbreviated day tomorrow, since our ES is coming for a visit at 10:45 AM. But by then, we will have worked about four hours anyway! We are early risers (I ran 5.2 miles this morning, Katie and I read in a bio she chose about Annie Oakley from 6:30 until about 6:50, and we were officially opening school by 7:00 AM). At any rate, after our visit with Stephanie we are taking Katie to her favorite restaurant, which serves Afghan food, as a way to celebrate the start of school. I doubt any of us will feel much like hitting the books hard after lunch (let’s be realistic), but we’ll probably work some map puzzles and read. At some point I will have to return to the McGaugh Academy weekly wrap-ups as a way of chronicling what we are doing—and how I am working my way through finding points of similarity between what Katie is doing and Eric is doing so that, for example, we can both be working on the skill of “classification” but at different levels and looking at grade level content. The nice part about the State Content Standards is that they really do build, for the most part, from K to 12, and at least in English often seem to follow a progression along Bloom’s Taxonomy. So there are ways and tricks to match up some of what they are doing, if we look at skills and themes. Saves my sanity, at least, to approach it this way!

I think about all the prep I need to do after the kiddos go to bed tonight (this is the time of year when TV and movies become scarce for me) while still making it to bed at a reasonable enough time to fit in my run.  Adjusting to the discipline after a more laid-back summer takes some teeth-gritting. At the same time, I completely love teaching my children and am so thankful for this opportunity!

But I will say: whew! The trickiest part is managing a home and managing a school at the same time. Not a whole bunch of down time at the moment… Thank goodness we carved out some space and had a rejuvenating hour this afternoon with our homeschool buds at the park. The school part got done today, but the home part didn’t quite get done: that’s when we break out our easy dinners!

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