First day of school a couple of years ago.

First day of school a couple of years ago.

We are a homeschooling family, and we live right across the street from our local elementary school. This means that we are aware of lots of public school activities like the Halloween Parade, Kite Day, Tie Dye Day, and Slip and Slide Day. Today is the first day of school in our county, so the street was lined with cars this morning and things were busy outside the window.

This is the first year that I have not been ultra-prepared for starting school with the girls. Usually by now I’ve purchased supplies and a planner. I’ve mapped out curricula. I’ve typed up some lessons. I’ve made resolutions about schedules and goals. Not this year.

It’s nice to be a little more relaxed about things. My eldest daughter, who goes by Frosty the Snowkid on this blog, has been enrolled in Keystone Middle School since January. We’re very pleased with how she’s doing there. They are more demanding in a traditional way which matches her academic inclinations. Keystone requires lots of reading, writing, and research, which she likes. If I were in the mood to make resolutions about her homeschooling year, I would say that I need to work on supplementing her experience with hands on activities (field trips, microscopes, etc.).

My younger daughter, a.k.a. Plum, announced last spring that she wants to be unschooled. Who am I to stand in her way? She is not of the same temperament as her sister, plus I’m less nervous about homeschooling her at any given grade since I’ve already been through it once. Maybe a more relaxed attitude will do away with the tantrums we both have on days when math goes horribly wrong.

Unschooling or not, I am declaring this Wednesday, the 26th as our first day of school. And about the only certain plan I have involves buying new dry erase markers.

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We just had a great few weeks of travel and visiting.  We spent some time at our lake house.  Friends came to visit for a while.  It was the usual pattern for our summer.  And I feel just as energized as I always do in the middle of August after vacationing.  Maybe this year I can stay calm about all of the crazy plans I have in my head.  Here’s a short list of what I’d like to do in the next few days:

Clean and paint the porch; Paint the dining room; Learn how to put in hardwood flooring for the dining room; Paint the bathroom and get new towels and decorations; Rip up all of the carpet in the basement; Set up a science area for the kids’ lessons; Plan a good reading program for my youngest daughter; Find additional activities and practice work to supplement Frosty’s online school; Maintain a set schedule for finding new translation clients for myself; Rip out every weed in the yard and establish nice azalea beds across the front of the house; Maintain general cleanliness; Eradicate all pet fur from the house.

That should keep me busy.