Soft Launch.

Last week was our very first week of our brand new 2015-2016 school year.

Not gonna' lie.  This is my first year of schooling 3 little boys at 3 different grade levels, and while I was looking over my curriculum during the summer...I honestly couldn't wrap my brain around how I was going to be able to cover an overview of the World with Ransom, the Eastern Hemisphere with Kaden, and Ancient History with Jesse -- all the while wrangling a whirling dervish toddler all day.

And so, I jumped ship.
The totes are ORANGE, people.  Orange.  Not pink.

I was not excited about the curriculum I had purchased.  It was stressing me out to no end.
And so, just days before I was to begin my school year, I boxed everything up, shipped it back, and started all over again.

This will my first year of trying out My Father's World Curriculum.  They recommend everyone's first year to begin with Exploring Countries and Cultures, so that's what we're going to do.  It's perfect for my boys' grades, because it's specifically designed for families of multi-aged children, with the idea that the parent purchases only one full curriculum package.  Everyone is learning the same thing, just at different levels.  So, when it comes time for papers to be written etc. - Kaden is expected to write a 5th grade level paper, while Jesse is only required to write at 2nd grade level.

There is a five-year Family Learning Cycle which begins with this one-year foundation in Geography and Cultures followed by four years of chronological history.  I'm weak in Geography, so I'm actually kind of excited about this year.

This new curriculum simplifies my day, and it also has all of us learning lots of things together, which I really love.  The boys will still have their own Math, Language, Spelling, Phonics, and Vocabulary, but we will be doing Bible, History, Art, and Science all together.  I like that.
Last week was our "Soft Launch."  We're figuring out our rhythm, trying to get the order of our day down, deciding which subjects need to come first while our brains are still fresh, setting up independent work for one while working one-on-one with another etc.  We've already learned that none of us are much good for anything in the afternoons, so we need to really kill it in the morning.  All important things to be figuring out.

We're deciding what extras to add in:  soccer and tae-kwon-do are on the table right now.  Mama wants to add some music lessons in, but the Hoolies aren't thrilled with that idea, so we're still discussing.  I don't like when our plates get too full, and neither do they.  I'm still a huge proponent of free time and play - and I think this generation of kids has so little time to just "be kids," so we are working hard to find the balance.  

We're getting the bugs worked out.

And I'm getting creative at keeping London busy.  She has her own little basket of "treasures" that we rotate throughout the day until naptime:  markers, play-doh, crayons, stickers, beads, stampers, little notebooks etc. She loves to clean, so I'll give her a wetty wipe and let her go to town "washing" whatever her little heart desires.  And when she gets really crazy, I just chuck her in the bathtub which is right off the kitchen and let her "swim" while I work with one of the boys at the table.  It works.

It's tradition, that I always have something fun for the first day of school.  We Bookers are all about the food, so usually I just have a bunch of fun foodies for them all throughout the day.  We had Eggo waffles for breakfast, pizza rollers and tater tots for lunch (gross...but the boys were in Heaven!), a peach coffee cake for our mid-morning snack break, and something else simple and fun for supper.  (I honestly can't remember what it was now.  My brain is mush).
My processed apologies....

I don't have the time, nor the mental bandwidth to create cute snacks or do fun crafting, but I really do believe that it doesn't take much to still make things fun and special.  I bought them each their own $1 crate to put all of their supplies in.  And we had food that we don't normally eat.  Simple stuff, but out of the ordinary, so it was fun.

And then on the weekend, we celebrated.

We had just completed our year's first week of school.  The boys are all one grade older.  Ransom is an official Kindergarten-er.  Mama (somewhat) successfully taught three boys simultaneously.  London (for the most part) stayed entertained and out of trouble.  This is reason to play!  Celebrate the milestones, Baby!
Mt. Battie.  My Happy Place.

 Only 36 weeks left to go!

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