First day of third grade

Day one

... and kindergarten, simultaneously. I've been gearing up to teach two children two different subjects at the same time for a while now. Even though we go year-round with a few breaks here and there, and our house is a lab of learning, today certainly felt like dress rehearsal for two was over. 


Thankfully Liam is patient and can tackle about any assignment I give him without problems. Ewan, on the other hand, likes to climb into your brain and scratch your out the walls of your skull like a squirrel in a tree. (I love him to bits.) He challenges you to challenge him and rewards you with a demonstration of just how smart he really is. He is the most strong-willed child I have ever encountered in my entire life and sometimes I wonder if he's possessed by Donald Trump. No, he doesn't want to write the letter U that way, what is wrong with you? He wants to write them HIS way. Later when he thinks you're not looking he'll write them the correct way and insist that it was HIS way all along. Oh, and also, YOU'RE FIRED. 


Liam resumes his art, Spanish, and gym classes shortly. In a couple of years he'll be old enough to take the science labs associated with our homeschool group, although, I have a secret desire to just order a bunch of lab equipment and turn the dining room into a mad scientist's lair. I did that as a kid; I concocted on-going "experiments" with all my mom's cosmetics and stored them under my bed. The old woman who sat for me one summer, Mrs. Shoe, found them and I thought she was going to whoop me to death. I outran her anyway; the way her knee-high support hose fell down around her ankles when she walked fast was a blessing. 


A few quick things while my afternoon coffee infusion kicks in:
- We're using ABeka this year, again. I love their curriculum and Liam has done so well with it. We are supplementing with Usbourne books, too.

Books on the piano bench

- I use Homeschool Tracker to log all my hours, keep track of curriculum, completed assignments, et al. I researched the various types of software before deciding on this one; it's easy to use, easy to add resources; the basic version is free and the paid version is a good value compared to some others I've seen. I highly recommend it. My only gripe is that there isn't such software for Macs; they're all for PC. I'm running the Homeschool Tracker off my old Dell which isn't the height of convenience, but it's better right now than trying to run it off Parallels or VMware Fusion. The Mac programmer that decides to create such a software for us homeschool Mac users deserves a ticker-tape parade. 

Logging software

- A couple years ago I tried to use a corner of the kids' playroom as the classroom but it was miserable and we hated trekking all the way up to the top of the house for it so we're all back in the dining room. I like it better here anyway, because I'm that much closer to my French Press.

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