Sunday, September 4, 2011

Rhythms and Routines

As many of the nights are starting to get cool and translate into crisp mornings, the rhythms of the world around us change. Birds are beginning  to seek each others' company and flock. Overhead we hear the call of the geese which brings to mind the changing seasons. Tomorrow is Labor day, our unofficial end of summer here in the US. Early risers will notice that the morning hugs its dark cloak just a little longer, reminding us that we will rise in the dark in not too long a time. Children are seen running, back-packs bouncing, to school and we too have started our new school year.

This will be our third and possibly final homeschooling year (more on that some other time). Our first year was fairly regimented and strict and I wasn't much into lesson planning, unsure on how to proceed.  The second year was laissez-faire and while satisfying in a creative way, not very satisfying in an academic sense. This year I have our academic day planned out with the help of a free, academic software called Skedtrack.

Click on this image for a screenshot of Missy's Math Lesson Plans
What we all love about the year (so far) is the predictability of the day. We can run school pretty much on auto-pilot. Each morning, when we log in we can see at a glance what is on that day's menu (so to say) for both children. Having a clear visual has had another benefit. The kids take ownership of their learning and love to click the completed button when they have completed a lesson. I am able to plug in our school year, include vacation and holidays and personal days, as well as sick days. The time it took to customize it and enter the lesson plans for two children was labor intensive for sure, but what I spent in time and labor then, I save now when I most need it.

I have left my blog to it's own devices these past months having been very busy with a multitude of responsibilities. Summer came, a new puppy came. Then, mid August my husband left on a month long trip. He is expected back in a few days. In his absence (and he took off from work in July) I had to increase my presence at work. All of this left me little time for blogging. But looking at all my favorite blogs many of you took a hiatus of sorts as well. I look forward to blogging more in the coming months. I have also started a small cooking blog. My little food blog is more designed to be a record of my recipes and fiascos for my children some day (I pdf the files),  than something that would ever make it to foodgawker.  But I am having fun with it and that is what counts. My biggest challenge is the photography aspect of it. I borrow my daughter's dinky point and shoot and I don't have good light in the house either. Yet another challenge to overcome. 

One of nature's  rhythms is calling right now.... time to walk the pup. 

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