Wow, it's been a little while since I've updated what's been happening out here. I guess without the option to add pictures to the blog (still not working! grrr!) I lose interest. But there's been a lot going on that I don't want to forget to record, so I'd better get back to it.
This past weekend was a whirlwind! My sister and brother in law came in with their family on Saturday evening. They brought my mother in law, too, and a friend of one of their daughters so that made six people we had for dinner. The kids have SUCH a great time together - the girls are about the same ages as Owen and Sammy, so they had LOTS in common. It was quite the madhouse here, especially in the basement where they all had a great time on the Rip Riders.
On Sunday morning we met them for breakfast at the Hampton Inn, where they were staying. Then they left to go to Chicago, where friends of theirs have an annual Superbowl party. I went a couple years ago with the kids and Chris went last year while I was in AZ, but we opted out this year. It was nice to watch the game here at home.
Today I registered the boys for Monday classes with a homeschool co-op. I had gotten wind of it a few weeks ago and was immediately very interested, as it will allow the boys to get some "classroom" experience, but just once a week.
At 10am, I have Luke in a class called "Busy Hands" where he will learn fine motor skills, including cutting, writing, tracing, sewing boards, etc. At the same time, William will take a geography class using Legos. While they are in those classes, I will have the older boys with me for study hall, where we will do some math lessons. (There wasn't an appropriate class for them in that first slot.)
At 10:45, all the boys will go into class. William and Luke will have a gym class, while Owen and Sammy take the Legos Geography class William took at 10am. At 11:30am, there is a 1/2 hour break for lunch. We have to pack our own and I volunteered to wipe down the tables afterwards. Each parent has to sign up for at least one chore. I'm so glad I got there before all that was left was cleaning the bathrooms! Yuk! Parents have to stay in the building while the classes are in session, so I'm excited to get some reading done! (Currently reading "Dark Places" by Gillian Flynn - SO GOOD!)
In the afternoon, Luke and William go into a 1.5 hour class called Storybook Art. They will read a story and then do activities around it. It's for ages 3-6, so perfect for them. Owen and Sammy will take Readers Theater, where they will learn to read out loud to a group with expression. Owen is pretty good at this, but Sammy's shyness makes it harder for him. I warned them that there were almost all girls on the sign-up sheet for this. Owen said, "YEAH!," but Sammy was less than enthused.
At 12:45pm, while their brothers are still doing Storybook Art, they will go to Creating with Clay. I know I fall short in teaching them art, so I wanted to make sure they got exposure to it here. The last classes of the day will be Beginning Spanish for William, Sammy and Owen and ABC Learning for Luke. He already knows his letters, but this will reinforce them and get him more exposed to writing his letters. He missed the first semester, which covered the first 1/2 of the alphabet, but I'm sure he'll be just fine.
The semester starts on February 17 and runs for 10 weeks. I estimate the cost at approximately $20 a week for everybody (maybe a little more). We'll see how it goes and if we want to continue in the fall. Because of this cost, I am looking into cheaper (even free!) curriculums for us for next year. My Father's World has been great, but as I do my research I have become more confident that I can create my own curriculum that will cover all the basics and not cost $500 a year.
Chris is working his "princess shift" today (only 8 hours) so we are taking advantage of his evening off by going to Lake Geneva's Winterfest. I've never been before, but have always wanted to. It's the site of the National Snow Sculpting Competition and I've always been impressed by the pictures I've seen of the sculptures. We are going to have to bundle up (it's in the teens!) but at least the sun's out!