We began our new school year this past Monday on September 8th. I had actually thought that I would start the day after Labor day, but my dad was visiting during the week and it just wasn't the right time to get going and I admit that I wasn't ready yet. We started off gently as we began the day with read alouds. Both boys sat on either side of me as we eased into a new school year. I read Toy Boat, The Snow Bears and a favorite from last Fall, Christopher's Harvest Time. Christopher's Harvest Times helps us to close the door on Summer and to welcome the Autumn. It's an absolutely enchanting read and I'm glad that Luke likes it almost as much as last year. We read more books about the changing seasons today. For Sammy, we enjoyed The Busy Little Squirrel about one little squirrel that's in a hurry to gather everything he needs to rest for the winter. The colorful pages show big beautiful pumpkins and falling oak leaves. There is a sense of urgency for the little squirrel to be prepared for the coming winter. We've had Woody, Hazel and Little Pip for a while, but haven't read it until now. It's another imaginative nature story by Elsa Beskow. Luke read It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown to Sammy.
We're also easing back into our other subjects and I'm still thinking a lot about how I want to handle this Fall semester especially with the new baby coming at the end of November. I admit that I'm not nearly as prepared as I usually am especially with all the transition coming. Luke is reviewing a lot of math skills right now and I'm trying to make our days have a gentle rhythm. Luke still enjoys eating his lunch up in his room while listening to a book on CD. Right now, he's listening to Alice in Wonderland. So far, he says it's a strange book. (I know. I tried to read Alice when I was younger). He's put a few books on CD on hold at the library and he has dedicated reading time in the afternoons. I hope that he will learn to fall in love with curling up with a good book. I noticed this past summer that he wasn't as interested in reading as usual. I hope that now that we're back to our learning schedule he'll get excited about reading again. We've checked out By the Shores of Silver Lake to listen to in the car so we can all enjoy Little House. I'm hoping to transition Luke to a more independent style of learning this year as I know that I'm going to be really busy in the next few months and we have a lot to accomplish. I want to him to grow more responsible for his own work while having me still being fully available to him.
Our classroom is mostly ready, but we haven't moved the books yet and Paul picked up a desk off of Craig's List for Luke so that he can have his own dedicated space instead of kitchen table. He just needs to sand it down and stain it to clean it up. Paul's biggest complaint last year was that there were books everywhere! The new classroom should take care of that! Well, it's a start.