Well, we have been in St. Louis for a full year now. I wish I had time right now to make a list of all the wonderful memories I don't want to forget, but alas time moves on and I must keep up! :D
We started school today with the big girls. Homeschool again. Except this year is sooooooo much better! We gave up our classroom for Patrick to have a bedroom, so we're much more laid back at the dining room table. And I have lesson plans this year! Last year I never got a chance to make a plan, so I always felt behind and unsure that we were going to learn enough material quickly enough. And already I'm realizing they learned--and have retained--much more info than I expected. Yay!
This year, I've also made a check list for each girl for the day so they know what has to be done for school. The day is split up into 3 or 4 hours of work, divided into 20 min. sections. So we're always changing up what we're doing to keep it moving AND they have a time limit to get the work finished. Plus, within a particular hour, they rotate a 20 min. block of time with me, so I can teach them individually, and they can practice individually, and I can also have 20 min. to do a chore like move laundry. Of course since this is day one, and since Brian has the little two with him out of the house, this is all theory. But we all seem to like the idea. The girls love checklists about as much as I do. I just have to be ready for the day before it starts.
Lastly, we've joined a group called Classical Conversations. It's a homeschool group with curriculum that will help me by providing direction and accountability. The kids memorize an amazing volume of grammar facts, basic facts to make it possible to speak to a particular subject, in six or seven subjects: chronological history events, history sentences to expound on certain events, science facts/lists, English grammar facts/lists, Latin conjugation, math skip-counting and formulas, geography, and scripture memory. Each week as a group they also do a science experiment, give a 3min. presentation, and have a music or art lesson. I'm tutoring the oldest kids (3rd-5th "grades" for our group), so my girls will be under the instruction and authority of another mom, which I am also glad for. That means, among other things, I can tell them, "Now, we need to work on this because Mrs. Graff expects you to know it cold on Monday." :)
Patrick will be at Covenant Christian School again this year in a PreK class that meets M,W,F. He will have Mrs. Byars again, YAY!! She is FABULOUS and loves Patrick as much as he loves her. He was very, very sad that he wasn't going to school today. He starts Wednesday. There are several kids in his class that were in his last year too, including a few boys who are also in his Sunday School class.
And, hey, my 20 min. is up. More later.