The One Where We Reset and Share Vacation Photos

We are nearing the end of our “between school years” break, which typically lasts about two weeks. Really, we just need enough time to miss doing school {doesn’t take long} and re-focus, and then it’s all good. The idea of taking a few months off from our regular routine makes us all shudder. Predictability is our friend.

Right now it looks like we will pick back up on Monday {21 May} and roll into our review year. We will probably chug along for most of the summer, take another break for a brief Disneyland trip around late August, and then start adjusting to accommodate our new charter school day after Labor Day. We have another week break planned for fall {a cruise} and will take some time off around the winter holidays depending on Dear Hubby’s schedule.

Last week we did some traveling: we visited Los Angeles for the first time and checked out the Natural History Museum, La Brea Tar Pits, California Science Center, American Girl Place, and the beach. Then we spent a few days at Disneyland. Because, happy place. We returned to a very demanding cat, as usual.

I’m looking forward to making some changes in my own routine as well . . . nothing terribly earth-shattering, just feeling like I could step it up in a few areas and be more efficient. I’m not much into new year’s resolutions, but the beginning of a new school year always lulls me into a false sense of motivation.

Here are some photos of what we’ve been up to.

Linking up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Agents E and J ready to explore the Natural History Museum 
Checking out saber-toothed cats at the La Brea Tar Pits
The Panda movie at the California Science Center was great
Agent E and Addy waiting patiently for lunch 
Agent J with Felicity and Caroline
Watching the sunset at Manhattan Beach
Hugs for Pluto
The elusive Oswald 
Eeyore is my favorite
Poor kitty doesn't like when we leave

The Agents Are Going To School {Sort Of} and Other Plans for Learning Stuff

We will finish up the 2017-2018 school year . . . well . . . whenever we finish it. But soon. No later than next Thursday by my best guess, but possibly before then. Currently we are not starting any new topics, just trying to muddle through to a good stopping point with a few last bits. We started mid-July this year, and so it’s been almost ten months. We are all kind of over it and ready to start fresh with something new and shiny.

After a whirlwind trip including a brief visit to our happy place {i.e., Disneyland} we will likely pick up again by late May. Long breaks have never really been our thing. 

The 2018-2019 school year will begin as a “review” time . . . probably up until about Christmas. I’m considering the Agents to be grades 6th/7th {Agent E}, 4th/5th {Agent J}, and 2nd/3rd {Agent A}. I know homeschoolers joke all the time about their kids not knowing what grade they are in, but we’re doing it intentionally to emphasize the transitional period.

With my students after our visit to the Natural History Museum last weekend

Why a review {half} year? Well, it occurred to me that we have lots of wonderful resources {books} worth another look, some of which Agent A really didn’t get a good chance to read with us because he’s so much younger. So, we’re going to hit some of those again. Also, math and language arts could always use some refreshing, IMO. They are all pretty much “on grade level” {whatever that means} but I like the idea of a thorough math/problem solving and grammar/writing basics re-hash to really make sure they know this stuff inside and out before moving forward.

Following are links to a quick run down of what we have planned so far:

And yes, of course I already have ideas for All The New Stuff for January going forward swirling in my brain. But for now I’m trying to stay focused on this review concept. 

Books we'll be re-reading this year and cat photobomb

In other news . . . the Agents will be attending a charter school enrichment program one morning a week beginning this fall. It will be their first real “school” experience {not counting Agent E’s fabulous preschool experience in Italy} and I think they will love it. They will all be at the same location, but in different classes. Most likely they’ll be able to meet up for lunch and recess. The real question is: What will I do with three uninterrupted hours? 

We will likely not “do” much school at home on the day they attend, so by default we’ll be moving back into a four-day school week, which we tried in the past without much success. Basically we’ll do math and language arts all four days, and divide the other subjects so that we are covering each of them twice a week. 

I’m envisioning the split looking like this:

Days 1 and 3: Spanish, Geography, World History, American History, Mythology, and World Religions
Days 2 and 4: Science, Evolution, Health, Art, Music, and Critical Thinking

I talked about why we consider mythology and world religions to be two separate subjects in this post, and listed many of our resources in this one. We are also calling general science {matter, energy, life on earth, etc} and evolution two different subjects for planning purposes. We have tons of great books for studying evolution that we’d like to take a second look at, so it kind of needs it’s own category. Critical thinking is broad and will likely include a lot of “what would you do” type books and discussions as well as looking at current events.

In keeping with the review theme, I plan to revisit my list of books worth reading {at least} twice and give them another go. Maybe I’ll even post commentary this time.