It’s back to school time. For us, it’s back to homeschool time. Lately our kids have been at loose ends, saying there’s nothing to do and/or asking to play video games on the computer. So even if they don’t appear excited to be starting school this week, I think they’ll be happy to have some interesting activities to occupy their time.

My teaching style last year was loosey-goosey, a little of this, a little of that. Partly because Young Son and Brother were technically repeating their grades and partly because I didn’t really know what I was doing. (Both boys started grade K young at age four, see my post ABC’s Back to the Basics for a little more about that.) It was nice to have the freedom to choose our topics of study and make lesson plans that fit our kids individual needs specifically. But it was a lot of work!

homeschool area with whiteboard cork board books number chart alphabet globe and more

This year, I’m choosing to use a set curriculum. Mostly for my own benefit, so I don’t have to reinvent the wheel each week creating lesson plans for two grade levels. I have chosen Oak Meadow for both of them, which seems like a gentle, earth centric curriculum. And we’ll be supplementing with Singapore math on the advice of our CT (certified teacher).

Our kids are enrolled at a homeschool charter school in Eureka. The school provides limited on-site classes for grades K through high school. Each student also has an assigned CT who meets with them weekly (or at a frequency of their choosing). I love our CT! She helps us get books and materials, she teaches my kids one-on-one, and she provides invaluable support to me when I have questions or doubts. She’s awesome.

This semester the boys are each signed up for two on-site classes at their school, which happen one afternoon per week. Brother is taking World Art + Literature and Math Games. Young Son will have Social Studies and Language (reading and writing).

Last year, we fell into a good routine of visiting the library once a week on Friday. I think we’ll get back onto that same schedule again, it’s a nice relaxing thing to do at the end of the week. Speaking of which, we were just at the library a few days ago. As we were driving there, Young Son asked Brother and me how many books we thought were in the library. The library in Eureka is the central library for all of Humboldt County so it is really big. At first I guessed really high, but when I really thought about it, I wasn’t so sure. But that’s what the librarians are there for! So when we got there, we headed over to the reference desk and asked the reference librarian if she knew roughly how many books were in the library.

She got up and looked over to the check out desk – maybe she thought someone over there would know the answer? Then she picked up her phone and dialed a code, listened. Hung up and dialed another code, listened. She was still standing, still kept looking over to the check out desk. All the while, not saying a word to anyone, including me and my kids. Then she walked off to one of the stacks and came back with a publication which she flipped through. Still, not a word did she speak. Until finally she found right page and she looked and me and explained that this was a couple of years old now, but showed me where it said 141,340 books and about 30,000 other materials.

It felt like a funny interaction, however maybe she was just being quiet because it’s the library. But I was really pleased to get such a specific answer to my son’s question. There you go, I said to Young Son, the library has over 141,000 books, how about that? Cool beans.

Brother drawing on a clipboard with Young Son bending over to see