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3rd Trimester Shake-Up

I’ve realized we tend to work in 3 trimesters since we school all year long, but our “restart” is in the summer. So the Spring is our 3rd, not 2nd.

The summer tends to be a lot of hands on, in the moment, outside, real life learning. This fall we kicked off with Treehouse Schoolhouse Nature Study and adored it! We rolled into using various Mega Bundle resources the last few weeks.

I recently posted about our ABC update and I’m excited to see how it changes our learning as a whole.

Athena sits in a number of weird placements. Her birthday is December which typically would mean she’d be an “older” Kindergartener next year or a “young” first grader. Having struggled with SPD and being non-verbal for the better part of her first 2yrs is its own hurdles. In many ways she is insanely smart. Her vocabulary, understanding of concepts like electricity, and her knowledge of the natural world is completely through the roof. In other areas we “seem” to be “behind.” She isn’t writing her name and can’t spell it for you if you ask her. We can count and say the alphabet, but aren’t matching & recognizing their coordinating symbols to the names.

We’ve been treating this year like Kindergarten. The next 5 1/2 months or so will determine if we do 1st grade next year or Kindergarten. And I am COMPLETELY ok with both options. At the end of the day, progress and growth are happening. I won’t force 1st if we’re just not there yet. But I am trying to balance challenging her appropriately with pushing her. There’s a VERY fine line between the 2.

With that being said, we are “upping the game” just a bit in January to see how we do. We’re switching to “a letter a day” from “a letter a week.” I’ve intentionally pulled some slightly more challenging pages to mix in to our daily work. We also have a TON of resources that I’m working to incorporate for “work sheet” breaks. My parents got the girls a great magnet set with all kinds of activities like matching numbers, letter sequencing, days of the week, spelling your name, etc. We’ve played with it, but it will now be an option for one of our “pick one” activities. We also got a nice tan-gram set, painting, playdoh, counting monkeys, memory matching games, and a few others. We’ll be starting our Farmschool Co Garden Journals too!

A “school day” schedule will now be:
1. Morning Board
2. 1-2 worksheets
3. Pick-One Activity
4. Letter of the Day
5. 1-2 worksheets
6. Pick an activity

We have started doing this, except finishing out our weekly letter, and it’s been great! She’s been much more engaged even though it takes us a bit long with a “fun” activity in the middle. We’ve also been having a BLAST doing handicrafts like needlepoint and watercolors too! Athena has been loving watching Lily & Thistle videos.

Of course the real crowd pleaser is always spending time outside, even if it’s 14 degrees out. We’ll continue to spend as much time as we can outside as we restart our 1000 Hours Outside Challenge for 2023!

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