While we technically take a more year-round approach to home schooling, this was our official first week of school for the 2011-2012 school year. That also means it was Noah’s first day of Junior Kindergarten and Anna’s first day of Grade 1.
I’ve been making a slow and easy start of it to give the kidlets a chance to ease into a new routine and that seems to be working. So far it looks as though we’ll be doing out and about things in the mornings while the Small Fry is awake and then hitting the books when he naps in the afternoons.
One of the things I like best about home schooling is having the opportunity to take the kidlets on field trips. Last May (for example) we were able to take the whole family on a 3 week road trip from Ottawa, Ontario to Albuquerque, New Mexico. We made stops in Bowling Green (Kentucky), Oklahoma City, and St. Louis among other places and we learned about everything from caverns and caves to bats, tortoises, sting rays, dinosaurs, fossils, and Archimedes and his 6 simple machines. We studied deserts, wildlife, maps, and city information guides. And the kidlets loved it!
Having said that, this week also marked our first field trip of the year. We went to Upper Canada Village, an 1860’s pioneer village complete with actors in period costumes. We saw a woolen factory, sawmill, bakery, tinsmith, cheese maker, general store, and more. We rode on the horse drawn tow scow (like a small barge) and took a horse drawn wagon ride. We brought home fresh bread from the bakery and thoroughly tired ourselves out. I think the highlight of the day for the kidlets though was the schoolhouse. They had to sit girls on one side of the room and boys on the other, hats removed, raising hands to ask questions, and write on slates until the school mistress dismissed them with a bell. I think it’s safe to say we highly recommend this place for a visit with your kids!