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Beginning a new season

So. . .we've started.  This is pretty much what it amounts to. . .a pile of workbooks for each (Thomas has his in a bag).  They were out of school ALL week last week so we went in to the satellite school for testing.  Frederick tested into the 3rd grade (which is good b/c they don't have a 2nd grade curriculum and since this is not something I plan on doing long-term I really didn't want to have to seek out something different for him).  Margaret tested very low in 3rd grade math, which was disappointing. . .I think she could have done better.  Maybe she's not a good test-taker?  Regardless, it's fine.  Now she and Frederick are in the same math book.  She's a couple lessons ahead of him in Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies though.  Marie tested smack-dab in the middle of 4th grade, right where she should be.  And Thomas disappointed himself by testing low in math. . . it's always been his best subject.  His school just isn't moving along as quickly as (we think) they should and he's behind.  The principal of the satellite school said it's "very normal" for students coming from the public school to test low in their grade. . .it will give Thomas incentive to work his way through the books quickly!  He works very well with a challenge. . .it's part of his Motivational DNA.

We did an hour of school work Sunday afternoon since we took Friday off.  Really, it hasn't been too bad.  The work is much harder, much more challenging then they are used to.  In fact, this was them, after the first full-day of homeschooling:

This was probably 7:00 or so.  Funny, huh?  Granted, Thomas was getting over "something" but still, was fine all day until he quit working and sat down.  I'm thinking that he didn't eat dinner. . .fell asleep before then even!  He slept straight through until 7 a.m. the next morning -- he was whipped!!!  Amazing how exhausted too much brain work can be :)

Yesterday (Tuesday) the kids finally went back to school -- after an hour delay.  They'd been out eleven straight days.  The plan was to let them have one "final" day to be with their teachers -- who they love -- and see their friends.  Thomas will go all this week, though, because the tournament ball games are this weekend and he's worked too hard this season to not be able to play in those games.   I had already talked to Margaret's teacher on the phone but needed to see Frederick and Marie's teachers.  It was a sad day for me, because *I* love school and hated taking them out.  But we are looking ahead. . .looking at changes that we are praying for in our lives. . .looking for some consistency in their education that our school board doesn't provide. . .looking for flexibility in our schedule as the spring approaches.

There is a lot to look forward to!  The kids are working well, so far, through their material.  I am seeing little "quirks" in them and their learning structure that will help me help them in the future.  They have lots more free time to just do what they want (we've still banned videos and video games Monday-Thursday) like play legos, do puzzles, paint, and run around outside, playing together.  Being with them ALL DAY reminds me, once again, how much I enjoy my children, like them, and love, love, love being their mother.  Oh, I know we'll have our tough, trying days but this is the right thing for us, right now.

So. . .moving forward with three of them today.  Thomas will have some catching up to do next week -- it was kind of strange sending him off to school with Tom this morning -- but *I* have school work to do myself too so it's good I only have three kiddos to work with today -- ha!

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