9 Jan 2014

Finding a summer routine

We're finding it kinda hard to settle back into a routine after 9 weeks of slow, relaxing summer holidays.  AO7 is quite a step up from the lower years, both in time required and in intensity, and it is proving difficult to fit it all in when the mornings are taken up with our annual three weeks of intensive swimming.

We've been really disciplined, and Jemimah has been completing a couple of readings before breakfast each day, but lots of things are new, and we're still having to work out how to do them in the best and most efficient - not to mention enjoyable - manner.

Nearing the end of our first week, we're already discovering which subjects and books are likely to be our favourites.  Jemimah is desperate to read the next chapter of The Once and Future King, and Ivanhoe had us at the very first page.  We're surprised to discover how much we're enjoying Winston Churchill's The Birth of Britain, a book which is often described as dry and difficult on the AO Forum. We've divided up the readings into daily portions, and Jemimah was able to do a terrific written narration on today's section about Julius Caesar's Landings in Britain.  How to Read a Book generated a wonderful discussion, as well.  Our science selections are all pretty good, so far, and we've already learnt lots of good stuff.  The Wonder of Light by Hyman Ruchlis is probably our favourite, at this early stage.

Probably our biggest problem is not the readings, but the other stuff.  It is easy to divide the books up into the number of days and just read until you're done, but we haven't done any nature study this week, and Jemimah has only made one entry in her Science notebook so far.  We've managed Plutarch, but we haven't even looked at Shakespeare.  Not that I'm overly worried as yet.  We did spend plenty of time in nature over the hols, and we're going to see Hamlet performed live next weekend.  It'll all be covered one way or another, even if we start a bit late.

I guess for us, it is more important that we have a nice relaxed start to the new year than that we're able to tick off every single little thing.  There are 39 weeks in our academic year (counting exam weeks), and that gives us plenty of time to find that routine, and to make up the little that we fall behind at the start.  Right now, our priorities are lots of pool time every day, time for us to spend together, and lots of time for delicious lunches at Melbourne's ethnic restaurants.  Jemimah's passion for Sculpey modelling hasn't waned at all, and she is considering moving into sugar work now.  She wants time for that as well.

School for us is an extension of our everyday life.  As we live we learn.  I'd be rather concerned if we never found our stride with this new AO year, but right now were content to begin slowly.

We're rather too busy trying to nail 100 metres of Butterfly to worry too much about anything else.


  1. I don't think you'd be shocked if I said go with the flow! I can't handle someone else dictating what and when (bad enough we have to report back to the Board of Studies!), so I think I'd be an epic failure as a Charlotte Mason-er. I would rather use suggestions for inspiration. But that's just me :-)

    1. Oh and nice work on the butterfly! The only stroke I could never master.

  2. Butterfly is hard so 100ms deserves a celebratory something.

    Getting back in routine is always hard after a longish break but there is an ebb & flow to these things as you know & by the end of the term you'll have covered what you need to cover & all will be well.

    I was amused recently as I had bought Cait an illustrated copy of Alice in Wonderland because she had been so taken with the illustrations when we were looking at it in the shop completely forgetting that the opening paragraph is all about the dullness of books that lack pictures! A sentiment Caitlin certainly endorses. So though she missed this particular book earlier she is now making up for lost time.

    Praying the 2 of you have a great school year.

  3. You are doing a wonderful job and Jemimah's smiles says it all. :)

  4. Loved your box of books. AO7, wow, the years are going so quickly.

  5. Always love seeing those books! And she is so cute in her swim goggles! :)


I'd love you to leave me a message. Tell me what you like - and what you don't. Just remember that this is what we do in our family - it doesn't have to be what you do in yours...