I'd planned to post while on vacation but internet access wasn't as easy as we'd expected. Vacation was also much busier than we'd anticipated but I did get some time to think about education and, most importantly, lots of time to observe my children and think about their progress, the way they learn, and what we should be working on.
We learned a lot on this trip. James is a museum freak; we spent an entire day in the British Museum and had to go back for more. He can't tear himself away! Eleanor always wanted to know where the gift shop was... but while on this trip we found that she can pretty much read now, after minimal "teaching" from me. What to do with all those Explode the Code books??
We also talked a lot about things we'd like to do and how we'd like our home to work. We agreed (and we'll see how this works in practice) that we'll get our "basics" - reading, math, writing - done in the morning without arguing or delaying, so we'll have more time for the more fun stuff. We have a few projects planned... including some gardening, and learning to sew and cook, and of course lots of reading aloud. Oh, and teatime every afternoon. If anything, travel has made them - James especially - even more curious and wanting to know everything about everything. They were very happy when I pulled out Story of the World today to read about the Wars of the Roses - a topic with which they are fairly familiar after visiting the Tower and York Minster.
Those basics, though, are still going to be a struggle, especially for James. He has lost what little grasp on math facts he had. And I hate to think what handwriting will be like for him, since he barely put pencil to paper for a month. The journals I brought didn't quite work out - we were so busy doing that we didn't take much time for the reporting. But I'm feeling pretty good about our "school year" which, I guess, has started!