Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Loop

We're trying something new here at the Academy. Instead of following a routine/schedule, we're following The Loop (I had been calling it a flow chart, but Cr pointed out that it's a loop).

We have been fighting two problems with our schedule this year. The first is that it is easy for me to get caught up teaching L and Z and missing more days than I'd like with J and M. The second major problem has been the difficulty of getting back to school after lunch. By the time they'd had their quiet time and started to play, it was difficult to reengage their brains for more learning.

I read a few articles by Joyce Swann. She has 10 children, and all who are old enough have earned their Master's degrees by the age of 16. Her school hours were from 8:30-11:30 every day (they school year round, as do we). Once her children finished one subject, they went on to the next. This left the rest of their days free to pursue their interests. While my goals aren't to accelerate the boys' educations to this degree, it did get me thinking. If she can school for 3 hours in the morning and have well-educated children, surely I can come up with a plan.

The plan is The Loop. I will start at the top of the list and move through in the order listed from 9:00 to 12:00. For example, I'll start with Latin and if I only get through Language Arts with J by 12:00, the next day I'll start with Language Arts with M at 9:00 and keep going down the list until noon, and if we finish History before noon I'll start back at the top with Latin and so on. J & M will only be required in the school room for their specific lessons, but L & Z will be required to be in the school room working the entire time because they have plenty of independent work they can do. We have lunch from 12-12:30, and then they all have quiet time on their beds until 1:30, where they can finish up independent work or read/look at books.

While we haven't been following The Loop, the past 2 weeks we have been following the 9:00-12:00 school hours and quiet time from 12:30-1:30 where they've done independent work. Our days have been much more peaceful, and I'm hopeful we've hit on a solution for this upcoming year.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Heh, Heh, Heh.

During one of our family Wii sports sessions, Cr made another good shot on one of the games.

Cr: "Heh, heh, heh."
(a few moments of silence)
Z: "Heh, heh, heh."
(small pause)
Z: "I'm trying to be like Dad. Only I don't have the voice. Or the vocabulary."

Parental Disclaimer

We were able to purchase a Wii (for those of you who have never heard it said, it's pronounced "we") several weeks ago. We have really enjoyed playing it together.

M has a blast with it. However, he calls it "the weed". So if a very excitable little boy ever comes up to you asking you if you want to "do the weed", or proclaiming with passion that his Mommy and Daddy "do the weed" every night, or that he himself loves "the weed", before you call the authorities to report that he and his family are into illegal drugs, find out if he's talking about the new video game system.

Friday, April 11, 2008


For those who don't watch American Idol, or who simply missed this, here it is. Yes, this was sung on national TV (twice, actually, but the first night they changed Jesus to Shepherd). I don't know the how, the why, or the who behind it but it happened, and I like it so much I'm posting it here.