We are all ready to go...
to Excelsior again!! :-)
The boys are all in different classes this year! Joshua has moved up into the 3rd and 4th grade class. JCT is with the 1st and 2nd graders, and Elijah is with the pre-k/K class! They were all excited to be back!
Our first day was actually 4 weeks ago, but I am a wee bit behind in the record keeping department! This pregnant/little baby up off and on all night deal is wearing me slap out!!
Anyway, Eriky and Jack hang out in the "nursery" while I teach classes from 8-10.
Well, I leave Eriky in the nursery with Mrs. Patti, who has 6 children and is PRECIOUS! He stays in there while I teach Elijah's class Circle time, Literature, and History. Then, at 9:30 I leave that room and go to JCT's class to teach geography. When I get out of geography, I always find Eriky in Elijah's class?? I'm not sure how he gets in there, but, it never fails, he is always in there with a big cheesy grin on his face!! Jessica (who teaches during that time) always wants him to stay with them at least through snack and recess! So, I nurse Jack, talk a bit in the teacher's lounge, and let Eriky have exactly what he wants! Silly monkey thinks he is Elijah's age!! If he had it his way, he'd be in that class this year. Next year, sweet Eriky, next year!!!
All the prep and planning has helped! We've really had a great year so far! The workload has increased a lot for Joshua this year. Latin is much more challenging ~ conjugating verbs, etc, not just memorizing words like it was last year. But, he loves learning Latin!! It is his second favorite subject after Literature. The thing I am most excited about is that he is loving all his studies this year! He is really loving to learn! Yesterday, we crammed for all his Friday tests. He had tests in History, Latin, Astronomy, Literature, Bible, and dictionary drills in grammar. So, we sat down and went over all his notes for those classes in the afternoon. I fixed him a snack, got Elijah and JCT settled in playing, and began quizzing away. He had an art class and football practice later in the afternoon, and we studied up until it was time to leave. He usually gets a couple hours to play outside every afternoon, so I apologized to him as we began to study. I said, "Buddy, I'm sorry, we are going to have to work through the afternoon." He said, seriously, he really said this, "Oh, I don't mind! I like it! It's fun!" I was floored, but thankful! All his classes genuinely interest him this year, and that is so fun!
Last year I was very guarded about Excelsior. I liked it, but I was just not ready. I wasn't so sure. But, this year with Joshua gaining so much from the older program, I am increasingly more thankful for the program. The moms put so much into their classes, and they make learning so hands on and fun for the kids. For example, today Joshua was tested over the Gilgamesh trilogy. His sweet literature teacher, Mrs. Connie, does a tasting for every book they read. They feast on the fare of that particular time period. So, they ate like Mesopotamians today ~ goats milk, jerkey, and a sweet bread. Joshua actually tasted the goat's milk, but he said he didn't like it!!! Then, she brought them all clay tablets that they got to carve their cuneiform initials into! I am so thankful for all that the moms put into their classes, and it challenges me to do all that I can to make class fun and exciting for their children, as well!
A few months ago I went on a mom's night out with a handful of the other moms. I never took the time to post the pictures, so I am going to do it now.
The sweet girl on the left is Nichole. She teaches Joshua astronomy, and she makes it so fun! He is outside observing the sun and the stars day and night! She is also the mom of four boys, and my Joshua broke his collarbone playing football with her boys!! :-) The girl in the middle is new this year, and she took over my job as lunch lady. Bless her! And, sweet Summer is on the right! I love her because she says whatever she thinks, and she hunts deer ~ not that we have that in common or that I'd ever want to kill a deer ~ but it just says something about the kind of girl she is!! She also teaches Joshua grammar, and makes everything a competition which he, of course, loves! I had to speak to her church's women's ministry this week! I was so nervous about it, and sweet Summer sat right beside on the front row and gave me lots of encouragement and moral support!
Shanna is on the left, and she is my parter in teaching preschool. We are a team from 8-9:30 on Fridays. She actually worked in a preschool, so I have learned so much from her! Side note: I LOVE teaching the preschoolers!!!!! They are sooo sweet and cute! Shanna is great ~ laid back and fun! Meagan is in the middle. I spent the afternoon at her house today letting our younger kids play while her son Miles and Joshua stayed for their afternoon classes. She is a sweet girl. She teaches JCT astronomy and Bible, and she teaches Elijah catechism. And, Tammy is on the right. Tammy did lunches the year before me, and she helped me tremendously! Now she teaches Joshua Latin. She is a hard teacher but a very good teacher. She is one of the most organized people I know!
Amy is on the left, and she is a college math professor, so she is my go-to girl for any and all math questions! Then, on my right is Penny. Penny is so helpful. Penny has two grown children, a son in college and a daughter who has already graduated from college. And, now Penny and her husband are raising round 2! They adopted two sweet children from China. They are in 4th grade, so Joshua gets to hang out with them for some of his classes this year.
All in all, we are really enjoying this year. I'm not sure how we will make it all work next year, but I feel sure God will put all the pieces together just as He would have them to be. I'm trying so hard not to look at the left or the right, but to keep my eyes fixed on Him. But, sometimes that is not easy! Day by day.... Breath by breath....