Family Day On The Rails

We found this amazing little park!  Called The Train Park in Molalla, Oregon. Of course, with three boys, our little family was in heaven.  We rode on the trains as many times as we could before closing and got a private tour of the Round House, where the engines are stored and worked on.

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About Our Back-to-school Plan

It’s here!  

The school year has kicked off with enthusiasm and hope.  Actually, we are in our second month of school, being the homeschooling family that we are… Ambitious?  Maybe.  However, we sat the kids down and explained a basic principle.

~Regardless of when we start, the same amount of work has to be done.  We can start early and finish early, start on time and finish on time, or start late and work later into next summer. ~

They chose to get an early start!

The school system we use is 24 weeks long.  We use a classical curriculum and once a week we meet with a large group of students, breaking into age appropriate classes.  We also meet with a smaller group of friends – other moms and their kids going through the same system.  This is the first year we are doing this, and it’s been wonderful!  The best part is we came up with a point system that challenges each of our kiddos to raise the bar in family life.  The kids spend 7 days earning points for specific goals and each time we meet they bring their accumulated points to add to the group’s goal of having a party.

We gave them fun names:

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With descriptions we all agreed on, and each of us tweaked for our specific family dynamics:

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They each get chores to check off daily.  Bigger chores for big kids, little chores for littler kids:

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And chores are explained and posted so there isn’t any misunderstanding:

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Which makes the side of our fridge into our points station:

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So far it’s been a really good start to the year.  I should add that my older two are in a challenge program working toward earning a special incentive trip at the end of the year for mastering all their school material. That’s 24 weeks worth of history, english grammar, geography, math, science, latin grammar, US presidents, and a passage of scripture memorized in english and translated in latin!  This is on top of writing & presentation assignments, memorizing grammar charts and dissecting sentences…

Have I expressed my mommy-pride loudly enough?!

It has been a handful, I have to admit.  I’ve had to become more routine and disciplined than I ever was while we were in a traditional school system.  With a kiddo just starting his school journey, two kiddos entering a new phase of their learning and development adventures, and a toddler enjoying life in the mix, a routine has become our life-line.  So has our support system – the other mommies and homeschool kids who understand both the sometimes intense pressures, responsibilities and amazing freedoms that come with a homeschooling lifestyle.  Gratefully we have both families in our classical system of homeschooling, and families who are pursuing different methods – both are refreshing, adding perspective and creativity I wouldn’t have on my own.

Whatever your schooling adventures are this year, we hope you are having a wonderful start and are full of hope and joy each day, overcoming hardships and enduring through the challenges in order to taste amazing success and victory!