I'm trying something new with the kids. Each boy has a folder w/their name on it that contains the work for the week. This is much easier w/Niles as he can read the assignment sheet & check things off on his own. Niles has a tendency to start & not finish something or to say things like "I didn't know what I was supposed to do" so if I go to drop Elie off & don't take the kids to the library with me, nothing gets done. Or at least not enough gets done. This way, I have page numbers & assignments down. I took a teacher work day last week, when both Elie & Nate had school off as well and got their stuff ready for the month of November to really give this a good shot. So far, it's been going well. Niles hates math, so this way, he can see exactly how much he has to do for the week. And he can choose to do it all on one day or spread it out. I did tell him, if it takes you 3 days to do all this week, then you're done for the week, but if it takes you 7 days to do all this work, then you won't get a day off. He's still pondering that one out. ;) Niles has been asking lots of questions about movie special effects lately so I got him a book at the library about it. He really liked that. Anything that gets him to read more for pleasure is good.
Luca's folder is filled w/various work sheet type activities, practicing his letters and such. So he has some things he can do while I'm away. His phonics and some of the math need to be done w/me. But he can do things like draw x number of buttons on coats, x amount of apples on a tree when I'm not here. And Niles enjoys reading him the instructions too. It's very sweet. Luca can be a bit fussy about his work and I get some "I don't want to do this" flak. But he's learned that school at home is still school and when it's work time, I mean it. I am in no way an "unschooler". And I get that learning is fun and doesn't have to be traditional here at home. But we also have to do things to move the process forward. He is excited to be learning to read, but it still requires work. You don't just one day start reading w/o learning the building blocks. This reminds me of a funny story. We are going through reviewing the sounds all the letters make. And I had just introduced "n" and said nnnn like Niles and Nate. Niles chimes in "and Neil." I say, "this is true, but Luca calls Neil 'dad' so he is really d or duh." To which Neil chimes in from his office, "I'm not sure I like being "Duh!" which got us all laughing.