Friday, September 5, 2014

Our First Month in Colorado, Part 3

 Monday, August 11th, was Caleb's first day of High School, AND 15th Birthday!!!
How did he grow up so quickly?!
Caleb seems to be enjoying Colorado Springs Early Colleges- a Charter High School on the west side of town.
Since we live on the North East side of Colorado Springs, we take Caleb to a nearby bus stop each morning at 7:10AM, and then pick him up there every afternoon around 3:45 PM.
Many schooling choices in Colorado Springs abound. One can choose which school they'd like to send their child, not necessarily sticking with the school in their district.
We chose CSEC because Caleb didn't have an interest in extra-curriculars, and it appeared to be a good fit for him (not to mention a smaller campus than the High School in our district).
We'll see how everything progresses .... so far, so good.  
This is our boys' first experience in a Public school setting, after having been either home schooled or in private school.  We know there will be adjustments and issues ahead, as this is only week 3 of school for Caleb (week 2 for Antonin).  

Yes, I wanted to take bus pictures .... but without embarrassing Caleb. Hence, the "not so good" pics that were snapped from where I sat in our van.   :)   
I exclaimed (in an excited voice) that it was his first year to ride a school bus every day.
"Oh mom ...." was Caleb's response.    :)  {When I snapped this photo, Caleb was already inside the bus- he moves so fast}
 While Caleb was at school, Antonin, Ashlyn & I made his birthday cake, and decorated the house (balloons & streamers, party plates, etc). How sweet seeing Antonin & Ashlyn's eagerness in celebrating their brother's birthday and first day of High School. I think they were more excited than he was!  :)
 Happy, happy Birthday, Caleb!!!  We look forward to what God will do in your life!

We hike every weekend, so went to the Cheyenne Mountain State Park once the weekend rolled around.
The views were lovely, and would be perfect for mountain bike riding. We eventually decided, however ...
.... that we absolutely love driving into the Cheyenne Mountains (Canon Park)!! Once again, the camera couldn't do the scenery justice.

{Helen Hunt Falls}

What a view at the top of the mountain trail!! The Helen Hunt waterfall was nearby.
I love my family!! :)   :)

Another  fun weekend disappeared, and we prepared for more "First days" of school. 
Antonin's first day of 7th grade was on August 19th, at Timberview Middle School (10 minutes away)! My goodness- how can he be this old?!

Antonin has been interested in playing trumpet for awhile, but we had put off lessons since they were expensive!
Though Antonin participated in Timberview's summer band program, it was at the Beginning band level (6th grade).
He would need to catch up to the 7th grade band level since it wouldn't work joining the 6th grade band (due to 7th grade schedule).
 His first day in band was overwhelming, since he didn't know most of the notes being played. These past couple of weeks, Antonin has been catching up quite well! His band directors say that Antonin is working extremely hard, doing well, and they are excited to have him in band. I love the band directors and teachers at Timberview- they seem to be very caring and great teachers. 
I've been taking him to school at 7AM every morning, so that he can practice trumpet before school starts (more one-on-one help; an 8th grader has been helping him too) . 
Since he also participates in Cross Country after school, I pick him up at 4:30PM.
Yes, the days are long ....!!

Also on August 19th, Ashlyn began 4th grade in our Home School! 
We are studying Ancient World History this year, and presently wrapping up Ancient Egyptian History (no pun intended- Egyptian mummies... get it?)    :)

Homeschooling in Colorado is very different than homeschooling in Illinois.
One must fill out an "Intent to homeschool", so that your school district knows how many within their district are homeschooling (and won't question if they see you out with your kids?).
 At first, this mandatory rule really intimidated me. I'd need to keep detailed records to turn in? And test Ashlyn at the end of the school year? What control freaks- Ack!!  I then saw how an involved school district is also a very helpful one (Colorado school folks are open minded about homeschooling and don't give judgmental glances or frowns). 
I've decided I like this!!  Resources and yearly testing is FREE within the Homeschool Academy in our school district .... AND ... there are some pretty awesome one-day-a-week programs/activities.  Ashlyn is part of Home School TRACKS, an outdoor Science and Social Studies program, located on the property of "The School in the Woods" in Black Forest.
Being a part of the Homeschool Academy, is like being a part of a homeschool co-op, but for FREE!  :)
Each Home school Academy family can sign up for a free Rosetta Stone Language program for each of their homeschooled students. Since I'm already using "Latin for Children" for Ashlyn, we likely won't sign up ... but the selection is so amazing, learning another foreign language is tempting.  One can choose Chinese, Swedish, Portuguese, and Hebrew, among many other languages!
I realize the school year has only just started for our whole family, but so far we're really liking District 20, both public school and homeschool!

Ashlyn's first day of TRACKS. She loved it so much, continues to love it, and I'm very excited for her!   :)
I'm excited for all three of our children- 9th, 7th & 4th grades- God has blessed us!!

{I will share more about school options in a future post}

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