Monday, January 6, 2014

Works Plans for the Week of January 6, 2014: Back in the Game

It's another week when it's easier to be a homeschooler than not--our part of the country is stymied under record, dangerously low temperatures, and our city has basically shut down and ordered everyone to stay home and snuggle up. Public schools are out--and will be out tomorrow, too--but it's probably not so much a novelty for those kiddos coming on the back of their two-week break, and I think they're going to have to make these days up at the end of the year, anyway--yuck (Ooh, I just discovered that Indiana schools are NOT going to make up this snow day, but it will result in them not meeting their flat-out minimum 180 days of instruction this year. Interesting...)! For us, though, it's business as usual (minus our volunteer gig and aerial silks class, both having been cancelled), and the children, having had enough of vacation and staycation in the past two weeks, are happy to get back in the game.

MONDAY: I knew ahead of time that our outside activities would be cancelled today, so I snuck in an extra subject--and the kids didn't notice, whee! Our pattern blocks activity today was focused on square numbers, which ties nicely in to our current memory work of memorizing the multiplication table (Will's late to this, which doesn't bug me, and Syd's early to it... which also doesn't bug me!). In Latin, we're onto animal names, which the kids are finding super easy to memorize--a refreshing change from the struggle to keep those darned tricky words in their heads! I found some good Youtube piano lessons that are making Syd's keyboard time much easier; Will threw a fit over having to practice her recorder piece until she actually got it right, but then was stoked at having gotten it right, so there you go.

Our big project this week has to do with the kiddos' first Girl Scouts badge! We are just at the beginning of this journey, I know, but already we are all so excited about all the opportunities that come with being a Girl Scout. I registered the kids as Juliettes, which means that we can work independently and with our friends who are also Girl Scout Juliettes, but they can still attend all the TONS of Girl Scout activities and workshops and camps and classes in our area. The badge activities are excellent, too--I like that there are choices, and that they're all so cross-curricular, and the kids like that they're all so hands-on and varied.

The first badge that we're working on is the one for World Thinking Day, which is coming up next month. I love this one, as it's focused on the issue of childhood education and access to it. We've already had some great conversations about education as a right and responsibility versus education as a privilege, and how that affects children's attitudes about their education (Ahem!!!). Among other activities, both girls will be comparing girls' educations in other countries (namely India and in Africa) to their own education, and planning and executing the creation of a children's literacy corner in the local food pantry where we volunteer. For this latter project, they'll need to write to the volunteer coordinator and ask permission, design the spot to fit into the cramped area already set aside for children there, source and obtain all the supplies, set it up, and maintain it weekly. Today we talked through some of the planning, and then Will watched a video about a little schoolgirl in India and wrote a rough draft of her comparison/contrast list, and Syd created a storyboard for a photo diary that she's going to create about her typical school day.

TUESDAY: I want to start Science Fair prep as soon as possible--can you believe that it's next month?!?--but until our library books are ready for us to pick up (and the library is closed today AND tomorrow, probably, sigh), we can finish up our acids and bases study with a few more of the experiments from the kids' chemistry set. I'm back to scheduling grammar only once a week, leaving time for more projects, and I think that I'll keep the kids with word ladders for logic until after the Spelling Bee--every minute of practice counts!

WEDNESDAY: I still don't know what the weather will be like on this day, frankly, and if we'll even get out to aerial silks. Free days aren't quite as fun when the temperature is so dangerously low that your friends can't even come over for a playdate, and you can't meet them for sledding.

THURSDAY: Surely we'll be able to go ice skating with friends by then... although it is supposed to snow again on Thursday. Otherwise, we'll keep ourselves busy with chemistry experiments and drawing lessons. Will is going to master the first videogame ever, and Syd is going to sketch out some plans for her Trashion/Refashion Show design. I really hope that she designs something that she can sew for herself this year!

FRIDAY: We didn't finish the California facts during our last week of school last year, so we'll finish them now. We'll probably do a few geography-based projects next week--the vacation scrapbooks, California lapbooks, etc. I also need to remember to do the prep work this week so that we can work on some bigger Ancient Egypt projects next week, but especially after we saw those real-live versions at the Rosicrucian Museum, I think the kids will have a lot of fun creating their own model sarcophogi in cardboard.

Over break, we listened to audiobooks of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, and saw the play and movie versions of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, AND made chocolate from scratch. I wanted to bring the topic back around to our summer studies of Hershey before we moved on, so I've got a documentary on Hershey for us to watch, and then the kids are going to design their own chocolate factories on large-format drawing paper. I wonder if their factories will be more Wonka-esque or Hershey-esque in nature?

SATURDAY/SUNDAY: Nature class, chess club, and lots of playing in the snow and swimming at the Y, is my guess.


Tina said...

Bummer about the weather. It's been pretty cold here off and on also. Yesterday was 4 degrees.

Cool about the Girl Scouts! I looked into it a few years ago, but I felt that they group we would have belonged to was very secular and that we wouldn't fit in. Might have to look into it again.

That's a lot of fun with chocolate!

julie said...

And now we've joined 4-H, too, which you also have to check out! There are a lot of horse projects to choose from.

Tina said...

I saw that you had joined 4-H!

We just joined a homeschool co-op, and one of the women was telling me that there is a horse program specifically for kids who don't have horses. We might have to check it out, except she isn't eligible for the program until she's 9.

When we looked at the clover kid 4-H program, we were not really impressed. Plus, as it is with all the jiu-jitsu I've been doing, and the few activities we have her in, plus my on-line classes, I think 4-H might have to hold off until I get our schedules hammered out and under control.

But yeah, 4-H will be in our future.

Tina said...
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