Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Work Plans for the Week of March 10, 2014: Sydney School

Just as we finally hashed out in our Family Meeting on Sunday, this week I only wrote lesson plans for Syd. Will has a math packet with a full five days of math, and she is welcome to join in with whatever lessons Syd and I are doing, but otherwise she has no requirements beyond our everyday outside activities and chores.

Will has always regularly protested her schoolwork, no matter how much I change my methods to suit her. And considering that this is a kid who reads nearly constantly, who watches documentaries for fun, who, for computer time, usually chooses something from my Educational Links page, and who is a precocious, quick learner, I'm willing to try out letting her manage her own education, to an extent. Syd, on the other hand, has no limit to her capacity for soaking in my attention, and thrives with my lessons and hands-on activities.

If this week is a success, I would like to put a little more structure into Will's studies, such as giving her book lists on specific subjects, having her write summaries of the books that she reads, guiding her to regularly write those research reports that I'm so fond of, and to complete the odd project. I also expect her to join in with most of the lessons that I do with Syd, knowing that quite a bit of her pig-headedness Independent Thinker with Leadership Potential-ness has to do with her automatic rejection of anything that anyone in authority would like her to do, and being invited and welcomed is a whole different animal from being required.

So with that preface, here's what Syd and I (and sometimes Will) are up to this week:

MONDAY: This is Birthday Week for the Girl Scouts, with Wednesday marking the organization's 102nd anniversary. Every day includes a special activity that a girl can complete in order to earn the Birthday Week patch. In our council, most of these activities this year focus on computers and animation--an odd focus, if you ask me, but we've got to sneak in those STEM skills, I guess! Yesterday, both Syd and Will worked for over an hour on that day's activity, that of creating a Google Doodle for the Doodle4Google contest. I can't help but add that Will was focused on her work and thoughtful with her design, simply after being invited to work with me and Syd. If I'd required it, there's the strong chance that she would have thrown a fit, then put in the minimum amount of effort required to meet my most minimal standards.

Syd worked on her keyboard lessons, we spent a furiously busy two hours at our weekly volunteer gig (some of the other volunteers didn't show up, so I was run off my feet--yay for good healthy activity!), there was a multiplication game and a Latin unit, and just like that, fuss-free, the kids were able to spend the rest of the day in play, and the day was actually nice enough that we could all head to the park after dinner, the kids to run around like maniacs (the wall that partly fell on Will yesterday, crushing her thumb, was now completely fallen down. I felt sick when I saw it, and wished that I'd had Matt pull it down in the first place; it could DEFINITELY have killed a kid) and Matt and I to unashamedly play bad basketball on the courts.

TUESDAY: We're eating apple pie oatmeal and leftover quiche right now, listening to "Morning Edition" while Will plays Minecraft on the computer, but in exactly three minutes, Syd and I are going to work through her Math Mammoth packet, read Pippi Longstocking out loud together, complete her next grammar unit, and get ready for a season full of bird watching (I plan to use my salary from last month for Indiana and US guidebooks for plants and animals--we're going to be naturalists this year!). I bet the kids will get into a big fight while learning how to play Pong together, but it's also another gorgeous day for playing outside, and later this afternoon Matt is taking them and a couple of their friends to something called a Girl Scout Songfest.

WEDNESDAY: I'm already worried about this horseback riding class that can't be rescheduled--Will's thumb is still awfully gory and swollen--but that's something that her instructors are just going to have to figure out. We're also going to watch a children's theatre production of Pippi Longstocking, and Syd's going to read Stage Fright on a Summer Night--all by herself!--so that both kids can attend Magic Tree House Club that afternoon.

We are also, although I haven't told the children this on account of I do not want them hysterical with excitement all freakin' day, going to make cake and ice cream from scratch in order to celebrate the 102nd anniversary of the Girl Scouts.

THURSDAY: I'd like to go on a nature walk and find animal tracks to make our plaster of Paris casts from, but it's supposed to snow again on Wednesday, so if all else fails, there's always clay and cats and seashells. There's an excellent, kid-friendly pottery book that we're going to look through together as part of Syd's Potter badge, and then there's an interesting nanosecond project to complete.

And if it *doesn't* snow, maybe our homeschool group will be able to have our first Park Day of the year. I will be SO happy to get out of that dang gymnasium!

Friday: We'll be doing some natural history of Indiana, before we starting learning about the Native Americans. There's a great video to watch, and those guidebooks that I'm going to purchase, and we'll have the whole weekend for our nice, long nature hike.

I finally decided that we'll listen to the Bible chapter of SOTW, and do the mapwork, and color in a Bible coloring book to get a little better of a handle on the stories. I've also made a mental note to introduce some interesting stories from other religions at a later time.

The kids' drawing skills have been improving just a ton lately, so I'm excited for us to do the next lesson in Drawing With Children, and a word ladder should quickly finish up the day with a little logical thinking.

SATURDAY/SUNDAY: I think I will send the kids to that drop-in pottery class this weekend--Syd's Potter badge isn't going to earn itself!--and we have a giant, three-movie Toy Story marathon to enjoy to round off Girl Scout Birthday Week. We might go rock climbing. We might take another hike. We need to build a better gate into the chicken yard. We need to have a Family Meeting to figure out if we're going to buy those couple of Easter Egger chicks that Will wants.

AND, speaking of Family Meetings, we'll need to see if Will's school week went well, or if it's back to the drawing board for that.


Katie Gramlich said...

Can't wait to take them to Kelley Cabin and walk the trail

Tina said...

Great job on knowing what your kids need.

Thanks for all the advice. I think we will stick with the SOTW for this next week then see what we want to add in.

Can't wait to see the cake and ice cream you get to make (and eat)!

julie said...

Well, I don't know if I know what they need, but I'm certainly willing to flail around desperately in search of it!

Katie, *I* can't wait for you to take them there!


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