Monday, August 11, 2014

Work Plans for the Week of August 11, 2014

MONDAY: The kids both have some hands-on review before their upcoming math week--Will will be working multi-digit multiplication problems, so I've got her playing this Arithmetiles game that requires all four operations; Syd will be subtracting in columns, so she and I are going to draw a 100-square hopscotch grid down our giant driveway, then play with it and a 20-sided die (mental note: figure out how to DIY a GIANT 20-sided die!).

I did assign Will's book to her for her reading this week; there's tons of historical fiction for kids related to our pioneers unit study, and Will rarely protests a reading assignment. Dog Diaries was a HUGE success for Syd last week--I had to encourage her to finish it over the weekend, but hours after she'd finished she came up to me and announced, "I can't stop thinking about Ginger!" She's got another Dog Diaries this week, and then we might do Horse Diaries for the next couple of weeks, or I might try one of those historical fictions that seems suited to her interest and reading level.

Will has an experiment that she's eager to complete to finish up her Animal Habitats badge; Syd has only my extra assigned activities to complete to finish her Bugs badge. And then I have to figure out where I packed the patches so I can sew them on!

This week's horse breed is the Norwegian fjord. Thanks, Tina, for linking your horse geography worksheets for me--we're absolutely using those now! This will be our first week doing so, so I think I'll have the kids trade off researching the horse with researching the country each week.

TUESDAY: For spelling, I'll give each of the kids an oral test of last week's words, delete the words that they've spelled correctly, add some new words, and then set them loose on Spelling City. Spelling City is more fun than productive for them, but it gives them exposure to their words, at least, which is often all that they need to correctly spell them. Still, though, I doubt that I'll renew our subscription when it expires in the next month or two.

The cursive spot-testing went well last week, if only in that it taught me that the kids are NOT remembering their letters well! Spot-testing and frequent reinforcement will solve that, hopefully.

It's been rainy since Friday, so if it's dry tomorrow the ground should be perfectly suited to discovering animal tracks in the woods and fields behind our house. I plan to teach the kids how to field-cast tracks, then we can study them and use them to make predictions about the animals that they came from, just as paleontologists do.

Syd liked her Draw Write Now assignment last week, but Will put zero effort into it, so we'll move into Waldorf-style form drawing this week, after all. It's guided, so it will require Will's attention, it's simple, so she should feel successful at it, and I think it will be great for her fine motor skills and will improve her drawing abilities.

WEDNESDAY: Horseback riding lessons!

THURSDAY: Syd wanted to throw a party, so in the past couple of weeks she's written out an elaborate invitation to a couple of friends and mailed it, nagged me until I messaged her friends' mother to schedule a date and time, planned the menu, shopped for the supplies (with her father, so they're a LOT junkier than I would have allowed, but oh, well...), discussed with me every single piece of her two tea sets and how each should be used for the party, made alternate seating arrangements in case it rains, decided on frosting colors (why we need frosting for a cupcake mix that looks so sickly sweet already, I don't know), and has planned when she'll need to prepare all the food.

I've mostly just gotten out of her way.

With a hot chocolate party and our homeschool group's Park Day both on Thursday, I chose the quickest and most efficient school works for that day--math, grammar, and postcard writing.

FRIDAY: Some family is coming into town for the weekend and arriving on this afternoon, so I've possibly got our school day too full here, but I've planned for the coming Monday to be a vacation/catch-up day.

The kids did NOT like last week's fun geography game--in fact, they both pitched a fit and lost their hour's after-school screen time that is only earned by completing all schoolwork with a good attitude--so I decided to screw trying to make memorizing the states and capitals fun for them. They can trace and label maps for a while, the rascals, and then we'll see if playing a geography game sounds fun! The DO love How the States Got Their Shapes, however. Love. It.

They also didn't love making the lapbook for By the Shores of Silver Lake, and since the lapbook was really more about reading comprehension than the pioneer history that I wanted to teach, anyway, I'm going to drop it. Instead, we've got a chapter from A History of Us, and instead of studying the Ingalls' emigration to Dakota Territory, specifically, I think we'll cover the Oregon Trail--very applicable to the Ingalls, and there's loads of information for teaching it to these ages.

SATURDAY/SUNDAY/MONDAY: Family will be in town, so there will likely be some sight-seeing, some house-admiring, some how-do-we-fit-all-these-people-around-our-tiny-tabling, some drive-in movie-watching, etc.

P.S. I found this photo of Spots as a kitten back in 2010:

On Friday night, some college-aged women called Matt and told him that they'd found a cat that looked like Spots, so they'd captured her for him. Matt pulled on some clothes and drove over there, only to find that the cat that they'd kindly captured and put in a cage (gerbil cage?) in their kitchen wasn't Spots--more of a ginger tabby, really. He thanked them profusely and left as one said to the others, "So, did we just steal someone's cat?"

Probably, but thanks for your help!


Tina said...

I spent pretty much all day trying to get as organized as possible for my upcoming 8 week school term. I figure maybe it will go more smoothly this way. I also told Emma that this needs to work or she may have to go to school. She didn't like to hear that.

We have all of the Horse Diaries so let me know if you need any of them. Although, your libraries are way awesome, so your probably set. We may have to start collecting the Dog Diaries soon.

I am so excited that you are using our horse geography sheet! We should probably get back to them, but right now I'm just happy if she does her math and history.

That is a cute photo of Syd and Spots. Glad folks are keeping an eye our for her.

julie said...

I bribe my kids for school and chores--one hour of screen time after school IF they've done everything with a good attitude, and one dollar, attached to the fridge with a magnet, that's theirs IF they complete all their chores before dinner.

I totally used to threaten them with going to school, just because I knew they didn't want to, but now that we've moved I think that we're technically in a crappy district, so can't make that threat anymore!

Tina said...

I like the bribes you use. I think those would make me feel less bad, as Emma cries when I threaten sending her to school.

The dollar on the fridge seems especially good as they can see their reward.

What chores are the girls responsible for? We can never figure that part out.

julie said...

They get five chores a day, not including simple cleaning up after themselves or helping out when someone asks. Brushing teeth and hair and putting on clean clothes is always one chore, on account of they wouldn't do it otherwise. Feeding and watering the animals/scooping the litter box are chores they trade off on each day. Same with emptying/loading the dishwasher; if one kid feeds and waters the animals and empties the dishwasher one day, the next day she'll be scooping litter and loading the dishwasher while the other kid feeds animals and empties, etc.

For the other two chores, every morning I think about what each could do to help out that day, and it's always different, but something that I don't have to supervise too carefully. They can fold and sort clothes from the dryer and deliver them to the correct bed; wipe down counters, sinks, and toilets; vacuum; put beans in the crock pot for the next day; sweep the deck/porches; pick up trash in the yard; clean out the chicken coop; water the container garden; write a thank-you note or birthday card to a relative; clean any of "their" rooms, including wiping down surfaces and vacuuming. Will can be trusted to paint outdoor furniture. Syd can make an entire dinner, if it's simple.

I know the kids don't *like* chores, of course, but I really think that they like the idea that I need them, and I think that they like knowing that they're useful. They also like watching me grit my teeth and say nothing while they buy absolute crap with their very own money!

Tina said...

Makes sense! All of Emma's money goes towards model horses or life sized stuffed dogs.

Thanks for the run-down!


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