Monday, September 29, 2014

Work Plans for the Week of September 29, 2014: Out and About

I got to feeling burned out with homeschooling last week, and thought that I might make this week either a "Project Week" or simply a math, cursive, and journal week, but then I actually looked at my planner, and saw how many outside activities the kids are going to be engaged in--homeschooling around those made lesson planning dead simple this weekend, and should make for a school week that gives us all lots of breaks between the work for extracurriculars.

MONDAY: Right now, for instance, the kiddos are downstairs at one of our community centers having a folk dancing class; this is part of our Girl Scout co-op, and will count towards Syd's Dancer badge. Yay, PE! After their workshop, we'll read and play board games here for a bit, and then go straight over to our volunteer gig. Then there's more horse breed and horse breed geography research (the kids use this Smithsonian horse encyclopedia and CultureGrams for this research, and then we search Youtube together for relevant videos), and for cursive, spelling word copywork. I'd wanted to delete spelling as a discrete subject and move it to our daily memory work, but I almost immediately discovered that memory work works best in the car, and so that dang cursive is back. If the spelling word copywork works well, however, perhaps I can at least combine spelling/cursive into the same slot.

Lapbooks have never worked well for us, but I've been wanting, for a while now, to introduce the idea of a math notebook that the kids would make themselves and then could consult for reference about, say, Roman numerals, or how exactly one borrows across zeros when subtracting. This weekend, looking for a way to have Will review simple division and Syd review simple multiplication, I found lapbooks for both multiplication and division. I copied them and set them aside, with blank notebooks, into their Monday drawer, and voila! We have math notebooks!

TUESDAY: The kids have a horse show next month, so preparation for that is occupying much of their weekly horseback riding lessons. We'll do more spiral form drawing for art, and this week's Math Mammoth is more simple multiplication for Syd and more long division for Will, so no review day needed--I'm sure we'll have to go back to review days after Will moves on to the next unit, though, so they're not gone for good.

Choosing a Junior Ranger badge to earn is one subject that just did not happen last week--that was the day, I think, that both kids piddled around contentedly at the table and made half an hour of math take more like three hours; seriously, I lost my patience with schoolwork that day loooong before they did. We'll try it this week, instead, because I do think that they're going to like it, and it's going to be a valuable way to study geography.

Will has Robotics Workshop on alternate Tuesdays (they're using LEGO Mindstorms, which I'm pretty sure that someone needs to buy ME to play with, too!), so I planned to have Syd and I do a special craft project together during that time; she sometimes has a playdate then, but if so, this marshmallow pop project will be easy to move to our free day, or even the weekend.

WEDNESDAY: A field trip to a local farm that hosts a children's farm festival will occupy this day until mid-afternoon; there should be lots of active, outdoor free play during that time, so I don't feel *too* badly about the kids going home and then having their online Magic Tree House Club meeting just a couple of hours later, and then being fed dinner and shipped off to their LEGO Club meeting.

THURSDAY: I only managed to schedule one First Language Lessons unit this week, but we continue our study of Ancient China through the lens of its artifacts by watching Chinese folktales, and then practicing the four-character Chinese idioms based on those tales. I'd like the kids to be able to recreate one idiom from memory, and I'll be adding some significant dates for Ancient China's development of their writing system to our daily memory work.

Will is ready to start a new Girl Scout badge (I've got a few extra things that I'd like her to do relating to her Inside Government badge, but I didn't want to start them this week--we just don't have enough at-home time for an extensive seat-work project), but I've planned for Syd to hike around the woods behind our house and complete a "bug census" on the woods' inhabitants.

FRIDAY: Free day!!!

SATURDAY/SUNDAY: Syd has ballet, and then Matt will be taking both kids directly from there to Indianapolis, where they have an afternoon Girl Scout workshop about aircraft engineering; they're going to get some hands-on experience with small planes at the actual airport, culminating in an actual flight! I am really, really, really excited for them.

Our weekdays were already so busy that I moved the kids' aerial silks class to Sunday, which means that Matt will get to take them and actually watch their class for a change; I think he's going to be quite impressed!

Now, next week is another week busy with activities--it's the public schools' fall break, so there's lots of school-age programming at the library, and a day camp, etc.--so that week might actually BE a math, journal, and cursive week. I'm already looking forward to it!

3 comments:

Tina said...

So what is Culture Grams? I'm lazy and don't want to request the free trial (and then continue to get spam e-mail) if it isn't something we will use.

Jared get's to watch Emma's horse lessons once a year or so and it is always a mixture of awesomeness and mass boredom for him. He loves to see her ride, but after about 15 minutes of watching Emma ride around in circles, he just starts playing with the camera.

That multiplication lapbook looks pretty cool. Emma loved the horse one you found a while ago.

julie said...

I think Culture Grams is super awesome, BUT we get it free through our library, so I might also be biased.

Basically, it's a kid-friendly geography research tool. If they look up a country, they get to read facts about it, listen to its name pronounced and its national anthem (and sometimes more traditional music), see photos and videos, read recipes, read the bios of famous people, look up a bunch of different data tables, calculate the time and the currency and the distance, all right there.

In addition, there are tabs on the left that lead to more detailed encyclopedia-like entries on the people, their customs and lifestyle, and the society. So basically, whatever research your kid needs to do on a geographical area, no matter how larger or how small, they can do everything right there.

My two are doing their lapbooks right now! Syd was cool with it from the beginning; Will started to pitch a giant fit, but when I told her that if she didn't want to do it, she could just go recycle it because I sure wasn't going to fight about it, she suddenly completely changed her mind and insisted that she DID want to do it. Anything to spite the Momma!

Tina said...

Culture Grams does sound pretty cool. I'll have to ask about it at our libraries. The base library might offer it and if not, it might be something they could look into getting. If they have any money.

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