Monday, November 10, 2014

Work Plans for the Week of November 10, 2014: Minecraft and Endangered Animals

You may have noticed that I've reduced the children's workload a little this week. Will's Minecraft Homeschool class is very time-intensive, and she's very invested in it, which is great, but it necessitates setting aside time each day to accommodate her work on it. Syd doesn't have the class, but instead of giving her extra work each day, she'll have extra free time. She and I like to do projects together, so we'll have more time for that, and Syd is my kid who can always find something to play.

MONDAY: Today started early, as we were expected at the library first thing so that the children could attend a storytelling workshop with their Girl Scout Co-op. They LOVED it, and picked up some great tips about narration, dramatization, and composition. We went straight from the library to our weekly volunteer gig--I stocked, Will ran the meat counter (she also earned her volunteer wings by having to deal with her first jerk. Seriously, what kind of person would act shitty towards a ten-year-old?!?), and Syd cut out fruit- and veggie-themed tags for a fundraiser that the pantry is currently running.

For the kids' Math Mammoth this week, Syd is doing more time-telling and Will is doing more division. Syd will be doing time-telling for a while, and then moving into calendar review, but soon Will is transitioning to geometry, which I'm sure she'll appreciate--she's weary of long division!

I'm trying something a little different with horse breed research this week--the geography form will stay the same, but I'm interested in having the kids start to create their own infographics and other visual aids, so I'll be asking Syd to create an informational "poster" that shows this week's horse (the Exmoor pony) and relates the important facts about it.

TUESDAY: The kids have an opportunity to craft an ornament that will hang on the Christmas tree at the Indiana Statehouse--it's a big deal for them, and a great time to review Indiana state facts.

The kids are interested in doing a unit study on endangered and extinct animals, so I told them that we could start it this week. We'll be conducting this unit by studying and creating infographics, starting with this one. Using it, I'll show the children how to translate information in a variety of ways (pictograph, bar graph, and pie chart), and they can see for themselves how each method changes the way we view the information.

Will has the addition of Robotics Club on this night, so with that and her Minecraft Homeschool work, she'll be busy!

WEDNESDAY: Depending on my energy level (is it just me, or has this autumn been especially busy?) we may or may not make this homeschool program at the library, but Matt will be taking the kids in their Girl Scout uniforms to a volleyball game in the evening. Other than that, the day is free!

THURSDAY: Problem #7 is the last of the 2013 AMC 8 problems that I think I can successfully review with the kids, so we'll continue with Problem #1 from the 2012 test--the kids will be stoked at how easy it is!

The kids are very into accruing volunteer hours--they're working towards 100 hours and the mayor's pin--so I'm letting them spend school time doing this project for the Girl Scouts. They each have to fill a box with stuff to donate!

We'll begin our endangered animal study in earnest on this day. The children may choose an endangered or extinct animal, record the pertinent facts about it (using the form in this teacher's guide), and then create either an infographic about it--we'll be using Piktochart--or an artwork.

It's cold now, so our homeschool group meets at a local community center on Thursday afternoons instead of the park. Nobody prefers the gym--for one thing, it's LOUD!--but as long as the kids get to run and play, they're fine.

FRIDAY: Fridays are busy now, with math class AND ice skating class to attend! It's a lot of chauffeuring for me, but the kids do love both classes, and at least both venues have wi-fi.

This week was so busy that we're only getting spelling and grammar once, and Spanish and music not at all. I'll have to make sure that those classes get worked into the schedule next week!

SATURDAY/SUNDAY: Saturdays are impossibly busy this autumn--this Saturday brings ballet class and Nutcracker rehearsal and a Girl Scout Math and Science Day for Syd, and an aerial silks rehearsal for Will. Sunday brings only a birthday party, so we will make sure to lounge as much as we can, while we can!

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