Monday, November 17, 2014

Work Plans for the Week of November 17, 2014: Minecraft, Math, and SNOW!!!

MONDAY: We woke up to SNOW this morning! It should stick around through Tuesday, so there's plenty of time to explore all the good sledding spots, and play in the snowy woods, and build a family of snowmen. Fortunately, the roads are all clear, so we'll have no problem making our volunteer gig later today--I'm holding off on deciding on aerial silks for today, though; Will said she wanted the extra classes this week after struggling during her Saturday rehearsal (so much to learn!), but when it comes down to it, the kids might rather fly on the sled than the silks this afternoon. We'll see...

Math is also extra exciting this week, because the AMC 8 math exam is tomorrow! My expectations for Syd are that she'll be able to answer the first couple of questions, and then should spend her time working on strategies for the other problems, but after all the review that Will and I have done, I wouldn't be surprised if Will was able to solve several problems correctly. Either way, the children are sitting the exam primarily for the practice at sitting exams--it's the first formal exam for both--so the results are less important than the experience of working hard, remaining focused, and conforming to proper test-taking behavior.

The children have a more sophisticated research problem with the Appaloosa today, as their riding instructors would like them to be able to differentiate the Appaloosa from other, similar horses. Piktochart is working well for creating infographics, and I expect that's what they'll use to display the results of their research.

We were so busy with extracurriculars last week that we neglected both Spanish and music; hopefully, I won't have to do that again, because otherwise, they're progressing well.

Will has settled into her Minecraft Homeschool class, and Syd has already asked if SHE can take the class next session!

TUESDAY: Dialing 911 and providing relevant, accurate information are skills for the Brownie First Aid badge, but the kids are mainly studying emergency and medical personnel as our focus for this and the Junior First Aid badge, so they'll be reading a couple of books about EMTs and paramedics, as well, to make their memory work relevant. There are a couple of tricky parts of the memory work, though--you should try to give the operator the number of the phone from which you're calling, even if it's not your own phone, and you should try to give the operator your exact location, even if you don't know the street address. It's a good thing that everyone in our town mostly uses landmarks for navigation, anyway!

Hoffman Academy is still going well, as well. I like that these lessons are mainly self-directed--I need to make sure that the kids are practicing, of course, but it's Mr. Hoffman who's teaching them, not me!

I suspect that the kids' horseback riding lesson will be cancelled on this day due to cold weather. Maybe this is the day for the extra aerial silks class, if Monday is too busy with snowmen and sledding.

WEDNESDAY: Aerial silks and play. Lots of play.

THURSDAY: It's kind of crazy that this is our only Math Mammoth day this week, but it's a busy week for math enrichment. More time telling, more long division.

We're not doing a formal "Thanksgiving" this year (I think we may have a Feast of Pie and Much Lounging, instead), but nevertheless, this is the month for Thanksgiving crafts! The kids are going to read an online article about what the first Thanksgiving feast may have looked like, then they're going to cook--each of them, I think--a corn pudding to have with our dinner.

Will LOVED this endangered animals project last week! She researched the Hispaniolan Solenidon, spent hours raving about how cute it is and its venomous teeth and those awful feral dogs, and then we all watched some Youtube videos of it waddling around looking adorable. I can't wait to see what animals the kids choose this week!

This might be the better day for our extra aerial silks class. Gym Day with our homeschool group, library for a couple of hours, then aerial silks class? Negotiating extracurriculars is so tiresome, sigh.

FRIDAY: The kids love their weekly math class, and I love the time that I spend working in the library while they're there.

Spelling has been going quite well since I've moved its practice to our daily memory work time in the car. This day is to test what words we can remove from regular study, and to give the kids some extra handwriting practice.

We're not doing well with First Language Lessons, frankly. I am so bad about making an excuse for why we can't get to it during our busy day, and all our days are busy, so there's always an excuse. I want the kids to know the content, however, so I keep trying to tell myself that if I just muscle through it, one day it will be done.

The kids ran out of enthusiasm halfway during their ice skating classes last week. I'm curious to stay observant and see if they were just having an off day (we fought colds ALL last week) or if they're reached skill levels where they're simply happy to be where they are. We do a lot of extracurriculars, I know, but I'm very firm about the kids only doing an extracurricular as long as they're committed to working hard at it. Ice skating classes will only happen as long as the kids really want to improve their skating. If they're no longer interested in improving, well, that's what the public skating hours are for.

SATURDAY/SUNDAY: Hallelujah for the start of Thanksgiving break! Our local university has a week-long break, which means TWO WEEKENDS with no ballet for Syd--she needs this breather, poor kid. I had to remind her yesterday that all these rehearsals are just for a short time, just through performance weekend. She's still really excited about performing, of course, but she's definitely feeling the pressure--costume fittings, regular classes, long rehearsals, and practicing on her own every day. She's very aware of her responsibility, and being a perfectionist the way that she is, it's stressing her out. It's good for her, though, and helping her build a great work ethic.

Without ballet, then, our only weekend activities are Will's--aerial silks rehearsal on Saturday,and chess club on Sunday. And then a short week. And then a long weekend!

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