Sunday, September 22, 2013

Work Plans for the Week of September 23, 2013

After spending much of the summer with work hours, and the last few weeks with a daily checklist, I am EXCITED to get back to weekly work plans!

Here's what the girls have got going on this week:

Work hours and daily checklists are more flexible than weekly work plans, but Will's been feeling rather bossed around lately, I think, and weekly work plans are VERY empowering for the independent-minded child. She likes to do what she wants when she wants, and she doesn't mind chores and other responsibilities, but she doesn't want them to interfere with her big plans for the day, all of which consist of reading books in various spots around the house, yard, local park, and library.

So unlike work hours, during which I'm chaining her to her responsibilities for two hours, or even daily checklists, which must be completed even if one is feeling quite unmotivated, or has just come home with a giant stack of new library books that day, a weekly checklist lets a kiddo read for half the day, and work for half, or read all day, and work extra-hard the next day, and still complete all her responsibilities. Wednesday and the weekends are "relaxed" homeschool days, there for a kid to catch up on any procrastinated work or to spend her time as she chooses if she's kept up. These are the days that I also entice a kid into trying out the latest educational video game that I've checked out of the library, or watching a documentary that I think she might like, by adding it to her checklist.

This week, in particular, should be a good one. We had bathroom remodeling all last week, and we'll have two giant field trips next week, but hopefully, HOPEFULLY, the bathroom will be finished on Tuesday this week, letting us have some chaos-free at-home time for the rest of those days. I'm gambling on it, too, since I put some more intensive, hands-on activities into our schedule--the kids have been great about park school and library school and Barnes & Noble school, but they're ready to put the pencil down and get their hands dirty!

I think the kids will also like that chance to earn some extra cash that I snuck in there--normally I ask them to pick up after themselves in the bathroom, as well (so many wet towels and dirty clothes abandoned on the floor, so many bath toys...), but since we don't really *have* a bathroom right now, they can instead earn some candy money in that chore spot and I can get some extra chores done. Still won't get us completely caught up on chores or result in a sparkling house inside of which a nourishing dinner has been prepared, but I might get them to clean the deck. Or scrub the downstairs bathroom. Who knows what someone will do for a quarter?

Monday: I'm trying to get us back into Latin, which we skivved off of for the summer, so we'll be reviewing for a couple more weeks, I think. Math Mammoth is still going great, so both girls will keep working through their material every day this week, but hopefully next week this bathroom will absolutely be finished so I can put some hands-on activities that reinforce their Math Mammoth material into the work plan, as well. Will's scissors skills are deplorable, bless her poor left-handed heart, so she's going to have to start really practicing that every week now, which is going to result in a flurry of gripes, I know, but the fact that we'll be biking over to the public library first thing in the morning for her to do some research on her biography fair subject, as well as to see if there are any other books on dragons that she *hasn't* read yet (there aren't), should cheer her up. The girls will probably be working on their school later into the afternoon than we usually do, because our volunteer shift takes up two full hours in the middle of the day, but I've got the supplies to make pizza, and I'm sure there's something on Netflix that we can turn into a family pizza + movie night afterwards.

Tuesday: Syd might be done with the whole Sight Word Caterpillar business by the end of October; her reading exploded this summer, and since we work on it every day, I think it's safe to say she could be through the third grade sight words--which is where our caterpillar is going to end--by then. Spelling, now... wow, if you want to watch a perfectionist child throw a fit, give them a spelling word that they don't know. Syd's still doing Spelling City every day for her spelling list, because it's all fun and games (literally), but Will's participating in the Scripps Spelling Bee this year, and has a LOT more words to get through to be competitive, so we've been mixing up her spelling memory work some--some Spelling City, some drills, some videotaping herself, etc. First Language Lessons is still taking FOREVER to get through, because although the lessons are short, Syd refuses to complete more than one per day, so I'm trying to work that into more days, because I'd like to have both girls together in Level 3 of that program by summer. The animal biology portfolios are also still incomplete, mostly because we've been so uprooted by this bathroom remodeling project that we simply haven't had the time to sit and stare at critters under the microscope, or research hamster birth, etc., lately, but at this rate, with all the time that we've spent on them, they are going to be absolutely stunning when completed.

Wednesday: In the afternoon, Will has a meeting with the Magic Tree House Club, and then I take her to aerial silks class so I can gossip with my friends there while Syd spends the last hour or so of Matt's work day with him. Before that, though, I'm eager to see what documentary the girls will choose and what computer game or ipad app they'll want to play--and if they'll let me, play, too!

Thursday: We nearly always have leftover work to make up from this day, because sometimes our Park Day meet-up with friends really does take all day, but it's almost always stuff that's fun for the girls to do with Matt on the weekends, if it comes to that, so it's not really a chore. We finally got around to taking our Drawing With Children diagnostics and I'm looking forward to incorporating these lessons into our week and hoping that they go well--Syd was NOT happy with the diagnostic, but since its purpose is to contain elements that are too difficult, in order to determine your correct starting point, it's understandable. Here's hoping for a tantrum-free Lesson 1! I want to get back into our regular Story of the World study, which we took a break from for the entire summer so that we could study the Civil War instead, so we're working through the couple of random Ancient Egypt library books that we've still got on our bookshelves to get us focused back on the time period. Will's non-systematic, games and puzzles logic study is still going REALLY well; she came home complaining that her lesson at chess club this afternoon was "boring and easy", so we're doing chess as our logic this week to maybe boost her confidence enough for her to ask her coach if she can attend the advanced lesson at the next chess club, instead of the one for little kids.

Friday: I *might* cancel most of the work on this day and take the girls to the apple orchard if the weather is nice. If it's gross out, though, it'll still be great weather inside for continuing our slow-as-molasses states study, and for doing some music enrichment. Will and I are going to get back into studying the recorder pretty soon, and I'll try to persuade Syd into joining us, so I'm not sure if I'll continue this musician study, but if the girls like it, then it'll be a keeper.

Saturday and Sunday: I DO require that the girls do some schoolwork even on the weekends, and they've got a Saturday morning science enrichment program that they love, but other plans include watching rugby, attending a picnic hosted by the food pantry where we volunteer, baking carrot cake for Matt's do-over birthday (long story), and possibly getting dragged to the loathsome indoor inflatables place that the girls adore and we hate.

And then they'll head off to campus to watch football on the campus cable TVs, and I'll make another week's lesson plans!


Tina said...

So inspired! I really hope to get Emma's Da a little more involved in her lessons. He's way smarter than I am, especially with grammer and history, so it just makes sense.

What I would really love to work on is our giant timeline. We got the first spread done last year (big bang to 2013), but I really want to get a spread done with the evolution of horses, as well as a spread on dinosaurs.

And I really want The Story of the World.

julie said...

Ooh, dinosaurs! We love our basement timeline, but I'm thinking of doing smaller, foldable timelines that each of the girls can keep, so I'd love to hear about your spreads. As soon as we've done enough of SOTW 1 that I can feel like we've done *anything* on it to make some progress, I'm going to switch back to prehistory, possibly until after the summer. Hopefully we're going to dig dinos this summer, and I'd LOVE for the girls to be able to bring along personal prehistoric timelines.

Tina said...

Here is the post I did about our notebook timeline.

I linked to your basement timeline :0)

We haven't touched it since then, but we will be pulling it out in the next few months.

julie said...

Thanks for the link! I know I've read it before--I was just too lazy to look it up!