Monday, October 7, 2013

Work Plans for the Week of October 7, 2013

It's a miscellaneous project week!

MONDAY: Our homeschool group's Biography Fair is next week, and although both girls have been conducting a lot of research work into their subjects (Harry Potter for Syd, and Jules Verne for Will), it's time to get their butts in gear and get their displays and presentations set up, so we're going to be working on that every day this week. We're also going to be doing the suggested Drawing With Children warm-up exercises every day, in lieu of a lesson this week--I thought it might be nice to get some extra practice in before we moved on. And we are definitely, DEFINITELY finishing our Latin review this week! Even the kids are ready to move on, and they don't tend to be enthusiastic about Latin, so that's saying a lot.

TUESDAY: Will has been putting off memorizing the last two sentences of "The Gettysburg Address," but that is going to happen this week. She's also *finally* working daily on memorizing the multiplication table, which I am no longer treating as a mathematical concept, but just a memory work. I feel bad about giving them SO much pencil-and-paper math work for the past month, but have I mentioned that our bathroom contractor is the slowest-working human on the planet? He is still not done, for Pete's sake, and I don't want to set up any super-involved, heavy-thinking, at-home mathy projects until he's done. At least the kids are zipping through the lower grades of Math Mammoth, zooming in to master the odd topic that we haven't covered (details of time-telling and change-making, mostly), and then zipping off again. Hopefully, the other Tuesday works won't take much time, and we can spend most of our school day finishing up the girls' animal biology portfolios; the emphasis has been off of them for a while, since we did most of our major work with them over the summer, and I'm worried that if we don't just buckle down and get them done, they'll stay 90% complete forever. There are also a few random educational library materials that are due, so I turned those into a checklist to get the girls at least looking through those materials and seeing if they want to explore anything further.

WEDNESDAY: No field trip, no Magic Tree House club, no LEGO club today! The kiddos got to explore their "fun school" assignments finally last week, and LOVED them, and each at some point last week (Syd before Will, but Will eventually) buckled down specifically to finish all their responsibilities, and then each commented on how great that felt, so hopefully this week will have even less fuss about keeping up and catching up.

THURSDAY: I'm trying not to let the girls' special projects fall by the wayside even with this bathroom remodeling nonsense going on, so Syd and I are going to get her meringue cookie recipe written up and illustrated for her cookbook, and Will and I are going to get a more sophisticated PLINKO game created, or possibly start work on our DIY pinball game. The girls are also going to try out a set of pattern block extensions that I checked out from the IU School of Education Library, just for fun, while I examine it to see if there are good extensions that I can use with future concepts. Since we sometimes spend four or five hours at our homeschool playgroup on Thursdays, I try to make the majority of our schoolwork fun, project-based stuff on that day, so that it's not a chore if we need to make it up on the weekend.

FRIDAY: Finally, we're back on geography! I'd like the girls to scrapbook (with lots of informative captions, mwa-ha-ha!) our summer vacation to Pennsylvania and Connecticut as part of our study of those states, to be bound with the lapbooks and reports and state fact coloring pages that we've also been working on, so it will take longer to get through these states than it will the ones that we have no future prospect of visiting, but think of how much more we'll all know! On the other hand, I'm actually starting to doubt if I want to undertake a great composer study right now--I may want to concentrate on have the kids learning an instrument or two, first--so I may just have the girls explore the library materials that we already have on the composers, and then focus Will back in on the recorder next week. We're also starting the season in which I like to have the girls do holiday crafts as part of school (Problem-solving! Fine motor skills! Practical Life!), so I'm not going to cry about temporarily dropping a subject.

SATURDAY/SUNDAY: We STILL haven't made it to the apple orchard, and we're not going to go this weekend! The girls have their first horse show on Saturday, after their Saturday Science class, and there's a family-friendly something-or-other at the IU Art Museum on Sunday afternoon that we'll hopefully bike over to. Other than that, there are no plans: Matt's at a conference for several days around then, so keeping all children/chickens/cats fed and watered and not too wild will be the main focus of the experience.

Next week is crazy again--doctors and dentists and library programs and the Biography Fair!


Tina said...

We got some school work done today, hurray!

Despite the fact that I can't find Emma's binder that I like to keep her weeks worth of school work in, we managed to get some school work done anyway. We started learning about living v. non-living and the animal classifications. She seems interested (despite the attitude during our "school" session), so I'm excited to see how this goes.

And she loves writing in cursive. She has a ways to go, but she finds the copy sheets fun.

julie said...

Ooh, that's exactly how we started with biology! I'll be curious to hear what resources and activities you use.

So far, the girls are up to cursive G. We only get through maybe two new letters a week, because we do a lot of review to make sure they stick, but it's forward momentum, I guess. I don't know how they teach cursive in public school, but when the girls' grandmother heard that they were learning cursive, she was immediately all, "Oh, write me a letter in cursive! And I'll write you in cursive!", and the girls were like, "Yeah, we know cursive A, B, C, and D, soooo....".

Tina said...

That's funny! My grandmother was great at writing in cursive, but couldn't spell to save her life. I loved getting letters from her.

Emma gets bored just writing the individual letters and has asked that I just give her words to copy. So, I am going to look into that. Of course, the first word she tried to write in cursive was horse. Go figure.

julie said...

It gets easier after they know the first four letters, because there are two vowels in there. I have a handwriting software program that I use for all their handwriting sheets (it's nice, because they can dictate reports to me that I type into the program, then print it out as a handwriting sheet for them to copy), so I do one day as a lesson to learn the uppercase and lowercase of a letter, the next day a series of nonsense strung together to get them practice chaining the letter (Gagagaga, Baabaabaa, etc.), and then the next days copying words that only have the letters that they know in them (Bag, Game, Age, etc.), until I feel like it's looking pretty good, and then we start again on the next letter.

We're not going to get to "horse" for a loooong time, sigh. Foal, maybe? Gelding?

Tina said...

That's a pretty cool approach to it. The routine of your system/days must be really... relaxing for lack of a better word. Knowing what's coming next and all that. We suck at structure and schedule, but I think with the crazy chaos around here lately, I could really use some. I also think Emma would benefit as well.