Monday, March 2, 2015

Work Plans for the Week of March 2, 2015: Ice Skating and Ballet

Much of last week was actually spent finishing the kids' superhero costumes, and much of this week will be spent shuttling Will back and forth to rehearsals for the Spring Ice Show (Momma Moment of Brag: Will was promoted yet another level in ice skating this session! Next session, which alas won't be until the fall, she will be in Level 6, the second highest level in the program, and can also choose to join the figure skating club. It's a Big Deal), so we didn't finish all of last Friday's schoolwork, and I'm frankly not sure if we'll do all our work every day this week, especially since I didn't carve out a space in the lesson plans for those Ice Show rehearsals. No pressure.

To help the kids keep track independently, I've added their daily practice work to the work plans, so that they can see what they need and check it off without having to ask what's left. Since I've begun asking them to do this, I've deleted our ten minutes of daily memory work in the car; you can't do cursive or keyboard OR typing in the car, and their Chinese practice mostly involves relevant videos from the Learn Chinese with Emma channel on YouTube. We really like to listen to audiobooks in the car, anyway, so this gives us more time for that.

This week's assigned books include more Chinese vocabulary study (board books are GREAT for this, by the way), Chinese mythology, fiction involving the Lippizaner, for Syd, and Degas, for Will, and some a picture book about the ballet--although Syd at least knows the names of the various ballet terms when spoken, neither of them are familiar with them in print.

MONDAY: We've got our volunteer gig at our local food pantry as usual, today, and Will has Ice Show rehearsal. At home, Syd is starting a unit on measurements in Math Mammoth, while Will, still in decimals, is getting some extra practice converting between decimals and fractions today before she continues in her Math Mammoth unit.

Both kids will take a Hoffman Academy lesson, which they can do independently, and they can choose a Girl Scout badge to work on, also independently. Sometimes I add extra work and reading to the badge requirement to turn it into a unit study, but since both kids are bridging into a new level this summer, right now I'm pretty much just letting them get on with earning whatever badges they'd like to earn before they bridge.

We're still studying Sleeping Beauty, in preparation for Syd's spring ballet recital on that theme. We watched the Disney version a couple of weeks ago; this week focuses on the ballet version, and then we'll read the fairy tale version, and then I'll ask them to analyze and compare all the versions.

TUESDAY: Free day! Robotics Club and Ice Show rehearsal are at the same time on this night, so I'm going to have to ask Will to choose. I wonder what she'll pick?

WEDNESDAY: We've got First Language Lessons, but I am officially on the lookout for a grammar study with shorter lessons that Syd can do daily, as First Language Lessons is no longer really working as something that the kids use together. Syd needs more reinforcement/practice, whereas Will just needs to learn labels for this stuff and then move on. So, if you've got any ideas, pass them to me!

Thank-you emails didn't get done last week, so hopefully they'll get done on this day. Zoology for Kids DID get done last week, and it was a huge hit, so now the kids are tackling the next chapter.
Both kids now like to attend Magic Tree House Club on separate computers, rather than both huddling around one as they used to. This means that I sacrifice my laptop to one kid on Magic Tree House Club days, and THIS means that I actually cook dinner on Wednesdays! It's pretty amazing what I can do to get out of it on all the other days of the week.

THURSDAY: Syd has more thank-you notes that didn't get done last week, this time for Trashion/Refashion Show clothing donations. And even though the Science Fair isn't until April this year, I like the kids to get started on it early, because sometimes Science Fair projects take a lot of time to complete. Will thinks that she wants to make a maze for Hexbug Nano robots, and explain how they work--I'd like her to do some simple hacks on them, as well, but we'll see. Syd thinks that she might want to do something with plants, or something with chickens. I'm debating between letting her scroll through my science pinboards for inspiration, or making her use her own brain to come up with something that might be much more or much less creative and interesting.

Our homeschool group is meeting up for ice skating instead of gym time on this day, so I don't know--Will might not be enthusiastic about yet more skating by then, especially as she'll have to be back on the ice four hours later. We might just have a little more unplanned free time instead!

Meanwhile, Will is VERY upset about some recent choices that the newspaper made regarding their Sunday comics. She'll be explaining them in a letter to the editor.

FRIDAY: A couple of these assignments are hold-overs from last Friday, when I didn't even attempt school, instead just focusing on finishing the kids' superhero costumes and leaving them to themselves for the day. Syd is still having a lot of fun writing and illustration short stories, however, so I've got that as an assignment for her to encourage her to do another one, and, for my own personal pleasure, I've been interested in getting the kids into fan culture, which is a big academic interest and hobby of mine. Fan culture can be a really accessible entry into all kinds of creative fields, so I'm going to see how the kids might like reviewing some of the Minecraft videos that they watch and creating a podcast on the topic.

SATURDAY/SUNDAY: Ice Show rehearsal, Ice Show performance, ballet, Chinese--kind of a busy weekend, but all the kids' weekend extracurriculars will be on break for the next two weekends due to the university's spring break, so it's okay to have a busy send-off.

For me, I'll be relishing this week as a chance to get back to business as usual after a February that consisted entirely of Girl Scout cookies and Trashion/Refashion Show designs--I've got blog posts to write, etsy orders to create, some unit studies to research, some books to review, and a couple of field trips to plan. I do like to keep myself busy!


Tina said...

I'm at the point where I wonder if I just keep piling so much stuff on my plate that poor Emma keeps getting left behind. Between the self-defense class I teach, my new obsession with roller derby, trying to finish my couch-to-5k program (then train for a half marathon), college classes starting back up and now this babysitting thing, not much gets done on the homeschool front. Although, she is taking swim lessons and doing gymnastics, so I suppose she isn't totally being left out. However, we are both exhausted. All the time.

The extra income from this babysitting gig is nice, but I don't know if we are going to make it through May when the family is scheduled to move to Wyoming.

Wow, pity party is over.

Emma and I did a ton of research on the Lipizzaner in 2013. Disney has a movie "Miracle of the White Stallion," that is really old, but pretty cool. I also have a few things in my pinterest board about Lipizzaners. And we LOVE Marguerite Henry's book, "White Stallion of Lipizza."

julie said...

Poor you! That DOES sound really tough. Emma seems so bright and happy and engaged, though, that it would be hard for me to imagine her not getting a lot out of self-defense and roller derby and being with the little kids and the other stuff that you do, even if it's not as kid-centric as you want it to be.

I'll have to check out those Lipizzaner resources! Will's instructor has her do a new horse breed every week, so it's tough to get in the in-depth study that I like, but if I check out the books and movies, I can at least add them as the Book of the Day or the Family Movie Night choice.