Monday, October 26, 2015

Work Plans for the Week of October 26, 2015: Halloween!!!

School last week went as well as a school week here can realistically go. There was fighting and whining and fits, but there was also hard work, great work, and efficient work done. Syd wrote a beautiful essay. Will became obsessed with the most perfect rendering of Wold War 2 uniforms that could possibly be rendered by an 11-year-old in colored pencil. Math was mastered. Friends were played with. Will is involved in podcasting. Syd is living and breathing ballet. It was great!

I'm holding on to that right this second, as the children sit at our table working on their math, sniping at me and each other, doing their best to convince me that the fun math project that I set up for them is the meanest thing that I've ever done. 

Oh, and Will simply refuses to redo her page of cursive letter "h" drills to make the hump and the line close enough together that it doesn't look like "lr". Seriously, the venom in her voice as she made this announcement... I looked at her calmly, fantasizing about dragging her to the car by her ear, driving her to the nearest elementary school, and slowing the car down only long enough to dump her out before speeding away and going back home to bed.

I still might do that if she doesn't quit bitching to Syd about who's using whose eraser and whose turn it is with the compass. I'll let you know.

Anyway, not that the children appreciate this, but we've actually got a fun--and short!--week ahead of us. We're doing a couple of Halloween crafts (one of which Will has already complained about because it looks like too much work, although she seemed to approve of it last night while we were shopping for the candy for it) and prepping for next week's History Fair, but we've also got a full day at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis and a full day either at the apple orchard or one of the local state parks, depending on whether colorful leaves or tasty apples appeal to the children more on that day. Maybe we'll do both! 

Books of the Day for this week include more books on World War 2, of course, a Nancy Drew book for Syd, who's finishing up her Detective badge this week, and this strange little history of the flying car that I thought would appeal to Will. Memory work consists of fraction terminology, Mandarin for Will and ballet for Syd, and a page a day of cursive. Since we've a short week this week, I'm omitting Wordly Wise.

And here's the rest of our week!
MONDAY: We're working on these pizza box fractions this morning, even though the kids are acting as if it's the worst thing that they've ever done. Nevertheless, already Syd's understanding of the difference between the numerator and denominator has increased, and after I informed her that her freehand circle was not going to pass muster, she immediately went for the compass without any further intervention on my part. I've also learned that I need to provide written directions to her more often, as she seems very unwilling to read and follow the directions for this project; she keeps insisting that she doesn't understand them and wanting me to simply tell her what to do.

Will, on the other hand, has abandoned the pizza box fraction for the time being, but is engrossed in her Book of the Day, World War 2 in Numbers. So far we've ready-referenced the history of Poland and the use of horses during the war, and now she's planning to play Civilization later so that she can make use of panzers. 

We'll also begin the children's History Fair projects today. I had hoped that the children would choose topics that we've covered recently, but Will has just now informed me that she actually wants to do her presentation on the Battle of Kursk, which she also apparently just read about in World War 2 in Numbers. I'm not familiar with that battle, but I skimmed a Wikipedia article about it briefly and it seems do-able, relevant, and interesting to Will, so she can go for it. Syd, on the other hand, has been saying that she wants to do her project on the trench warfare of World War 1, so we'll see if she's still set on that, or if she, too, comes up with something completely different.

Syd chose these trick-or-treat cookies from my Halloween pinboard, so we'll give them a whirl, but for god's sake, not until these kids have fixed up their attitudes today! I'm not opposed to spreading this project out over the week, either, perhaps just making and chilling the dough today. And I'm DEFINITELY not opposed to putting the whole project off until their father gets home from work tonight and making him do it with them!

The kids are both a bit sniffly this morning, which maybe I'll pretend is what's giving them their bad attitudes, and I actually asked them if they were feeling too unwell to go to our regular volunteer gig this afternoon. After informing Will, however, that yes, if she is too unwell for Mother Hubbard's Cupboard then she is too unwell for the library, it turns out that no, she actually doesn't feel that unwell after all. 

[Update: An hour later, and the children are outside, laughing and running and playing something together that looks like a combination of basketball and rugby. They feel fine.]

[Update #2: They worked their little butts off at the Hub, and every time they finished a job they'd ask me for a new one! Eventually they got tired out and then spent some time coloring and playing with the toy kitchen like toddlers, and then they helped me sort peppers. Will started a thing about rubbing peppers on her butt, so we brought a lot of peppers home, because I can't, in good conscience, give out butt-peppers to unsuspecting patrons.]

TUESDAY: In Math Mammoth, Syd is still in multi-digit multiplication and Will is still in fractions. They both seem pretty comfortable with the work, so hopefully there will be no tantrums! Since we've got our regular homeschool playgroup on this day and the kids have Robotic Club for much of the evening, my only other requirement for this day is more work on their History Fair projects, ideally getting the bulk of the presentation work done.

WEDNESDAY: I need to become an official volunteer with the Children's Museum of Indianapolis in order to keep doing fossil prep with the Paleo Lab, which means that I have a volunteer interview there on this day. I am not looking forward to it, but it is a great excuse for a day trip to the Children's Museum, even though we have to be back in the afternoon for Syd's ballet class. 

THURSDAY: I've got a full school day planned on this day, but it's scrappable for Syd, at least, who may have a playdate all day instead. I'm also curious to see how a school day with just Will goes. Either way, monster face cookies are going to be a hit!

FRIDAY: So many choices! Our Hawaii vacation put us behind in many of our autumn adventures, and so I find that this week is probably the last great week for fall leaves AND the apple orchard, AND the last day for frightening hours at the Children's Museum's haunted house. I imagine I'll just see what the children are into on this day, and then do that! And, of course, Syd has Nutcracker practice that afternoon.

SATURDAY/SUNDAY: Saturday is always insane, lately, with ballet, ice skating, Mandarin class, and Nutcracker practice, but we also have a Girl Scout meeting with the Bloomington Bicycle Project that morning, and that evening... HALLOWEEN!!! Sunday will be Halloween Recovery, as well as a chess club meeting for Will. 

And that's our big week! What are you up to this week?


Tina said...

We had some sniping yesterday when I asked Emma to pretend to be the main character in the book she's writing so I could interview her. She said she felt ridiculous. It was just the two of us. Geesh.

Not sure what's going to happen this week for school. We had to bring Bailey to the vet on Friday and she is still there. Turns out her kidneys are failing. It's been a bit rough going around here, and today is kinda the day of determination. If she made huge improvements last night (her improvements have been frustratingly minimal up to yesterday), there is a chance she will be ok for a while. If she didn't make leaps of improvement, I don't want to think about it. I am NOT looking forward to the rest of this day/week.

Oh, and Sunday we celebrate a year since we adopted Bailey. And Emma made her a birthday card yesterday. Good thing we have a huge stack of tissues, I'm going to need them.

julie said...

Oh, no, Bailey! I had a cat who died of kidney failure in 2001, and frankly, I am still upset, and I still miss him like crazy. I'll be thinking good thoughts for Bailey today.