Monday, November 16, 2015

Work Plans for the Week of November 15, 2015: Thanksgiving!

I cannot WAIT for next week! School was successful last week, but it felt like a lot of work--halfway through the week, we had a Come to Jesus/major crackdown on screen time, and at the same time I began to make sure that my children were feeding themselves a good breakfast and lunch, primarily by preparing it myself. For years, the kids have mostly been on their own for those two meals (unless I had some leftovers to use up!), and had been perfectly content and successful with that, but recently Will has been both subsisting on slices of bread and/or homemade cookies and/or nothing at all for those meals AND living her life with a raging bad attitude.

That same kid is so independent that it's easy to just let her go and do her own thing, but her overall mood has markedly improved with this structure. I swear, parenting a tween is shockingly similar to parenting a toddler!

Anyway, one more school week and then we'll enjoy our well-earned vacation.

Memory work this week consists of spelling words, Mandarin vocabulary, a page of cursive practice, and, for Syd, review of her Nutcracker choreography. Books of the Day include a couple of chapter books that I hope Syd will enjoy (she prefers to read comics), a children's encyclopedia on rocks and gems that Will has already read this morning and loved so much that I now have planning an entire unit on my to-do list, and some non-fiction and living fiction on various Native American peoples.

And here's the rest of our week!

MONDAY: We got started off on the wrong foot with last week's essay assignment, as instead of following my gold-standard essay writing system, I let one kid skive off of her brainstorming and the other skive off of her outline. The results were... unsatisfactory. This week we're doing the whole assignment over again--the right way, this time!

The kids are just about done with their fractions and multi-digit multiplication units in Math Mammoth. I've peeked at their next units, and hopefully they'll be as trouble-free as these have mostly been!

As we do every year, we're completing a brief Thanksgiving unit this week--I love holidays with a historical basis! I'm in the planning stages of a Revolutionary War unit for next semester, so this unit is actually a good prequel for our later studies, or perhaps I'll just decide to continue on from here, since we've previously studied North American prehistory, ancient Native Americans, and Christopher Columbus. This day's activity is the Scholastic website on the first Thanksgiving; it's a good overview, with some engaging video and audio clips, and is plenty to remind the kids of the basic facts so that we can do some enrichment later this week.

We've got our regular volunteer gig with the food pantry today--we missed it last week, since we went on a field trip, instead, and we might miss it again next week, so we'll make sure to work extra hard today!

TUESDAY: I regret buying the entire set of Draw Write Now, simply because I don't think we use it enough to justify the cost, but Book 3 does have a unit on the first Thanksgiving, so I might as well whip it on out! Both of the kids enjoy step-by-step drawing instruction like this, and it's an excellent fine motor activity and confidence builder.

I always look forward to our weekly homeschool play group. There's a group of little girls there who are just right for Syd, and even Will can be tempted into looking up from her book and playing with the other children. Here, as well, I've finally found a supportive group of friendly parents. I'd been bullied by just a couple of people in our previous group for years, and I accepted it quietly for the sake of the children's enjoyment of the park days together with their friends, but now that I finally put in the effort to switch groups, I've found that it's a much better fit for all of us, and I can't believe that I stayed in such a toxic situation for so long. I'm more than a little embarrassed at myself, you know? Anyway, nobody is mean to me at this playgroup or on its message board, so yay!

WEDNESDAY: Today's math enrichment activity is really just a plan to indulge in more sweets. Making the batch of rice krispy treats in a couple of 9"x13" pans, however, will allow the children to do a lot of exploring with equivalent fractions and unlike fractional parts, so it IS quite educational, you see. Ahem.

After Syd's ballet class, we'll probably all kick around campus for a while, then I'm dragging everyone to a choir concert with pieces based on the poetry of Walt Whitman. I'm super excited, and I'm hoping everyone else enjoys it, too.

THURSDAY: Will's horseback riding instructor has to take a brief hiatus from lessons, so that leaves space for one more academic assignment on this day--mwa-ha-ha! That allows us to finish up our Thanksgiving unit with the Plimoth Plantation web site and a project making a model Mayflower and a model wetu. We'll be using this paper Mayflower template for the one, and Google Images, pipe cleaners, and brown paper bags for the other.

FRIDAY: A "clue hunt" is the final activity for the Girl Scout Junior Detective badge--I'm hoping the kids will enjoy setting this up for each other and won't fight over it. I'm even planning to provide treasure at the end!

It's been a while since we've had Friday Fossil Prep. It doesn't replace a more organized science unit, of course (what should we do next--astronomy, rocks and minerals, or chemistry?), but our fossil prep skills are valuable, and this is a great way to keep them up. Besides, nobody is going to clean, organize, and display our own fossils if we don't!

Will still adores her podcasting workshops. This may be the last one, and then at some point, ideally the children will have a real podcast to share with us!

SATURDAY/SUNDAY: Will has ice skating class, but all other lessons and classes are on hiatus for Thanksgiving, which means that by noon on Saturday, we'll be on vacation!

Which day of vacation am I looking forward to the most? Sushi Buffet for Lunch Day? Star Wars Movie Marathon Day? Sit around the House and Eat Yummy Food Day? Day Trip Day?

There's also Yard Work Day, but nobody's clamoring to have that one as their favorite.

1 comment:

Tina said...

Emma enjoyed the Amulet graphic novel series a while back.

Now that the cold is here, I'm not sure how many more horse lessons Emma will get while we are in Montana. I'm really looking forward to having three different riding stables for her to take lessons at (one western, the other two are English).

We have reached the half-way point of NaNoWriMo and I have to say I am excited for the end of the month. While she is still mostly enjoying the writing, I feel like a slave driver contently reminding her to stop goofing off and to write. There are two things that I know for sure we will do differently next year. One, she WILL write a detailed outline prior to November, and two, she will learn how to type before next year. I think part of her problem is she just gets tired of physically writing. I suggested once that she record herself telling the story and I would type it up from that, but she wasn't to excited about that idea. I might suggest it again though.

I HATE when parents are bullies. HATE it. I'm glad you have found a better fit for you and the girls.