Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Work Plans for the Week of January 17, 2017: Kid-Led Learning and Girl Scout Cookies

Hallelujah for short weeks!

Don't you feel like there should be a three-day weekend in every month? Give you something to always be looking forward to?

I say this as I visualize the yawning maw of the rest of January, all of February, and half of March before the kids and I go on our next big adventure (I currently have nascent Spring Break road trip plans!). Between now and then we have the National Mythology Exam, a Science Fair, almost another month of Girl Scout cookie season (which is practically a 20-hour-a-week job for the girls AND me), and ideally lots of non-stressful events, as well.

We thoroughly enjoyed our last three-day weekend for a while. This was the first year in forever that we didn't do community service on Martin Luther King, Jr Day (I hate that we didn't, but both Matt and I were feeling kind of puny this weekend, and I was really feeling the call to just have family time), but we did watch, as we have done forever, his speech at the March on Washington. Will and I made brownies--

--we watched the season finale of Sherlock (with help from Luna)-- 

--we inexplicably watched many Youtube videos of milkshake recipes and then even more inexplicably chose this one to recreate (no, we didn't put on the French fries. Yes, we DID put on the bagel bites. I have no reasonable explanation for this. Oh, and this channel actually isn't kid-friendly, as they swear and flip things off. I watch it with my kids anyway), Syd logged at least seven more hours walking the streets and selling Girl Scout cookies, leading to this Monday-night victory dance--

--because even if you don't feel well you still have to help your kid meet her goal, and Will and I spent an evening at fencing class, because even if you don't feel well you still have to fence (Matt tells me that this is very much untrue, but hey, I felt better after fencing than I did before, so there you go).

Now that we're in the zone of our four-day schoolweek, I'm just gonna mainline Dayquil  to keep going, as today alone I've got a webinar about shopping mall cookie booths, another fencing class, and another Girl Scout cookie selling neighborhood walk to take Syd on, in addition to Math Mammoth and Analytical Grammar and Greek mythology.

Our daily work this week consists of regular progress in Analytical Grammar (for Will) and Junior Analytical Grammar (for Syd), the next chapter of Wordly Wise (for Will) and a daily word ladder (for Syd), journaling or writing to a prompt, typing practice, and, for Will, progress in both her online SAT prep through Khan Academy and her online Red Cross first aid class.

Books of the Day this week include some leftover reading from the kids' essay research (they'll each be learning about the other kid's famous person), some living history, Oliver Twist for Will and a graphic novel version of the Star Wars original trilogy for Syd. Memory work consists of more Sonnet 116, review of the Days of the Month poem, and the Greek and Roman gods and goddesses.

And here's the rest of our week!

TUESDAY: In Math Mammoth this week, Will is moving into more integer work, and Syd is deep into fractions. Syd needs more hands-on help with her work (mostly because she likes to stubbornly argue for the correctness of incorrect answers, sigh...), so fortunately Will's work is pretty cut-and-dry. It's hard to handle two stubborn whiners at once!

I'm fast-tracking our mythology study from now until the kids take the National Mythology Exam. We can expect to cover mythology every school day now, and as part of our ten minutes of memory work that we do on the first car ride of every day.

I'm also fast-tracking our Animal Behavior MOOC. I've been breaking my brain trying to come up with hands-on extensions for these lessons every week, but I've finally decided that if I'm going to have them take an outside class, then I should just let them take it, you know? We do plenty of hands-on activities every day, so I'm going to stop treating our MOOCs as a spine, at least for the rest of this one, and treat it as the complete science unit that it's meant to be. That will work well with Will, and I'll just see how it goes for Syd.

It's the same with Story of Science. I bought the Quest Guide, which comes with extension activities that the kids can do mostly independently, so I'm going to stop fretting that I'm not doing more with it. In general terms, I have got to chill. OUT.

Really, the kids should be working on their business badges, since those are the ones that go best with cookie season, but the first award in Syd's Agent of Change Journey actually asks her to research a heroine, so we're going through that award, at least, to enable her to piggyback onto her essay assignment earlier this month. Will is independently working through the Bookbinding Badge (also, how cool is that?!?), but I might ask her to take a look at the business badges today and see if she's interested in starting one of those, as well.

We've got our homeschool playgroup today, cookie selling this afternoon, and fencing for me and Will this evening!

FRIDAY: Now that I've stopped adding extra activities to perfectly good curricula, the rest of the week is really just more progress on that curricula. I'll be there to mentor and assist, of course, but I'm happily anticipating seeing how the week will progress with so few mom-led activities.

One of my main mom activities is apparently playing chauffeur, with daily door-to-door cookie selling for both kids and horseback riding and ice skating lessons for Will. At least we're listening to an excellent audiobook in the car this week!

On this day, we WILL be doing one more mom-led activity: re-making the paper and scissors polygons that Syd and Matt and I made over winter break, but that somebody has clearly put into the recycling bin since then. Either that, or they hid them so well that I can't find them.

We will also be watching the inauguration on Friday, sigh--I still can't believe that this is happening--and then probably attending a protest to the inauguration that evening. Possibly the first of MANY protests to come. I know of one mom who is so certain that this is the first of many protests to come that she's actually started a protest scrapbook for her child. We're not going that far, but I'm trying very hard to have handmade pussyhats for everyone by that day.

SATURDAY/SUNDAY: We'll miss the Women's March in Indy on Saturday, as Syd's ballet is starting back up again. I'm sure we'll do more door-to-door cookie selling. Despite my New Year's Resolution we haven't hiked since New Year's Day, primarily because it hasn't stopped raining since New Year's Day. I'm pretty sure the lack of fresh air is at least partly behind my feeling kinda run-down and puny lately (it's also partly Trump's fault, because his very existence gives me anxiety), so I may need to insist that we all put on hip waders and slop through the three feet of mud covering everything non-concrete, regardless of the fact that doing so puts us all at the risk of slipping through a sinkhole.

Or I may spend another weekend lying in bed, watching movies, and eating impractical milkshakes. As a post-inauguration activity, that sounds fine, too.

A note from Syd: Hello! Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies? With every package bought, my troop gets to do something fun. Cookie money can be used on volunteering or it can be used for fun stuff like spending the night at the zoo. You can buy Girl Scout cookies from my Digital Cookie Shop by asking my mom for the link, and you can donate to Operation Cookie Drop by clicking this link [Mom note: Every $4 buys one box of cookies for Operation Cookie Drop]. Thank you!

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