Monday, August 29, 2011

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow...

I'm actually feeling rather nervous about tomorrow. Especially once I sat down to work out a sort of schedule for my two and realizing I don't like having a schedule. lol.

For my nearly 14yo dd, especially, who has never worked on a schedule, and I do like the Montessori approach of controlling their own time more (although, admittedly, if she were in a Montessori school, she'd probably have a schedule; something for me to keep in mind), I just ended up going, "What am I doing?!?!" It felt so off from what would work well. I think a sort of schedule for my son would work to start--he's kind of had a short routine schedule this past year. Now I want to add things in.

But I think I'm changing too many things at once. It just all felt so artificial as I was writing out the specifics of what to do tomorrow morning. I need to regroup and restart my plan.


I do really like the idea of starting off with a Bible verse or some other religion time. I have most of the Faith and Life series and we've only made it 3/4 of the way through book 3. That could definitely part of our morning routine.

Ds is used to having handwriting--although I admit to not doing it as much as I would have liked to have had him do last year. I've been noticing improper letter formation and will be starting off focusing on that. Dd at this time could just move onto her own work, whatever she chooses. I'll tackle that in a minute. In any case, I will have him start off by writing out the alphabet, lower case, and I will take note of which letters are problematic. I know his p's are--he always places them on the line rather than the tail below. I'll also have a look at just how nice the letters are. I think, though, I might like to have him then compare his letters to my letters and to have him tell me what's different. We'll tackle the ones he sees clearly are different first.

Ds is also used to doing math in the morning. I will do a place value lesson with him tomorrow on that.

Now, what to do after that??? The CM schedule had in Drill, which I was skipping, then Repetition Poem. I like the idea, but think that's one of the last things I ought to introduce.

What other subjects are there?

Science: I had meant to have picked some books for him and I haven't. What are some ideas as I sit here? I could look at the provincial program of studies. I could have him use his science kit (I like that idea!). He's had this one kit since his last birthday--and his next one is less than a month away--and not once done anything from it. I think he found the set up confusing. That could be a fantastic project tomorrow. If we actually do something from the kit beyond setting things up, I could have him narrate to me what we did and I will write it down in a science notebook. This, of course, has me wondering if I even have notebooks...

Social Studies: I'm rethinking having him do social studies with his big sister. First of all, I don't know how much government would really interest him, even how I plan to go about it. Second, being stuck waiting for him would not work when dd is ready to move along--she is far too used to her individual pace and I see nothing compelling about having to present something twice. Three years apart is quite a difference, especially since dd is much more academically inclined. My thoughts at the moment are perhaps Canadian history and geography or world geography, with picking some areas to learn more about. I can throw the ideas out there tomorrow and observe the reaction.

Art: I haven't picked an artist to study. I have some pages from a Monet calendar; I could always start with Monet. It could be interesting to do another one though. Of course, he could also spend some time drawing tomorrow. We've got a bunch of fantastic instructional books.

Music: He has not touched his guitar in ages. Now, guitar's not something I'd really want to be doing with him in the morning, but he could always disappear to his room during the regular school year. There is a kids' instructional book that I bought sometime ago that he has not touched. If I present it to him and do a lesson with him, he might continue with it.

French: I want him reading more in French--which he's sort of started doing (Calvin and Hobbes--it's a start!). The writing will come later once his handwriting's better and he's had more practice with narration. The other thing to tackle is grammar! I could have him learn avoir in present tense tomorrow. It could also serve as copywork. I had something else originally planned, covering terms such as nom commun and nom propre, but I think I'd like to just get into the verbs and take it from there.

I could also add in geometry as a separate subject.

Now, all this written down, what is he likely to actually do in a 3-hour period and in what order should I suggest things (since he's nowhere near just picking the order on his own)?

*social studies
*French grammar

If we actually do all that, it will be amazing. ;) However, it could end up being one of those things where he spends about 15-20 minutes per subject, which means he'll be done in a couple of hours. If so, I'll take it from there and work on presenting more to him. Like Latin, dictation, etc.


Now, what about my dd?

She can start off the day with us and the Bible. After that, she'll have her choice of the following:

*math: I'm not sure if she's ever done exponents with 10's, so I'll do that with her. If that's fine, I'll move her into place value with the "developped form": 32 465 = 3 x 10^4 + 2 x 10^3 + etc.

*social studies: I don't have any French resources yet for this. We do have a Kingfisher Encyclopedia of History (I think that's what it is) as a starting point to look at early civilizations, their lifestyles, what sort of government would have have needed, etc. I want her to either tell me about it and the write down what she's told me, or write something down pretending she's telling it to me. My goal is not note-taking.

*science: First order of business will be to have her decide if she is going to cover one unit at a time or more than one at a time. There are advantages and disadvantages to both! If she does one unit at a time, she'll start with the first unit and have about 24 school days to work through it. If she decides to tackle 2 units, then we'll extend that time! Approach: Read a short section, be able to tell back, write down any vocabulary words, answer any questions that are a part of the text.

*French reading: I found Les misérables but have not even read the first page yet. I need to do that and write down words or phrases that she might have difficulty with. (I expect to have difficulty with it--despite my years of French Immersion schooling and then most of my university in French, I have actually done very little in terms of French literature!) Her assignment, after I go over some things, will be to tackle a small section and then do a written or oral narration. I might also find some historical background to it so that there is some sort of context provided before she gets going!

*French grammar: Verb conjugations in the present tense, starting with ER verbs. A little review! She can come up with a bunch of verbs and then work out their conjugation and maybe a few sentences. (She actually likes coming up with silly sentences to practise verb conjugations.) One thing I ought to check is there are new grammar and spelling rules since I studied them. The old are still acceptable, but I really ought to show her the new. I am quite certain that some of the ER verbs have had their conjugation rules change when it comes to doubling letters for certain verbs; not sure if accents have been affected. (Those of you unfamiliar with French, I'm sorry--you probably have no clue what I'm talking about and I'm sharing a bunch of babble!)

*German: This is her one key course this year. She would like just to be able to converse more than follow necessarily the program of studies. I'm thinking I wouldn't mind getting all her abilities up enough that she could skip a course or two through distance learning or be able to get easily into a private one-day program we have here in town (although she has thus far shown an extreme aversion to any sort of lessons on the weekend and would rather have a job!). If we do enough, she could probably do the grade 12 level correspondence next year (grade 10 year) and be done with the formalities while we continue improving our German together. Well, okay, I need to remember a lot first. ;) So, what to do for tomorrow? I think I should take some objectives from the grade 7 (first year for one track of the German second language options) level and focus on vocabulary that we can use in day-to-day situations. I wish they had a vocabulary and expressions list like they do for French! But alas...

I've just looked things up. Things we could work on are just basic house vocabulary and question words like wer, wo, wie, wann, was... Ich möchte is a great expression to know and easily use. (I would like...) I will have to take some time and make up a vocabulary list. Mind you, we have the one workbook that covers both grades 7 and 8, so I could maybe just focus on that, plus household daily things. That would work. For tomorrow... Shoot, I think my brain just shut off. lol. ... Oh woot!!! I just did some searching and found a vocabulary and expressions list! Yay!

Other than that, there is art and music. For art, she has a painting book and I will simply ask her to do one of the lessons from it. We have all the necessary materials for it. For music, I will ask her what she wants to do: keep going with piano? try the flute? both? something else?

That's enough for now. I must go rest my brain a while! Too much stress today with various things. :/

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