I was going to journal today but decided to do a blog post instead--almost the same thing. :)
Just reflecting today on how this school year is starting off. My 13yo dd is fairly happy: everything is laid out for what to do during a week, she controls how much she does at a time and when she does it, but aims to get it all done. I will have to start checking in to make sure she's getting it ALL done--I suspect she's missing the instructions about writing about certain things. Her math has been review stuff so far, using The Key to Algebra series. Once she's reviewed enough, then I can get her going on the grade 9 content. Mind you, some of the stuff she will be reviewing is grade 9 provincial content: she was simply introduced to it earlier! I added in religion this past week (I'd forgotten to put it on her list the week before), but I think that was it. This is what her week consists of right now:
*English: Free reading plus visiting some online sites recommended by our school board (sorry, they are password protected, so can't share a couple of them!) One of them is http://www.freerice.com. This is a fantastic site: you help give rice to people in poor country by practising or learning vocabulary! I will have to figure out something more for her to do for English. The bulk of grade 9 English in school is those stupid textbooks with random short story and poetry selections. I've mentioned doing Shakespeare and am just remembering now that Shakespeare's Sonnets is waiting for me at the library. Poetry sounds like a good unit to start. :) I had thought about having English and French follow the same units, but I think that becomes almost too much--she is really liking variety right now.
*French: We are working on the novel study of Jules Verne's L'ile mystérieuse (in English: The Mysterious Island)--she's actually gotten ahead of me. We were only going to do a chapter a week, but she got to the end of the 2nd chapter and asked if she could read the next--she said it had gotten to an exciting point and she didn't want to stop! (Is it wrong of me to think "Thank goodness for the Montessorian in me that allowed her to continue on!"? lol) She has also been working on verb conjugations. I am going to start working on other aspects of grammar that will help her keep practising the present tense verb conjugations she's been working on (the -ER verbs--including ones that are kind of "funny", like "espérer"--and -IR verbs, avoir and être). She'll get sick of just verb conjugations!
*German: No German this week, but her workbook finally came in yesterday. I got her this:
It is VERY basic with hardly any work. I will have to look at it and plan for additional activities for her to do with the lessons. Or let her get going with it and just try to use what she's learned and use it orally.
*Math: Like I said, she's working on The Key to Algebra series. I don't know how many of them I will have her do. For right now, she's finished the first book and will start the second one this week. I have basically simply told her to work 30-60 minutes a day on math; she's been controlling how much and when.
*Science: She has her science text and is just working through it, writing down definitions. At some point, I think I'd like to do a little lesson on maybe doing a Mind Map or some other form of additional notes to help connect everything together. She doesn't have to do any tests for this this year--I should maybe ask her if she would like to. I'm thinking for now, just learning to take good notes will be helpful; we can add the stress of tests next year, since it looks like she is going to sign up for the online option and will have tests to do! I just realized that I ought to show her how to supplement the information, to look elsewhere for more information. I also just realized that she was supposed to write something for one of the assignments and while she looked things up, I don't know if she wrote anything down.
*Social studies: So far, just reading to get an overview of governments in history. I will have to find something more concrete for her to do!!
*Phys. Ed.: I've told her she should have as a bare minimum 3 times a week--she now has dance twice a week, so she should do something at least one other day. She's been working on stretches a bit and some exercises she learned in dance class. I did show her a yoga pose that is supposed to help her flat feet--she's resisting it because it hurts, which means she's not on the right surface and not propped up enough. Will have to keep working on that.
*Art: My only requirement is that she do something during the week. She's been focusing on oil painting, although did do some dress designing, too. We actually sat down together and tried a technique in her beginner book and she watched part of the DVD that came with the book. Let me say: It's HARD. lol. I kept having to ask her what to do, how...
*Home Ec.: The first week, she was required to help me with a meal. I forgot to put it on her list last week, so she just went an extra mile and helped with a supper and cleaned up in the family room--without having been asked. :)
*Religion: She is working through the older version of this book:
She's done the first chapter so far and one of the activities at the end (I thought it a bit too much to do it ALL--how uninspirational! :D). I asked her what she thought of it so far and she likes it, especially the little stories. I think it will be a nice, gentle text for the year.
I think that's it for her!
For my 10yo, he's still just been working on handwriting and math, skipped a couple of days, but otherwise, doing that and keeping busy with playing with his cousins, reading a variety of things, including a science magazine we get and the Action Bible. He's actually decided to stop doing the tracing part of the handwriting and just go straight to the copywork. I'm going to keep the amount small and start leaving enough lines so that he can keep trying to get the words just right. He's kind of doing the words, but not really self-assessing on how well the letters are done. Math is from a grade 6 JUMP Math workbook I had bought for my dd! For right now, it does the trick. At some point, I will have to go back some grade levels and have him work through different things. Which means creating my own worksheets!
The grade 12 student, the 17yo, is having a kind of slow start, but not a bad start. He's mostly keeping on top of his English and produced the best thing he's ever written on his own. He was so proud. :D I am really loving not being responsible for the lessons themselves, the marking, etc. Just helping him figure out what needs to get done, stay on task, giving feedback for what he's working on... He is going to have to get cracking on his social studies more. There is a lot of reading and his reading's not so strong... I want to show him how to take notes and then how to create some Mind Maps. He has a real tendency to not see the connections between things and I think guiding him through creating some Mind Maps will help.
Oh, I finished reading Little House in the Big Woods to my nieces on Friday. Right away they asked if we could start the next one. We did! :) I still have the set I got as a gift when I was between the ages of 6-8. I see they've republished them, with a nicer storage box:
Mine's yellow. Mind you, I guess the covers are yellow, too, but with the same illustrations on the front. Such a classic series. How can one not love it? :D