Monday, October 8, 2012

The Week Ahead: Oct. 9-12

I thought I might use my blog more to write down planning thoughts, journal more, etc. It's a good place to keep things where they won't get lost. lol.

Today is Thanksgiving here in Canada, so technically not a school day. But the start of the school year has been so rough and my daughter has gotten so far behind that we did spend some time this afternoon working on math and phys. ed. (Yes, she's behind in phys. ed.! Mind you, there isn't a specific guideline, which doesn't help any.) Her math ought to be completely caught up with by this coming Friday. Her English... Yikes. Weeks behind. A large part of that due to her English teacher not being remotely clear about what he expected and constantly changing things. But the next unit is the novel study and she reads quickly, so she should be caught up by the end of the month. I hope. It is her goal, anyhow, but we need to make sure she gets working on the overdue stuff.

I'm just going to babble a bit about English here: English is not hard for her. She reads well, writes well. But the kinds of questions that are sometimes asked are so out beyond left field that it completely throws her. Panic hits: "I don't know what the heck they are talking about. If I don't know what the heck they are talking about, how am I supposed to answer the question?" A lot of self-imposed pressure to know instantly what the answer is. But she's typically known fairly instantly what the answer is for things, so having the pressure of getting marked and not knowing... It creates stress which just ends up blocking her from thinking about it. It's been interesting to observe; I just need to figure out how to work with it now. In any case, with these emotions popping up, her English is taking her longer than it should with each assignment. Something that should take a couple of days is taking a week because her frustration level hits a point that she can't continue and has to switch to something else.

Back to figure out the week ahead:

*Big Focus: catching up. Math test done by Friday at the latest. English--I'm thinking at least the assignment due a couple of weeks ago PLUS getting started on the one due last week. Some random thoughts on this: Do short blocks and stop before frustration hits; maybe even use a timer. Put up sticky notes of things that come to mind.
*Secondary Focus: I would like her to establish some sort of schedule, make certain things routine. For example, she touches her German course sporadically when it should be daily. English is a huge one to catch up on; math doesn't have a lot, but it's very important that she keep on track with this one.
*Math: She's feeling very rusty with some early algebra stuff she's done in the past and had no problem with then. It would be good to have just a few refresher questions each day on the stuff she's blanking out with.
*Phys. Ed.: get the initial stuff all done. With her catching up in math and English, the plan she's supposed to submit can probably wait.
*Religion: write up and send off plan! And do reading. She's been pretty good at just grabbing the religion text and doing the reading when she's got 15 minutes here, 30 minutes there without me around.

*handwriting: he had to write on some gift tags this weekend and it was a near-disaster. What specifically should I have him do? I could pick a quote and then tackle the individual letters with him and then have him do the copywork. He really needs this practice. Daily.
*math: I'd like to have a look at the grade 7 algebra section and make sure he can do all the things from it.
*geometry: get him started on triangles (I think there's a triangle unit in his grade 7 text)
*science/social studies: we have still not finished the Great Lessons. MAJOR GOAL FOR THE WEEK: Finish the Great Lessons! We have one or two left. I need to have a look at science lessons to start working on or something I can set up a one-off afternoon class with.
*religion: ideally, read a section daily from Faith and Life.
*music: I'd like to suggest that we tune his guitar. We could even try out one of the instructional books.
*French: ah... hm...

As I write all of the above, I feel my homeschooling moving towards a list of things to get done rather than an overall vision and feel to live. I need to be careful!

I've been too distracted. I'll end it here for now!

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