Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday 29th August

I'm the distracted one today ;) Call it political interest, but I keep checking the news to see what is going on. Not to mention that DH is coming home early today, so school is a lot lighter an issue :)

We started out with the prayer and Bible- the kids agree that it is a nice way to start. I like the soft start approach, although I am lazy enough to dislike the fact it means I have to be ready on time :) None the less, we started only a little late, and in a much better frame of mind than yesterday!!

Next up Latin. Only I scratched phonics and move M'Lady's block lesson forward. This seemed to work- she could colour in her Flower Fairies, while I helped Rebel on Latin. We were interrupted by DH on the phone though, and the lesson was quite intense- so I broke it off until next week.

Then it was math for Rebel and a continuation of the Block lesson for M'Lady. I recapped the Mrs. Applebee story up to (and including) F, so we can start with 'G' next week. She has trouble recognising 'G', so that is why I picked there to re-start. After we had completed that, and while Rebel was still on math, I started M'Lady on her mathematics, then switched Rebel to Handwriting. I had hoped to start his copywork, but he is still working through his handwriting book. Instead, I think I will add copywork to his main lessons. I wish Memoria Press had decided to print the Memory Work book before school started, but oh well. I'll have to wing it.

Then it was Progym for Rebel, while M'Lady just continued. He has yet to finish it- they snuck outside and I made them do some yard work while out there. Instead of being a punishment though, apparently it was interesting. Next time I'll make him weed ;)

RE is up for this afternoon, but I don't really have M'Lady figured out on this yet. I might just continue with this morning's Bible readings (we stopped in the middle of Joseph's story- and I am really trying to catch up so we can do Christian Studies III) and add in some copywork, main lesson page and memory verses. I have to go over to the Simply Charlotte Mason list and re-read their memory verse method again ;)

Oh- and if you want to read about our Tasha Tea yesterday, head on over to my main blog and take a look. There are really 3 Tasha related posts, somewhat related to the tea ;)

Now- onto the long weekend, with hopes of setting up a sparrow post, and maybe a Fairy House. No promises though!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thursday 28th August

So today- we're off to a bad start. The weather and darkness make it seem so much earlier than it is, and the kids apparently have cabin fever even though they have not stayed in the house.
Bible goes well, although M'Lady had a fit because she had not been quick enough to START the sign of the cross and she kept asking me to 'go back'.
This calmed them a little, but I needed to get M'Lady to do some phonics, and this meant Rebel had to do Latin unobserved. Of course he didn't. OK Mum, time to rethink THAT plan. How can I read to M'Lady without interfering with Rebel's lesson (he will just come over to listen)? I'll have to switch something around. I thought for sure Latin and phonics would work well together- but apparently not.
Mathematics is tough. Neither of them have the focus to do ANYTHING. Not the dots, not the mathematics recap, nothing.
I am so glad that Nature Study is scheduled today, I would surely go mad if I had to contend with this level of distraction through all other lessons!!

Meanwhile I am planning and plotting our Tasha Tea for later. It's a shame we don't have an outfit like hers to wear (I still haven't finished the shawl LOL), but we'll make do. I'll blog about it later on my main blog. And now, I will go take a look at the Science lesson I had planned this afternoon and see if we can fit it in now :)

Wednesday 27th August

Whoops... didn't get a chance to post this yesterday!

We started out fine... even on time, but it went downhill from there :o Apparently, yesterday was distraction day. Rebel was distracted during Latin and mathematics. M'Lady was just plain distracted.
She DID get her main lesson pages up to date though ;)
After that, we tried the R is for Rhyme poetry. It is a lovely lesson plan, but a little above M'Lady's abilities. Not to worry, I'll change the lesson plan to allow Rebel to take advantage of it, while I wait for M'Lady to get a little older ;)
*I* found it fascinating though... ;)

Copywork and recitation went by in a flash (as always) and onto Progymn with Rebel. We'll start Greek backnext week. Progym was not hassle, and then suddenly it was lunch.

After lunch we were supposed to have history, but I don't have half of M'Lady's stuff, so I decided we'll add that next week. Or maybe with the nature study cancelled today (Thursday), I might just put it on today.

So far, so good. One tweak to make, two new schedules to revamp and some tea-time goodies to bake :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Day 2- 4th Grade and Kindergarten year A

So again, we started a little late. Today that was caused by tantrum boy. Apparently I gave him the wrong shirt to wear yesterday!! Once we were all sorted out, we were 20 minutes behind. Not to worry, I read the Bible story for the day, lead with the prayer and began.

After Bible, it is Latin and Phonics. I test M'Lady to see where we need to restart. She knows the alphabet well up to 'G', so we'll ebgin there. I'll read the Mrs. Applebee story to her later, from the start, so she remembers it ;)

We do the first lesson in Latin Book 1. This went rapidly and well, and we had a little giggle over trying to roll our 'R's. Apparently only I can do it ;) Oh well, practise makes perfect, right?

Then onto mathematics. I prepare a Gnumber Gnomes lesson for M'Lady, while Rebel works through his book. He manages to finish it, and we're finally where we're supposed to be!

So what were the math lessons you ask?
Simple number recognition. For some reason, M'Lady (call it laziness perhaps) doesn't want to recognise numbers. So I organized something that was 1/2 Montessori, 1/2 Gnumber Gnomes.

I take some index cards, and write the numbers 0-10 (in rainbow colours) on them. In corresponding colours, I draw the appropriate number of dots on another card. Then I created a series of control cards in the appropriate colour, with both the number AND the correct number of dots on it.

The lesson starts with me showing M'Lady how this works.

First, you choose a DOT card, and count out a corresponding number of gems.

Then you pick the NUMBER card that goes with it. There is a pile of numbers, a pile of dots, and a pile of control cards.

The correct card is placed next to the dots, and then M'Lady checks her answer with the control cards.

First she selects the right card from the control card pile.

And she compares it to the cards on her tray. If it is correct, it gets put in the correct pile. If not, she has to re-do it. I might make her put the ones she gets wrong at first in another pile.
Simple, AND something she can do on her own while I get the next lesson ready or help Rebel!

After mathematics, it is Language Arts block for M'Lady. I set her the task of producing some main lesson pages for A, B and C, while I check out the Alphabet Path stuff.

Rebel starts off with handwriting, and I set him some copywork for the rest of the week. He'll be copying the Star Spangled Banner. After that, he has Progym. This is one of his favourites- apparently he loves to write the story LOL. Today was supposed to be the spelling lesson, but I am waiting on a new spelling book. Rather than mess with the new method (the book is Spelling Power), I opt to forgo the spelling lesson, and instead focus on the grammar. We learn about pronouns. Funnily enough, most of the grammar we do, we've already covered in Latin, so this is mostly review! He has learned the 9 parts of speech though- this is great because I am learning too!!

Next up is lunch, followed by Geography. Only I don't have geography books yet... whoops! Actually it is not my fault. The G is for geography books are NOT at my library, so I am forced to improvise. I am thinking I might just do alphabetical states for DD- or maybe in order of joining the union, and use OTHER books. DS I think will be working through the continents. Of course we'll start with our own :) Either way, I have two books ready to be ordered to help, and a library catalogue to search before next week!

So far so good! We need to work on completion, but otherwise, we're coming along- and M'Lady is finally NOT being such a bother to Rebel. Wow, what a refreshing change!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Day 1- 4th Grade and Kindergarten year A

So the plan so far is that I will be doing a version of Kindergarten with DD this year, and another year next year. Should it be necessary that is ;)
So far the plan consists of Latin Centered program for DS and a Serendipity inspired one for DD.
I don't know how long that will last- I might drop all but the Alphabet path part of Serendipity for DD this year, it depends on how the rest of the week goes (see if she can handle it- so far so good) ;)

The plan was to start at 9 with prayers, Bible and Saint readings. We got that done- a little later than planned simply because I started us out a little late- I forgot to check on the Saint for today :o
The Bible reading went VERY well, and the kids happily illustrated them.
Next up was Latin/Phonics. Uh-oh- somewhere along the line I managed to forget to prepare the Latin. I am still dithering on what to start him with, so we skip that AND phonics as a consequence. No matter, that lets us ease back into it, right?

Mathematics comes next. DD books are apparently on back order- and the ones we are working on now involve counting. According to DS, he can't concentrate with her counting. He leaves the room, and works in another room. I don't like this- there is nothing I can do to make SURE he is working if I can't see him. He doesn't get as much done as I had hoped.

Next up is the Fine Arts Block for DD and Copywork & Recitation, Greek and Progymnasmata. I drop the Greek for today, deciding against Languages. Too stressful for the first day back ;) I read some to DD from M is for Melody. I have yet to get a copy of M is for Masterpiece. This goes rather well, although DS is rather lapsed in the handwriting he is supposed to be doing. DD is then set to colour a flag while DS and I concentrate on the Progym. Progym is of course, a favourite here, and since it also just so happens to be about Julius Caesar it went even better.

Next is lunch, then play then finally a Literature block. The literature block goes well for DS but DD is distracted. She finally does a great picture for the Mother Goose rhymes :) Although she DOES add a picture of the Glob from Gumby :o

Results and Response:
I consider it a pretty good school day. No, we didn't get it ALL done (those are very rare indeed LOL), but we got a lot done. It was my first day homeschooling BOTH of them, so I am happy to have this much done. The rest of the week will be establishing rhythms, routines and tweaking what we have :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Rebel's Schedule

Click for a closer view.

Everything is subject to change of course, but so far, this is the plan! The idea here is to merge the two kids. M'Lady is beginning a Kindergarten year because she has literally been begging to 'do school' (do you know how many times she has asked me in the last few days "is it time for school yet?"?). So I spread the plan out. It is less intensive, more relaxed, and has playtime scheduled- as well as read alouds.
I am aiming to do teatime this year. I aim every year, but this time I have a reason. The kids are always begging for food early, I figure that a scheduled snack time might help ;)

This schedules is heavily influenced by The Latin Centered Curriculum, with a few ideas from other places ;)

M'Lady's Schedule

Click the picture for a closer look.

This looks like a lot. But when you consider that mostly it is large blocks of time so she can do activities, you realize it truly is just a Kindergarten day. It is designed to mostly to coincide with her brother's lessons, so she can 'do some' too :) . This is a Serendipity based plan, heavily influenced by Elizabeth, and ready to be tweaked when necessary. I am assuming that the mathematics will include the Math Gnomes, which is why I scheduled her a large time slot. I may reduce it later.

What we're doing

The past few weeks have been a time for the kids to enjoy the summer.
Rebel has been creating paper structures from kits that Mum sent over and some that I downloaded off of the internet.
M'Lady has been learning about not bullying the bunny ;)

NOW, I am in the final stages of planning, where I hope to upload my schedule in just a few days :)

The Homeschool Blog

I have often deliberated on hosting an education blog. At one point I even tried to host one on wordpress, but I realised that I love blogger better, and it is just a lot easier for me to host another blog here :) Especially since it means I can separate out the learning from the life :)

So I decided to start this blog. The title comes from one of my favourite educational quotes:
"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire" by William Butler Yeats.

This blog is about our school life, and all my school posts will eventually be hosted here :)

I have included links in the sidebars, to the blogs I am subscribed to, to other learning notes blogs and to other homeschooling Catholics :) They are organized by the most recent posting, so you never know what will be top of the list when you visit!

Oh, and yes, I DID draw and paint my own header ;)