When you homeschool an only child, you have to own that on an everyday basis, You’re It. You’re the alarm clock, the playmate, the entertainment coordinator, the teacher, the task master, the parent, and the grown-up. That’s a lot of jobs. Some weeks there’s not much time left for anything else.
For the record, I didn’t realize that I had missed Lesson 6. I thought I was just late posting about last week. This proves that jet lag is not a myth.
Ireland in Social Studies. Well, really the ancient Celts. Social Studies has been a little ‘meh’ the past few weeks. And I know you’re thinking: How is Ireland, where the people practically invented the fairy tale, ‘meh’? The answer is that only one story has fairies in it while the other two are about saints (and no context is given). If we had been on our own instead of enrolled, I would have substituted either more interesting versions of the stories or new stories entirely. As it was, I supplemented. I’ve decided to do social studies backwards when the story is unapproachable on it’s own – we’ll complete the enrichment-type activity first and follow with the story and discussion. At least that way she’ll know what she’s supposed to be gleaning. The art that goes along with the the ‘meh’ has been pretty cool. We made ink.
Science and Language Arts helped alleviate the ‘meh’ of Social Studies. This week we made a leaf ID book for Science. In the weeks before that, the Science focus has been on daily rhythms. She kept a record of her daily wake up time, when she was hungry, and when she had exceptionally high or low energy. The following week was focused on plant and animal life. We have a bevy of wildlife in the woods! All kinds of animals! The only ones who showed up for the record of animal life were lizards, birds, and Tyler.
Language Arts has been all about the poetry. Ellie ‘learned by heart’ the Owl and the Pussycat, set a poem to music, and created her own written language which she used to send notes to Michael. She also wrote and illustrate a couple of story books (one because she got carried away with the assignment and one because it was the assignment). She’s one chapter away from finishing the last of the two provided readers and then we are free to pick whatever we want for read-aloud practice. The thing that struck me as extremely useful was the creation of a personal spelling word list. In typical school, as you know, kids get a list of spelling words to memorize each week. Ellie’s spelling word list is words that she typically (or repeatedly) misspells when she’s writing rather than a random list of words that she may or may not use again or that she already knows how to spell. No test at the end of the week, just practice until the spelling is internalized and no longer a hinderance.
Ellie loves math and is so so so happy to finally be doing ‘real’ math. Story problems during Lesson 6 to review the four processes and horizontal and vertical equations, then 2 and 4 times tables, and this week was 5 and 10 times tables. Memorizing times tables is going to be a total bore. Anything that happens over and over (if it doesn’t involve a Magic School Bus, a witch, or a princess) is an abomination. It’s actually solving the problems that engages her. This bodes well for algebra. She writes smaller so she can fit more problems on a page she likes math so much. I’m going to search the web for some songs or games or something that will help us survive the repetition since my imagination needs a boost.
Since we are enrolled and just finished Lesson 8, I’m working on the second batch of work to submit to her Oak meadow teacher. That means importing photographs and label label label.