I started the Mermaid tail for the F pattern! I’ve made some yarn decisions for the rest of her (Woo!). I worked quite a bit in the yard this week too. The raised beds were planted last week. This week I started the long, arduous process of cleaning out the long, long, long neglected flower beds. After a year of PTO and a summer of It’s Just Too Hot, conditions are bad out there.
I also got the submission to our Oak Meadow teacher together. Pro Tip #1: If you’re enrolled, it’s a good idea to try and keep up with the photographs and labeling as you go along. The monthly submissions only require one example of each subject from each Lesson/week, but the big submission (Weeks 1-18) requires more (I haven’t actually done one yet so i don’t know how much more). It’s better to just photograph everything and label it while you still remember what it is you’re labeling. The first submission (Lessons 1-4) wasn’t that time consuming, but this time Ellie had created so many books that labeling all the photographs took forrrrrever. I take action pictures of our activities so that my submissions aren’t just pictures of her finished work. It’s interesting to see how we completed the activities and not just the results. In addition, many of the activities don’t have a physical result to photograph (like learning to use a compass). I don’t take enough pictures of Health. Pro Tip #2: make sure you take pictures of Health.
What We Did During Week 9:
Language Arts has switched to fables for reading comprehension and writing. Math was the 3 and 6 times tables (and reviewing 2, 4, 5, and 10).
Science was recording observations about how plants grow. Three pots with dirt and seeds: one gets sun and water, one just gets sun, and one just gets water (it’s in the closet). We used oat grass since it germinates quickly and Ellie predicted that the one with sun and water would be the one that sprouted. All three pots sprouted (our potting soil was slightly damp in the sun pot and the closet pot has white sprouts). The tracking charts she made go to Day 9, so we’ll see what survives until then. Lucy will probably eat the sprouts before Day 9 and end the experiment early.
Social Studies has redeemed itself. We discussed our family’s lifestyle: where we live, our daily rhythms, our favorite family stories, and how daily life changes with the seasons. Ellie made a book with her thoughts and observations. As much as I was whining about the stories of the past few weeks, the Social Studies curriculum is strong. Very strong considering that many conventional elementary schools don’t have Social Studies at all. There is thought put into how our modern life compares to the lives of the story characters in other countries as well as how the themes of the stories of ancient cultures relate to our modern life (or not).
A quick aside: you’ll notice that Ellie isn’t writing on lined paper. Oak Meadow in the early grades stays away from the lined paper used in conventional education. Instead, the emphasis is on making letter shapes correctly and developing a personal sense of spacial relationships by arranging the words on the page independent of influence. (Independent of influence besides me saying “watch your margin” and “make sure that looks like two words” anyway.) Ellie’s handwriting has improved ENORMOUSLY in just these two months. It’s really startling. And makes perfect sense developmentally when you give it some thought.
The rest of the week was happy gravy. The weather was beautiful, the cats visited often, Girl Scouts was Tuesday, and Play Group at the park was Friday.