Friday, July 6, 2012

This is probably a fleeting idea but...


Sometimes I get a bee in my bonnet about something and dive headlong into it for about 3 days before losing interest in it.  A good example of this would be the infamous "Babette" blanket which was a great idea in theory.  And that is all the blankets ever were: a theory.  All the yarn has since been donated to a lovely woman who passed time her chemo time by crocheting entire blankets and donating actual finished products to her fellow patients.  A whim that didn't see fruition, but I still sleep well at night.

Other times I get on a tear, take no prisoners, and make the dust fly until my project is finished.  Finished, I tell you.  Closet cleaning projects, lesson planning, and once a month cooking come to mind.  Not a pretty sight among them.


I find myself mildly, but not fanatically (yet) tempted to attempt a new project.  One week from Monday we will be kicking off a new school year.  Doc will be starting 4th grade and Obi Wanda will be entering 2nd grade and I'm very excited about the year ahead.  My plan is to chronicle our year in the hopes it will be one worth remembering with fondness.

Thanks to PB, I spent last weekend alone in hotel room inputing all our lesson plans in Homeschool Tracker's online program (the first of many new additions to our schoolroom).  Before we launch the year, I thought I would give a rundown of what we're studying this year:

Tapestry of Grace  (TOG) is our spine for the year.   We're using Year One which covers from Creation to the Fall of Rome.  Interestingly, we'll spend the first three weeks looking at Egyptian history before swinging back and moving from Creation forward.  It seemed odd at first, but there's so much to study in Egyptian history that it would be easy to lose momentum during the Joseph - Moses years.  TOG will cover biblical and world history, geography and literature.

Doc is beginning his first year with Institute for Excellence in Writing SWI-A.  Under normal circumstances, Doc would easily fall under the label "reluctant writer."  PB and I had a chance to hear Andrew Pudewa in the spring and I loved his approach to getting children, particularly boys who don't sit still, interested in writing.

On the science front, Doc will begin his first year taking classes with Bill Clifton at Science Partners.  Third grade is pretty much the ceiling of my science knowledge so it's time to start farming out some of the teaching.  It's never a good thing when the teacher is baffled by science experiments.  Mr. Clifton is a local treasure and Doc is excited to learn about earth and physical science this year.  Obi Wanda and I will work through a Rod & Staff book together this year and then she'll move into one of Mr. Clifton's classes next year.  There will be hallelujahs all around.

In the math department: Teaching Textbooks, Teaching Textbooks, how I LOVE Teaching Textbooks.  Teaching Textbooks for everyone!  See, there's this little man in the computer who does the lectures, and examples and quizzes and grades everything.  He'll even explain to my children what they did wrong when they miss a problem.  Now if only there were a Teaching Chores, Teaching Laundry, and Teaching PE.

Speaking of PE, we're giving FamilyTimeFitness a try this year.  They email you a bunch of lesson plans so you don't have to sit around scratching your head, trying to remember what you did on the elementary school blacktop.  By the way, all I remember is doing "crazy 8's" and picking loose pebbles out of my shoes.  Also, we had bring your records from home Friday's which gave me my first introductions to Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper and Madonna.  Have you seen Cyndi Lauper lately?  How good does she look??!!

Oh, and also the math front: have you heard of Life of Fred?  We love Fred.  Doc and Obi Wanda laugh at the silly stories about 5 year-old Fred who teaches math at Kittens University while learning real life applications of math principles.  I laugh out loud at the stories told by the oh-he-must-be-a-libertarian-who-spent-way-too-much-time-in-the-public-university-system author.  Great fun for parent and child.  And there's learning, too!

After two years of Grapevine Studies, we're moving on to Bible Study Guide for all Ages for um, Bible Study.  Biblical history is great, but I want to make sure there's ample opportunity for application.  If I feel we're getting enough application and depth from TOG, we'll pitch BSGRAA (not much of an abbreviation).

And there will be spelling (Spelling Workout), grammar (Winston Grammar), word root studies (English from the Roots Up) and phonics (Explode the Code).

Also, we'll take a few side trips that will likely go the way of the aforementioned Babette blankets.  I purchased 3 old school recorders for music theory and I'm toying with learning a little Korean.  We have some dear friends from South Korea and I thought our frequent exposure to them will give us a chance to practice a little conversational Korean.

As an aside, last night I was looking up Korean phrases and I read that the Korean word for hello is annyong.  I couldn't for the life of me figure out why that word sounded so familiar.  And then I remembered: Arrested Development!  Lucille Bluth adopted a son from Korea and everyone called him Annyong because they thought that was his name.  And now I will always be able to say hello to my Korean friends.  Thank you, Arrested Development.

So that's what the year ahead looks like.  It should be a sweet mix of increased independent learning and precious "couch time" that I refuse to relinquish.  This may or may not be the only post I do about it.  There might be pictures of field trips.  Or not.  I can absolutely guarantee there will be no photos of historical crafts because you can't photograph what doesn't exist.  Hopefully, I'll pop in to chronicle our progress.

Until next time!

Or not.


Becks said...

i love when you blog! <3

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