04 August 2006

First Week Back to Homeschooling

Back story: I've been talking about Latin-centered curriculum with my kids all summer, emphasizing how wonderful it will be to pare down the number of subjects studied. Kid1 seemed on board with the idea, especially ditching Rod&Staff grammar which she has grown to loathe as much as I do.

Last week Kid1 announced that she would like to start school this week because "there's such a thing as too much free time," and the days seem to pass more quickly when she's busy. My brow furrowed; an entire conversation about her (failed) resolve to do math or spelling every day all summer hung palpably in the air. I said,"well, you could figure out things for yourself to keep yourself busy, you know." The conversation died. I assumed she meant that she wanted me to be responsible for keeping her busy. I am her accountability partner, it would seem.

So, okay, we would "start school" this week. I suggested a light schedule -- our key subjects are Latin and math, so maybe just some Latin review and math every day.

"Spelling -- remember that I want to do spelling." Kid1 has a deep love of Spelling Power. I am not so thrilled with it, but it's only 15 minutes a day, so it doesn't really interrupt my Multum non Multa groove.

"And I want to learn about the Romans in Britain this year."

"????. You hated the Romans, remember?" Really, we had to skip the last several chapters of Story of the World vol.1 because she was fed up with the Romans.

"Yeah, well, now I want to learn about them." On the other hand, starting Latin this week has been voted down. Go figure.

Kid2 took this as a signal to announce, "I want to learn about the Egyptians this year!" Kid2 had never ever expressed any interest whatsoever in the Egyptians, and I have an unsettling feeling that "learn about the Egyptians" really means "mummify a chicken." Yikes! I said nothing in reply, fearing what I would hear if I probed.

Oh, and the Classical Writing books suggest that kids learn to type so it's easier for them to write out their papers. So, we'll throw typing onto the stack of things to do.

And, coincidentally, Mr.V just got Rosetta Stone Spanish levels 1 and 2, and "Mommy, I've really been wanting to learn Spanish. Can I go ahead and try this?"

At this point the Multum non Multa idea is out the window. Heck, "Latin-centered" is out the window. Kid1's schedule for the week has been spelling, RightStart Geometry, Rosetta Stone Spanish, and typing.

Kid2 has done a bit of phonics. Later in the week she realized that one of her dolls wants to learn to read, although apparently the doll had vision problems and needed reading glasses (for the record, none of us wear glasses, although I've noticed some short-arm-syndrome creeping into my vision). We found a pair of doll-glasses in the basement, and Kid2 has been teaching phonics rather than learning it herself.

Our read alouds have been Norse Myths, King Arthur, and the Little House in the Highlands series.

Honestly, the biggest chunk of time this week has been spent on this:

The origami stuff was in the basement. The weather has been stinkin' hot. The basement is cool.

I love the elephants.


Olive Oyl/Pensguys said...

Cool origami!!!!!!!! Maybe I need some girls...my boys have never taken an interest in that but I think it is COOL!

We start back today by going for doughnuts for breakfast and buying school supplies at Walmart. :) Actually the guys had 2.5 days of art and geography a couple weeks ago so that was our start but today was "official".

JoVE said...

I suspect teaching dolls to read is a great way to learn phonics. And if you turned 40 recently, your arms definitely get shorter. I put off the optometrist until I was 41.5 but by that time my partner was laughing at me. Didn't need much magnification and get by on reading glasses from teh dollar store (you could skip the optometrist and just go to the dollar store, I suppose).