09 November 2007

School Work

Yes, we do get some school work done around here.

Kid1 continues the Bonus Round of RightStart Geometry -- the pages that are downloaded from the website, and not yet published. She has a handful of lessons to go with this. These lessons seem fairly easy compared to what went before. Or maybe they just cover topics that are easier for her. Or maybe she's not actually doing them -- I've pretty much lost touch with the entire operation, and am vaguely aware that she is figuring out stuff about spheres that circumscribe platonic solids. Whatever that means. Okay, actually I know what a platonic solid is. I'm not sure why I care about the spheres that they can be stuck into, unless I'm planning to knit one.

She also merrily plugs away at Latin for Children. She was alternating this with Ecce Romani, but now concentrates exclusively on the Latin for Children. She is charmed by the quirky DVD. We have the early version, the one produced before they decided to get all professional and consistent. We all watch it every week to see what will happen next -- will their cat wander through? Will the girls say something outlandish? Or maybe pop a jaw while yawning, then start giggling?

Odds and ends of Classical Writing Aesop are being done. She felt a need to work with a couple more of the Aesop level stories before moving on to Homer. I was looking over the grammar sheet the other day. "Why do you have OP written over all these words? The instructions don't say anything about OP."

"It stands for Object of the Preposition. We were doing object of the preposition in Latin, and I thought it would be fun to do them on this." Oh. Did I even have a clue about objects of the proposition when I was this age? Probably not.

We've started Bravewriter Boomerang. I have no background in literary criticism. None. I'm pretty sure I never even took a class that explored metaphor or anything else of that ilk. So Boomerang is her opportunity to discuss what goes on in a writer's mind. Yes, she's signed up for Boomerang Complete, which means she can participate in the online forums (I stay out of that -- she has her own password, and tends to her own discussions. We've had some conversations about online safety, and I trust Julie, the forum owner, to keep the kids pretty much in line.). I print out the information regarding the dictation exercises; we would not do dictation on a regular basis if someone else hadn't packaged it for our use.

And then there's piano. And dance. And science (mostly, at this point, Scout badge work, plus Science Center and Zoo classes, and also randomly listening in on conversations ... like at the vet's yesterday, when I was discussing the life cycle of fleas with the vet, which conversation was made easier by the fact that I'd taken entymology in college rather than literary criticism, which may mean I have a duller inner life and write more run on sentences than those of you who were lit majors, but on the other hand I do feel quite at ease discussing the comparative effects of Insect Growth Regulators, and, given the state of my ankles, that is a good trade off for now).

She reads voraciously. Sometimes I steer her to historical fiction. Sometimes I don't.

In the meantime, Kid2 is working through RightStart C. So far it's sort of fun. She is quite fascinated with the card games. I'm not a big fan of the card games, as I'd rather be doing something else, but, aha, she's able to get Kid1 to play the games with her (I also disliked the games back when Kid1 was playing them for RightStart, so Kid1 apparently still has unsatisfied game-playing desires).

We also continue to work through the second year of First Language Lessons. She has completed the booklet of the poem about the months of the year. She had really looked forward to that, having remembered if from when her big sister did it four years ago. Now we're into the part of the book where we whip out School House Rock to supplement the explanations of the various parts of speech. Then after this, as I recall from four years ago, it all gets very dull and we simply try to survive the remainder of the book.

She works on Prima Latina in fits and starts. It is also dull, which we had never noticed until we tried other Latin courses. Mostly she wants to work on it because her sister works on Latin and she needs to keep up.

And she does piano. And dance. And science.

And my own school work? I just got Lingua Latina in the hopes that I will finally wade through more than a couple of chapters of some Latin program on my own. Henle didn't do it for me, nor Latin Book One. And Latina Christiana, Minimus, Ecce Romani and Latin for Children have also failed to make an impression. I will say that I've become very good at reading through and comprehending the first couple of chapters of beginning Latin books, having practiced that skill so many times. After the first couple of chapters, though, it gets ... hard. Eeeew -- chapter 2 of Lingua Latina forced me to remember some of those pesky declensions and actually use them in sentences. Who knew that's what they were for? I liked the declensions better when they stayed in their orderly little charts in the textbooks -- when they start running around the text like they own the storyline I find it very disturbing.

Also, the other day I picked up a copy of John Thompson piano book 3. I had used this book years and years ago, but somehow didn't have my copy anymore. I still had some of the pieces memorized. What a fun book -- not very hard, but a bit more interesting than Mary Had a Little Lamb. Plus it's not Suzuki (having 2 kids go through Suzuki can put you off certain specific pieces of music, let me tell you).

Of course, next week is Thanksgiving, after which we will undoubtably fall to pieces again insofar as school work is concerned. But I will have this lovely snapshot of these few weeks when we had our act together (sort of) to look back upon.


Ami said...


After homeschooling the last 14 years, and feeling quite successful, I suddenly feel inadequate.

But I loved your run on sentence.


GailV said...

Oh hah, like anyone should feel inadequate reading this. I've pretty much admitted the kids aren't required to do much (Latin, math, music, something else English-language related), and I don't much follow up to see if the older child is actually doing her stuff correctly. This post will probably be seized by those who feel homeschooling should be illegal as an example of bad things we homeschoolers do.

But the run on sentences really are in a class by themselves. Perhaps that's what made you feel inadequate? That your blog doesn't have have entire paragraphs hanging together with comma splices?

km said...

You may not agree...but it's impressive. And I've just given into '...' instead of trying to formulate sentences when I haven't had enough coffee or sleep. I think having this to look back on is sort of like having a mission statement for homeschooling. When you wonder if anything gets done...you can look at this. When you wonder if you were sane when you thought that homeschooling was a good idea...recall your purpose. Happy Thanksgiving week to you all.

Becca said...

Regarding Latin for Children, has she discovered the online game Flash Dash? It's a multiple choice vocabulary game they can quiz themselves with.


Writing and Living said...

Don't feel bad about the Latin. I took two years of Latin in high school and still have problems getting past the first chapters of Latin books.

I wasn't a lit major, either, and of abuse of the comma was a punishable crime, I'd be in big trouble.