08 January 2008

Ordinary Time

I love that we're in "Ordinary Time" now. It has such a cool sound to it, don't you think? Like maybe we've been wandering around in a temporal rift for the past few months, but now we've found our way out to Ordinary Time.

And, yes, I know that it's about ordinal numbers (link is to wikipedia article on what "ordinary time" means). But I still like the play on words.

So, since we're back to the ordinary, it's time to get back to homeschooling, right? Actually we started back last week, although on a light schedule. Since there were only three days we schooled, our subjects that fit neatly into 4-day-weeks didn't happen. Here's our homeschool check-in:

Kid1 had taken a long break from Rosetta Stone Spanish, mostly because the computer decided it no longer cared to mess with the CD. I called Rosetta Stone for help. "My disk is dead! Wah!" The service person spent 2 hours on the phone trying to get it to run. He was quite willing to go the distance and spend however many hours it took, but I was getting antsy and suggested that perhaps the problem was with the computer rather than the disk, and I would call back if I felt the need. Believe me, Rosetta Stone may cost a lot, but they really supported the product that day.

Now we have a shiny new computer, and the disk is working quite well, thank you. Except she likes to spend 4 days on each Rosetta Stone unit, so she couldn't start back with it until this week.

And her approach to Latin for Children generally takes 4 days per chapter, so she also took a break from that. Instead, she played around with my Lingua Latina book and disk. I had ordered it way back when, but was afraid to put the disk in the old computer, what with it getting all touchy about disks. We had fun messing around with it last week on the new computer. She's almost done with the first level of Latin for Children -- I think we'll discuss alternating Latin for Children with Lingua Latina.

And for math.... Um. Well. Kid1 has completed all of RightStart, and I had this vague idea that Teaching Textbooks would be a good next step. Except Teaching Textbooks is a computer-based program, and we were having computer issues. Last week, once we had a viable computer up and running I had her take the placement test for pre-Algebra. Alas, she decided she didn't feel confident about multiplying and dividing fractions -- she can do it once I remind her how, but she doesn't come up with the "how" on her own. So she doesn't feel ready to plunge into pre-Algebra, and I'm okay with that considering she's in 6th grade. But Teaching Textbooks middle school math programs don't run on a Mac. And the shiny new computer is a Mac. Sigh. So we're sort of operating without a math program at the moment, which is sort of tough when you're trying to center your curriculum on Latin and math.

Science will probably continue to be rather ad hoc. We go to the Science Center for classes. We go to the zoo for classes. We go on nature walks. We work on science-related Scout badges.

History has been rather disjoint. We have Sonlight Core 6, and have been reading the books on an erratic basis. It has some fun books, we've just been too busy with other stuff to read many of them.

Kid1 continues to enjoy the Bravewriter Boomerang forums. I like having all of the dictation laid out for me, as well as notes on the current book (right now they're reading Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank). I also like that she's getting a chance to discuss books with other kids her age -- we haven't hooked up with a local book club, and this seems to fill that gap. Plus Julie (Mrs. Bravewriter) does a great job of leading the discussion (I peek at the forum sometimes, but don't tell Kid1, okay? because she wants this to be her thing, not mine).

Edited to add: Julie has a blog post about her online classes here that offers some insight into some of the advantages of an online book discussion. I always feel so apologetic about having Kid1 do this stuff online instead of in a class. I think I need to get over that.

And we are poised to start Classical Writing Homer now that life has returned to ordinary, and we no longer are running around like crazed maniacs with too much to do in too little time.

Kid2 has been chugging along in RightStart C. So far it's been easy and enjoyable for her.

We also work on First Language Lessons, and are somewhere in the second year. I think we've just about gotten to the part where it gets dreadfully dull and becomes a matter of surviving until the end of the book.

Kid2 works on Prima Latina, which I also feel is dreadfully dull. But she wants to do Latin. I'm so glazed over by this program I'm unable to see how to liven it up.

She follows along with science and history with her older sister.

We have no grand plans to overhaul our system, nor thoughts of adding exciting new subjects (other than coming up with an actual math program for Kid1 so we don't have to wing it each day). We have about 2 months of calm before the craziness of life explodes again all over our calm little homeschool days. March is going to be a doozy; I'm already dreading it.


Ami said...

I read recently that by the time homeschooled kids are college age, it doesn't seem to matter whether they were unschooled, classically educated, or some combination of thousands out there. I'm glad I read that, because otherwise, I might feel just a little inadequate as a homeschooling mom after reading all that you're doing.

::bowing low and sweeping off hat to you:::


km said...

I love your re-cap. I enjoy that school at my house is so fun this year. And I realize that it's a good thing kids & moms grow into the education process.

So...what happens in March? Is that when dance performances/competitions and piono recitals ect. collide?

GailV said...

March is St. Patrick's Day, which means Irish Dance performances several times per week. St. Louis has 2 St. Patrick's Day parades, and we will be in at least 1 of them. Our dance school is in both. I think we're supposed to help make the float.

Also, the Junior Scout leader decided that I should lead the first meeting in March, and provide snacks for the second. Unlike Ami, I can't just show up at Scouts and run a meeting; I need hours and hours to stew about it. I would ask to change to different dates because of conflicts with St. Patrick's Day performances, but I ALWAYS ask to do things differently, and I think the poor woman is starting to dread talking to me. So I'm planning to be a martyr about it.

And let's not forget Easter. We will either need to spend time shopping for Easter dresses and shoes (ugh, I hate shopping for clothes, but the kids keep outgrowing everything) or else make new outfits. And all the other Easter falderal.

Weaver said...

why, why, why do people still make things that don't work on Macs? It is so incredibly disturbing, of course that could be because I'm a proud Mac owner too. (actually, we have 2 Macs. Brewer has some sort of PC laptop from work but I like to pretend like it doesn't exist)

Holy cow, reading about your schooling makes me feel like such a slacker. Right now I'm spending my days just trying not to feel sick ;) but once we get moved, I think I will finally have 3 kids who are all actually ready for some formal-type work. I'm actually excited about the thought

kitten said...

Wow! I didn't know that about Ordinary Time. I'm trying to get mine back in the swing of school too, but not happening as good as I would like or maybe I'm expecting too much. Well, anyways it don't matter since we don't have a schedule to keep up like in Public schooling. oooh! That sounded as good as your Ordinary Time! LOL!

GailV said...

Weaver, dear, you are running an awesome biology unit study at your house! You don't need to do anything else!

Plus, they're going to be learning all about spatial relationships as they pack up everything, unpack everything, and fit into a new house. Don't forget the geography lessons, moving to a new area.

Weaver said...

I feel calmer already. Thank you, GailV. I will eat a peppermint Joe-Joe in your honor today! (but only one cause peppermint doesn't agree with my tummy if it's any more than that ;) )