Thursday, June 26, 2008

Making Schedules

Leslie has fabulous schedules for her children.

I have a spiral bound notebook. It's for thinking. See I've spent the years since I could first write scribbling on pieces of paper and then leaving those pieces of papers everywhere.

So, I've gotten better at wasting paper. I just write in this notebook. It's mostly useless. It's not a diary. It's not full of good stuff. It's just that my brain only works well if I'm writing with my hand. So, I get it all out and eventually I write something that makes sense.

Right now it's thoughts and schedules. This year I learned a lot about my oldest and how to help him work and stay on track. He likes to be given a plan. He doesn't do well if let to his own all day. But, he doesn't like to be told what to do. Just give him a list and let him disappear.

Last year I got so overwhelmed with day to day living. I could never keep up with his lists. I don't want to worry about it every week, but I don't know if I spend a bunch of time creating something and it fails if I will then feel like a failure.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Contest at Heart of the Matter

Heart of the Matter is having a contest to give away Biology 101 DVDs

Here is a description from the HOM blog:

Biology 101: Biology According To The Days of Creation is a video series that gives an overview of Biology from the Biblical perspective. It comprises four DVDs covering Plants, Aquatics Creatures, Avian Creatures, Land Animals, Mankind and Genetics. All based on the days of creation. The total length of the series is 4 1/2 hours and a guidebook which includes quizzes accompanies the series also. The creator of this wonderful series has geared it toward 15 year olds and higher but my science loving 3rd and 4th graders loved it! Wes Olson, a Bible college graduate and homeschooling father, developed and hosted this great series. He is very knowledgeable of Biology and we absolutely loved his sense of humor.

Here is my reply for my entry:

I don't know about my favorite. We really love animals around here. But, I do have to say that I have really enjoyed learning to love the scaly creatures. I used to abhor reptiles and things similar. But, a few years back a relative brought over a friends iguana. He was almost dead and the rescue suggested putting him to sleep because they could not find a home for him. But, I couldn't help myself. I fed him, bathed him, and loved him.

He now loves me dearly. He listens to my voice. He loves to be pet on the head, just like any dog or cat. His little eyes roll back and his eyelids shut.

I've learned to love a scaly little creature. He isn't beautiful because of the harm his previous owners did, do to poor nutrition and lack of proper lighting.

But, he is our little iguana. A beautiful and remarkable creature.

Friday, June 20, 2008

School is like a zoo...

but for children.

This is what my 11 year old son told me today. He was sitting at the table. I was sitting on the couch with my laptop. The other boys were outside on the sidewalk. It runs along the side of the kitchen. They had the kitchen door open. At very specific times of the day we hear loud children, screeching little girls especially. It was funny at first. But, somedays it's disturbing. But, it took my sons comment to make me see why.

He told me they make them sit all day and do tricks. Then they let them out of that box. Then the children go crazy for a while. (For the record this child has attended public school.)

At least they still get recess.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Fifty Famous Fairy Tales

I was able to get these through my local library. My 8 year old has somehow missed the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. Which is partially why I'm using AO this upcoming year. AO for the younger years will help me to touch all the important things they shouldn't miss, yet still give us time to enjoy all the modern rabbit trails we like to wander around.

Back to audio books. I'm amazed that my boys like these. I just put them on and wander off and sometimes we put them on at night and turn off all the lights except for a few candles. I'm always surprised at how long they will sit and how they wander over and cannot help themselves.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Black Ships Before Troy

Black Ships Before Troy: The Story of the Iliad
Last night we were set to watch a movie. But, since we didn't get through dinner and cleanup and teeth brushing till near 10pm it just didn't happen. My dh grabbed this book from the library shelf. Not to read, but to fold paper airplanes on. I've been trying to fit these in as read alouds since we are studying Greece. The prophet (now in Year 6) removed the book from such drudgery and started to read it in the sparsely lit living room. I offered to read it aloud, but he grumbled something at me and disappeared to his room. Where he read till midnight and came to get me, so that I could tuck him into bed.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Charlotte Mason & Sunshine

Today Washington State is sunny and warm.

I've convinced an 11 year old man to sit outside to play his Nintendo DS.

The other two are playing with cars, robots and spaceships.

I found a shady to spot to read .

A friend once made the comment that Charlotte Mason is where Unschooling and the Classical Method meet. Her comment continues to sit and swim around in my brain. I read bits and pieces of Ms. Mason's works a few years back. Back before I found out I was accepted to the big University. The one that took up all my reading time. Ironically the English Major that snatched away my love of reading.

This quote backs up that position or so I would like to think...

It is important to understand the difference between a system and a method, because parents all too often become enamored of a system that promises development in one area--but which misses the overall growth of the entire person. A system is easier because you just follow the prescribed steps, like a recipe. But a method requires constant watchfulness over the whole being of the child, it demands more of the teacher. Who is qualified for such a mammoth task? Even the most loving, committed parent isn't physically able to be on the alert to make the most of every educable moment 24 hours a day.

But education may not require a 24-hour effort; the child is learning all the time and a few basic principles put into effect will cover the whole of the child's education. (highlighting from Heather)

quoted from Charlotte Mason in Modern English by Leslie

And, I think that's just it. If you are filling their minds with good information, mind challenging stuff then you won't have to make up discussions and force quizzes and workbook pages. Things will start to stick.

Perhaps I'm done planning and worrying for the upcoming year. I think I'll spend my summer reading CM in Modern English instead.

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