Thursday, March 08, 2007

Thursday Morning Musings

It's 9:13 as I type this. I'm at the kitchen table with my kids. They're busy working on $1.50-building kits I bought from Michaels the other day. They've been at them almost 2 hours now. I'm at a loss as to what to do. lol. I tried seeing about science labs from the 15yo's text, but I need some information from the science teacher and she's out until Monday. The two oldest have left for their dive meet. My niece is keeping busy with all kinds of stuff. I have books that I could read, but I'm not in the mood for reading. Oh, and our one cat is trying to escape to the outdoors through the kitchen door. His nose is now pressed into the crack between the jamb and the door. He smells that air coming in (our weather stripping needs to be replaced) and he's certain that a little work will pry that door open. He's actually an indoor cat but because the door doesn't shut well for the kids, he has managed to open the door like that before and thinks he can do it again.

Back to my musings... Was I doing any musings? lol. I don't think I'll be doing anything more structured with my two today. I think we'll head to WEM, hang around and have lunch before going to an A Beka display. I need to be back by 2 because we're having digital phone installed.

hehe--my niece is having a little temper tantrum because dd put away her Groovy Girl pony and shut her bedroom door. My niece, being a toddler, thinks everything is hers, including dd's room. ;)

In any case, I haven't yet looked at some Montessori language albums I have to pick some possible activities to do with ds. I haven't entered anything into HST+ in a week. woops!

I've been thinking more about our homeschooling and what I liked from before and what's missing. I really feel the need to work with the kids more on planning. I'm reinstating our morning meeting on Monday and we'll discuss various topics:

-daily routine (including clean-up times, lunch routine--putting on placemats and all that)
-scheduling (different kids want my almost undivided attention for cetain activities; but also read-aloud time)

Hm, that's only two, but I guess there are lots of sub-topics. lol.

I really want us to get back into daily plans, goal setting. I thought about the 15yo yesterday and her self-created schedule and her view of herself not being able to apply herself more than she already is. Yet in her hour of time set aside for math, she'll do maybe 5 questions after we spend about 10 minutes doing examples together. I think as she starts each subject, or perhaps at the very beginning of the day, I'm going to ask her to set some goals for herself. For example, her science section next week has 5 sub-sections--works perfectly for one section a day. But I want her to plan ahead of time what she'll do if she doesn't complete her one section for that day. I can completely see her looking at me and going, "What do you mean?" What I mean is this: if she finishes her 1.5 hours of science and hasn't finished her sub-section, is she going to adjust her schedule to finish it, is she going to have a 'homework time' later on to finish up, is she going to take it home to finish, is she going to le herself get behind, or some other possibility that can be thought up. Same thing applies to her math--if she's decided she needs to do at least 20 questions and she hasn't finished her 20 questions, what will she do?

I need her to decide ahead of time what her plan is because I know it's far too tempting to just let things go if we haven't set a 'rule' for ourselves first. It will also be a good for her to see for herself what she is choosing and to deal with the feelings that will come up as she becomes aware of opposing desires: the desire to be done with work or the desire to succeed the way she wants to. If she goes with the desire to be done with work, then she'll be choosing to not work on success, will be choosing to be even further behind, and she'll know it. One other thing: I've decided to have her do a daily math review related to the textbook work. And I think I'll give it all to her on worksheets that I've prepared. She really does do better that way--it somehow motivates her more to not have to copy questions and bounce back and forth and to have just the questions she needs to do in front of her.

For the 12yo, we've actually got a growing good thing going. Regular phonics and spelling, math is so-so (but he does want to work from Ray's, which I can plan out better for next week), now Edison and wanting to work on chemistry experiments... I think with math I will also ask him what he would like to work on (from limited choices)--I mean, if he'd rather work on algebra instead of integers right now, what different does it make? I was very non-commital in his ed. plan about what he would do for science and social, so I really don't mind changing this to go with his interests. One thing we NEED to change is how much he reads each day. He's got to read with me each day and has got to have silent reading time. Oh, and writing. The silent reading will be brought up in our routine plans. But it's actually moving forward.

For dd, we've been improving a bit, too. She's been doing a little more in cursive, we've been reading more in French. We somehow have to fit in daily French writing. Or at least more French writing than has been going on. I think I'll just keep going through Ray's with her and doing some extra stuff on the side, like geometry or other stuff that isn't in Ray's. I'm almost thinking I'll start algebra with algebra tiles. She'd totally understand it.

For ds, we just need to have a time set aside for us to work together, I think. Or I need a list of little things I can pop in here and there. He was going strong for a while but doesn't want to so much now. Maybe it's just a matter of finding different things. He was totally fascinated with this science book we have--maybe I can come up with some activities for that.

Well, I'd best be going. Many distractions and it's now 9:44. Some cleaning to do before we leave.

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