Wednesday, January 09, 2008

So far, not bad!

Our first day back was Monday. Despite my schedule for dd and Bob, little got done by them. But I knew that it wouldn't get all done. I also knew that trying to kind of control them in that way after they'd chosen their own things wouldn't totally play out, but I was hoping that having something written out like that would at least stop them from wondering about what they could work on. The 16yo actually had a great work day! Very focused, got a lot done.

Yesterday was better for dd and Bob. He actually let me know first thing that he didn't like the schedule and having to do things in a certain order, that he much preferred having a checklist so he could do things however. I said okay. He got his math done and then played a lot on ds' Power Tour guitar (a Christmas present from my mom). He's quite good! The 16yo had a doctor's appointment that kind of messed up her routine, then we had a visit from our facilitator, which basically cancelled her whole afternoon study session.

Dd has started reading a lot more in French. She doesn't seem happy about it, though. It's like she has decided that she must do it, so she'll do it, but doesn't really want to do it. It's kind of funny. She's started Saxon 65 and other than a meltdown brought on by tiredness on Monday, it's going just fine. I'm only having her do half of the questions and I'm not even sure she needs to do that much with these early lessons. I might go through the first part of it really quickly with her, cover 2 or 3 lessons in one day, and maybe she could even finish the text by the end of June.

Today was a bad day for the 16yo. She's started this medication for her stomach problems, but it's far worse than any of her stomach problems have been. She's gone home. Bob did GREAT work. He practised reading the days of the week in French and then copied them out, he did all of his math and then wrote a very, very short story. (He'd only really done math the past two days, so I asked him to add at least one more thing to his own personal requirements for the day.) He's also played on the guitar and gone outside.

As for me, I pulled out my books and sat at the table with the kids and did my work: calculus. I also looked up something on the White House in the encyclopedia. This idea of working where the kids are working is something that came up years ago on a Montessori list but I also heard it recently in connection with the Robinson Curriculum, which has the kids work completely independently. While I don't really care for the whole approach, there really is something about sitting there with the kids and doing work that seems to motivate them or make things better.

It's still morning as I write this and our school day is pretty much done. I have nothing to do with the 16yo since she's gone, Bob's done, ds is tired, dd is tired and just kind of lounging--although she did do some self-created work earlier today that kept her focused for a good 2 hours. Maybe we should go out this afternoon! But where? It's pretty cold today. I had thought about going to this one sledding hill, but there's no way my niece will last long outside--it's -18C (0F). Her outdoor gear is not warm enough for that. Dd suggested the museum. Bob suggested Best Buy. lol. (Does it show he's a 13yo boy??) Hm... We'll have to think about this.

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