Friday, June 27, 2008

Wow, it's been a while!!!

It's been a while since I last wrote. Life has been very busy, what with finishing the 17yo's coursework and helping her prepare for exams and my kids' soccer games (usually at least 4 evenings a week--and I was team manager for one team and helped out during the game in planning subs), plus planning a trip to Drumheller and another field trip to Fort Edmonton and park days and my 7yo fractured his wrist this past Monday... It's been busy.

The end of year went well, I think. Dd and "Bob" pretty much stopped working the last week in May. Now, for all my readers in the US, that might not seem odd, but where I live in Canada, the last day of school was YESTERDAY for public schools. Sure, the junior high and high school kids have exams here and there the last two weeks of school, but... I want to organize things differently next year so that work is going on during the oldest's exam time and not play. As for the 17yo's exams, she was much calmer this year and a bit better prepared. We've talked more about having something a little more structured in terms of assignments and quizzes next year so that she really focuses on knowing the stuff as she goes along rather than just going through the work, without really knowing it, and having to cram it in at the end.

Our trip to Drumheller was FANTASTIC! We (my 2 kids, plus Bob and his sister (the 17yo)) went with 2 other families--we've all known each other for a number of years. We went hiking in a canyon nearby and other than an unfortunate mishap with one girl scraping her leg badly, it was very interesting. The following day, most of the kids and I went with a local to an area to find dinosaur fossils--and we did!! The kids all went home with stuff. It was great. We also went to the museum while there and to the outdoor spray deck. The older kids had quite the water fight while I was at the ice cream shop with my two.
Sunday wasn't quite as nice, but we were leaving anyhow, so I guess it was good timing. We still managed to make it to the hoodoos and see this old saloon. The wind was something awful at the hoodoos and it hurt at times because the sand and little rocks would whip your arms and face. I think we all came away from that with dirt in our ears, eyes and nose! The kids managed to climb to the top, which must have given them an incredible view.
We went to Ft. Edmonton this past Tuesday. It was a wonderful visit--the interpreters this year have been super well trained and it was just fantastic. Even though I've gone every year for the past... hm...6 years?...I learned new stuff. I think my favourite part was the kids managing to attend class in the old school house on 1885 Street (yes, the street set up to look like 1885 and I believe the school house is the original thing). The guy they had to play the school teacher did his role so well. He had the boys and girls line up in separate lines and let the ladies go first to sit down, naturally. The boys all had to have their hats off. They were not to speak unless he had called on them, they stood up, said, "Sir," and then said what they were to say. I think his first question was if anybody knew who our "current" Queen was--Bob raised his hand and said, "Queen Victoria." (I thought it was pretty good that he knew to answer according to 1885 standards!) He got a reminder from the teacher that he had to wait until called upon, stand up and say, "Sir." Bob tried very hard not to laugh as he went through the motions. At one point, he and his friend started laughing and the teacher stopped and just stared at them. It was too funny.
Of course, then there was the part when dd's friend (Bob's friend's sister, incidentally--one of the families we went to Drumheller with) was called upon to write the word "queen" on the board. She went up, wrote "queen" and sat back down. He looked at it for a few seconds then said, "Well, at least you spelled it correctly." ROFL. He then went on to explain how it was rather ugly and straight and all that and that it was the type of print we'd see off a printing press. Handwriting should be fluid and curved and he demonstrated how to write "queen" in cursive. Fun stuff.
Yes, the day before that, my ds jumped off a swing at a park day, lost his footing on the landing and came down too hard on his hand/arm, causing a fracture in a wrist bone. Ironically, this is the same playground where he fractured the other wrist two years ago...
I've been thinking more about my homeschooling and what to do about it. I'm going to read as many Montessori books this summer as I can and help myself feel more centred in that respect. I also want to put together some things for ds to work on reading and writing this summer--we both want him to be able to do the class for First Communion next school year, but if he can't read and write well enough... This is only our first official day off from school/dayhome, so it's just been having fun and relaxing. We'll get started on it next week.
For dd, she's just feeling so insecure in math, it's one thing I want to work on with her this summer. Get her times tables mastered once and for all (I know I've said that in the past, but knowing she's entering gr. 6 has this panicky feeling in me about her not knowing them--and she feels awful about not knowing them) and also tackle some other things, like large multiplication and long division.
There's probably lots of other stuff I could share, but I can't think of anything else!


MrTaylor said...

Here is a useful free times tables learning tool. It's a video game made by a former PlayStation prgrammer, Ben Harrison.

It will be useful for reviewing also.


Daisy said...

Thanks! I'll have a look at it. My dd might enjoy more doing it game style.