Thursday, April 22, 2010

Just some Thursday night babbling

Been thinking about how to make the most of the time we have left before summer. Bob has got his correspondence work to get done and exams to study for--exams have to be done 1st, maybe 2nd, week of June. After that, I hate to think things will just fall apart into "I don't have to work now that my school work is done."

Since dd has been feeling like she hasn't really been working, I'm thinking of how I might work with her to plan out her time or plan lessons or something. I've been thinking I need to re-read Donna Bryant Goertz's book and maybe the section on the elementary class observations from Montessori Today. Dd would probably be more likely the 12-15 level, but there is just so little information out there. I feel stuck on how to progress with her. If I can at least flesh out some potential goals, that might at least get the ball moving.

All right, so what are some potential goals, or work areas?

-grammar: verb conjugations, adjectives (and their "accords"), plurals... Actually, I've got a workbook for this that she's started using. I'd like to do more *with* her. She enjoys it more, I know.

-reading: this hasn't been bad, actually, since she's been reading to her cousins a bit in French, plus she reads the science magazine we get; if I could find a website with articles or something, that might be better than trying to find a reasonable book, although if we could actually have some sort of a novel study, that would be fantastic

-writing: been thinking about having her start keeping a journal on what she's done over the course of the day, or maybe have her do it at lunch, so she'd just write what she's done for the morning; I'd also like to show her how to do articles or mini-essays; just getting her to write is the ideal way to then tackle grammar and spelling and all that

-this has been woefully neglected, but both she and her brother LOVE it when I just start using German with them; how to make sure it happens? Not sure. And at the moment, I feel my energy and ability to think fading rapidly. Maybe just a REMINDERS sheet for me so that I plan something every day, even if it's just one new word or phrase.

-actually, this is taken care of, just have to make sure to do it; again, a reminder sheet would come in handy

-um, hm... basically 2 months left. Maybe if I just start researching countries or history or a culture or something, that will get some things moving. I don't think Maria Montessori ever envisioned a student her age actually doing formal social studies--they would have learned about geography through working on the farm and business interactions, economics through the same... She's actually thought about how she might be able to start making some money of her own. Maybe it's something to encourage a little more, get her researching ideas.

-She said today that it's ironic that her Dad is a math teacher but it's the one subject she doesn't like. And that she wondered why she didn't like it. I told her it was because we were so inconsistent and she wasn't confident because the basic skills weren't there. Thinking about it now, I also think I don't present enough of a lesson for her--I jump into work too quickly when she just needs a little time to process first. So, I'd be very satisfied to just work on times tables and division tables (division, and therefore fractions, seems to worry her the most) for the next couple of months. It'd be good to add in some geometry or something.

-She participated in an oil painting workshop the other day and the instructor was so fantastic, those kids (almost all grades 7-12) came out pleased as punch with their work. She now wants to do more. This, of course, opens up all kinds of possibilities for study since she can read up on things, try things, etc. I need to know if there's something OTHER than just canvas she can use because that is going to get EXPENSIVE! She could also study some famous oil paintings and painters, maybe try to imitate, etc.

-She has been wanting to do guitar. Her brother has been wanting to do guitar. How come we haven't been doing it? I don't know.

All right, my brain is fading away. Enough babbling for tonight. I do need to put that checklist together of things to work on so I see it in the morning and can at least try to plan some sort of lessons or activities!

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