Sunday, August 22, 2010

So much to do!

We are just a bustle of activity right now, and in the middle of that bustle of activity, I still have to try to figure out school stuff, routines, etc.!

We decided to purchase some new bookcases and a "sofa table" for our living room, which, of course, requires emptying the old ones and whatnot. Dh has given up waiting for the fish to die of old age, so they were given away yesterday, but the tank is still not emptied--dh spent most of yesterday afternoon and into the evening putting together the new furniture. There are still about 10 snails in the tank and I hope to be able to rescue them and add them to the almost 30 rescued yesterday from the decorations, and I'm not sure how many snails the mom who took the fish took. We had a lot of snails. Just little guys, but still.

So, there's trying to get the books all moved over in a reasonable fashion, figure out what to do with the games we were keeping upstairs (the new shelves don't have any doors, so no toy bins or games can be hidden behind with them) and all that. Dh is actually out at my mom and step-dad's today helping reshingle their roof, so I've got to try to get through what I can today on my own.

Once the upstairs shelves are emptied, dh can move them elsewhere. One of them will go into the family room, where we've been complaining about not having proper room for the dvd's and blu-rays. There, problem solved. The other of the same size and style, I think dh was going to put in the den. That means cleaning up and moving around some stuff in there. I don't know what he was going to do with the shelves the aquarium is now on. It might become the new tv stand for the tv in the basement (the tv is actually on a very small, cheap night table--the whole thing wobbles if you're not careful!).

Add to all of that, part of the rearranging will involve having a new electronic full-size piano--which I don't have yet, would like to buy from a specific store, but they don't know when it'll be in. I don't want to move the old one out until the new one is in, even though the old one is all crackly and undependable for the sound. I may give in and go to Best Buy. I'd so much rather support the music store, though. Besides, it's about $10 cheaper, I think, at the music store. ;)

I have been working on plans for the school year. I need to be a little more specific with Bob's plans because the school wants deadlines and resources and such, at least for his science and ELA. We're doing math on our own (not through homeschool registration; we need to keep him as entirely teacher-directed) because the province decided to drop that math course, but he needs that math course to be able to do the best he can 2nd semester in Math 20 Pure, which the province has not yet dropped. Confusing.

For my kids, I don't have a month-by-month plan yet. So far, I've worked out some things for dd for September:

*German: This is mostly my job, making sure to add new vocabulary each day, use it with her, we'll keep track of words maybe on a large sheet of paper that's out in the open, make some labelling cards, etc. There's no specific goal here other than just get going with it and keep adding on to it!

*Math: Life of Fred. I've told her, and will remind her, that I want her to do a minimum of 5 hours a week in math. That sounds like so much. I might be willing to make it 4. Then she can easily break it down into 4 hour-long sessions and take a day off, or spend 2 days doing 2 hours. I'll talk with her about it. My main goal is to make sure she's working on it. She's only on the first book right now, which is definitely below her "grade level" (not that that matters), and I know she will enjoy the next book, so I want to ensure that she gets through it, completes it, has that satisfaction of having it done and moves along. I will ask her if she wants more tables practice. She's gotten bored of sheets, but seems to like random problem solving questions here and there or collective game style.

*French: September's goal is to get her writing a bit each day in French. It can be just a decent-sized paragraph, but she has to get writing in French. She reads a TON in English and writes a TON in English, even though French is her first language. I would not forgive myself if I let her French slide to the point that she will finish school not feeling capable of reading and writing in French!

*Science: I don't know. She was very interested at one point this past spring to study human biology. I may just have her get going on that, kind of following typical APS or high school outcomes.

*Social Studies: I'm going to encourage study of Aztec and other similar civilizations. I'm not sure how Montessori junior highs cover this kind of thing, or even if they specifically do, but rather than the elementary level's focus on needs, her fascination is on their beliefs. I think studying specifically their religion and government would fit well with her age level.

*Music: She already has this decided upon: piano. I think as part of all of her work, I will give her a tracking calendar so she can track when and how long she is spending playing piano, etc.

*Art: At least once a week. She can go with her own idea or work her way through the art course books we have. I bought the grade 7 and grade 8 texts that our school board uses (I could have rented them, but I but them both for cheaper than the price of renting a single text for the year!), plus we found a really good painting course book. Just have to get her started on it and she'll be good to go.

*Religion: She has decided that she does want to be confirmed this year. I haven't figured out a plan really for September yet. Mass, of course, and I think I might work through the grade 4 book of Faith and Life with her. It's got nice, simple foundational things in it. I need to check the contents for the grade 5-8 books and maybe see about getting some others to use during the year. Due to scheduling conflicts, she might not be able to participate in all of the sessions our parish runs for those seeking Confirmation, so I definitely need to do some things on the side. And I'm not thrilled about the fact our parish's preparation for Confirmation is pretty much a session each week for six weeks in a row--that doesn't feel like much of a preparation to me. So, we'll use the year to cover topics, questions, etc., through other resources than just the preparation sessions. Of course, encouraging daily Bible reading is always good! :)

*Health: September's focus is on healthy eating, specifically, on eating enough fruits and veggies. I've slowed down my raw food exploration, but it's gaining momentum again and I hope to be able to provide some alternative things for her rather than just basic fruits and veggies.

Whew! That's a lot. Time for me to get back to reorganizing things!

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