Saturday, September 3, 2011

Stubborn Girl

My darling little sweetheart, aged 3 and one week refuses to potty train. She sleeps all night in underwear ( in my bed) and I know she stays dry.

 And she just changed her own diaper!

She wears Pull-Ups, and just ran past me muttering, "Need a change!" I check on her in her sneaky spot and see a naked butt. So I calmly put the wet Pull-Up in the trash, and by the time I got back to the living room, she already had another one on.

Um, that's a sign she's ready for training, right?

Friday, September 2, 2011

First Two Weeks in Review (Seventh grade)

Well, we started off with a bang, finishing ahead of our scheduled time, only to have difficulties arise as early as lesson 6. The first few days went well and quickly partly due to finishing the first two Algebra lessons, giving us an extra 50 minutes for unforseen situations.

Bible: Hannah is working on the ancient Israelites, reading in Exodus, drawing stick figures to remember the scripture covered.

Algebra I: Last year math started with a warm-up, this year, it's Check Skills You'll Need. So far, we've covered variables, exponents, order of operations, number categories (whole, real, counting, integers, rational, irrational), + - / * rational numbers, distributive property, and matrices. Wow, that's a lot.

Science: We have covered lab safety, a modern scientist, metric measurement, living things, classifying organisms, taxonomic keys, and domains and kingdoms.

History: Across the Centuries picks up where we left off last year with A Message of Ancient Days. Hannah is reading about transportation, and the fall of Rome.

Geography: Hannah started with a review of earth's place in space and how this affects the days, months, seasons and years. We are comparing map projections, reviewing longitude and latitude, and mapping ancient Israel.

Composition: We discussed the writing process (prewriting, rough draft, edit/revise, proofread, publish), e-mailed a friend, began a narrative account, vocabulary, unity, coherence, and the order of ideas.

Grammar: Grammar begins at the beginning: sentences, sentence fragments, run-on sentences, subject, predicate, simple subject, simple predicate, and beginning diagramming.

Reading: We began the first day of school with poetry, "A December Day,"and "The Mist and All," " A Visit from St. Nicholas," "Come Into My Tropical Garden," "The Charge of the Light Brigade,"We studied rhythm, rhyme scheme, repetition, meter, internal rhyme, and free verse. We read 11 chapters of Around The World in 80 Days and discovered that in spite of having a hot air balloon on the cover of many versions of the book, Jules Verne's story does not include air travel! We have extensive vocabulary lists, a map, and a character bank.

Spelling: We've had two chapters of spelling so far and she gets some wrong on the pretest, and aces the posttest.

Music: For Music at present, we are using BrainPop to study musical genres. We will try to unearth composer studies from the basement.

Phys. Ed.: Where we live, PE is tough. We are starting a log book to keep track of "progress."

Art History: Architecture is our focus this year. So far,we've looked at Egyptian pyramids, obelisks, and Stonehenge.

Art: For art, Hannah drew a diagram of a pyramid including ways to discourage tomb raiders, and we did a papier mache of a trilithon with toilet paper rolls.

Technology: Technology is long at this point, 25 minute videos, mostly of things she already knows, but you can't switch the order, and there is valuable stuff later. So she has reviewed computer safety, basic vocabulary, menus, toolbars, OSs, keyboarding, networking, and web browsing. We are using BrainPop, Discovery Streaming, and Easy Tech.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

School and the Telephone

It's not exactly a hard and fast rule, but I don't necessarily answer the telephone during school. I also don't check the caller ID to "screen" calls. And I also do not have the answering machine on.

If Hannah is working well on her own, and Elinore is occupied, I will probably answer the phone. If we are running later than I like, I don't answer the phone.

I don't check the caller ID so no one feels like I am ignoring just him or her. If it has been awhile since I answered the phone, I call Jeff at work so he doesn't worry.

The reason I don't have the answering machine on is that once it records a message, it gives an annoying beep every few minutes.

I try to get back to whomever has called, but truthfully, if I wasn't answering the phone because I feel behind, I am not likely to catch up. We may be finishing up after dinner, or Elinore is needing attention, or I am just wiped out from trying to balance all my responsibilities.

This also extends to the door: I may not answer it. I know someone went to the trouble to visit, but my priority is the care and education of my children. Also, there is probably a mess on the floor from letting Elinore have free reign while I focus on Hannah.

So, I'm sorry, I am not free to socialize just because I am home during the day. If you want to visit in the middle of the school day, call to make an appointment and offer to bring lunch, like my mom did.

Thanks Mom

Saxon Math Kindergarten

Elinore started her first day of Saxon Math Kindergarten level today. I had already looked through it and discovered it does not lend itself to starting whenever. It definitely has a September start date.

Elinore is definitely not ready for Kindergarten on any level. Looking through Saxon math, I feel like it does a great job with calendar and circle-time-like activities. It is very hands on with exploring math manipulatives, today's being pattern blocks. It also emphasizes time management ("It's almost time to put the pattern blocks away. You have 2 more minutes.") and if you actually time it, understanding the time value of minute. Also quite important, personal responsibility ("You need to put the blocks away. Pick them up and put them in the basket.") is stressed. In lesson 4, we get introduced to counting bears. Always first, the introduction encourages free play before using them for actual math purposes.

So if Elinore is not ready for Kindergarten math, why are we starting Saxon math K?

She can play with math manipulatives.
It won't hurt her to keep doing calendar~it'll stick someday.
It provides some extra structure to our day.
The personal responsibility part of putting away her math tools is awesome!

Class of One

If your only student goes to the bathroom, you can't just continue teaching!