Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A homeschool list

Just a few little things going on at our homeschool...

1. Meelyn has only ten lessons left in her math book for the year; Aisling has eighteen or so. And it is March 4. MARCH 4!!!! I can't even tell you how excited we are. My thought is that we'll spend all of March doing the many supplemental worksheets the Saxon math package offers and then get the books for next year ordered so that the girls can get started on them. This is what happens when you don't have a) a million days off for teacher in-services and odd holidays that honor people who would more than likely be enormously disapproving of taking a day off from the educational process in order to "honor" them by playing video games and eating Doritos straight out of the bag; and b) the numerous out-of-class excursions to here, there and everywhere that used to drive me absolutely insane with the meaninglessness of it all. It turns out that when you're actually doing the work every day, you can finish entire textbooks.

2. The Shakespeare books arrived from Amazon.com yesterday -- twenty copies of The Taming of the Shrew -- in anticipation for the next workshop, which begins on March 25.

3. I'm working hard on getting the HISTO Indiana History stuff organized so that it will be ready to hand off to my friend Gloria and all the other moms whose kids will be doing this project.

4. The girls are beginning their fine arts projects for 4-H and I'm allowing them to use school time to do this since the projects double as art class here at home. After three years of art lessons with the wonderful Miss Kendra, this will be the girls' first on-their-own attempt to "grid" their chosen portrait photographs and/or set up a still life for photography and then grid it, and use the pictures as models for their art. They are nervous about shading. I think they can do it. At least I'm hoping they can, because those art lessons cost a lot of money, not to mention the weekly drive to Tipton.

5. Meelyn and Aisling wrote their best compositions of the year last week -- they just did their final drafts yesterday. I liked them so much, I decided I've have the girls type them on this blog. Hopefully, we'll get around to that later.

6. Which brings us to the fact that Meelyn and Aisling have been doggedly plowing through their Typing Instructor Deluxe software and have both achieved the level of Touch Typist. This might not be a big deal to most folks, because a lot of kids are proficient with the keyboard at, say, six months old nowadays. But since I don't know how to type at all, having devised my own three-fingers-and-a-thumb method that requires me to look constantly at my fingers, I am very joyfully impressed.

7. I got out the order forms for the achievement tests the girls are doing this May. I'm thinking about the CAT/5 this year. Must ask more experienced homeschool moms about this decision -- they probably know something I don't. Last year, the girls did the test (and of course I can't remember what it was called at this precise moment) that was just basic math and language arts skills for their grade levels. The CAT/5 tests social studies and science knowledge, as well as math and language arts. The CAT/5 is a lot more expensive, so maybe I ought to just stick with last year's test. Or would the more comprehensive test be better? Does it really matter what a sixth grader knows about science?

8. I think the Shakespeare Workshop next fall will be done on Henry V instead of another tragedy. This is probably Shakespeare's most famous historical play and I'm interested in doing this because most students get all the way through high school and college without ever having experienced a history play. I ought to know -- I'm one of them. Henry V is about the battle of Agincourt and features the memorable John Falstaff, as well as that wonderful St. Crispin's Day speech.

1 comment:

Kbg said...

I sooooooooooooo miss homeschooling. Sob. Sob.

BTW, if you are doing Henry V and want a field trip...and who doesn't love a fancy field trip now and again? The Frasier Museum http://www.frazierarmsmuseum.org/ in Louisville, KY has an exhibit on the Agincourt battle and St. Crispin's Day, etc. It is the only museum in the US devoted to this time period and it is FANTASTIC. You can watch a guy get outfitted in a complete suit of armor which is fascinating to watch; they have a jousting lance from EACH of the joust of war and the joust of peace...very rare; they have little movies that you can watch on making mail; helmuts; different battles, etc. (all about 10-20 minutes each)with a nice place to sit and watch them; it is all very nicely done...a wonderful day trip for sure. The museum price is $8, but I bet for a school group you can get it for less, and if you can't, call me and I will talk them into it.

And, we can all go have lunch at Lilly's! Now...please schedule on a day that I CAN GO!