Saturday, December 22, 2012

This Week's H/School Journal

In our homeschool this week...
...we continued curriculum work during the first three days of the week.  Matthew is learning long division and, although he gets frustrated with it at times, I think he's doing extraordinarily well for a beginner at division.  He grasps this stuff far more readily than I ever did at his age.

..we puttered away at our Canadian Wildlife unit study.  It's the never-ending unit study that we're actually enjoying over the course of time.  We don't work on this every day but usually about 2-3 times/week - while the kids are finishing up breakfast and for a while after breakfast is done.  We are learning about various Canadian Woodland animals right now.

The kids really seem to enjoy this kind of casual, kitchen-table-centered learning, particularly if they're colouring (pictures of the wildlife we're learning about) while I read or ask questions or while we're having a discussion of some kind.  Other than Seth's struggles with memory gaps, the kids all feel fairly comfortable discussing bits about the animals we've studied, and are ok understanding things such as habitat and ecosystem; Matthew, of course, learns more detail than the younger two, but that's to be expected.

...the kids and I did some Christmasy crafts and cookie baking together and that was a treat.

...we watched a couple more Christmas movies and, last night, started on Anne of Green Gables (not a Christmas movie but a one that I love watching around Christmas time). 

Places we went and people we saw...
...we went to my niece's school winter concert.  It was the first time Seth and Lizzie have set foot in a public school and it was interesting to see their reactions to it.  They were very curious and so we did a mini tour of the school and a few classrooms before the concert started.  Seth thought that he might enjoy attending that school, whereas Matthew and Lizzie said that they were glad to be h/schooled.  Geoff and I were talking about it later that night, particularly about Seth who, in some ways, could fit really well into the school system -  mostly from a peer and team sport perspective and also because he, more than the other kids, likes having something to do all of the time and loves a tight schedule (especially if it includes a high amount of energy-sapping activities!).  But we concluded that, of all of our kids, he would be the one that we might be the most worried about in the public school system:  First, because he's not working at grade level and because he needs an intense level of understanding and work; but more because he's very/too naturally peer oriented and because he's very focused on appearances and being 'cool' and because we can see him falling through some cracks in the system.  But was good to engage in the discussion.

My favourite thing this week was...
...the unexpected.  First I ran into a friend on Thursday evening while I was enjoying my usual Thursday night out, and we ended up chatting over tea and cider for a couple of hours before heading home.  It was lovely - thanks Lyne!  Then, just after arriving home from some errand-running on Friday, a friend stopped by to drop something off for us.  She and her boys ended up staying for most of the afternoon and we all ended up having an unexpected and delightful few hours together.  What a treat!

...when Geoff finished work on Friday, that was it for his work for two whole weeks.  We're really glad to have him to ourselves for a while!

What's working for us and what I'm grateful for...
...quitting school until after the holidays.  We all need a break from it and I intend to enjoy it to the fullest!

1 comment:

  1. I think your idea of embracing the holidays and taking a break from school is perfect. We tossed out working on any goals with my sister early last week. It didn't take her long to pick up on the fact that our expectations have lessened for the holidays. I asked her to try a new musical toy that I bought her. She wasted no time pushing it back across the table to me. Then, she folded her hands and said firmly 'sister, no work on Christmas, please and thank-you'. Clearly, new toys are work and I was out of line. ;) Quite honestly, we know we'll be ten steps back in the New Year, but it's already been worth it. Sometimes the chance to reboot and just be present in the holiday upon us is better than any progress that would have been made anyways.

    I hope that you and your family have a wonderful Christmas & a blessed New Year! It is has been a delight to read your blog this year. I continue to truly appreciate that you share your story and that I stumbled upon it!