Apr 11, 2010

Bird's -Eye View of the Week: Putting Some Spring In It!

   Oh, I'm SO trying to use anything to develop habits, habits, habits. This was an especial love of Charlotte Mason. If things are habits, everything is smooth and easy.   
   But, if I am not disciplined enough to do things habitually, how can I expect my DD to be habitual. (Note: this is not the same thing as being obsessive, compulsive or under some sort of legalistic pressure to be perfect.)
    So, this Weekly Wrap-up thing is a good example of a habit. It makes me focus, makes me feel accountable, and encourages me when I see that we have accomplished stuff this week. I might just shove this blog in front of my reveiwer at year's end!
    I have loosened up a good deal this term, maybe a little too much. Once you get out of a groove--in this case that dastardly winter--it's hard to get it back. Wasn't I talking about the need for habits?
     Now on to the Week That Was. I'll relate what might be the most interesting first for you homeschoolers out there. (Lots of links for books. Please don't think I'm making money off them. OK, about 2 cents. I'm just trying to make your life easier.)
     I have thought up an addition to the notebook pages designed for Pagoo at Homeschool Share . (If you want to try unit studies, lapbooking, or notebooking, this is a fantastic FREE resource!)
                           Mei will create a pull-out "paper tide pool" to extend out of her  Pagoo notebook. It will be along the lines of a lapbook with a long accordian section that will be made with blue folders and edged at the bottom with tan and rock pictures. Then she will color copies of the different tidepool creatures she learns about and giving information about them on the backs. They will be cut out, leaving a hinge to attach to the tide pool. When the reader looks at it, he can lift the flapped animal and learn more about it. MeiWei seems excited about this idea. I've begun making copies of the animals from the Peterson Coloring Book of Seashores. Can't wait to see how it turns out. If it's a success I will share it at Homeschool Share.

    This week we read from An Island Storyabout Henry IV. There were so many charcters, and such a complicated lineage thing going on that we had to draw family trees to keep track of who was the "real" heir to the throne. I learn a lot from this; it certainly wasn't covered in MY PS high school. And to think MeiWei is getting exposed in third grade. And she always remembers more than me!

     Mei completed Unit 28 in Math-U-See. This brings us to within TWO units of completing the Beta book. That alone excites me with evidence that we are getting near the end of the year! Because she struggles with word problems, I've been printing out extras from EdHelper.com . They have an awesome array of teacher helps like this, especially for math.  I've been using the Daily Word Problems for 3rd Grade and giving her just three or four a day since MUS already has her doing some. Some of the stuff she hasn't covered in MUS--multiplication--but we apply skip-counting which MUS HAS introduced and manage to arrive at the answer.
    We began Joan of Arc by Diane Stanley. Mei actually BEGGED to read it. I get so surprised and EXCITED when she shows such enthusiasm for subject matter that would be thought "too hard" or "uninteresting" to a third grader. Just goes to show what the kids ARE capable of!!
   We also finished The Wind in the Willows. What a lot of character study could go on with THAT book. It also paid off that we had read in The Burgess Animal Book about a lot of the animals depicted in that story.  We really understood what Ratty was thinking when he met the Norway Rat, for instance (dreaming of a life across the seas as told by a member of the rat family that has infested every continent habitated by man).  
     Finally we wrapped up our long-term appreciation of John Singer Sargent. (Read more about him here . ) Mei did a brief report on him, and surprised me a little by choosing "An Artist in His Studio" as one of her three favorite paintings by him. It's not particularly "pretty". When I inquired, she said it reminded her of her mommy. Awww. If only I HAD a studio!

Next week, I plan to move things around a bit in our schedule to get to the things that have been slipping by, like nature study. It's so beautiful this week that I'd be a fool to miss the opportunity.
     Hope it's nice where YOU are. Have a great next week!
Read links from others at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers !

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