Mar 1, 2013

Bird's-Eye View of the Week: TGINF (Thank Goodness It's NOT February)

I hate February. 
(so glad it's over.)

By this, the middle of the school year and the middle of another cold, dreary, perpetually cloudy, neither-snow-nor-sun, Mid-Atlantic winter, I always feel our school is stale, lifeless, and boring.  (I even develop a comma addiction.)

What, not you? You live in California, I bet.

Typical weather, but at least we're outside.

Simply Charlotte MasonSometimes what it takes is some new curriculum. For instance, try as I might to get Simply Charlotte Mason's "Spelling Wisdom" to work for us, I just can't. Don't get me wrong. It is a wonderful book. We both love the rich quotes. Mei has even run across some a couple of years later in their original works and remembered them. 
But it's just too much "me" work--dictating, discussing, dictating again. I find it slipping through the cracks too often to the point that we are on the first book after three years. (There are six.) 

I'm also still not convinced that she is learning to spell. (Sorry, Charlotte.) It does not rely on spelling rules or phonetics, so it becomes just a shot-in-the-dark approach. It presupposes that Mei will remember the words simply by having studied them for a couple of days. Maybe ALL spelling curricula more-or-less end up that way, but I'm not sure. Mei wants to continue to use it for copywork though, her idea. Intriguing since we don't do copywork anymore.
So I have ordered Evan Moor's "Building Spelling Skills Grade 6+". It works along the same 5-day format as their Daily Geography that has been very successful here. Open the book. Do. (It's nice to a have an occasional workbook to rely on. A CM curric does demand a lot of "me." ) If you've got any other ideas, I'm listening.

The Handbook of Nature Study blog's monthly Outdoor Hour Challenge nature study themes have been another Febreeze-for-school that I highly recommend. The focus in February has been birds, my fav topic. (I'm Mother Robin for a reason!)
It's gotten us outdoors, or at least LOOKING outdoors! You can read more of our birding adventures here and here. And you can find info about outfitting YOUR yard for birding here. You can probably guess I take  this subject seriously!! :-)  

She makes braces look good, doesn't she?
And how I could I forget that Mei got new chrome bumpers top and bottom? She's taking it like a trooper. The morning after she casually mentioned that some wire might need trimming as it had cut her finger during the donning of the rubber bands. Now That's Fortitude.

There has been an unexpected sign of spring though. Can you guess what it is? Hint: this is NOT a rose by any other name cuz it will NEVER smell sweet.

Guess what's NOT coming up roses?

Got cabin fever? Got a cure? Tell Mother All About It!
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  1. Is it skunk cabbage?

    If it makes you feel any better, we got yet another 2 feet of snow this week. Then it rained so we couldn't play in the snow. Then it all froze into ice so we couldn't walk on it. I am so ready for spring!

    1. You win, Erin! Skunk cabbage it is! We almost stepped on it while geocaching by a stream. Didn't find the cache, but DID find the sign of spring. Your situation sounds vastly inferior to ours. I'll quit kevetching.

  2. How odd! This is the 2nd time this week I have heard about Spelling Wisdom. I was just thinking of looking it up for my daughter and then I read your post. Incredible! I am new to your site. I was hoping you'd consider adding this post to my end of the week link up, Its a Wrap. -Savannah

    1. Happy to link up with you, Savannah. I checked out your blog just a couple of weeks ago. Tried to add your button but all I got was a blob of HTML shmatter. Let me know what you decided about S.W.

  3. You know...I think I have to agree with you about THIS February: except for my son's birthdays, it's been a pretty rough February! I hope March brings warmth, sun and calmer things.

    I consider us 50% Charlotte Mason, but we do use "traditional" textbooks and workbooks too. So, I guess we're more US Schoolers...whatever works for us is what I use! LOL But workbooks can be a powerful learning tool!

    1. I LOOOOVE that! US-schoolers!!! Did you coin that? If you did, you should copywrite it. Thanks for the encouragement too! Here's to spring!


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