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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Finishing up Week 32- Updating Progress & Some Thoughts

It is Thursday of "week 32” but really, it’s only technically the end of week 31 because of our missed days. I’m not splitting hairs. When we get to May 18, 2012, we’re done. *I* need a break.

We have finished with school by between 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm this week which is excellent. It’s been a really good week. We get started no later than 9:00 am and sometimes as early as 7:30 am {but that’s a real rarity!}.

For Lee:
Judges 1-3; Romans 15-1 Corinthians 1; Psalm 139:1-12; Esther commentary (finished Matthew Henry commentary and an article; writing a ‘report’)
Math: Life of Fred Advanced Algebra Lessons 30-32
English: Screwtape Letters (page 52 of the study guide; Letter #20; Excellence In Literature (Unit 3- Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court; Mark Twain author profile, new chapter headings & Yankee ‘report' on technology versus tradition); History of English Literature chapter 58
Gov’t/Civics/Citizenship: Whatever Happened to Justice? chapter 42; Francis Bacon’s “Of Innovation” (this took two weeks to get through)
History: Western Civilization pages 453-457; Galileo online ‘activity’; Queen Elizabeth’s speech to the Spanish Armada; Death’s Duel
Current Events
Foreign Language:
Latin review through lesson 20; Greek Level 5, Lessons 34 (she’s dragging it out because it is the last of the level and we don’t have the next one yet)
Art/Composer Independent drawings of a seal and a vase (working on realistic drawing, shading); Bierstadt (On the Saco); Beethoven

For Fox:
Joshua 13-15; John 18-20; Romans 12:1-14; Saints and Heroes rest of Cromwell and Bunyan; Who Am I? #26
Math: Saxon Algebra 1 Lesson 13-15
Science: Murche’s Science Reader VI chapter 51; Creek Edge Press Task Card #15 (motion: flying); The Sciences (263-284); The Story Book of Science (chapter 52); Amazing Science DVD; The Sea Around Us (to page 56)
English: Jensen’s Grammar Lesson 34-37 & Test 7; The Iliad (chapters 6-8); Pictures in Cursive (penmanship and Art Study); The Age of Fable (Druids); The Bronze Bow (page 27, #14a in the study guide; chapter 8)
History: The Story of the Romans chapters 31-48; Around the World in 180 Days (researching for ‘report’)
Foreign Language: Latin review through lesson 20; basic German (found a children’s book and he’s trying to pick out words)
Art/Composer Bierstadt (On the Saco); Beethoven

That is the ‘update’ part and now here are the comments. Deep breath…exhale… being a teacher is hard work! Being an actual teacher. I have at quite a few points in this homeschool journey *not* been an actual teacher; I’ve let the kids do their own learning. By that I mean I told them what they would be covering, what pages to read and let them go. Come find me when you’re done. Might I say {of course I may} that while that does indeed foster quite independent learners, it does not necessarily create well learned independent learners.

With two very different, yet related individuals, perhaps it is not realistic to expect the characteristics of one to be present in the other just because it is present in the first. {You think?} I have a motivated self learner and I have an unmotivated student. At no point will I say that I never have issues with my motivated self learner {msl} and never will I say that my unmotivated student {ums} doesn’t surpass my expectations. Both of those scenarios do happen.

This week and the previous week of school have shown me the above two paragraphs even though I did know this already somewhere in my head. I started planning for the next school year this month {really planning, not just figuring out that I *might* use ‘this’ or *might* cover ‘that’} and it took me a good two weeks to get it all out on paper. You’d think {or is it just me} that it should be much more simple since my curriculum is already written at Ambleside Online.

Sometimes {just some} I think it’d be easier to plan for a classroom of 20+ students! With only two kids {and yet so different} I can, and have to really, individualize my planning. This is a good thing, don’t get me wrong. But just because I did it such-and-such way with #1 doesn’t mean I can get by with doing that same thing with #2. And now that they are getting into more detailed histories, sciences, thinking, I have to know what it is they are reading and talking about. I have to be able to hold a conversation with them in whatever subject they are going through. I am their teacher. Actually, I am their facilitator.

Being a teacher doesn’t mean that I am giving them the ‘facts’ and that they must regurgitate them. That isn’t how learning works. They must {and I must as well} be able to look at the ‘facts’ that are supplied to them and be able to critically think about what they are hearing/reading/seeing, form their own thoughts about them and then be able to explain why they agree or disagree. They also need to be able to see when a ‘fact’ is in reality not a fact. I want them to be able to say, “I don’t see it that way and this is why…” or “No, that is incorrect and here is why…” and to not just be like sheep, following the crowd.

My brain is getting more of a workout than I can really recall it ever getting! Even when I was in undergraduate classes! A lot of the things we are covering now are at the same level and in some cases, above that. Of course some things I just never learned in the first place, so I am learning as well. Today for a change, with our Latin review, the kids quizzed me. I did very well {way better than they thought I would, so they said}. It surprised me and I liked it.

These past two school weeks have really made me appreciate the way we do school. I have a lot of pre-reading to get done before next school year but I am so looking forward to being in the 8th and 10th grade all over again- as a teacher but really as a facilitator –and a student.

1 comment:

  1. Blossom, I have a MLS and UMS at my house, too! Sometimes the UMS surprises me, but I usually have to keep on top of her just to make sure she gets her work done. I enjoyed your ideas of teacher/facilitator/student. I often feel like a student, myself! (Aside: I love Bierstadt's One the Saco; we cross over the Saco River in southern Maine on our way to the cabin.)


Thank you for stopping by my blog. Please leave a comment, I love them! Have a great day! ~Blossom
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