Thursday, March 20, 2014

Getting Structured

Have you missed this face?

GDS Kickoff Seminar 22Feb14 (13)

Blame it on facebook. I hate facebook. Since I have been more active on facebook, I have been neglecting our blogs. And I miss the blogs. So, I am back.

Emma has been getting crazy bored lately. When I am plugging away on school stuff (or wasting time on facebook instead of doing school stuff), she is wasting away from boredom. Well, that is what she tells me anyway.

I have a solution for that (insert evil grin). School work for her!

Emma is pretty smart (could just be mama talk, but I don't think it is). I think part of the reason she is so bored lately is because her brain isn't getting challenged enough. So, starting this week, we have implemented some structured schooling for her following a classical education approach. After reading, "The Well-Trained Mind," by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise, this style of education just made a lot of sense to me.

Emma's schooling will go in 8 week cycles, just like mine does. Here is what this week looked like on paper.

Week 1

Here is a breakdown of what we will be working on.
Math- Math Mammoth- Daily. We decided to give this math curriculum a try after our internet friends over at Craft Knife talked about how much they like it. To be truthful, most of what we are doing right now with Emma is based off recommendations from Julie and her girls. So, thanks Julie for all your hard work!

Right now Emma does two math pages every day. So far, Emma is breezing through it. There are areas that we need to spend more time on, but all-in-all, she is moving right along with it.

SOTW V1C1 (1)
Yes, that is a bow hunter aiming at a horse. Hunter-Gatherers use to hunt and eat horse. 

History/Geography- Story of the World (SOTW)- 3x per week. We borrowed these audio books from the library back when we lived in Iowa and we all loved them. It wasn't until we started reading Craft Knife that I realized that the SOTW was an actually history curriculum. I finally took the plunge and bought the Mp3 download and the workbook. So far we are really enjoying it. We listen to the chapter on Monday then do a map worksheet, a coloring page, and Emma recaps what we have learned and I write it down. Then she draws a picture to go with it. Wednesdays (and really, every other day during the week), we read library books that pertain to that weeks chapter, then on Friday's we will do a project. We get to make cave paintings tomorrow! I'll try to take took pictures.

Paris Gibbson Museum  11Mar14 (1)
Random photo- Field trip last week to the Paris Gibson Museum. 

Science- 1x per week. For science right now, we just had Emma choose 8 creatures from the animal kingdom. We will read about one critter per week and do activities as we see fit. She chose, woolly mammoth, piranha, painted bunting, black fox, kaprosuchus, piggy-back spider, red panda, and otter for this 8 week period.

Reading to Sydney
Reading a book to her friend Sydney.
(She records the reading then we share it with her friend via the internet). 

Reading- Daily. For those that don't know (or forgot) Emma is a bibliophile. No, that isn't a bad thing. She spends most of her day reading or listening to audio books. I have started to ask that she spend at least 30 minutes a day reading something from the library (from a specific list of books she has checked out), but for the most part, this is done without me having to say anything. If I had to guess, she probably reads at a 5th grade level or higher (if the age of the subject in her books is any indication). I will have her do one "book report" each week, but she really enjoys the sheet we use, so this assignment is more fun than work.

Part of her reading now includes poetry. I would like for her to memorize one or two poems over this 8 week period. If she can memorize (and retain for years afterwards!) this tongue twister, a poem is no problem. We are currently working on "The Road Not Taken," by Robert Frost. It's my favorite :0)

V-Day 2014 (4)
I know your really just here for the pictures. 
This was our V-day desert while we played our favorite game, Ticket to Ride. 

Writing- Daily. Emma is always working on lists, so she is writing every day. We are going to start focusing more on her penmanship as well as the art of writing. We will be doing that by copying (she will copy lines from the poem she is memorizing each week), she will continue to write letters, she will write about her horse lessons. We also just ordered, Writing with Ease, to try out, but we probably won't start till week three.

Emma's Castle (4)
Random photo found on the camera.

Spelling/Grammer- We don't have anything planned this week or next, but in week three we will be giving, First Language Lessons, a try.

Emma's Parrot- 20Mar14
Emma's parrot that she drew while looking at a picture. 

Art/Music- Sporadic. We have a few art guides that we will be following, but for now I am happy to let Emma do her thing with art. As for music, she really isn't super interested, so for now we will just listen to some random classical, jazz, blues, symphony, etc. CD's randomly throughout the week.

Horse Cadets Play 15Jan14 (2)
Emma and her friend preforming their play. 

Homeschool Co-op- We started attending a weekly co-op that our friends manage and we are enjoying it. While we are not religious, we have enjoyed learning about the bible and science from a religious perspective. We have also started doing the Junior Master Horseman with a few of the other girls from the co-op, so it's really a fun day for us. Plus there are snacks and RECESS!

As I said, so far this week, Emma has really enjoyed it. I think it has helped keep me on track as well because it's day four for my classes and I have already completed all of my assignments. Usually, I am yelling at Jared and Emma to leave me alone on Sunday afternoon so I can hurry up and get the rest of my school work done. Feels good to have it done so early!

Well, I think that is more than enough for my first real post in a while. I hope all is well with everyone out there!

*As Jared has gone to bed already, I don't have anyone to proof-read this for me. So, my excuse for any bad grammar or disjointed thoughts is this- I spend all my brain power on my college classes and on Emma. You get whatever's left at the end of the day. Sorry!


julie said...

I LOVE your schedule! I love that you're doing Story of the World multiple times a week. We get so bogged down in doing every single project and reading every single book for every single chapter, that we really should be doing SOTW more often. Why are so fascinating, Ancient Egyptians?!?

Also? Syd was THRILLED to see a photo of Emma reading to her! She giggled and did her happy dance, and began to plan some sort of elaborate project that she's going to create to send to her... after she makes and eats multiple peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and reads every Foxtrot comic ever written, of course...

Tina said...

I am so glad we made Syd happy, again :0)

We really enjoy SOTW and I figure it's a great way to get her use to the structure and what not. I can see where the Ancient Egyptians would be enthralling, but I don't know that Emma will be all that into it. Thankfully. I could totally see myself going overboard with that subject!