Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Homeschool Week in Review: Weeks 9, 10, and 11

I know how much you all love my homeschool posts. They are full of such flash. And sass. And it's the one original tendril of intent that I am hanging onto. So there will be homeschool reports. Every so often.

I have spent the past 30 minutes looking over the planner from the past few weeks. And I am not quite sure what we have done. My notes in the planner are cryptic. Sort of. They read like this: MMON 50-51...OR text page 82 #6 - WB #54...OR WAH upload...OR "keep reading." It made sense at the time. But, three weeks later, not so much. I suppose that I could go and get the books so that I could tell you exactly what she learned about on page 50 and 51 of that science book (hey, I DO know what MMON stands for). But. I am lazy.

Let me see what I can manage to recreate:

ACTIVITIES: I said I wouldn't over-schedule my child. I lied. But I couldn't help it. With homeschooling we have a lot of flexibility. But, realistically, we do need to be home to actually get some schooling done. Some days, that is actually challenging. Katie takes piano lessons and tennis lessons. She is in a once a month cooking class - and will actually be there today. Girl Scouts. Church choir. A professional children's choir. And she takes classes through our homeschool group - swimming/stroke clinic, Latin, and folk dancing. I'm tired. Are you tired? Don't let anyone EVER tell you that homeschoolers aren't socialized.

LANGUAGE ARTS: Katie is still plugging away at the twice a week grammar exercises. And she's doing okay with keeping up with her blog. My intent was for her to update about 3 times a week. But that is what gets skipped when we get pressed for time. Ya'll need to read this story she is writing. I am pretty impressed. Prologue; Chapter 1; and the newly posted Chapter 2.

And along those same lines, she is doing very well with Write at Home. I love this program. I am so glad that they said the right things and that we signed up with them. I like the assignments. Her coach has had great feedback for her. Very, very encouraging. And I thought you guys might like to see another one of her assignments. The focus of this lesson is the topic sentence. She had to write three narrative paragraphs (they didn't have to relate) - and with one of the, she had to put the topic sentence at the end of the paragraph. Here is what she wrote:

Jake just led us into a trap, a very dirty one. You see, Jake and I lead a resistance against the Lord of Darkness who has taken the world and plunged it into darkness. Well, I was hurt from a battle wound, and the two of us were in a field in the middle of nowhere. Then, out of the nowhere we were in, a pretty girl appears behind a tree nearby. She said she Amber the healer, and she offered to take me to the place she came from. Jake was quick to reply, because she was so pretty, and he had a problem with pretty girls. But it turned out that this Amber person was a spy for the Lord of Darkness, and now Jake and I are doomed to rot in this dungeon. Therefore, yesterday I was the angriest I’ve ever been.

Hurricanes can be pretty scary, especially when they are stuck in time warps. My parents and I were at the beach that day, and the sky looked bright and sunny. But for no reason, the sky began to get dark and cloudy. The hurricane started immediately after that. It went by so quickly that I thought the sun was getting to me and I was seeing things. But afterwards we saw people walking around the beach quickly, like someone had hit a fast forward button. Later, my parents and I learned we were caught in a time warp.

I remember the first time I met Shadow. Terra and Jessica, the thirteen year old twins were at home doing their usual mini fashion show for their friends, and because I hate anything to do with fashion, I went for a walk. I remember the sky being dark and mysterious. As I passed a dark alley, I heard a moaning noise. Reluctantly, I walked through the alley. There, I saw a boy who looked a little younger then Terra and Jessica. He had dull brown hair and he wore pathetic scraps of fabric for clothes. But the most noticeable feature was the two bloody bandages around his arm.

LOGIC: We are breezing through the second book in the series - covering patterns, syllogisms, analogies, and sequencing. But analogies are giving Katie a difficult time. And she wants to turn me into her personal dictionary. We have been working on figuring out relationships between words - so that even if you don't know what all the words mean, you can probably figure out the answer. But this problem really gave her trouble because she didn't know what any of the words meant:

awl:cobbler as jute:

a. rope b. shoes c. sailor d. tools

this one gave her some trouble as well:

ornamentation: simplicity as modesty:

a. man b. model c. woman d. vanity

The last one gave her trouble because to her, modesty simply means not wanting people to see you change clothes. I think we might need to work on some dictionary skills!

MATH: We finished the last chapter in our math text - and I realized that there is a lot of math that I really don't remember. It was a lot of word problems like: you have a tank of water, where the water measures 10x15x4. And you add a stone to the tank. The stone has a volume of 300 cm² - what is the new height of the water? Katie just finished up a week of review quizzes and on Tuesday we are moving on to a new book. Yippee!

GEOGRAPHY: Wow. We have done a lot here! We have been arranging the countries that we study to coincide with festivals. We have done Japan Fest. And a few weeks ago we studied Greece - and went to the Greek festival. I even did a post about making Greek Pasta (has anyone tried it?). The Greek Orthodox Church in Atlantahas been sponsoring the festival for as long as I can remember. I know I went 25 years ago with one of my high school classes! And it is just a wonderful day of food, music, and more food.


Our first order of business was to eat. And the menu at the festival is extensive. Michael naturally got the combo plate. Yummy! (I think souvlaki is my new favorite thing) Katie had the pasta and I had an gyro. I wanted to take home some lamb...but all the signs said it was sold out. I wonder who bought this one? Katie also realized she has an affinity for spanakopita. Which for some reason she keeps referring to as Puerto Rico. Can ya just see her at the Greek restaurant asking if they have any Puerto Rico? And this was our view as we ate our lunch. Bet you never thought you'd see a sight like that in a homeschool post. Or any post. Just wait till I write about the next festival.

We decided that our eyes needed cleansing, so we went to see the sanctuary. It is gorgeous in there. This is the mosaic on the domed ceiling. And some of the detail of the work.After we have marveled over all the mosaics, we decide to marvel our taste buds with a few pastries. I even bought a bunch of loukoumades - which are kind of like a dense beignet with cinnamon and butter - but they were all eaten before I thought to take a picture. Wait. Did I say that I bought a bunch of them? What I really meant was I bought one. Just one. Not 24. And I didn't lock myself in a closet to eat them all. Nope. That was someone else.

And then we ended our day with a little shopping. And Katie got a belly dancing scarf. Noisy clothes. What was I thinking?

After we finished our studies of Greece, we moved on to Scotland. And so that this post does not become an epic...I'll be weaving tales of the Highland games in another post. Sometime. Oh...and I have a very yummy Scottish recipe to share, too. Speaking of yummy. And Scottish...(why does this picture make me want to ask Mr. Butler if that is a sword...or if he's just happy to see me?)You really never do know where a homeschool post will go do you?

HISTORY: Hello! You have a little drool on your chin. Other side. Okay...moving on. We finished up our unit on Ancient Greece. I am still not feeling the love for this history curriculum. I would have liked a more in depth look at some of the Egyptian leaders - especially Hatshepsut. Katie read two novels set in ancient Egypt - The Golden Goblet and Mara, Daughter of the Nile. She did not like either one. And she even tried to talk me into letting her stop reading Mara when she only had 20 pages to go. So that brought about a discussion of books and subjects in her future that she'll have to study...even if she is not enthralled, interested or entertained.

After Egypt, Katie moved on to Ancient African kingdoms, the Assyrians, and the second rise of Babylon. Then we finished out with a time line comparison - looking at all the groups we had studied to see which ones happened first - and which were existing in conjunction with others.

BIOLOGY: I am loving the way this curriculum builds. First we studied about the taxonomic system...and then we moved on to study about fish. About how their bodies are designed to move in water, the weapons they have to defend themselves, partnerships with underwater creatures, how they communicate, life cycles, "houses," what they eat, special senses, and unique abilities. And we have just started studying about birds.

So...what about you? What country or culture's festival do you want to attend? Do you have a favorite pastry? What assigned books did you struggle with in school?
post signature

Theme song: Gomez - See the World

30 comments:

Tanya said...

Your very pretty picture made me remember the Highland festival held in Estes Park Colorado-about 1 hr drive from where I live. It is a Scottish/Irish 3 day festival with highland games, sheepherding, band competitions, dancing, etc. I love going and keep saying I need to look for more festivals to go to.
Favorite pastry--eclair,no competition
I didn't like reading Lord of the Flies--still makes me shudder.

Andrea said...

Ok, your ten year old is studying all of that? Good Golly! Can I sign my six year old up with you??

His school, while it is lovely and safe and has all kinds of wonderful things, the curriculum for him at least, is horrible. They are still writing letters (as in A B C) in the first grade and counting to 100! My dude has been reading since he was 4 and does double digit math in his head (I even find that hard sometimes) and is so bored. But I can't homeschool (not allowed here) and we didn't care for the other english speaking school.

We have German festivals, umm, cause we are in Germany :) Upcoming is St Martin's Day! And of course that lovely drunken fest - the beginning of Carnival (begins 11-11 at 11:11 am).

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

I'd love to go to a Danish festival...

But I'd also love a good Gyro.

Favorite pastry... hmmm... not really a big fan of pastries - does a Cinnamon roll count?

AND for as MUCH as I remember about high school... I don't remember what books we read... I do remember buying a lot of Cliff's notes...

Susan said...

I am so bummed I missed the festival. I have always wanted to go and for one reason or another, have not been able to make it. Looks like you all had fun.

Mama Dawg said...

Oh, I can't decide if I want the combo plate or the man with the rather large sword.

Decisions, decision.

By the way, let your mother know I made her pink lanyard and sent her a convo about it.

Rhea said...

That was the longest post EVER, but I loved every bit of it. I love hearing what Katie's learning. Her website is adorable and her writing very creative!

That belly dancing scarf is beautiful! I want one. Noisy clothes.

Nice looking highlander too, can't wait for more of that.

I went to a Asian festival in Austin once...and we watched dragon boats racing. That was so cool...and they had some neat dancing and martial arts demonstrations. I need to find out when more of these happen around here (if they do at all) because I think they're awesome!

Rhea said...

I love chocolate filled croissants, I'd love to attend a Russian and a Greek festival, and I don't remember struggling with assigned books in school although surely I must have...

Brenda Jean said...

What a super cool post-- really, the entire thing is great...but, I cannot wait to see your Scotland post--can we see more pics of Mr. Butler? BAHAHAHAHAHAHA because that pic just made my day!

Elena said...

i had forgotten all about that pastitsio. But I am so glad you reminded me, because I really want to try it. In fact, I have all the ingrediants so I'm changing up my meny to include pastitsio for tonight. Love the belly dancing scarf. My girls would LOVE that!

SKELLER said...

WOW, Kat! I'm seriously impressed with Katie's writing. I love the strength of her "voice." I'll have to pop over to her blog later today (and have Eldest Dude go, too). :-)

Jill said...

Oh you had a busy, busy week!!

I love festivals... and eating my way through them! Gyros are making my mouth water right now... as is the photo of the yummy Scottish guy!

I struggled in school with anything history related. I couldn't get my dates right. Social Studies was not my long suit... or math.

Heather said...

I am fascinated by the Scottish culture (hello, Jamie Fraser from Outlander, anyone?), but I'm not sure if I'd like the food. Just the kilts. And what's under the kilts. Or not under them, as the case may be.

Where was I? Oh, yeah, favorite pastry...gotta go with chocolate covered custard filled donut. Yum.

I loved reading. Still do. Can't really remember struggling over any particular book in high school. Loved the Odyssey. And To Kill a Mockingbird. And Sounder.

You're such a good homeschoolin' mom.

Rhea said...

No one should have to stare at butt crack while eating. That's just wrong.

Rhea said...

I just remembered...I didn't really enjoy reading Beowulf and Grendel. Just not my cup of tea.

Mama Dawg said...

Kat, sorry about the comment over at Rhea's. I had NO clue your daughter was reading blogs. I'm just glad I posted my comment AFTER she posted hers. Hopefully she hasn't read it.

KimmyJ said...

This is so none of my Bees wax, but I was wondering why you are home schooling one of the girls. I am sure it has been mentioned before my time as a blogger, but I was just wonderin'.

scargosun said...

I am part greek by marriage and I envy the festival you all went to! Spanikopita is relatively easy to make. You might want to have her give it a try. :)

manic mariah said...

How did you sneak a pic of my crack?

My favorite type of culture is Greek and/or Italian. I think it's the food. I don't really like to eat, but the flavors in Greek food are so strong that they make me happy!

Brandy said...

Whew that was a long one! I'm still trying to decide which picture was the best...your daughter and her adorable yet noisy scarf, the hottie, or the desserts. Tough choice.

And I took a crack picture once. On my bday this year. At Logan's. It was not appetizing.

Jen said...

I really like these homeschooling posts too. It is so interesting looking into what you are learning.

JourneytoFamily said...

I love how you slipped in a picture of some crack in your homeschool post!!!

Jennifer P. said...

THat was THE BEST homeschool post ever! Butt cracks, cleanse our minds, and then on to sexy Scotsmen in leather kilts :)!

You rock girl!

iheartbowheads.blogspot.com said...

Wow so great!

:)

Holly

Angie's Spot said...

Mmm, Gerard Butler. Now, what was I saying? Oh yeah, love that skirt you got for Katie! And yes, I'm a little surprised you let her bring that home. The food looked yummy! (But not as yummy as Gerard)

I'm really intrigued with Japanese culture, so that's one festival I'll have to check out. Favorite pastry is the petit four. Worst book in school was Once and Future King. HATED IT.

Shannon said...

Ooops... wait, I still have some drool on my chin...

OK, that's better...


You do know Gerard is #1 on my list, right?


And yeesh, that math word problem made my head hurt just reading it!


I think a Russian festival would be pretty cool...

And will your post about the Scottish festival include more pics of hot guys in kilts? Preferably leather ones... and with the initials "G.B."

Shannon said...

The loukoumades sound yummy... cinnamon and butter, mmmmmm!

I've always enjoyed reading. I remember having a hard time in school with Beowulf... and The Red Badge of Courage...

Carrie said...

How much fun was that?!? That's something you'd never experience at a public school for sure!!

I want a belly dancing scarf!! I'd wear it everywhere! Seriously...

Michelle said...

I loved reading your post...you have a great sense of humor!! I especially loved that you posted a picture of your view at the festival! Hilarious!

Sounds like you have a fun and busy home school. Keep up the good work.

~Angela (mommylawyer) said...

We had planned on going to the Atlanta Greek Festival as well, but when the time came, we couldn't make it. (In part from being wiped out from JapanFest the weekend before.)

Kinda glad I missed the view you had while eating!

amy said...

By the way, when you go to the Greek fest, you can always park in our driveway and jump the fence. ;o)