Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Geography Lessons Begin

I am horrible at geography. Simply put, it was not taught to me in public schools decades ago. I do not want this for the children I teach. I watched the Geography Bee and noticed that few from my same culture participate in it and do not excel in the topic. I let the girls know today that much of the information I will teach them will be new material to me and if they have a question we will often have to seek the answers together. 

The first thing we did days ago was to identify the continents. Enchanted Learning had great color in activities to help learn the material. Today we began the download I got called Geography Through Art. I love this study as it explores more than just geography.  We took a moment to learn a bit about cultures as well. The project for today was Aboriginal Dot Art.  We have looked at the map overall and identified the region on the globe of Oceania and the the land located in the area. We touched on on the bodies of water a bit but have so much more to do on this topic. While doing this learning unit we will combine it with a Hands of a Child lapbook about the continent of Australia.

We have separated Grace and Faith in their history, science and health subjects as Faith just was not interested yet in the more detailed material so I am getting creative with her needs. I can't repeat the same book with her that we did together so we touch on review of that material of other printable worksheets and discussions.

Last day of gymnastics class. We are pleased that it is coming to an end. The home school coop, SCCCHE, that we belong to is just not the right fit for us after all. At first we were thrilled as we felt that there were resources that would enhance the experience for all of us. We read their statement of faith and it is in keeping with our belief structure but felt not hesitancy to sign it and join. We participate in the Master's Lyceum but are disappointed with the experience overall. This semester very little is offered that will enhance our semester. Sure they would be with others but the classes had little to offer them. I just do not see the benefit of a class that twist balloons or makes things with duct tape. Fun, sure but not educational. They can get better gymnastics than the ML offering.  I don't understand it as the classes I conducted were educational on many levels. Then there is the control issues that the "leadership team" has. I could go on and on but overall I thought a coop meant that we share ideas with each other but found out that any ideas I have or communication I offer must first go through a handful of people who are the coordinators of the group or else we undermine the effectiveness of the leadership team. WOW!  I thought a coordinator did just that while we are all self lead (with God's Hand).  I know that many feel the same way but are willing to take advantage of all the free work done by the handful so that they can benefit. We just feel it is a matter of principal and perhaps we should walk away. I know this does not make sense when spoken in the general terms but I have serious doubt about the direction of this group.

Well...off to class.....

Friday, October 19, 2012

A long, long time ago there was

blog that kept up with our progress and activities. Then an evil monster named Too Busy began to slowly make it disappear. One day in October, the teacher called Grandma stopped and watched the leaves fall and the branches blow. She realized that Too Busy had taken her away from the blog and was even halted some progress with regular educational needs. Grandma did some talking to God about this thing called Too Busy. She talked to Him for hours about it.

You see, Grandma was at the pool in the middle of October and was finally draining the water and pulling out the leaves that had already fallen into the waters. It seems Too Busy had kept her from doing this at the end of summer so she had to do it in the cold. She could not get the water as low as she wanted without standing for hours at the pool and holding the large flexible tubing that she had created a suction with to drain the waters. Each time she released the hose the end would float upward and she would loose suction. Grandma watched the tall, old trees and their branches blow in the wind the entire time. Each time the light would hit a red leaf or a golden glimmer would catch her eye she realized that this year she was even missing the beauty of her favorite season, Fall. 

This would not do!  Grandma looked at what had been accomplished in school so far as well. Although the girls were learning she found that the progress that she wanted to see and that the girls needed to make was shamefully slow. Others comment all the time about the flexibility of home school. They talk, write, and post about it as if to give permission to shift focus each day. Agreeably there is some value to that idea but flexibility can not be the excuse every time one turns around. The world itself is structured and the whole purpose of raising a child is to mold an independent, effective adult. It seems that the flexibility also leads to something that others either deny or do not see for themselves. It creates children who can manipulate the situation as well. Grandma, being an insightful soul, adjusted her mindset a bit and took inventory of what all has been taking place.

As it turns out, the house has been under remodel for way too long. The deck work is complete but the floor layer, as talented as he is, is a bit lazy. The floor layer always finds a reason that he cannot finish up something today, just yesterday he ran out of nails for the nail gun. Really?!  How does a person run out of something as critical as nails when laying a hardwood floor or placing floor molding?  Lesson learned here as the carpet still needs to be purchased but if the house is to be put together anytime soon it will be necessary to find a way to have a "real" company lay the floor. The mess that the house has been in has truly been a distraction to the learning process. Not to mention that the floor layer does not respect the lesson time and is constantly interfering and causing girls to get goofey and distracted.

It seems as we go through life everybody finds Too Busy wanting to ride along. Too Busy can be a real distraction to a person's thoughts. The day flies by and because we invited Too Busy along with us for the day we do not get to lessons that need to take place so some degree after a trip away.  On Monday the crew will go to the Missouri History Museum for a "Who Was the Real George Washington" theme. Now, the MHM is a welcome distraction to the day as it is honestly a valuable learning experience but it will be necessary to keep Too Busy away when we are finished. We can pack a lunch and eat it in the car on the way home. In the reflection of events it is clear that lunch break after field trips is a huge time eater and next thing you know Too Busy has hitched a ride. 

There is not Master's Lyceum this semester and to be honest it is not missed at all. We have all been too busy with Too Busy to miss one more event.  One may wonder what we have done since the last post. Well, the answer to that is that we have been to Disney World, corn mazes, zoo classes, Magic House, wildlife education centers several times, MHM, Girl Scout office, doctors offices, birthday parties, swim lessons, gymnastic classes and so many other things that one brain cannot remember it all. 

Just a final note, today was a pretty good lesson day. Distracted by floor layer who only works 5 hours or less each day.  Big excitement today was Grace's start of a new health lesson that began teaching about the human body. When she learned there were 206 bones in the body she was amazed.