Friday, January 20, 2012

Homeschool Mother's Journal: In Which We Find Our Mojo

In our homeschool this week... it was almost scary how much we got done.  It's like the stars all aligned or something.  We are all still on schedule (that's one whole week now!) and that includes Spencer getting started on the next novel for American Lit.  I think he'll like this one - it's Company Aytch by Sam Watkins.

Kennady and Landon worked hard in Science this week.  We covered a lesson each day, and will finish our book Properties of Ecosystems on Monday or Tuesday. Our discussions included endangered species, pollution, and acid rain.  We have a couple of experiments we'd like to do, if we can find a sunny day for one of them, and a couple of small (cheap) houseplants for the other.

In Social Studies, we started looking at Germany and some of its neighbors this week.  Kennady usually enjoys drawing during our reading time, so this week she created a fraktur (which is often associated with the Pennsylvania Dutch people, but is a folk art that came from Europe originally), and sketched an entire gingerbread house complete with a resident couple and an inset with the floorplan of the house.  LOL  Whatever keeps their attention!

We covered two composers this week instead of just one.  We thoroughly studied Chopin on Monday and Tuesday, and listened to a lot of his music, and I felt that we could add Schumann to this week's composer study as well.

And despite all of that, I don't think anyone neglected their Language Arts or Math.  (Okay, the truth is that Kennady did her best to neglect Math, but it didn't work!)

In other news... choir practice, church activities, a kid-swap sleepover with friends, a new HD capable DVR receiver from DirecTV, and a plumbing problem pretty much sums up the non-school portion of the week.  Hopefully I'll have a good news update about the plumbing problem getting fixed by next week.

My favorite thing this week was... probably listening to all that beautiful music by Chopin!

What's working/not working for us... looks like my lesson plans for co-op can be moved to the "working" side of the ledger again! On a whim, I ordered a book about 'rubber-band cars' from the library because it looked intriguing, and to my delight it turned out to be the perfect inspiration for the first co-op lesson next week.  Landon and I got to work test-driving the idea, and I am so glad I followed that hunch!  Now I do have a lot of work to do before Thursday, because I decided it would be much better to have the cardboard pieces for the cars cut out ahead of time, rather than have a dozen thirteen-year-olds wielding exacto knives in the class.  Just saying.

Kennady and Landon are helping to trace the pieces onto the cardboard, but I will do all the exacto-knife-wielding, thankyouverymuch.

This is the top-secret prototype car we are testing, not quite complete.

So yes, I believe I am, in fact, one of the coolest co-op teachers ever.

Questions/thoughts I have... how much chocolate could we consume in the name of "studying Switzerland and Belgium", both known for their fine chocolates?  I don't know the answer, but we are going to give this project our best effort!

A photo/video/link or quote to share...

Apparently my kids are too young to be familiar with the Ricola cough drops commercial, so they had no idea what an alphorn was.  Can you imagine?  We had some fun watching this video from an alphorn festival in Switzerland in 2008, and watched some videos of Swiss style yodeling too.  Very fun!  Sometimes you can't really predict the tangents that social studies will take you on.

On the bookshelf...
  • Tchaikovsky by Roland John Wiley
  • The Begotten by Lisa T. Bergren
  • Arthur by Stephen R. Lawhead
Reviews of Already Compromised and A Darcy Christmas are on Kym's Bookcase now.

A Parting Shot...

One of Spencer's sketches from this week.
This post is linked to The Homeschool Chick - see how many other homeschoolers found some mojo this week!
The Homeschool Mother's Journal


Stefanie said...

I love it when the stars are aligned. =o) And I'm of the opinion that chocolate should be involved in education whenever possible. Especially for the teacher.

And why is it that all your children have such artistic talent and there is none at my house? lol

Our Homeschool Reviews said...

Sounds like you did get a lot done. Love the cardboard car!! And the sketch at the end is great. :)

FlyMama Di said...

Yes, you definitely get the "Coolest Home School Mom" award for the week. I'd better get busy if I ever hope to take it from you... :)

Becky said...

Oooh, I need to check our library for a rubber-band car book - my girls would LOVE that!

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