February 3, 2013

Week Twenty Wrap-Up

Project Day, how it came about. This is something we started new this year, it is a way to have time for projects or lessons that take more than 20-30 min. to accomplish. Last year, I noticed that in many subjects the lessons the boys would benefit most from would involve lessons that took time. Lessons that gave them the space to think, create and then execute. I was very inspired by the bloggers Kim, Sara, and Tracy over at four& twenty and how they made this extra space in  their school days for creativity. After ruminating on the ideas from their blog posts I bought Kim's book Habits of Being. Inspired more I also bought one of their literature guides for Douglas Florian's books of poems. I came up with the idea of adding a day to our 5 day school week to practice doing this type of lesson. So our sixth day of the week has been project day ever since. Recently I found this fun book called Project Based Education which I have only just begun to read through, but so far I have found it useful to provide many very practical ideas of how to implement projects in any style of homeschool of classroom setting you have. I like this idea for I think structure is important for creativity and it is often misunderstood that creativity needs no limits however the limits appropriately set will allow a young creative person to really soar. It also prepares students to develop more skills towards a self education; meaning the child does the work of learning. On our project days I am handing to them little by little the reins of structures and let them make more decisions and have more time to follow them through.

This week we spent a good twenty minutes developing the schedule for the day. I gave them the subjects, some of which they had already helped me decide on, written on strips of green paper. I described what each lesson entailed so they could see how long or short each one was. They each were given a turn to arrange the subjects how they thought the day would go best, and in an orderly fashion the other two gave feedback. Responding in an "orderly" fashion was the difficult part of the exercise. (smile) In this way we talked through the benefits and disadvantages of each schedule. I was pleased to see they were already in a habit to arrange the work so that the hard work would be done first and then the easier lessons would follow. They also already knew it was best to stagger the work with hard lesson next to easy lessons so that they did not tire before the work was done. All in all it was a good exercise for them to think it all through. Here is the schedule they came up with and followed.

In the end the day went much smoother and quicker because the boys had a mental picture of how it would go, they had a say in the plan, and they owned it. The ownership aspect for them is very motivating, and I have seen them thrive knowing they have this amount of control over their education. As they grow and use it wisely they will be given more.

Bible: We are continuing our reading from 1st Peter over breakfast.

Stories of Faith: Martyrs of the Catacombs: A Tale of Ancient Rome Audio book.

Mathematics: Everyday Number Stories by Emma Serl.

Aesop Copy Work:

Ancient Greek History: D'Aulier's Book of Greek Myths

We added Mt. Olympus (the home of the gods) to our map.

Science the Study of Insects: The Tale of Kiddie Katydid by Arthur Scott Bailey

Nature Notebook:

Ha ha, Max drew his own thumb!

Geography: Our Little Roman Cousin from Long Ago

Language Arts: We completed our dictation exercise (PLL Lesson #47) and next week we will learning how to write letter. Looks like fun!

Reading Practice: Elson Reader Book Three. As we are getting closer to the end of this reader my mind began to think about what would be next. Although we do own book four it seemed like perhaps the boys would like to pick out a real book of their own to read. I proposed this idea to them and they were very enthusiastic! yeah! So soon the boys will get to have their pick. I am so curious what they will chose. I will put a bottom limit on their choice, nothing easier than this for example but I'll let them shoot as high as they want to. TJ already has a keen interest in Rosemary Sutcliff's book Outcast because he loves the character Beric so much. He is willing to read a page a day until he finishes it. We'll see what the other two decide.

Bedtime Read Aloud: Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff

Latin: Chapter 7 of Minimus we are working on reading and translating the dialogue entitled "Do as You're Told!" our grammar points this chapter include the command form of verbs.

Art: Ode to Matisse Mural still in progress.

Music: We have been enjoying Opal Wheeler's book about Robert Schuman.

I hope your week was as delightful as was ours!

1 comment:

  1. It is so encouraging to find a blogger (on my google reader) who is studying/posting about the same era of history that we are also studying!
    Looks like you're all creating some fun things ... love the thumb drawing