Roller Coaster Days

Ah, just as we are settling into our home and getting used to some new routines — BOOM! — the holidays hit and those tender shoots draw back until sometime after the first of the year.

Still, learning happens, and it’s interesting to observe what sticks even when I don’t seem to have the energy or mental focus to keep the full schedule going.

Chinese Pod remains a winner. One of these days I will need to get Violet into a real Chinese class, but for the last year this has sustained her interest in Chinese and allowed her to practice a bit. The new writing feature is especially cool.

Life of Fred is going pretty well. I have let that be mainly unsupervised, which means that my child who prefers to live in one of the several storylines surging along in her mind sometimes skips 3 or 4 lessons, and then backtracks, and then jumps ahead, because she’s not sure where she’s supposed to be. On the upside, as I tried to figure out which of the skipped things she should go back and finish, she drew me a diagram to prove the distributive property, and explained the reflexive property, or law, or something like that. So Fred stays.

Our love of John McWhorter and linguistics continues via our Teaching Company DVDs. Violet came to me today and asked that we watch the next lecture sooner than usual, because it sounded really interesting. And it was. Thank you God for giving me a child who hears the phrase “modal particle” and wants to know more. I don’t have that many people in my life who can summon more than 10 minutes of interest for the weird things I find interesting. (And in this case, Violet is the one getting me interested in the subject.)

Victoria sat next to us today as we watched, feeling very impatient to watch Word Girl when we finished. As the video started she said, “I smell the scent of grammar. Or is that just your coffee?” That was a keeper.

Victoria is really liking EPGY. It is not perfect for me, but she really gets something out of feeling like she get some online “school” just like Violet. And I think it helps to involve a neutral 3rd party. 😉

We are still reading Child’s History of the World, somewhat on the Sonlight schedule, but I have been adding here and there. We have been in Greece — which fit well with our current reading of Linnets and Valerians, thanks to Melissa Wiley — and will do a little Eastern detour before getting to Rome. With any luck I will prime them for learning Latin! My hope is that Victoria will want to learn, and I will be able to sneak a little into Violet. You would think that with her love of grammar I could hook her that way!

In any case, our history reading is spotty and slow, but always enjoyable. I wish so much that I could show the “Babylon News” video the girls made, with Violet as Nebuchadnezzer acting like a bull in the backyard and Victoria dressed up in cloth napkins, pretending to cry and saying “What is wrong with our king?” But I am not allowed to post it. Such are the mood changes of preteens.

And I have gushed so much about Online G3 I feel I hardly need say what that has added to our days. I swear my personal affection for Headmistress Guinevere is not the reason I say this! Can’t wait to add mythology and music next semester — I think Victoria will watch these with us as well.

With all that going on, German has fallen by the wayside temporarily, handwriting doesn’t happen, and we rely entirely on our co-op for things related to science. Magic Lens/Word Within the Word is still enjoyable, just a week or 10 days may go by before we remember to pick it up. As we are between parishes, please do not ask about faith formation. Right now the main thing we need to learn is how to get to Mass–any Mass–on time.

I have high hopes for the return of all those things — plus karate and dance! — but not until after Christmas. There are cookies to make, friends to cook for, family to see, ballets to attend, and — what you can’t see through your computer screen — lots and lots of boxes still to unpack.

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2 Comments

Filed under Curriculum, Gifted Ed, Learning Styles, Schoolday Doings, Why Homeschool?

2 responses to “Roller Coaster Days

  1. it’s wonderful! I’m so impressed!

  2. Looks pretty fantastic to me.

    And learning that sometimes we don’t get to mass, any mass, on time is probably an important part of faith formation. They’ll have practice in how to get back into it which will come in handy later in life.

    I love “I smell the scent of grammar. Or is that just your coffee?”. It needs to be embroidered on something or painted on something and hung in your kitchen.

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