Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Busy



My brain is working overtime.  Up until now, I have been able to facilitate the girls' education. I have been able to direct them, guide them, and accompany them as they learn about things I already knew.  This year, I feel like I am their partner in the educational process.  I am working harder than I have the past two years with the girls at home.
I am reading The Invention of Hugo Cabret alongside Lilah.  When we watch the movie, I want to be able to compare and contrast it to the original piece of writing.  I also want to know the story when I am reviewing her journal.  
I am researching US History alongside Grace.  In a more “teacherly” role, I have been taking the study guide and creating her Book of Century pages for the key people in each chapter.  She makes two copies of this; one for her book of centuries and one to make into flashcards for continual study.  I am partner reading the text with her and we do a review of what we have learned before we start each reading session.
I listen to Lilah read Life of Fred aloud to me every day.  I am beyond thrilled that she likes this book.  It is a perfect fit for her learning style.  She is enjoying the quirky character of Fred and we are able to extend the learning in this book beyond the basics.  For example, she is adding Archimedes to her Book of Centuries and we have discussed why the author will ask for the math equation 4x +3x = ___  to be solved rather than just 4 + 3 = ____.   It is easy for her, but it provides the basis for the other books. It also has solidified some concepts she was a bit shaky on, like sets and elapsed time, and I love that it gave her a new historical figure to add to her BOC.  She will finish book 1 this week.  I just ordered books 2 and 3 for her!  
Because I am much more hands on this year than I have been in year’s past, I am having a hard time keeping up with housework.  I am so grateful for Greg, who never complains if we are out at a class or a meeting and he comes home to kitchen where the dirty pans are waiting for some hot soapy water and the laundry is spilling out of the dryer.  The girls are going to pitch in more to help the housework run smoothly.  Every day one thing is added to their list of lessons.  Every bit helps and it takes some of the stress off me and allows me to focus more on them.  
It is funny to me how our homeschooling style evolves with the age of the girls, their work level, and their interests.  Last year one girl would be working in a bedroom while the other lounged on the floor with the dogs.  There was no need for a dedicated learning space.  This year the girls do most of their work at the tables in the art studio.  Lilah’s is lined with paint brushes, colorful markers and bottles of paint.  Grace’s has a neat pile of her books in one corner and a few of her pictures on the wall.  There is no mistaking whose desk is whose.  I love this back room now and can’t believe how little time was spent her until now.  I do wonder though, when the leaves fall and the air crisps, if we will still want to be back here when the lure of the fireplace pulls us into the front of the house........I guess we will just adapt.  Again.

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