One of my favorite things we have incorporated into our day is our daily quote. Not only does it teach us a bit about contemporary history (so far my girls have learned who Audrey Heburn, Erma Bombeck, and Maya Angelo were and that William Penn came from England and that Wayne Gretsky played in the NHL for 20 years) but they are also learning how to dig deeper into a statement and reflect on it and respond to it.
Over the years I have been hesitant to share too much about what our curriculum is because until you are about a week or so into it, you never know what you will keep and what you will throw out and replace. This year I did purchase one set of materials that I do not like at all and will be selling in order to recoup some of the purchase price. My other purchases, like Teaching Textbooks for Lilah were hits. Grace has picked up her study of algebra through TT and even came down one morning at 6:15 to get it done.
One thing we have thrown out is my brilliant plan for a study of contemporary fiction set in NYC with the walking tour of each book. I still love this idea and hope that we can come back to it but Grace really has no interest in contemporary young adult fiction. I can force it and squelch the desire to read altogether, or I can shift focus and lead us in a new direction. Our new direction is to explore some of the classics we have never read. First up: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. We are almost done with the book and will begin a combination lapbook/notebook as our “final project”. We are already beginning some of the artwork for this project.
Wednesday was a hot day with temperatures in the mid 80s. We ended our day at the beach with friends. Last year many of these families attended Beacon in New Haven with Grace so we were able to see them weekly. This year they are all taking part in a new program that is a blend of traditional classes and online studies being offered by a homeschooling family. This is not a good fit for us and we are not taking part. Sadly, this means we won’t be seeing as much of this group of friends. So while I was not 100% up for a night at the beach and would rather have spent a quiet night at home, we trekked to the beach and God gave me a beautiful display of colors to admire.
In order to keep in touch with friends with whom we do not share classes, it is vital that parents organize activities and set aside time. This is equally as important as academic studies. Teens need time away from parents and time with peers and since they are not in school, and not able to drive, they need our help and our commitment to make this happen. I organized a trail ride with two of our friends. The beauty of how we learn is this will count towards the girls’ PE credit. This year I have redesigned my binder system and will be posting more about that soon!
Thursday also was the start of ASL II, an immersion class with a Deaf teacher. I am beyond excited for the learning opportunities that this class has in store. It is two hours long and their girls' brains literally hurt when they walked out into the warm salty air. It was one of the first times their brains actually hurt from active learning.
Friday rounded out our week with a return to writing group. I was not sure this would happen. I contemplated throwing in the towel and declaring it done. After all, all our members moved away and it was hard to find enthusiasm in starting over again. The draw of meeting four new girls in the same age range as mine was enough to pull me back in. Around my table sat 4 teens (or soon to be teens) and two others were there thanks to the wonder of technology. Our friend Keilee joined us via Facetime and our friend Katya joined via Skype. The 90 minutes we spent talking, writing, sharing and eating was more than I anticipated. There was no first meeting awkwardness, no shyness, and no hesitation to writing or sharing. There were smiles, laughter, suggestions, and words of encouragement. One of our new members is also a student in the girls’ ASL class AND their upcoming pottery class!