(The title of this post is “Summer Through Kids’ Eyes, and What We’re Doing for School this Year” – I don’t know why it is not at the top, in big, bold type like the titles usually are, but it does show up at the bottom of the post. Weird!)
A couple of weeks ago, I asked the Kids for their impressions of Summer 2016. Though it wasn’t an assignment (Why would a homeschooling teacher-mom ask for a “What I During Summer Vacation” essay? Except for one week when they were at Bingle Camp
, I was with them 24/7. Well, maybe 18-22/7.), the Girl wrote the following short essay:
This summer we went to the lake two times, went swimming at our grandparents’ hotel pool twice, learned how to swim, still didn’t get our tree fort, but I did get a door. We went to Denali Park for three days with our Youth Group, which was pretty fun, except it rained for two out of three days. We also went on a really long hike in Gulkana, and volunteered at our local Stone Soup Café
[an organization providing meals to those in need]. I auditioned for the Fairbanks Youth Concert Orchestra last week, and I got in!
The Boy said that, though he could remember everything, due to the fact that he has an excellent and deep memory, he has trouble accessing the memories on demand. 🙂 We’ll see what he comes up with in a few days.
Boy in Otto Lake, where we camped outside Denali Park.
Hiking the Mt. Healy Overlook Trail at Denali Park
See that sticky-up bit at the top of the hill? That’s where we were headed. Most of us even made it!
The view across the lake from our campsite.
The view across the lake from our campsite.
The Girl in Otto Lake, where we camped, just outside Denali Park
This year I am trying a more structured approach to school. I’ve tried being structured before, but always in the back of my head was the idea that I should be letting them choose what they want to study, and that I should trust that they will learn what they need to learn in their own time. Well, I’ve tried that approach, too. (Probably not as well as I could have.) The thing is, I have not really committed to Unschooling / Project Based Homeschooling, or a more formal approach. Inconsistency is worse than choosing a “wrong” approach, I think. So, this year, since the Girl (7th Grade! When did that happen?) has repeatedly asked for tests and quizzes in the past, and since the Boy (5th Grade! What??) seriously needs help learning to focus on tasks that are not of his choosing, we are going formal. Here’s the rundown:
–Daily Grammar Practice, Levels 5 and 7 (Both)
–Cursive Practice with Pictures (G)
-Cursive Practice with Jokes and Riddles (B) (An example: Why did the teacher go to the beach? She wanted to test the water.)
–The Writer’s Jungle/Bravewriter (Both)
-Reading and writing across the curriculum (Both)
–Rosetta Stone German (G)
–How to Train Your Dragon Dragonese (B) 😉
–Real Science Odyssey: Biology Level II (G)
–Sassafras Science Adventures, Vol. 1: Zoology (B)
-Dover Human Anatomy Coloring Book (Both)
-Selected Topics in Marine Biology, as requested (G)
-Layers of Learning
, Year 2, focusing on Europe for the first semester
-Mapping The World By Heart – This textbook is one we will use over several years, and by the end, they might actually be able to draw a map of the world by heart…but even if they can’t, they will certainly have a better idea of where things are than they do now!
Physical Education and Health:
-Swimming at Fairbanks’s Mary Siah Recreation Center
-English Country Dancing (think Jane Austen) (G)
–Janice Van Cleve’s Nutrition for Every Kid
-Sewing lessons with Mom (Both) (Girl wants to learn to make her own clothes; Boy wants to make his stuffed toy designs real.)
-Cooking – Raddish
monthly cooking kit subscription, the cookbook produced by our PAC (Parent Advisory Committee – Kind of a PTA/Booster organization for homeschool) (G, though B might participate sometimes), and Janice Van Cleve’s Nutrition for Every Kid
Art and Music:
video-based art program (Both)
CD-based music appreciation course (Both)
–Layers of Learning
Year 2 arts topics as appropriate (Both)
-Harp lessons, concert orchestra practice and performances (G)
Whew. I think that’s everything. Looks enough, doesn’t it? It might actually be too much – we’re almost through September and still haven’t had any formal art lessons (though both kids produce plenty of artwork, daily. Boy has piles of drawings all over the house. The piles themselves are becoming art installations. Sigh.) I’ll give details and examples of coursework for each class over the next few weeks.