All Girls School


Quick update
October 2, 2008, 9:42 pm
Filed under: art, Bubba, curriculum, games, history, math, reading, science, writing

We’ve been studying the respiratory system. I’m a little disappointed because the curriculum that we’re using for science is a little too superficial for Bubba’s level. I find myself quickly scrounging for supplementary items online or in our book and DVD collection to feel that she’s getting something out of the lessons.

Our printer is broken, so we’ve been doing a lot of online math games. Bubba told me that she felt weak on her analog time-telling skills. We found a few games that dealt with that and within thirty minutes or so she was getting all of the questions correct. She needed a refresher from last year and I had no idea. I guess we have mostly digital clocks in the house because I felt like her time-telling was great. I’m glad she was able to tell me that she felt weak in an area and we were able to work on it together. She also requested that we play more games with math, so we’ve been playing cards and Yahtzee lately.

In history we’re hitting Ancient Greece. This is one of my favorite periods in history, especially coming from an art history background, so there are lots of tangents to hit. We’re gearing up to read a bunch of the Greek Myths, but I’m having a hard time putting our regular reading book aside. We’ve been reading The Mysterious Benedict Society. It has been a lot of fun for us as we guess the solutions to the different puzzles. Some of them are over Bubba’s head, but so far she has either been able to figure them out or understand them after we find the answer(s). We’re only about a fourth of the way in, though, and any of the negative reviews state that this is where it starts slowing down. I already see what they say about it needing some editing as there are a lot of passages that are unnecessary and some feel redundant, but the story has been intriguing and fun. We’ll see where it goes from here.

We’ve been doing a little handwriting because she has this block about the number 4 and the number 9. She always makes them backwards. It’s like she knows that she always writes them the wrong way so she overthinks them when she writes them and they are consistently wrong. I have to remind her to use clear and legible handwriting whenever we have written assignments. She hates taking the time to make her letters correctly. I wouldn’t mind if she used a quicker and more comfortable style of writing, but she really never mastered correct writing in the first place. You have to know the rules in order to break them. For our more structured writing lessons we’ve been discussing how to research a topic. We’ve been over the Dewey Decimal System at the library and I’ve been working with her on how to find things on the internet. We’ve also discussed the importance of making sure your sources are legitimate and that she never decides to just go Googling without her dad or I there with her.

In art we are working on shape. Bubba finished the line section two weeks ago. I like the curriculum that we draw from because there are a couple of projects that deal with the technical aspects of the element followed by a couple of really creative projects that incorporate the same element. We have a new project every Monday and then she has the week to complete it. This way she’s been able to take her time and not rush through any of them and the results are much more finished-looking pieces than when we tried to complete them all in one day.



Starting Off Well
August 27, 2008, 11:49 am
Filed under: art, Bubba, games, guitar, library, schedule, spelling

Apparently we are a people that enjoy a good schedule. One that is flexible enough to maneuver around impromptu park times but that is consistent enough that we know what’s coming and that we’ll be finished in time to pick up Mimi from school. Last year we didn’t follow any real schedule. Actually, scratch that, we started off the year with an insanely detailed schedule. That didn’t last very long at all and caused major burnout. Then we went to the opposite extreme with only a rough guideline of what we wanted to accomplish throughout the year and some materials to use throughout. That was ok, but felt a little slapped together at times. This year, we have certain things that are done on certain days so that I can be sure we’re going to accomplish at least our minimum goals. Having to get everyone up, dressed, fed and out the door to get Mimi to school in the mornings is a great help in getting us ready to start the school day early. Plus, at that time of the day Baby is happy to play and read and color while we work. Bubba is a bit more focused during the mornings and hasn’t already been distracted by another project that she wants to do instead. We have our afternoons free to do whatever we want.

Yesterday Grandma P came over to drop off Mimi’s birthday present. When she asked Bubba what she had done in school that day, Bubba replied, “We mostly played on the computer and read a little.” It was true. What slipped between the lines in that statement is that Tuesdays are a light academic day since I’ll be helping at the preschool on those days. We did play on the computer doing Language Arts and Spelling games. She completed a spelling worksheet focusing on this week’s words. Reading a “little” consisted of me reading a chapter of The Wizard of Oz outload and Bubba finishing a Junie B. Jones book followed by a trip to the library to pick up an inter-library loan Spiderwick book, which she promptly read three chapters of. She also read aloud a human body book to the younger kids. She failed to mention that she had asked me to find her a math worksheet with adding and subtracting to do just for fun. Later, she and her friend played school with the younger kids where she read more books to them and tried to teach them some basic math. She has a week-long art project every week that she spent a little time on, too. Bubba also practiced her guitar for about half an hour. (I’m not trying to imply with this paragraph that Grandma P looked in any way disapproving about Bubba’s answer, I just found it funny how her quick off-the-cuff response negated a big meaty chunk of the actual learning that took place that day.)

I also want to note for posterity that while the title states that we are starting off well, Bubba has also spent the last half hour walking around with a cape on backwards so that she can pull the hood over her face to refrain from looking at me or speaking to me because she’s so angry with me. It’s all about balance, right? Up next: How Do I Teach Personal Accountability For One’s Actions? (otherwise known as, Sometimes It’s Not EVERYONE Else’s Fault.)



Little Games
March 29, 2008, 8:11 pm
Filed under: games, girlies

I’m always trying to find little games to play with the kids when we’re waiting somewhere. It helps hold their attention on me and keep them from going stir crazy. They like it when I pick a number between 1-10 and we see who can get closest. We play rock paper scissors. They try to guess which hand is holing the… small object that I dug out of my purse. We do thumb wrestling tournaments. One of their favorites is playing “I Spy”. Lately the baby has wanted to get in on the fun of this game and will say, “My turn! I smell something… purple!”



Garden Flags and Simpsons Clue
March 7, 2008, 9:16 pm
Filed under: games, garden

In case you’re curious, I won. Marge did it with the necklace in the Android’s Dungeon. 🙂