Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Getting there and Nearly there!

Sorry I'm not blogging much of late - been VERY busy!

We are all quite tired now and almost ready to close up shop (school) for the summer, but we are persevering for another week just to 'finish up' a few things.

I'm also trying desperately to plan a 'course of study' for next year and pool resources together in some coherent way! I found a good website for anyone who likes to have little bits of paper telling what's next hanging around - and calenders - and unit study 'plan' sheets & records of resources used/to use, etc... (http://donnayoung.org).

And then I found this reading scheme with 30 downloadable books! I'd really like to try to get together a 'school/group' subscription, which would mean that anyone in that group had full access to EVERYTHING on the website (750 boos and resources - from pre-school to yr6). If anyone wants in PLEASE let me know (by email or otherwise). I already know of one other lady who is interested. If just five of us go in that keeps the cost down to under £20 p.a. I really think it's worth it. They even do books in French and Spanish - maybe a cheap way of teaching a foreign language? Apparently Katy Beresford (a Mudd-puddler) does some editing work for them making UK versions of the books. She gave me this link too - learningpage.com - more freebies here!! The 'Tommy' books here - if used with the teachers notes and worksheets, look like little unit studies in themselves.

School Today

Strangely, right at the end of term school really seems to be coming together although I do often find it a challenge trying to coach a new reader and an emergent (not physically) writer!

Our Bible study today was about praising God with music. Joel made a harp with a toilet roll - and we played musical statues!!

Although Jacob still seems apt to burst into a tantrum of either rage, or tears at the slightest mention of the word 'think'! That said, he does seem to be gradually becoming more able to DO the thinking. Today, presented with a pretty difficult exercise, with a little nudging and prompting in the right direction, he was able to complete the task. He basically had to sift out important from 'accessory' information. Jacob is a child who has inherited (from my Mum)a need to fill in every fine detail, so he saw almost all the information as important! But with a little help he got the hang of it. Then all those facts had to be arranged into a 'short report' - with Title, introduction, subheadings and bullet points. Wow - tall order for a 7 year old! But once the tears had dried up, and he realised this was not a 'do it on your own' task he we was fine. It is often hard though, I find, to find a balance between leading him to the right answers and allowing him to be creative in his thinking! And also not TELLING him what he has to write can often be a challenge to me.

But all in all life since the new arrangement of time has been much more peaceful. aaah!:)

I am really looking forward to using some of next years materials as I have managed to get hold of some REALLY good stuff. I hope the children will enjoy it as much as I anticipate they will. I have tried to be more wide and varied in my thinking about styles of learning...now we wait! Once everything is in I'll post up links to our new resources.

9 comments:

Jan said...

I look forward to seeing what you've got. And I'll try to make my list a bit more blogfriendly and put some of it up too.

merry said...

Can i ask, if it doesn't come across wrong, (by which i don't mean "I want to know why you do this because its wrong?" but rather "why do you feel this works for you?" in a genuine way), what inspired you to do "terms" and keep a "school year" as such.

I find it very hard not to think of a year in terms of Sept to July but i was definitely still in that mindset from school mtyself and never really lost it, even before i had kids or decided to HE. And i tend also to think of Fran as a Yr1 or Yr2 child, possibly slightly because we have quite a lot of schooled friends and inevitably its a cultural reference as much as anything.

But i could not imagine myself thinking "okay its friday july 16th and thats us for the summer" or "we start back on "September 1st" or whatever, it seems quite alien to me; if anything i plan on trying to achieve more over the summer!

So i wondered why it works for you? I don't think you follow Sonlight or anything do you where its broken down for you by an outside planner? I hope that comes across right and not in a critcal way at all.

Jax said...

That Katy B is a woman of many talents...

Thanks for the links. What do you have planned for the holidays then?

Caroline said...

no offense taken Merry. We do terms because 1. hubby is student too at the moment so we take 'holidays' together & 2. all of Jacob's friends are at school and if we did school while they were on holiday when he gt to see them, other than for the odd hour i the evenings like in term time. Taking hols around the school hols alos helps him to feel not SO different to them . If he thought he had to do school while 'everyone else' is on holiday I think I'd have a riot on my hands!! He looks forward to his breaks - and so do I - and means we can spen the sunny summer (?!) playing and playing and playing more. It's that simple really.

merry said...

Yep - that makes sense. If you have one student (a bit like i have Maddy i guess) then you are likely to do it that way anyway i guess.

I suppose because we don't have any sort of "this week we need to get through this" type plan, it doesn't worry me. I just carry over to the next week ad infinitum!!!

I see the summer as an opportunity to do some more inclusive projecty type things though i suppose, mainly because i am still feeling my way over how Maddy will fit in with Fran somehow.

Caroline said...

sorry about all the typos in the above - typed fast & badly! hope you can make sense of it.

Caroline said...

I actually do have some ideas in the back of my mind for 'fun stuff' to do over the hols if everyone gets too bored. Probably I'll use some of the stuff I've downloaded from the learningpage.com - little unit study's with activities for all ages from preschool to G3 (so that includes all my lot except Ellie!). Oceans, dinos, reptiles, zoo animals, or maybe pirates & treasure maps....! But we'll see if we have time / motivation.

Alison said...

Did Jacob go to school for a bit then?

Have to say, we hardly see any schoolkids, so the only indication that it's holidays that we have is that everywhere suddenly gets busy, lol!

Caroline said...

Nope - never, but he has lots of friends form church and neighbour hood, and friends through my friends etc... He did got to playgroup, but not where we live now. However Joel did and Abbie does, so they do know when terms begin and end + as I said Huby studies too. We also get very involved in a Church Holiday club that we run every half-term, so it all adds up to general knowledge of the system without being in it!