Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ten Days...

For me to post in just 10 days is quite something, but I'm still going to have a job to think back!

Nothing much new on the home ed' front really. We're just plodding along nicely, so I'll bullet point the things of note (for the record really)...

  • Completed All About Spelling Level 4 with Lilo and DD, but wasn't really happy that either of them had the 'rules' sorted in their heads very well, so have decided to repeat the level with both of them. It won't hurt and will hopefully cement a few things that are shaky atm.
  • ETC Online ~ Taz 2/3rds through book 3, DD Bk 6 Lesson 3:1 (completed Bk 5 in ten sessions), Lilo BK 6 Lesson 4:1 (7 sessions so far) ~ making slow but steady progress).
  • Reading ~ Stitch is reading an abridged version of Robinson Crusoe, DD reading Five on Treasure Island (I thought the Famous Five would appeal to him and it's easy reading, without being TOO easy), Lilo reading Shadow the Sheepdog ~ again easy reading, but hopefully ticking her 'interesting' box. It's so hard to find books for her, because at 10 she needs older content, but her reading level and comprehension of what she reads would not keep up. TP about to start a new book, having just finished 'The Body Book'  Minnie re-reading Ballet shoes, and thrilled to bits with a hard-back copy I bought her on Amazon for less than the Kindle edition! 
  • Maths ~ Minnie whizzing through Miquon purple and decided to try to re-tackle some of the Year 6 conquer maths and actually finding it easy enough, so hoping Miquon has done the trick for her and plugged some gaps :D. Lilo struggling to get to grips with fractions in Miquon Yellow, so finished the section but have asked her to work through fraction on Conquer Maths until she has it sussed out more in her head :D DD happily plodding through Yr 4 Heinemann maths without any issues. Stitch almost completed Year 2 Collins Primary Maths, so will then move on to working through Yr 2 on Conquer Maths, but I think he will sail through it. The only concepts he struggled with a little, were the ones to do with shapes ~ reflections, rotations, etc... which fits a little with the way he struggles to process those concepts in every day life too, so no surprises there, but all the 'concrete' maths he is very solid on and can explain to me quite complex ways of finding solutions :D
  • Geography ~ we have been looking at urbanisation in rural areas, and in poorer vs richer countries. It has raised some interesting conversations and ideas about solutions to the problems it brings! One suggestion by TP was to build one Mega building and everyone and everything be under one roof ~ the whole world! We thought about that for a bit and considered some of the pro and cons... can you imagine!! Taz  suggested that all the shopping could be in one mega-rise building then people wouldn't have to travel to more than one place for anything ~ I pointed out we sort of have that in places like The Bullring (to which he has never been) and we discussed the problems that places like that themselves present. We went on to discuss the effect of internet shopping on ALL genres of 'real' shops, from small family businesses, to town-centre shopping, to business parks ~ all negatively, and yet also positively affected by on-line shopping. This week we talked a little more about 'commuter villages' (such as the one we live in) and how history has changed the nature of our villages across the country, to the point where many of them consist of little more than a few 'nice' houses and pub ~ no village shops and few young children. We also discussed how health care and public transport are often not so easily accessible in rural communities which means more people, especially those with young families, choose to live nearer to towns, with all those amenities close at hand.
      Strangely all my children tell me they "don't like Geography!" - yet it very often brings the most relevant and interesting conversations to our school room ~ so we aren't stopping it ;-)
  • Zoology ~ we made some fossils! Looking at the differences between fossils formed in mud/sand/clay ...

  • Art  ~ last week was a bit of a cheat ~ we just did some wax relief painting ~ easy for the littler ones for a change ~ and Taz did some more of his Airfix helicopter. We didn't do any art this week as Paul & I had to be at the college by 4 for Jake's (Bugs') parent's 'consultation' ...

Tonight, as I said we were at the college for Jake's review. It seems they are generally quite pleased with him, but to be honest I was not mightily impressed with them! They have a very airy fairy approach to grades etc... in that they basically are too afraid that a low grade would discourage a students from working well, so they don't give any grades at all until the end of the second project ~ end of Feb! I explained that I felt that would depend on the mind-set of the student, because for someone like Jake (and me), he needs to know where he stands or he feels he is flailing in the dark, not knowing if he is doing OK or not and feeling like he's working hard for little or no reward. I think the tutor understood, but I don't think it will change anything tbh ~ it's the nature of an arty farty department I think!! Essentially though, I got the gist that Jake is working to merit level. His target grade overall, based on his initial entry assessment, is a MM (higher level Merit), and with steady progress this is perfectly achievable. I personally feel he is capable of a Distinction, but would need more tutorial support to achieve it ~ which he is sadly not all that likely to get. Although his tutor said "all he needs to do is ask," in reality he is not always available and knows that, so he kept saying things like "but it is all written out for the students in the 'objectives' guidelines." To Jake though, those guidelines might as well be written in Dutch for all the help they are to him :( 

Jake's other concerns about certain 'personalities' in the class were rather brushed aside, so I will need to keep a careful eye on that with him. He is being slightly bullied/intimidated, but tbh he doesn't help himself by not being able to keep his mouth shut at times. He opens himself wide for attack ~ like handing them ammunition. He's just not very worldly-wise or diplomatic! That said his tutor did mention how impressed he was with the way Jake has handled the transition into college from Home-school, and that his energy and enthusiasm were a real asset to the class dynamics :D

Aside from the chids, I too have been learning something this week...
For YEARS (literally since I was a small girl) I have wanted to learn to crochet. I had a ladybird book when I was girl that was supposed to teach me, as no-one in my family crochets either, but I could never make much sense of it and even going back as an adult it wasn't easy to follow. I managed to eventually make a square block  of double stitch, but couldn't get any further. I wanted to make a granny square ~ SOOO badly! In the end I resorted to You-Tube (oh the joys of modern technology) and watched a video or two! I realised I was using the hook like a knitter (not that I knit, but I can a bit) and wrapping the wool instead of hooking it up. I got the same result mind... So now I'm practising doing it properly, but it's not as comfortable and I keep dropping everything! All the same, I have managed to make 5 granny squares, all different sizes (due to different wools and hooks), but I'm getting there :D I've also made a phone sock and two MP3 player socks for the girls :D. I'd like to attempt a small blanket for my Nan for mothers day (thinking a square or two each night), but I need to get some wool first ~ some decent wool ~ this horrible, cheap, rough 3ply is doing my head in - it's so 'splitty'.


I've also found time in the week to complete Lilo's sock-cat that she got as a kit for Christmas ~ helped by taking it to do at a soft play centre early in the week, giving the little chids a run around and me a break!


3 comments:

Michelle said...

Love your crochet squares and the sock cat.

Tracie Delaney said...

Thanks for sharing. I love to see what others are doing in their home school, but haven't found any like yours.Many thanks
Tracie x

Beth said...

I love the crochet. I decided that I want to learn to knit and so that is my current creative outlet.