Well, RIGHT NOW, we are at the library, but this will be more of a "how we are doing" and "what are we using" post.
February is over and we are once again inspired and motivated when it comes to school work. I switched G&M's math to Singapore from Miquon, and we are all much happier. I'm on the fence about splitting them up next year for math, because there is some competitiveness at times, but they are both thriving and loving Singapore, so I think I'll wait to make the decision until the summer.
Their current read aloud is The Green Ember. I got a deal on the audible narration along with the kindle version, so my voice is getting a much needed rest.
They are tagging along with H and his evolution unit study from Build Your Library. He's reading the books geared toward older kids and the twins are reading the books for younger elementary kids and everyone is making a timeline. We watched a great documentary from the History Channel called "How the Earth Was Made." They didn't want to turn it off! I'd say that is a success.
The twins are also almost done with their second handwriting book of the year and after that we will just concentrate on copywork. I dropped it with everyone over the winter because Henry and I were having trouble sticking with reading Little Women aloud, and the twins just didn't have the writing stamina or attention span to do it. I'm going to try again with everyone, H with a different book and the twins with much shorter passages.
We are still sporadically doing Jot it Down, but I'm feeling a little like we have done all of the projects we can benefit from. I may get out Partnership Writing for them and see if there is anything I can change up to make it more on their level.
One last thing I'll mention for the 6 year olds is this wonderful Farmer's Market Activity book. We found it at a local book store last week and have been working with it a little every day. There is a lot of opportunities for learning in this, there is even a page for "farmer's market math." Be still my wannabe unschooler's heart.
H has had an interesting year. We are going through some growing pains, and changes, and I'm having a hard time keeping up. I will probably write another post about my recent "intense gifted kid" epiphany, once I can figure out what is appropriate to share and what should be kept as his story to tell. I do feel it is important to share when it can help someone else, it's just hard to balance that while respecting his privacy. Needless to say I'm learning that he is a kid who needs to be challenged in a meaningful way, on a regular basis, or he shuts down intellectually. So my attempts at giving him more freedom were kind of a big mistake. It's hard because he's not like other kids, (and I recognize all kids are unique, he's just really out there as far as emotions and abilities.) so when I try to implement advice that works for everyone else's kid, it often leaves me feeling like a failure. I'm not, and neither is my kid, and I will do well to remind myself of these points on a regular basis.
Anyways, we have moved to a little bit more of a structured day. He's working on Jacobs Mathematics: A Human Endeavor and enjoying it so far. He's still liking his Big Fat Math Notebook as well. He's working on a Partnership Writing project about Roald Dahl. I'm combining Partnership Writing and the first half of Faltering Ownership this semester. We tweak the projects a lot to fit our needs, which I know Julie Bogart would be supportive of. He's still writing a novel but has kind of moved away from that recently. Hopefully he picks it up again soon.
As I mentioned he's doing the Build Your Library Evolution Unit and enjoying it. It's not challenging per se, but it's interesting and he's doing it without complaining so we will put it in the win column.
He is still working his way through A History of US series by Joy Hakim. I love her writing style, I think this series is perfect for middle schoolers who aren't used to textbooks. We may add some pin-it maps to our history studies this year if we can catch up on our reading!
We are trying to incorporate morning basket in a more routine way, but I'm horrible with consistency. I know my kids do better with routines ("But Mom, we have to go to the library, it's Monday!") so I'm going to make more of an effort to get it done. Since this month is Women's History Month, I'm trying to incorporate a lot of books about important women in history. (The book about Elizabeth Blackwell above is adorable and really well done. The Illustrations are wonderful.)
We celebrated International Women's Day by visiting a local woman owned book store. They did an "art installation" with their fiction section. They turned around all of the male authors and left only the spines of the women authors facing out. It was an effective visual to communicate the disparity between men's and women's voices. Each of the kids got a book, of course.
Then we came home and had a girl power tea time. We read some Emily Dickinson, an adorable book about Ruth Bader Ginsberg called "I Dissent," and I flipped through another book from the library called "Founding Mothers," while they finished their Izze's.
We are leaning more Charlotte Mason these days, despite the fact that I've never actually read her works. We are definitely secular so I'm not sure if I really want to go down that rabbit hole. This is why I'm very thankful I found Bravewriter. It's Charlotte Mason for the modern family.
I've started planning for next year, and believe it or not, March is actually late for me to be planning, so I guess I'm getting a little more relaxed after all. G&M will definitely be more of the same, art, nature, lots of books and a little math. H is the one that's ramping up academically with lots of interest-led studies planned. We are both looking forward to it. (I will share more this summer when I have the nuts and bolts figured out.)
It's nice to be back in a groove and in a place where I can look forward to next year instead of dreading it. We are excited for Spring, when we will relax quite a bit. Gardening and getting outside will be our priorities. I can almost feel the sun, as I sit here indoors, with my hat and fingerless gloves on.