Sunday, November 27, 2011

What To Do Tomorrow

Tonight I am pondering whether we should finish our Mineralogy block or start our second Ancient Greece block. I hate the idea of pushing everything back and am leaning toward starting Ancient Greece and weaving the rest of Mineralogy into the afternoons.

I'm also trying to figure out a new approach to math. I am thinking that Life of Fred is going to be something that the boys do on their own and I will bring math to them using Making Math Meaningful. They are so caught up on the importance of the bridges in Life of Fred and I can't tell if they make mistakes because it is a big scary test or if they truly don't know the material. Talking to them they can demonstrate that they do know it, so I am at a loss.

I don't want to abandon Life of Fred completely; it actually is the best math curriculum we've used in terms of holding the boys' attention and helping them want to do math. They love everything about it except those pesky bridges. I do think that in part it is test anxiety and in part it is that they do so much of their learning orally and they need to learn to do math from written exercises that they read rather than have read to them. I'm learning the there is a difference in terms of how they process the information. Since I have to assume that there won't always be someone there to read their word problems to them I need to help them learn to take in the information through reading it themselves.

I'm also going to bring in more Waldorf grammar using Earthschooling. I miss the grammar we did with Oak Meadow G4 (probably one of the best thing we did using that curriculum for those few months). Daily Grammar works, but it isn't that fun. The boys will continue with Daily Grammar on their own to increase their skills and understanding of grammar.

I think the biggest change may be that I will be giving the boys more work to do on their own; I am thinking of it as preparation for the high school years when I do expect them to take on more responsibility for their own learning. I am planning 45 - 60 minutes in the afternoon for them to do this work; it's kind of like homework for homeschooling. I'm not exactly for homework as it is given out now to publicly-schooled children, however, I do know that some basic study skills are needed for college. Anyway, we'll give it a try.

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