Friday, May 24, 2013

Week of May 19

Computer Time

Last week, I shared how Piper would spend all the livelong day on the computer if allowed.  We had placed some serious restrictions on screen time and she was being sassy.  I read this post at Project-Based Homeschooling that really made sense to me.  I know with me, as far as exercise, instead of trying to exercise everyday, I have decided to exercise 4 hours a week...some days I do 20 minutes, others 40, etc.  So I decided to approach screen time the same way.  Piper needs to spend 4 hours a day reading, creating, playing outside, etc. and then she can have screens.  You know what happens?  She spends a lot more than 4 hours doing those things because she is enjoying them so much!
CNN Student News every morning :)  two day Monopoly event with friends :)  Gizmo & Ringo--Piper's hamsters :)  It was so hot this week that Jason suggested eating dinner downstairs while watching "RainMan"

Figuring out this interest-led thing - Writing

I want us to get more into interest-led learning and I am still figuring it all out.  One of the moms in our homeschool group, who is acting as a mentor for me, whether she knows it or not, said that she has her kids write something once a week.  Sometimes she chooses  a topic, sometimes they choose a topic.  I decided that sounded like a great idea.  Allie has been really interested in the Free Tibet movement (we chose her name because it means "Helper and Defender of Mankind" and honestly, she is very civil rights minded) so I asked her to write a paper and cite sources on the Free Tibet Movement.  Piper got to write anything she chose...which is a play that she has been working on every day...hmmm, instead of playing Minecraft and Webkinz ;-)


Both of my girls LOVE to read.  I have never pre-read their books or assigned books to them.  I've always allowed them to read twaddle if they want to, as long as they are reading and comprehending.  Sometimes I read twaddle just to relax and sometimes they need to read something just to relax.  Although they are allowed to read "twaddle" and they do, they also choose books across genres to read.  This week Allie read The Red Scarf Girl by Ji-Li Jiang because it was on the shelf near the books on Tibet ;-)  Piper read A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban.  I am reading Fly Away by Kristin Hannah, complete twaddle, but we've been so busy lately and I just want to relax and not work hard at what I am reading right now.  My husband never reads twaddle, he actually prefers non-fiction, he is reading The Drunken Botanist  by Amy Stewart after hearing about it onNPR (where he gets most of his book selections).  I think The Drunken Botanist is a great way to kick off Memorial Day weekend ;-)

Now that my parents are at the lake, the girls come to work with me :)


Math is the area where we struggle.  Neither of my girls seem to naturally gravitate toward it.  A friend, in our homeschool group, contends that students will learn it when they need it and are ready and if you push it too soon, before they are ready, it's a waste of time.  I kind of see her point.  But I also feel a need to make sure everyone is ready for college.  I've been collecting info on several programs and narrowing it down, this week Allie spent some time listening to Saxon Teacher demos and DIVE CDs.

Also this week...

  • we watched "Rain Man" - yes, sex scenes and f-bombs and all, we are pretty liberal with what we let our kids watch and Jason felt it was high time the girls saw this classic
  • Allie read four more chapters of the The Hobbit for co-op, much to her dad's chagrin (it's his favorite book) she is not enjoying it
  • worked on posters for the Geography Fair at co-op
  • Allie researched and started working on a paper about Free Tibet - she is all over this topic, can't STOP talking about it (it's a depressing topic, but I think it is cool that she is so into it!)
  • watched CNN Student News each morning
  • baked black bean brownies for our friends and the girls will be baking more batches to bring to barbecues this weekend :)
  • had friends over for a playdate
  • had a sleepover with other friends last weekend
  • went to see and got to hold our new baby cousin :)
  • watched several episodes of Freaky Eaters and One Way Out
  • learned about diabetes
  • went to dinner with Mama and Poppy
My parents came home this week and we went out to dinner...then played "Punch Buggy No Punch Backs" in the parking lot--there were a lot of punch buggies for some reason!

  • dinner is always a conversation time in our family, this week the girls learned about the polyps on my mom's vocal cords and how the doctor is treating them, negotiations Jason is involved in at work, we also discussed the March on Monsanto, the tornadoes in Oklahoma and the differences between Yahoo and Google (we're a fun bunch ;-) plus lots of vacation plan discussions!
  • several hands of Division War were played
  • Allie reviewed Saxon Math Teacher (we are looking for a new program for next year) and DIVE CDs
  • Piper played on
  • We watched coverage of the tornadoes in Oklahoma
  • We discussed funding for recovery efforts after natural disasters--the girls had never thought about this and it was an interesting conversation
  • Allie was sick on Thursday and finished The Red Scarf Girl which she had started on Tuesday
Art Journaling.  I've just been setting out these books for inspiration and the girls take it where they need/want it to go!

  • Art Journaling
  • Hamster and Gerbil Watching
  • Piper's dog walking job
  • Allie's tutoring job
  • Jason has been taking a weekly guitar workshop (he counts, too, right?)
  • I ordered Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones after Jess recommended it.  I am loving it!  So I guess I am not JUST reading twaddle this week ;-)  I'm wondering if I can get my little interest led learners inspired by this book!

Seven Cool Homeschoolers

The girls' Seven Cool Homeschoolers videos.  This week's topic was Spring Fashion Show.  We are working on lighting.  Any tips would be appreciated :)

Memorial Day Weekend!

Memorial Day weekend is the start of summer here in Jersey.  Tonight the girls are sleeping over a friend's house (Bella from 7 Cool Homeschoolers!) Allie has a cold and we are staying in, much to her chagrin; tomorrow Jason is helping a high school friend with something and the girls and I are chillin', Sunday we are headed to my brother's house and Monday we are headed to a barbecue with our homeschool group!