Thursday, September 16, 2010

What is Working

We now have nearly a month of homeschooling under our belts. Things are starting to find a rhythm. I am starting to learn to go with the flow. If someone asks a question that has nothing to do with what we are studying, I sometimes even jump the tracks and follow that tangent! (most of the time it's me asking those questions)

Here is this week's example of changing things on the fly. On Wednesday we were working on art. Our current plan is that I read a bit from "A Child's History of Art, Painting", we discuss what we read and then we work on something related. This book is a favorite of ours. The authors, V.M. Hillyer and E. G. Huey, have a good sense of humor and place art in its historic framework to really bring it to life. This week I didn't really read ahead to see where the book was heading, so I just planned on allowing the boys some time to draw whatever they'd like after the reading. As we were reading the chapter on Mesopotamia, JT remembered that he had a book from the library about Mesopotamia in his bedroom. He brought it down and we looked at the section on arts and crafts. Then we continued reading and found that mosaic art was prevalent at that time in history. I realized we could make mosaics. Easy, fun and related to the reading! Several times this month things have just come together in such a way that I couldn't have planned them better had I spent my weekend thinking it through.

Now for the pictures. We have a new routine this year. Every morning we check the Word of the Day. Then we write it on a card and hang it on the 'Word Wall'. (This name irks JT because it's actually a closet door and he insists it should be the 'Word Closet'.) Misnomers aside, we also copy the word on another card with the definition on the back. At the end of the week we have a little game to see who remembers the most words. I would say I probably know 50 - 60 percent of them when we first pull them up, so even I am expanding my vocabulary. Here's a sentence from the collection...

The lupine repo-man will schlep down the road to distrain the car of his neighbor.

Aren't you feeling smarter already?


Jessica said...

We have a word door! The door to our basement is painted with chalkboard paint. Every day I put a word on it and challenge my girls to find the definition and use it in a sentence. I really like your idea of putting it on a notecard for review at the end of the week. This has been our first day and some of our words were: zenith, serendipity and rue. That would make an interesting sentence!

Annie said...

Don't you love it when things come together in unexpected ways? I've had that happen on many occasions, and I usually like the result better. I'm slowly learning to trust the process.