Thursday, October 29, 2015

Writing Game

I've been enjoying a book called, "The Trickster's Hat" by Nick Bantock.  It's miscellaneous art and writing projects that just get your creativity going.  Most of them I do on my own just for fun, but every once in awhile one appeals to me to work on with the kids.  The most recent writing one screamed for us to do together.  It started with a phrase, "The horse felt obligated to express itself by..."  The instructions were to complete the phrase and then write a sentence to go before it and one to go after.  Following this, we had two more phrases with the same instructions:  "She could not help herself, the date was waiting..." and "Elvira looked at her brother's fast-growing..."  The final instruction was to string the three paragraphs together to make a story.

We did these independently and then one night, we read them one after another.  It was amazing how all three of us not only came up with stories that worked and were creative, but entirely different.  Here they are:


William's Story

One time Elvira was riding her horse then the horse felt obligated to express itself by trying to speak to her, but she tried to get the horse to move instead of neying. 

The horse wouldn't move.  She was going to a date and the date waiting for her but the horse couldn't help her get there. 

So Elvira walked back home and noticed how fast her brother grew compared to yesterday.


Signa's Story

One day, Edward and Elvira were taking their morning walk, when they saw a horse on the hiking trail. Edward wanted to try riding it, but Elvira didn’t want to be late to dinner with her boyfriend. Eventually, Edward convinced her to let him ride, but Edward had no formal horse riding training so when he got on the horse, the horse felt obligated to express itself by kicking Edward off its back! Elvira looked at her brother’s fast-growing bruises but she could not help herself, the date was waiting and she didn’t want to be late. So she rudely left Edward there in the dirt to meet her date.


Debbie's Story

The smell of bacon wafted through the air, entering Elvira's room and drawing her out.  She could not help herself, the date was waiting with the candied bacon wrapped around it and the crunchy almond within.  She popped it in her mouth and continued toward the barn.

She wasn't sure why she wanted to go there, as the barn was never her favorite spot-- that distinction was saved for the chicken house.  Once inside the barn, though, Elvira looked at her brother's fast growing cold and shivered with a hint of fear.  While she had never really be afraid of horses, she also had never really been alone with one before.

She nervously moved closer, coaxing him to do the same with the promise of a sugar cube, but he wanted only power.  The horse felt obligated to express itself by strongly placing his foot on top of Elvira's.  It wasn't crushing, but she could tell that if she moved even a little, he would increase the pressure.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Science isn't "School"

It’s time to start thinking about homeschooling again! Not that we ever don’t think, but now I’ve got to revise and plan new programs for the coming year.  One thing that is easy for us and I don't have to think about at all is science.  Because we have Jenny

Jenny has been our science teacher since Signa was 2.  I say “our” teacher, because I’ve learned more science from Jenny than I did in school and so whatever Jenny’s teaching, we are in. 

She teaches one class a week with some reading to do outside of class and at times, a report to give to the class.  My kids both love Jenny and her class (and her kids) and they actually for many years didn’t know that science was part of “school.”  They were baffled in the summer when the visits to Jenny stopped.  “Why aren’t we going to Jenny’s?  It’s Monday!”

We just said she was on vacation...

This year, Jenny’s tackling BigHistory.  I can’t wait to learn along with the kids!

You should follow Jenny's blog, "Homeschool Science Geek."  She's been posting a lot more than just science and I *ALWAYS* learn new things from her!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Weekly Checklist

My kids really like to work from a checklist.  Mostly because they really like getting things done.  So I've planned their weeks around them doing enough work Mondays through Thursdays so that, if they just do what they are needing to do, they get Fridays off school work.  They love this.

Here is their weekly checklist:

Signa’s Checklist
(twice a week) Computer- Typing Class
(four times a week plus class) Guitar Practice
(four times a week) Reading
(four times a week) Math
(three times a week- but they do it more!) Minecraft Homeschool
(four times a week) Writing in Journal
(once a week plus class) Science- before Monday- read assignment from Jenny
(once a week plus other movies) History- Story of Us
(twice a week) Elements of Style

Will’s Daily Checklist
(twice a week) Computer- Game Design
(four times a week plus class) Piano Practice
(four times a week) Reading
(four times a week) Math
(three times a week, but they do it more!) Minecraft Homeschool
(four times a week) Writing in Journal
(four times a week) Writing alphabet
(once a week plus class) Science- before Monday- read assignment from Jenny
(once a week plus other movies) History- Story of Us

What's not on here are their outside events- karate, science class, pottery class, piano class, guitar class, etc.  But they do work hard to get it all done so that come Friday morning, they get to have pajamas and NOTHING!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Halfway Point!

With our homeschool year getting to the half over mark, I thought I'd do a quick update. 

Science.  Jenny is still teaching science and just a couple of weeks ago, the kids got to dissect a frog.  Signa was note taker, but Will dove right in. 

History.  We've been very lazy on history in that we aren't following a curriculum, despite my plans.  Instead, we are going with whatever the kids (or us) are finding interesting for the week.  Marc will put on videos or websites and they learn about World War I or Vietnam War or Hitler or the pilgrims.  They just started a new Minecraft Homeschool class about the start of the Revolutionary War.  Then we’ll watch the new series that the History Channel is doing on this same subject.  I did have them write up something for history.  Here are their essays:
·         Signa’s essay about Pilgrims

Math.  They are still working through Aleks math.  I estimate that by March 1 they will be moving on to next year's math.

Writing.  The kids just finished up their MinecraftHomeschool where they practiced creative writing while building restaurants in their Minecraft worlds.  They also do journal writing every day.  Both kids prefer to work with a prompt, so I’ve given them a list to chose from.

Music. Will is doing great with piano and Signa with guitar.  Will has a recital coming up at the end of January and Signa finished a holiday sing-along, where she had her second solo tab playing (I missed the first one, though, as I was out of town).

Shakespeare. For their Shakespeare group, the kids are making the Globe Theatre in Minecraft and then making a YouTube video tour of it followed by the Macbeth witches scene acted out in Minecraft.  And done in very high pitched witches voice over that may make your glass shatter… I’ll post the link when it’s done.

Family history.  We last did Shakespeare’s family tree in our family history class and are working on a project for the local genealogical society of looking up obituaries on the half working microfilm machine at the library.  I think we’ll move to the cemetery next month.

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