Jan 12, 2012

Weekly update - A different week

Things felt a bit different this week. Nothing really changed, it is just that things felt different. I had a long conversation with DN about honesty and taking responsibility for his own education. He is very much a pleaser and will happily click through a site for hours never actually attaining any knowledge or information if he thinks that the person watching will be happy. He also is all about the "GET IT DONE" mentality - just wanted to get to the end without enjoying the process. I tried to explain to him that really this is doing NOTHING but wasting MY time - in the planning and previewing aspects - and HIS time in the learning and boredom factor. We discussed what he thought was working - Khan Academy, Mango, Usborne Science Encyclopedia along with the Van Cleave's experiments, You Wouldn't Want to Series, My America Series - and what he felt was not working - the websites from the Usborn Science, the history sites and Manga High. Then we spoke of what I was not willing to budge on - literature, Fallacy Detectives, and the general life skills - and what we can do to compromise and make it work.

This happened with KM in the beginning as well, but I am in a completely different place than I was then, as is he from where she was. I knew the base of information that she had as I had provided the majority of it with "after and summer schooling". It is very difficult at times for me to gauge what DN knows and what he doesn't. I often just assume that he was exposed to things or has an understand of things that he just doesn't. This can be very challenging and I try to be understanding and compassionate when we stumble across something that shocks me, but I know that I slip and need to be much more aware NOT to make a big deal about it. I can see that he is proud of himself when he has learned something or remembers something that he didn't think he would and that makes me smile. It is also difficult since his time is split between two homes, but this seems to be getting a bit easier.  

After our lengthy talk we decided that we would scrap the science and history websites along with Manga High and focus more on hands on projects in his core subjects and life skills. I decided that he needs to take initiative in the area in which he showed his own interest so I let him take Spanish Conversation Demystified with him to work on when he is not at our house. We will see how this works.

KM has had a really good week. She took initiative to work on her poetry for her class she is taking utilizing Skype and seemed to really enjoy it. She is hoping that she will get a bit more comfortable with the kids, but as another mom in the group pointed out, the kids are scattered all over the country and beyond - there is a girl from England and one from Canada - so even if they embarrass themselves, they have no worries about running into each other. She also took it upon herself to begin reading her assigned historical fiction without prompting, so I think her overhearing the conversation I had with DN was a very good thing - if she keeps it up!

We started the DuneCraft Science Fair Kit this week to go along with their biology units Although I was a bit frustrated with the directions for the peat brick stating that it would rapidly expand when in fact I had to scratch and tear at it to get it to absorb the water and break apart; all and all the directions seem to be fairly straight forward and we are now just waiting for something to sprout so that we can move on to the more advanced experiments.

CJ took the kids to see Sherlock Holmes and had rave reviews of it! They all thought it was better than the first. When they got home we attempted to make "churned" butter, using a mason jar and marbles which was an activity from Colonial Days: Discover the Past with Fun Projects, Games, Activities, and Recipes (American Kids in History Series), but I think that I didn't let the cream get fully to room temperature so it came out more like thick cool whip, than butter. We will try this one again next week.

As for me I finished a Randy Hat for KM and she was quite ecstatic - finding every excuse she could to wear it - including matching her outfit to it for her Skype class. I have been forcing myself to workout everyday - even when I don't feel like it because I stacked far more wood than I should have by myself. I know that I feel better when I exercise my body and my mind so it is also to be noted that I managed to get a good way into Don Quixote and am enjoying it.

We had a visit from the Littles and the Itty Bitties, who we hadn't seen since Christmas and will be heading to visit my great aunt tomorrow and heading to a teen get together in the evening. So family and friends were abound as well.

OH I NEARLY FORGOT today is CJ's 37th birthday!!!! Since he is on the road, as is the life of a truck driver, we celebrated on Monday when we were altogether. He has been very happily using his birthday present I got him; a RoadPro Smart Car Pot. This makes me feel comfortable knowing even if he gets stuck in a snow storm or can't make it to a full truck stop he can make a warm bowl of oatmeal or cup of noodles, rather than being stuck just eating the crackers or chips he has with him.

And before I get questions about the picture within the picture -

Post a Comment