Sunday, September 15, 2013

Week Ending 15 September

Compared to many blogs I've read this week we seem to have had a very boring and uneventful week, just doing everyday routine things including enjoying some more signs of spring.

* Lots of sports practice. Mr 15 had 3 sessions of pre-season cricket training and Miss 12 had her regular 6 hours of trampoline training, plus a small competition on the weekend where she placed 4th which was a good effort given the virus she's battling at the moment. Given how unsporty and non-competitive I am (my ability to avoid PE class and compulsory sporting events at school was legendary) it's somewhat ironic how much sports practice and training dominates my life now!

* Maths lessons were diligently if not exactly joyfully completed (I'd have to say she is more diligent but less joyful than him when it comes to math) - Saxon 78 and Algebra 1 respectively.

* Both are working on history. Miss 12 is currently looking at the Renaissance while Mr 15 is focussing on Modern History. I believe he has an essay on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for me to run my eye over.

* Mr 15 gleefully finished the chemistry programme he was working on. Despite him picking both the topic and the course he did not enjoy this, is glad to see the back of it and has no desire to investigate any of the optional extras I've suggested. That's fine - he's done the basics and if there is no love of a subject I don't see any sense spending more time and resources on it. Far better to focus on areas of passion.

* Miss 12's science has been all about her passion this week - birds. She completed a blog entry on the Shining Cuckoo for her bird class, did more work on her presentation on birds' nests, watched the class on Barn Owl, and fitted in a couple of bird watching expeditions. Highlights were the Skylarks soaring and singing overhead, hearing then spotting a Grey Warbler on several different occassions (we're getting better with bird calls) and finding a pair of Welcome Swallows nesting in a bird hide. We're going back next week to see if the eggs have hatched.

* Mr 15 attended Woodwork class, did some photography and volunteered at Cubs. He had organised an outing for Venturers but it fell through die to storm damage (we had winds of over 200km per hour - lots of trees and powerlines down resulting in road closures). Miss 12 attended Scouts where they completed a First Aid course.

* There was plenty of reading. Miss 12 is tackling Mansfield Park, re-reading Charles and Mary Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare  plus plenty of Calvin and Hobbes among other things. Mr 15 is back on his non-fiction World War II kick.

I'm sure there was more but the trouble with everyday routine things, important as they are, is that they tend not to be memorable. Next week at least will be memorable - we have a special celebration coming up.


  1. I am very unsporty and non-competitive, too.

    So, your kids are at different you assign things to them or do they work on their own? Do you work with them?

  2. Sadly, I've never managed the art of having everybody (or even just a couple of kids) working together - at least not very often. My oldest two worked on history together for a couple of years when they were youngish but generally the interest/ability gap has just been too wide to be workable despite the relatively minor ages - 2.5- 3 years between kids. I'm a definite failure in the idealised image of all the kids around the table working on the same thing!

    We have some assigned work and plenty of free time for them to do their own thing in. The balance varies from child to child, year to year. This year we concluded Mr 15 doesn't do well with lots of free choice so we came up with a joint plan. He is happy to do maths and doesn't mind Saxon which we had on hand so that's what he used. He wasn't terribly keen on science but we felt he needed some. Within that he picked both the topic (chemistry) and the textbook. He wanted to do Economics which we were happy to agree with. Dh found some suitable programmes and Mr 15 picked from those. We require reading and have given him a list of titles we think he'd enjoy, but he's not obligated to read any of them.Generally speaking he works by himself (he's fiercely independent and likes to do things his way and on his terms) and only comes to me if he's got problems.

    Miss 12 does not favour maths but we've decided she still needs to do it. She has had some choice with programmes but hasn't found anything she really likes so this year Saxon was all we had on hand at her level so that's what she got. She requested Latin and thankfully liked the same programme Mr 21 had used years ago. I was keen for her to do history and we adapted the programme I had for her interests - basically moving quickly over some bits but lingering on those topics she found most interesting. Ornithology was her request. She does plenty in her own time but as I've found more resources and opportunites I've realised she's doing enough to earn a high school credit. It's still something she drives though.I do work with her a lot more than Mr 15. Partly it is an age thing, partly it is practical response to her needs or simply a personal preference. She needs more guidance with maths and she wants to drill her Latin words. She could do it herself but likes the company of having me work through them with her. Since she can't do a lot of birding by herself - transport being the key issue - we also spend time doing that.

    That's probably a lot more detail than you were looking for but short, simple answers wouldn't have given you a realistic picture.