How is school going? I am sure everyone is dying to ask me, so I will tell you: its crazy!
I don't know if we can keep up 4 different science curricula. Annie seems to be doing okay with hers, as she works mostly independently. She has been attending our co-op which is also doing biology so she is kinda bogged down. I know what Sarah and Laura are doing, its mostly plants/habitats. Emma is delving into cells/tissues/organs. My head spins when we try to do all three at the table.
History is hard too. Today with Sarah and Laura, we skipped around in our SOTW book while working on our History Pocket of Mesopotamia. Adam joined in and made some puppets while we made ships navigating the Tigris river. While they cut and glued, Emma and I learned about David Livingstone and his journey to Africa. At one point, Sarah looked up and said, "What does he have to do with Mesopotamia?" My poor kids. It also turns out that even though I thought we ordered 10th grade World History for Annie, what we got was Geography. Annie likes the Geography. She found a free online high school World History course and wants to begin that to cover History.
Art. Poor Art. Art is always left out. We have several awesome art books. They are used maybe once a week because the kids want to make their own art! Yesterday I put my foot down and had Emma work on lines vs shapes. She ended up with a pretty good sketch of a stuffed animal. Sarah and Laura are also learning about elements of art usually once a week with our Five in a Row that we do in addition to everything else.
Math so far is just review. We have manipulatives all over the table in the morning. I try to get math done and out of the way first thing so that no one is dreading it all day, and also so the manipulatives get back in their home. Their home happens to be in a large plastic bin under my bed, and they all have to be manouvered just right to get the lid to close. As it is, Adam usually finds a stray piece sometime during the day and I have to haul the bin back out. Emma was pleasantly surprised this week to discover she knows more than she thought about math. Also, she was happy that some of her math called for a calculator :)
Language Arts is a tricky subject. So far, Laura is reading short a words that are cvc. She is getting better. I am trying to think of a way to make spelling and reviewing them more interesting. Sarah and Emma are doing grammar workbooks and a spelling workbook, and that is pretty much it. Emma is supposed to be reading Johnny Tremain but has been sidetracked by an interest in ghost stories. I really have no literature guide or anything to keep her on track. She is working on her current IEW assignment. Sarah is writing stories for her co-op class, the Fun Club, which is focusing on living a virtuous life. She is also reading Calendar Mysteries. Not exactly classic books, but she is actually interested in them, so that is something. Annie is working her way through an interesting book called Grammar land. Once she is finished with that, she will begin the serious business of her English course. I still feel like the kids are lacking in the literature department. I'll have to think on it some more.
PE. For PE we are just playing, as usual. I have introduced four square to the kids. They seemed to like it, but we should probably play it outside instead of in the dining room. Laura is now able to jump rope, so that is cool. Anne can walk again after spraining her foot while skimboarding. She is working on basic weight bearing exercises. I am a bit of a slacker when it comes to PE, as I usually just count the kids playing outside. I know they need to learn net games like badminton and volleyball, as well as the basics of soccer (blech) but I don't know when we'd have time! Sarah is taking pre-ballet and tap this year. She likes tap way more than pre-ballet. She is working on her stretches for both classes. Laura has started Creative movement, which is like intro to pre-ballet, with games and stories. Because Sarah complains about having to go to class, Laura complains. I just love it when they set examples for the younger kids.
We have Fine Art coming out our ears. Annie, Emma and now Laura are taking piano lessons. Sarah is continuing on the violin and Annie is starting on the guitar. All of them will need to find time to practice.
Spanish is one course that just Annie is taking. She is not using Rosetta stone. She is using a spanish course online. The downside is that sometimes she can't get the videos to play, so when taking the quizzes she is missing the info, and that is one subject I really can't help with. So she is supplementing with Mango for Libraries, which is actually pretty cool. And she found another free online high school Spanish curriculum that she is getting worksheets and stuff from. I suppose Grandma and Grandpa could start only speaking to her in Spanish, but that might get weird, considering Grandma is her early morning seminary teacher and doesn't need to prepare that in two languages.
She is also trying to get psychology added to her master agreement for this year. I don't know if I should go along with that. Once the subjects all pick up, she might just be buried! Add to this that she is tired all day from seminary and I dont know how that girl functions. Through it all, she usually manages to finish her school work by 2:30 and then disappears to sleep.
She hasn't been working on her photography skills lately, although I know she would like to. Its all a matter of time.
Even though it is crazy and hectic and I feel spread too thin on most days, I am enjoying this phase of life. Learning with all my awesome kids around me is my dream job. Like any job, some days are harder than others and some days I want to up and quit and stick it to the man. But most days I am happy to be doing what I am doing, and that is what counts in the end. That and world peace.