"THEN Jesus was led by the spirit into the desert, to be tempted by the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterwards he was hungry. And the tempter coming said to him: If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. Who answered and said: It is written, Not in bread alone doth man live, but in every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God." Matthew 4:1-4

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Lesson Planning

I admit it. I am way behind on lesson planning for this term. Yes, term, I have decided that I will no longer try to plan any longer than that. I admire those who do but I get so bogged down in the planning and make such amazing plans that the follow through suffers.

My friend, Christine, has inspired me with her enthusiasm for this school year to get it together, stop tossing a workbook here and there and a math video a day to the hungry children and give this year some serious thought.  She's meeting with friends and discussing Charlotte Mason methods with them. So I am browsing through the small bits I brought with me. Today's inspiration from Charlotte, who really was wise:
 "Thought breeds thought; children familiar with great thoughts take as naturally to thinking for themselves as the well-nourished body takes to growing; and we must bear in mind that growth, physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual, is the sole end of education."
-Charlotte Mason
So this term - lasting until we go home. Not sure when that we will be. Early December? Mid November? Slide into the parking lot at Our Lady, Queen of Mercy just in time for Midnight Mass on Christmas? Next week?

See my problem with planning this year? Additionally any schedule has to flex around sudden moves that sometimes require a drive of over a thousand miles. Or the discovery of things to do and see. Or fishing lessons. Snow days. Sunny days. Rainbows over a river. Walks to town. Dad coming in early. (We love this life.) We consider these adventures not inconveniences.

Still one ought to have some pegs on which to hang one's adventures.  One ought to be at least competent in Math and able to spell. We have passed the rudimentary stuff with the boys. I now live in a house (excuse me, RV) with voracious readers. 
This allows me to justify (FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!) the purchase of a Kindle reader. Oh joy. I've had Kindle on my PC, but then the internet went out and I had to restore the OS (ack!) to fix it. But I have waited for these long years to be able to afford the little reader. So many books. So many free books. But better than that, no wait AND for the sake of the (already overstuffed with books) RV, no weight.

Inspired by Chris, jazzed at the availability of resources, I set out this morning (early, really, really early) to plan the rest of this term.
I choose Ravel for our composer study (I tried a democratic method but some fellows got a little bogged down arguing between Beethoven and Mozart. And next term, I have decided on Palestrina. To offset Ravel's secular beauty. We have skimmed Beethoven and will return later. Ditto Mozart.)  And should we finish with Ravel, we will dip into Opera.

Cezanne for our artist. No reason except that I like Impressionists, already have some resources for this.

We'll finish our Sonlight Science unit on Electricity & Magnetism and Astronomy.

Keep on moving forward with good ol' Mr Demme's Math-U-See. Dave should be ready to start Algebra in January. Which in my school means you have entered the hallowed realms of High School.

Keep studying theMcGuffey Speller that Dave picked up at Laura Ingalls Wilder's house.  My boys decided that Laura and Almanzo could learn to spell with this book, so could they. And the real bonus for this? Rabbit trails through the dictionary. There are often words that are out of use, so we need pronunciations, meanings, etymology. Of course, if you give a boy a word to look up in the dictionary, he will see another word that he doesn't know and he will need to read that definition and encounter that new friend as well.  What? You never read a dictionary? What are you waiting for? There's a whole world in there!! Get busy.

We'll continue our reading: Augustus Caesar's World, things of that era. Which of course lends easily and naturally to studying the Early Church Fathers and the Martyrs of the Roman Persecution. Our Shakespeare this term, Julius Caesar. Perfect for the guys! And Caro is taking a Shakespeare course this semester and so we have a tome of the Bard's works with footnotes! With three computers, a kindle and 2 hard copies, AND five capable reader/actor, we can for the first time, read in parts. What fun! I have some very dramatic young folk in this bus...........

We are taking a couple classes with Mr. Kephart at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Resource Center: American Geography and US History. They are permitted to choose from his many offerings. They are having a good time with these classes. When we get home, we'll swap Augustus for Christopher Columbus and backtrack. And as we proceed through History, we add in saints and heroes.

Saints and Feasts this term? Every other day it seems until well, until Presentation! We just had Dad's birthday and his day now hosts Cardinal Newman! Our other cool October saints (omitting the week and a half of celebration from Michaelmas until to Dad's b'day on the ninth!) are St Jude and St Simon on whose feast God sent me to my parents. Yeah, they were given fair warning that I was going to be a hopeless case. Three birthdays in two days and then Hallowe'en signalling the Feast of All Saints and the closing of the year. The Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell. And the joyful but solemn penitential season of the beginning of the Year of Grace 2011 in Advent. (November 28, 2010 - heads up there. But, of course, you probably already know that because you probably got to Michele's site before she ran out of school year planners....Michele Quigley - if you read this, please next year, print just a few more planners!)

I've been several days on this post and on the planning.
Things I really want to do with the guys: lapbooks, a Timeline Book - I am carting two of them around and I just want them to come out perfectly so, so far they are blank... So this term I am determined to just do it. Nature Journals. Vocabulary word books - although these may morph into something electronic or maybe those tiny Moleskines that they got for Christmas last year would work for this... But they are all finally really good readers, however, they are lazy about looking up words they don't know.

Next time, more pictures, fewer words

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About Me

Welcome! The most important bread is the Bread of Life. I am Catholic and do my best to know, understand and live what that means that I might "know Him, love Him and serve Him." My husband, Bud, and I have been married for 24 years and we have seven children. Because of his job, we travel the country in an RV with five of them, learning as we go.