April 17, 2020
Homeschool wk apr 14-17

With Monday being a holiday, I felt a little bit behind all week. I was totally convinced Tuesday was Monday and while I figured it out by the afternoon, I was discombobulated for days after.


I'm definitely finding it challenging to figure out a plan for what we're teaching when the various assignments don't arrive until after we have started school for the week. One teacher sent us this week's assignments Friday afternoon, which was far too late to make it onto my list of what we were going to accomplish. I haven't even looked at that material yet. Maybe next week! I'm assuming some of this flux will settle down as everyone gets into a groove.


School this week: Elizabeth is working on a group project on an unknown topic. So far it's involved a lot of failed attempts to all get together, but she says she doesn't need help so I'm letting her run with it. She's made some progress on her English assignments, and might actually understand mixed numbers and improper fractions now. Her teacher ran what's going to be a regularly scheduled one hour google hangout this week, but apparently we do not yet have any idea what time the video class might happen next week and Elizabeth says that "for some reason" her teacher doesn't think she can pick a consistent time every week. This is a concern because I definitely find it challenging to cope with the many one-off schedule changes that seem to be part of covid-19 life right now. I was actually thinking this week went pretty well and then I realized that we completely forgot to show up to Amelia's circle time yesterday. We also didn't manage to get to the library's circle time this week as Brendan wasn't sure of the code and I was shopping without my phone. Also, in what's definitely going to be a theme, I didn't feel we managed enough french during the school day.


On the plus side we have been doing a lot of reading and fun little craft projects with Amelia. She seems to have a great handle on her letters and the sounds each makes. She's not super fond of writing so I want to try a few activities next to switch things up eg playdough letters and tracing letters in a flour tray (if it's warm enough to do outside because I know that would otherwise end badly). I think Michael would enjoy that as well. Michael needs more directed activities because when he's bored of listening to other kids read to him he's started raiding the craft cupboard, stealing the self inking stamps and decorating the wall.


The kids had been doing Lunchtime Doodles with Mo for most art classes but since the series is now finished Elizabeth started a new set of videos called Draw Every Day with JJK done by Jarrett J. Krosoczka (of Lunch Lady and Jedi Academy fame). This week Amelia and Matthew did an episode as well and enjoyed it so we'll probably do some more next week.


We've been talking a lot about medieval times and monasteries at the moment (mostly because our last two read-aloud books were set or partially set then). The kids said we don't have a contemplative order here, but we are rocking all the bells.


Matthew has received an animal project, but luckily it's not like the one that caused so much inadvertent hilarity when Elizabeth was in grade one. He chose to write about his favourite animal (the cheetah). I am relieved to tell you that the cheetah is no koala. His reading skills aren't quite up to being able to synthesize stuff off a website but he's really come along and if he's concentrating he can read most simple french texts.


Matthew is working on subtraction with regrouping in Math-u-see, and skip counting at school. Elizabeth tended (tends) to rely on her memory for this sort of thing but struggles with understanding what's actually happening - for borrowing she just memorized that you cross out numbers and move them but it took a tedious amount of time with blocks before she really and truly got what she was doing. Matthew  seems to have immediately grasped what's happening, but relies very heavily on his fingers. It's not that he doesn't have a good memory because for reading (and piano!) he definitely relies on his memory instead of reading the words/notes on the page.


His penmanship is showing signs of improvement. I need to make a point of giving him lines to use. If he's not feeling sloppy his printing is certainly quite a bit nicer than mine was at that age. He enjoyed a number of activities on the computer this week.

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