This week, Elizabeth's teacher suggested she might want to write one of each of the various types of writing assignments they did this year (ie a recipe, a "récit", an interview, a fable and a flyer). Elizabeth initially told me she thought it was "impossible" since she had spent several weeks doing each of those the first time. This of course convinced me that it would be a good idea to do as many as she could. She worked very hard and actually managed to do all except the flyer, which she decided to defer to next week.
In English she completed an assignment about ninjas and typed up part of a longer story she's been writing on her own about elephants. She also finished off her grammar and math assignments for the year. She was very motivated to finish math because she wants to catch up to Matthew in prodigy. He's apparently a higher level which will not do.
This week for her supper preparation day she cooked hotdogs on the bbq and made chocolate brownies for dessert. She also finished up her Canadian social studies project on parliament - she had to invent her own political party. This project was quite frustrating because it was so close to being a good assignment, but as it was the information it asked for was not provided, nor was it easy to find poking around on the internet. Her other major accomplishment this week was finishing off her science project on forces, which took help from both Mommy and Daddy. Partly the assignment suffered from the same issue as the social studies project - potential of being a good assignment, but Elizabeth lacked the basic knowledge of simple machines and the physics required to complete it. The assignment certainly didn't provide much in the way of support there. Worse, it assumed we had numerous pulleys and a force gauge. It left me wondering whether the teacher had actually read the assignment because Elizabeth asked her numerous times over two weeks whether she was actually supposed to complete the entire thing and was assured over and over that she was. Now, I highly highly doubt any of the other kids completed this. It was extremely vague about how to set up the remaining experiments and it would be very unusual to have the required equipment. However, I looked up whether it was possible to make a force gauge at home and it looked like doing so would be both educational and a challenge. So we did! Sadly the first (and easier) version that we created wouldn't work at all with the pulley assignment so we had to redesign. Brendan spent an hour or so pulling out his hair and trying to keep Elizabeth interested in the assignment rather than turning herself into a human pretzel. Let's just say that she has little to no interest in simple machines!
More popular was art this week, where Matthew and Elizabeth did two drawing classes with JJK and Elizabeth started working on her goal of learning to draw a recognizable horse.
Matthew's main writing assignment this week was to summarize highlights of the year. His favourite part was definitely when his class switched from grade 1 to grade 1/2, partly because he really liked playing with the grade twos but mostly because the class became much calmer and quieter afterwards. He might be a loud and bouncy kid at home but he prefers a calm environment (!) I've always been told he's a model kid at school. He also continued to work on his math, watched a few of Amelia's stories and videos and read J'aime lire with Mommy. Outside he's still working on his "fireplace" but the focus seems to have shifted to building a proper fireplace as I think he's discouraged by how much patience it needs to coax an ember into flame. He's had a lot of fun building things recently - this week he turned an old Home Depot project (a car) into a boat, and he's partly taken apart a pallet and then is using it for various projects. We've had a few chats about safety - pictures not withstanding he's actually not allowed to have it propped up in ways that could crush unsuspecting siblings. Nor are the kids allowed to play with ropes (this has been a rule for a while). They wanted to use it as a leash tied around their waists and that worked for about 30 seconds, after which I took a photo and then confiscated the rope...
Amelia's class was focussed on "les metiers" this week - so she watched a bunch of videos and read books about different types of employment. In her class they had to do a presentation on their favourite kind of job. I was interested that the suggested jobs were the classic firefighters and doctors and bakers, but her classmates aspired to play professional football, an airplane pilot and "to be just like mommy and daddy". Amelia apparently wants to be a "jouer de piano" or pianist.
Everyone worked in the garden. Our hose is malfunctioning so watering is a bit of a chore unless you like getting wet. We're starting to do some weeding now that plants are getting big enough to identify.
I tried to be a bit more intentional about physical activity for the middle two. We were moderately successful, but I'm hoping to go for more bike rides. The younger three all enjoyed doing an impromptu obstacle course around the main floor so I'll have to try that again. Perhaps this is something Matthew and Elizabeth would enjoy setting up.
Michael attended his classes (sometimes with Amelia) and generally spent most of the week playing with his siblings. He was quite interested in "helping" in the kitchen this week as well.
Overall our week was very focussed on helping Elizabeth wrapping up her year, but although I felt like the other three were more on their own when I reviewed what we actually did it seems like they weren't utterly neglected. Next week is the last official week of the year!