Monday, September 05, 2011

Two for Tuesday

Yes, I have been busy writing, but not blogging. I'm still writing, reading, and vetting, which put me behind in planning the school year. We postponed the first day of school until after labor day. After laboring all summer on projects, it seemed fitting.

Like-minded friends steeped in Mason gave me new ideas to help me tweak what we are doing. I cut down the amount of reading per day and increased the doing, especially for science. Since I'm a details person, reflecting what we do through pie charts allows me to visualize our day. Buried in them are the staples of a Mason program (developmentally sound language arts, living books, narration, notebooks--not adult-organized perfection, mind you--the arts, thoughtful things to do, fresh air). Hidden is the dilemma of how to categorize a living book: a narrative describing how an invention gets distributed on an international scale covers the science behind the invention, the geography and governments of the nations involved, scientists and politicians, etc. It's not just a science book, and I cannot neatly place it into a slice of a pie chart.

I have continued the system I had last year: the entire year broken up into three terms of eleven weeks and books divvied up into weekly readings, all organized in a spreadsheet. Being a numbers person, I think in spreadsheets. I have three book crates: the crate of the day, the crate of the week (we do not read the same books every day), and the crate of the next two terms (books we will hit later in the year). In the evenings, I set up the crate of the day.

You may be wondering about that bin of trash. Last year, Pamela and I enjoyed getting to know some critters through insect kits. This year, we are going to try redworm composting and our first big science project will be to set up a habitat for the wigglers. Because of my black thumb in the garden and in the kitchen, I'm not confident they will survive a month. But, as Steve Brown says, "Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you learn to do it well."

Why is the post called "Two for Tuesday"? Not only do we have the joy of the first day of school, but we are also hosting our Charlotte Mason study group in my home after school. Getting together with friends and sharing our insights, trials, and triumphs always lifts my spirits.


Bright Side of Life said...

Oh my word, I need to take a leaf out of your book and organise my life a bit better. Love the pie charts!

walking said...

Who says my life is organized? That's just my homeschooling life... mwahhhhhh