Friday, November 16, 2007

Week in Review: Nov. 12-16

I don't feel like we accomplished very much this week, but as I start thinking it over to write this post, I think we did more than I thought. We did get 'behind' because of our "80 degrees in November" day off on Wednesday, but I don't think that will be the end of the world.

Austin has been spending most of his free time listening to books on CD, specifically The Lightning Thief. That's the first book the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series that we just finished last month. Well, the series isn't finished yet, but we finished the books that are available. He and Riley have been taking turns with the CDs. Also he was listening to Knights of the Round Table, as told by Sean Bean, which is beautiful to listen to! It's fulfilling for me to see him enjoy stories so much! It's like a dream come true... I hope it continues! Of course, it gives me a huge desire to download tons of audiobooks from --- too bad they aren't free! :)

I'm not sure if I mentioned it here or not, but this week Riley announced her desire to be an architect when she grows up! She wants to design houses, which I think is so cool! My mom has already ordered her this Young Architect kit for Christmas! LOL (Wow, it's no longer available... glad mom ordered it already!).

Next week, I really would like to do some sort of Thanksgiving crafts with Reece. She has been talking a lot recently about missing preschool. :( It makes me feel guilty, especially when I look at pictures from my friend's daughter's Kindergarten class and all the fun things they do! Kindergarten is supposed to be fun like that, so I guess I need to get with it and make some crafts with her. Google, here I come!

I'm not exactly sure how many days of school we'll do next week... definitely no more than 3, but I was thinking Tuesday would be a good day for a field trip. ;) And then I need to figure out if I want to keep a regular schedule for December, or if I want to do "Christmas School" like Lisa does. I have a couple of weeks to decide, I guess!

Enjoy your weekend everyone!


lisaquing said...

I feel the need to do some crafty things with Suzy too. I am glad she has the opportunity to do some of that at co-op, because that is where I am losing it this year.

Not sure if we will do "Christmas School" this year or not. We may just keep right on going with what we are doing.

Sherri said...

We always take off the entire week...the same week as the public school kids. My kids have lots of public school friends/cousins, so I like them to be out the same time as they are...funner for everyone.
Last year, we ended up taking off 3 weeks in Dec...I have planned to do it again this year! Woo Hoo!!!

The Glasers said...

Oh, you are going to love my post later today. I printed out the black and white version of the turkey (under holiday, then Thanksgiving) at The Toymaker. To make it creative and special, we did the melted crayon shavings. WOW, it looks like turkey feathers!

Sadie said...


Our library has a ton of audio books available for download... 144 in the Juvenile Fiction section last time I looked. If you'd like the link and stuff, let me know ~ I've been thinking about downloading some for the ipod when I go to the gym. ;)

Kelli in TN said...

Hi there! I noticed you have started using Ambleside Online.

How are you liking it? After following the ideas of WTM for, oh let's see now, about 7 years, I am thinking of transitioning to Ambleside. I probably would not make a change until after the next academic year. My high schooler is a junior right now, I would probably change directions after her graduation, which just happens to be the last year of a history cycle too. Great time to change.

So what do you like about AO? You can come tell me on my blog if you want.

Niffercoo said...

Hi Kelli! I was going to reply on your blog, but I didn't know where to put it! I hope you see this... please reply if you do. Otherwise I'll just cut and paste this later into one of your blog's posts!

I am really enjoying Ambleside, but the learning curve is hard coming from WTM. Or rather, the relaxation curve. CM is both more challenging and less demanding than WTM. More challenging in what it requires of the student, and less demanding of my time and pre-planning.

I'll give you my short pros/cons of AO, and if I can elaborate on any of them, please let me know!

1. Slower pace - this has been esp. important for my children with special needs. They are not reading anything less meaty or challenging, on the contrary. But they are taking their time through the reading and are getting to connect to it in ways that WTM didn't let us do because we had to move so fast (Speaking specifically of SOTW here).
2. Fewer books to purchase - they are available for free online. If you are like me and cannot stand to read from the computer, many of the books are available at Yesterday's Classics, and because you move through them slowly, you don't have as many to buy per year.
3. No workbooks... focus on what the child takes from the material, rather than what I decide they should learn.
4. Easier to split up my children into their own learning... as much as I wanted to combine, it's too difficult with my children. AO makes it easier on me to divide everyone up for the majority of their lessons. However, I could combine if I felt like it. It's very flexible.
5. Specific to AO, there aren't too many choices to overwhelm me. I feel like I can use the curriculum and not have to think so much about all of the other choices I have.

1. Not enough writing -- or at least I perceive it that way. It also doesn't help that that is a common discussion on the WTM boards. I am thinking specifically of your post yesterday on the boards/your blog. It is very hard for me to use AO/CM while still reading the WTM boards. I feel like I'm not doing 'enough'. It's also hard for me not to have alot of paper trail for our school notebooks.
2. Only 2 rotations through the history cycle, rather than the 3 in WTM. But for us, we were so far off on the history cycle anyway, it is OK. Austin couldn't 'get' anything out of the fast pace of SOTW in grammar stage, so it didn't matter anyway.

So you may be able to see that my only cons are ones that come as a result of being ingrained in a WTM mindset for so long. It's very hard for me to break away, but I've been researching CM for 2 years now. It always 'felt right' but I was too afraid to break away from WTM. I have been afraid I would be failing my children if I did, and sometimes I still worry about that. But I am trusting God, and I feel He led me to using CM. My 2 'mentors' with autism each use CM (one uses AO and the other SCM), and I feel like that speaks volumes.

I hope this helps you, Kelli. If I take out the time where I'm worried about not using WTM suggestions, then I really am thrilled with AO! LOL Feel free to ask any other questions you might have!


Kelli in TN said...

I admit that this slower pace appeals to me. I think WTM has worked very well for us and it was a good fit for my 16 year old. And really it has been a good fit for my 12 year old. My 9 year old would be fine with whatever. The biggie is my 7 year old. I know he will need a much slower pace, and yet I want it to be high quality.

I am going to seriously research this and see if it would be good for us to change.

I hope my post did not make you feel like you are not doing enough. CM is such a long standing tried and true method that I doubt anyone could say it is not enough.

Niffercoo said...

Oh Kelli, when I was referring to your blog post, I meant that it was encouraging to me! I have many times been reading on the WTM boards and been so upset that I wasn't doing enough. There are even folks who will say on those boards that if your child doesn't do well or doesn't test well they should be in school. Well, Austin tests incredibly poorly, and he's several grade levels behind in a number of areas. He is making progress, but it is slow and tedious, and sometimes he completely forgets what has been previously learned and we have to start over again.

So, no, it was not you who made me feel bad... not at ALL! :)

As far as AO, my middle child is very bright and at first I was going to just use AO for my special needs kids and WTM for Riley. But as I researched more, I found that CM was going to be perfect for her as well! She loves all the rich reading, and she needs a lot of work in forming good habits!

Let me know if I can help any further in your research! :)