Saturday, October 29, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up

The weeks are flying by much too quickly, loaded with outside activities, commitments, and appointments. I am having that "Aaah! We aren't getting anything done!" panic.

And then I have those wonderful moments, like when my college sophomore says, "You taught me to speak and write well, but you never taught me parts of speech." Can I please pound him in the head? Seriously?

So it turns out that he had a grammar component on an exam in his Analyzing Literary Language course. He seriously could not pick out prepositions, and he had no idea what subjective or objective pronouns were. The prepositions he'd been taught year after year, but truthfully, I am quite sure I never taught him about subjective or objective pronouns. Who knew?

And then my ten-year-old, in the midst of a game of Pictionary in which the answer was "Oregon," shouts: "How should I know where it is? I don't know any of my states!" Oh heavens. Of course the child has been taught his states. Not only have we been through 3 years of U.S. history with a geography component, but he's taken a 50 States class twice at our co-op.

Why do I feel the tremendous need to defend myself? Or better yet, lock myself in my room with a bag of caramels, tortilla chips, a glass of wine, and TV reruns on my laptop? And lots of fluffy blankets and pillows.

Anyway, I know everyone goes through these times of self-doubt and teaching angst. Here are a few things we have been doing around here lately. You'd better believe I'll be teaching subjective pronouns next week.

Duncan and I are still studying Japan, now reading Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun. We have also:
* Made chicken yakitori, Japanese crescent cookies
* had a Japanese tea ceremony
* added to our Japan lapbook (the finished product will be coming up soon)
* watched videos on samurai, tea ceremonies, and various martial arts
* listened to stories from my Dad about apples in Japan and about his R&R in Japan during the Korean War

Everything else continues with Duncan as usual: math, handwriting, spelling, grammar. His science classes are at our co-op, as well as drama, Shakespeare, and literature circle. We are nearly done with The Phantom Tollbooth in our literature circle class, and we have had a blast with that.

Laurel, 9th grade, keeps working diligently in all her classes. She is thrilled to be done with the Excel portion of her computer class; this week they began the Powerpoint section. In my British Lit co-op class, we began all things Shakespeare. I divided up all kinds of topics on the Renaissance, Shakespeare, and the Elizabethan era and had the kids give oral reports on the topics. I loved hearing all the tidbits they came up with! We'll be studying Romeo and Juliet for the next few weeks.

Apparently I haven't taken any photos of what we've been doing in school the past few weeks, so here are a couple of pictures from the hike that our teen group went on recently.

In other homeschooling news, I've had a few other things going on:
* My first WordSmithery (creative writing) addition in a long time
* I hosted the 303rd Carnival of Homeschooling
* Wrote an article about Making Books in Your Homeschool for The Homeschool Classroom
* Discussed My Biggest Homeschooling Mistake at Simple Homeschool

Now, I'm off to clean my house in preparation for our annual Soup and Pumpkin party tomorrow!

Linked up at the Weekly Wrap Up


  1. I can relate to the feelings of self doubt, but let's face it, there are ALWAYS going to be gaps in someone's learning and items on tests they haven't learned. You've guided your children in their learning and probably sparked their curiosity about many things. So they're well prepared for the lifelong adventure of learning. :)

  2. I just discovered your blog! I could spend hours here!
    I will be back :)

  3. ((HUGS))After reading your post, I just thought you needed one ;)
    Cheer up! I am sure you are doing just fine, It would be a miracle if everything we taught stuck, or if we were able to teach everything period. Just take a deep breath and try to remember that learning is a life long process, if heaven forbid you for got or your child didnt grasp something... Trust me if they need it for college or life they will learn it then, promise!

    Keri~ A Hs'in Mom Loving that homeschool curriculum isn't just black and white

  4. Oh, we always have moments of self-doubt! It's a BIG job us homeschooling Moms have taken on! I'm worried about my oldest's writing and my middle's ATTITUDE and my youngest's reading. In a homeschool book I read she mentioned that we WILL forget something! Don't forget that public school teachers don't teach everything either. It's not the end-of-the-world because we have more time to teach that missing thing AND our kids (when they're older) have the skills to teach themselves! Hang in there!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Love your fall photos- such beautiful colors!

    Sounds like you are doing an awesome job to me! Any gaps your kiddos have would likely still be there if they had gone to school. We all have gaps where we didn't get something the first time or two it was presented.

    The good news about that is- learning happens all the time and we're never finished.

  6. The information was quite interesting for me.I will be waitin g for the next posts.

  7. this makes me want to have a long conversation about educational psychology... I've been thinking a lot about this problem lately. I think about with the cub scouts & boy scouts, I think about it with our kids and their school work, and I think about it with all of the college freshmen in my Bio class.

    the difference between BEING EXPOSED to an idea (i.e., reading it, or sitting through a lecture on it) vs. REALLY UNDERSTANDING an idea (grasping it, understanding its implications, being able to explain it to someone else).

    so much of "teaching" is simply exposing students to ideas and then assuming it will sink in to their brains and get incorporated into their understanding. but it doesn't really work that way.


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