Thursday, April 10, 2008

And a bit of that.

Yes, lots of you will recognize this!

I have a friend, the only friend who also homeschools in real life. When I first met her, her son, 12 months older than Ditz, was a more full on male version of Ditz; killable material. He was motormouth un numero uno. He never stopped talking. He never sat still. He wiggled & jiggled & squiggled & squirmed. Yikes! (He has grown into a lovely young man BTW).

My friend is a far more academic teacher than I am. We like our arts focus & the academics, well, you know, they get done so we can get on with the real learning. So while I am rushing round madly from music lesson to music lesson & wishing math had never been invented she is quietly at home with her academic sequential learners methodically plowing through curriculum. I admire her tremendously. I just can't operate that way. We are both very busy ladies & involved in our children's lives & during term time, on the rare occasions we catch up at the shop, we can't stop talking. You know how it is. If you whinge to a non homeschooler they say, 'well, why don't you put him/her in school,' which is not what you were talking about. *sigh* (Yes, I'm driveling today, ladies.) Only another homeschooler gets the picture. Soooo, we arranged to catch up over the holiday week. NO children! (I can't remember the last time I got a real live adult conversation minus a child!)

We arranged to look at each others curriculum choices & talk about the kids (behind their backs, naturally!) My friend was very anxious to look at my Sonlight & I told her I'd been tossing up between Mystery of History & Story of the World for some time but couldn't make a decision & had no money spare for another curriculum that I wasn't any too sure about. 'Oh', says my friend, 'I have Story of the World. I'll lend it to you.' Yes!

So I dragged my Sonlight down to the coffee shop & between bites of blueberry muffin & cappuchinos we solved each others homeschool woes. Her son is an avid reader. I had a pile of good books Ditz was done with. Plus she liked the look of the worksheets but wasn't sure how her boy would go with them. 'Oh, that's an easy one,' say I. 'Take some answer sheets, do the dictations & the grammar with the dictation. That way you will know before spending a huge amount of money for something that may not work for you!'

We talked non stop for 3 solid hours. (Yes, all right you lot; I know you know I don't find that difficult.) We ran overtime. Liddy gave up on me arriving home & walked to the boat, missed the boat & came on up to the coffee shop looking for me. (Yes, we were still gabbing!) As the lunch crowd was arriving we reluctantly separated but it is lovely when resources & information can be shared as our kids get so much more that otherwise we couldn't afford.

I did go home, briefly, long enough to grab Ditz & the bags so we could go shopping & I drove Liddy into town so she could take her Learner's test again. This time she passed!!!! I waited till she was walking towards us then hooted, wooted, howled & cheered her at full throttle. She was mortified & was still blushing & deep & becoming beetroot when she had her licence photo taken.
'I can't believe you did that, mum,' she wailed. As I like to occasionally remind my children, I am a drama & literature major. Big, big GRIN.

No she was NOT allowed to drive home. I did however let her sit in the island car, waggle the gears & ride the clutch & accelerator but as she constantly stalled the engine she's aways of actually hitting the road. She's pretty chuffed with herself just the same. I've told her whatever she thinks of my driving I do have 20 years experience under my belt & she has to be pretty confident driving the island car before she's let loose in her own on the mainland. Apart from anything else her car has a sticky gear from 1st into 2nd & Liddy's panics I do not need in mainland traffic. She has to log 100 hours of supervised driving before she can go for her provisional license but once she is driving ok she can do the driving to her away games. That will bring her hours up pretty quickly ~ & it makes going to state & national trials so much more feasable! Yay, Liddy!


MamaOlive said...

I enjoyed that very much, but it's midnight and we have a big day ahead... no clever comments from me. :-)

molytail said...

I'd so love to sit and chat about kids and curriculum with you - how about moving? LOL

(I have SOTW - we've just begun using the first book..I know that some use that for lower grades, but I have a child who hasn't done any history at all and who isn't really working 'at grade level', so...we're trying it out... :-) ... )

and way to go Liddy! :-)

molytail said...

(and I hate saying 'at grade level' ...ugh... I'd like to do away with 'grade levels' all together...but that's a rant for another day..and not for a friend's comment box LOL)

(I love the book so far myself)

(do you have the activity guide?)

Ganeida said...

Oh, Moly, why are you living in that cold old hole when you culd be in sunny Queensland with ME!?

I ignore the grade thing. I will use SOTW as a spine. I want Ditz to get a better gist of the FLOW of history & we will do our usual in depth things by continent/country. My unlucky child has me, who has a good grasp of the historical big picture but ignores everything that bores me ~ like the Greeks & Romans who were important but dull. Come on! They built in grids everywhere they went! How dull can you get?

I've got the activity book too. Lots of crafty ideas though, as you say, a tad young.

I gave Lid her first proper driving lesson this morning. Whew!!!! I was sweating like a stuck big after 10 seconds! It was a riot but I'll do a proper post on it this evening.

Anonymous said...

Excellent news about Liddy's L test. Congratulations to her!


molytail said...

Oh, Moly, why are you living in that cold old hole when you culd be in sunny Queensland with ME!?

With the ferocious deadly spiders and mysterious stingy things in shells?


(Cindy and I watched a show recently called "Australia's Deadly Dozen" LOL - don't worry, I know it's not like they're just wandering through everyone's kitchens, much like we don't have a beaver in the backyard or a moose in the driveway)

Actually, I'd prolly be perfectly content living there - when you post photos of your home and area, it's beautiful... I'd miss winter though - snowmen, snowball fights, sledding, skiing....cold does have it's uses LOL

I have to admit - I've never done much history own educational background is a bit wonky and it's not something that I was all that interested in...I'll be learning it right along with her, really. I'm VERY interested now - and not just because we'll be working on it, but because it IS interesting...hopefully, I can make it that way for Cindy as well. :-)

Yep, a fair bit of the activity guide is geared quite young - but we'll pick and choose from activities or scrap them and create our own. :-) ....Oddly enough, the youngest-ish things in the book, the colouring pages, are something that comes in handy...Cindy loves to draw or colour while I read to her (she can't just sit and listen...she *has* to be doing something -- this used to get her in trouble in ps all the time, the teacher getting after her for doodling while she was listening, or fidgeting, or twiddling pens, etc etc...she can't just sit and listen...the teacher would assume she wasn't listening - and really, for myself, I can't do that...if I was colouring or drawing while someone read, I'd miss half of what they said...but she doesn't! She actually hears it BETTER when she's actively doing something...)

I have books 2 and 3 as well (not the guides though) - it's entirely possible that the series may not work for us (being so new at this, it's trial and error a bit sometimes) but I wanted the books anyway and since I lucked out and got them from a going-out-of-business hs company, I got them much much cheaper. I want to read them myself anyway LOL. (they didn't have 4)

I actually would like to pick your brain about a couple of curriculum-y things if you don't mind... but I'll email ya later and not fill your comment box LOL

Ganeida said...

Moly you know I welcome your comments any time. It's more like a conversation & I do so love to chat ~ as you know! lol.

Yeah Ditz fiddles while she listens too. I've had to explain to numerous people where Ditz has gone for outside lessons that she is actually listening.

My friend has the next few volumes too so if this works we can keep going. Ask anything you like but I may not have anything useful to contribute. The thing with homeschooling is how each family develops it's own style, flavour & way of doing things designed just for them so we all end up similar but different. We are all still trialing & erroring (yikes, now I'm making up words!)New curriculum comes out. Tactile learners become more visual or auditory or the quiet academic child suddenly goes ballistic & needs a hands on curriculum.

Due to legal restrictions out here I actually don't work in Ditz's primary learning style; I just get as close as I can & compensate, compensate, compensate! In a perfect world she would watch DVDs all day.

She brought me a picture she copied (not traced) today & it just blew me away. I'm trying to talk her into posting it on her blog because these days if she actually shows me something she's pretty happy with it herself.

(What were you worried about? Here I am filling up my own comment box!:P)

Sassy Mama Bear said...

I was always curious about The Story of the World and then spent a day at the bookstore sitting on the floor reviewing it, and felt it was a bit below where my kids were at, so decided to save our money.
Woohoo, a learner's permit. Once we get moved we have to look into getting Nikolaus into a driver's ed class. Would be so nice if he could drive to Scouts on the nights we adults prefer not to go.
Those will be the days.
Micheyla has been doing a lot of drawing lately and I plan to scan a few drawings in and share them.

Ganeida said...

mama bear, I had a child in grade 6 who wouldn't do ANYTHING without me holding her hand. I never got anything else done. I began moving her into a literature rich curriculum & wheeee! Suddenly my Ditz was functioning independently & happy to do so. So while SOTW is below her level it will fill in some of the gaps at a level she's comfortable with & I'll just keep hitting the high interest areas with more in depth projects. I'll probably ignore a lot of the activities & get her to do a brief narration of each chapter. I'm going to be soooo popular!