Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Running in Circles.

Yesterday I finally managed to catch up with what Ditz has actually been doing. When we've been home I've been madly scrambling to catch up on chores & prepare the house for my next absence. This would be less of an issue if we didn't spend so much time travelling. It is the travelling that is the real time waster.

It is shocking how unbalanced things quickly become if I lose my grip. Ditz has been plodding along faithfully with her reading so her reading is up to par with English, ahead with history & for some strange reason behind with science. I think I thought we were ahead & haven't been setting it so now we are behind. Math..., well lets just say I think some revision work is in order. However Ditz has totally ignored all the experiments for science. Can't say I blame her. Not my thing either. I think we will just ignore them. After all she understands the principle, which is why the experiments are done, & frankly I just don't have the time to waste on something I personally see as another time waster. True scientists will be appalled I know but I'm not a scientist & neither is my daughter & at this late date I don't think that's going to change! I want Ditz to do some type of notebooking so she can show what she has learnt about history. I said drawings, cartoons, diagrams, writing or a mixture ~ her choice. She doesn't want to do any of it so I have that battle to be fought. Unfortunately I have to be able to show something.

Do I sound like I'm hitting panic buttons? The thing is I've very deliberately been moving to a literature rich program knowing that books will stuff the information in even if I don't have much time to retrieve it & I do think it's working as I did 2 dictations with Ditz yesterday (yes, we were behind on those too!) & her spelling & punctuation are really improving just from all the extra reading she is being made to do. When I chat with her about her science I can see she understands though she often struggles with words to express herself properly. For a child who has a very big vocabulary, writes well, reads the thesaurus for fun & never stops talking she can be strangely inarticulate. I am feeling inadequate in the homeschool arena. Life is really getting in the way at present.

Ditz was working really well yesterday but we had to finish early because I had Liddy's car to deal with before choir. I'd gone on~line & downloaded all the forms for new plates. I'd taken said forms up to Liddy during her lunch hour so they could be filled out & signed by her. I'd nabbed her learner's license & a permission note saying I could accept new plates on her behalf. I'd collected a variety of different sized screwdrivers so I could put on the new plates & timed my departure for when I expected the least amount of traffic & difficulty because this time I was driving past the cop station in broad daylight with no plates front or back!

God really looked after me. He is sooo good! I only had light traffic going into town. I got a drive through parking space bang in front of Queensland Transport. The place was almost empty & I didn't even have time to pull out my book before my number was called. It took all of 5 minutes! I was worried about getting the plates on. Having looked I needed to get my hand up behind the metal & twisted at a funny angle to do it. I walked over to the garage to buy some screws & they said if I brought the car over they'd do it for A$10~. Believe me, it was worth every cent!

I then lugged Ditz up to the Fruit Barn for supplies; why do my kids insist on eating?! Down to Woolies to get essentials like noodles & Vegemite (yes, that disgusting black stuff in the jar) by which point Ditz was making *I'm going to faint from hunger here* noises. I figured we'd left home just after lunch & weren't getting home again till after 8pm, so I fed her & we went on to choir.

This was an extended rehearsal. Four hours of non~stop singing, blocking, moves, with all choir members coming together for the first time. Ditz, who thought she would be singing her 3 little words from her usual spot safely in the back row of the choir has found to her shock & horror she has to storm to the front of the stage, thrust her hands on her hips, glower at the audience & bellow out, 'That's too expensive!' for all the world to see. Yikes. She has to time it just right as there is a lot happening on~stage though it should all flow smoothly. Ditz was incredibly hyped by the end of the night & every week I have to take that home. I was exhausted & I come home to Iss!

Iss knows my routine & he hates like poison when it changes. He won't come in the house for anyone else so I invariably meet him as he races to beat the car home, sits in a prominent place where the headlights are bound to pick him up, & then tries to kill me by tangling round my feet as I stagger towards the house. Invariably it is easier to pick him up, whereupon the purring like heavy machinery promptly begins. He can make me feel so guilty ~ like I need another guilt trip! Having slobbered all over me he showed his disapproval by taking himself to bed with Liddy. Good luck, Iss. She kicks!


Mrs. Darling said...

I hate science too.I wouldnt care if we never did anothe science experiment. Unfortunately Tnk likes it. :( So im stuck doing it.

Sounds like ditz is doing well. Good for her with all her reading!

molytail said...

Glad you got that car plate stuff handled :-)

I have a slightly odd suggestion for the whole "we have to show something" ....Miss Cinders isn't keen on writing/keeping a notebook/etc either...I tried to force this initially, with writing in it, but realised the folly of my ways and now her notebook is an assortment of stuff - it has pictures she's drawn, notes that she's typed up in funky colours and fonts and then printed out, but as you've mentioned that Ditz isn't really into 'any' of that right now, I had another suggestion, something we've used a bit and will likely use more of...

This is just an idea, mind you...but here's the basics...I'm thinking - if she (Ditz) is good at explaining verbally (child who loves to chatter!) ..maybe instead of the typical ntoebook, she could do a scrapbook thing of sorts....into the scrapbook gets glued things like photos of historical characters that she's learned about, scanned copies of the covers of books (or just take a photo of the book) that she's read, maps of the places where XXXX took place, printed stuff from websites that pertains to the topic at hand, real actual photographs of her doing something related to it - maybe like a photo of her doing a project/and photos of the finished project, like those coral reef things you had in the window if it was on that, or photos of her building things like that great wall of china, all glued in and decorated with coloured markers or whatever (if she likes that).....oh, you mentioned that she likes to watch programs right? add that stuff if it applies - she could use the computer and create a page for the scrapbook that has the program title and some info or pictures {snagged from the net} that go with it.....if it's a dvd, scan/take a photo of the dvd itself and add that, glue it in there...anything, everything goes with this sort of's a scrapbook about what she's learned and it has very little 'writing' - yet it has bits and pieces of everything, so that ----- here comes the verbal part ---- when someone (like that person who comes to evaluate) asks "so what have you learned in _subjecthere_?" she can pull out the scrapbook and, while flipping pages, she can TELL what she's learned. The scrapbook acts as a prompt for the information and as a concrete *something* to show...

it's like... "This is my Ancient Egypt scrapbook"... "This is a program I watched called blahblah and yappity yappity yap about that and this is so-and-so the famous dead mummy guy and here's his photo and he blah blah blah and lived here - map! - and this is a list I printed of the mummification process and this is a photo of me mummifying the dead tiger snake that Mom found out back, we used blah blah blah poisonous chemicals"

ya get the idea. ;-)

The scrapbook is concrete, but it doesn't have all the essay stuff that some just aren't big on...sure, essay skills are needed, but they don't have to be demonstrated everywhere - if a child isn't in love with writing, there are many other ways to express what they know.....the scrapping thing triggers chatter - and if your Ditz is like my Cindy, chatter usually isn't a problem LOL

Eh, maybe this isn't making sense...sometimes I can't get across what I'm trying to say LOL

Just tossing an idea...we use this with some stuff, she's started more of a 'scrapbook' approach than 'notebook'.... everywhere I look online, there's all these fancy notebook pages and the expectation seems to be that the child would write copious amounts of notes...mine won't. Why should she anyway? So long as she is capable of writing when the need arises, then she can use other methods to express what she knows.. she can draw it, paint it, scrapbook it, show it with a skit, etc etc etc etc...the possibilities are endless.

{this reply also seems endless. Oops. *grin* )

molytail said...

though she often struggles with words to express herself properly. For a child who has a very big vocabulary, writes well, reads the thesaurus for fun & never stops talking she can be strangely inarticulate.

hmmm. I need to read slower LOL

I'd always had it in my head that Ditz was a talker - talk talk talk the ear of a cob or corn... and made the jump from talktalktalk to being able to share what she's learned... but eh, the scrapbook approach, if she liked it, could still work if it helped with 'articulate what you know' triggers...

or, it might be something she'd hate and totally wrong for her interest and personality and all LOL...what works for one and what works for another is often way diff.

I am feeling inadequate in the homeschool arena. Life is really getting in the way at present.

Life IS learning. I wouldn't say it's getting in the way at all - Ditz is learning her tail off with all of the 'goings on'. You are in no way inadequate, my lovely friend. Not by a long shot. You are a fantastic mother and a wonderful educator and don't let nobody (including yourself!) tell you different. <3

molytail said...

Oh hey, as I was getting a chocolate chip cookie in the kitchen, a new idea went whack in my head....I may try this out with Cindy...creating a website! Seriously, a website all about a particular project, topic, etc...would be tres cool. Studying marine biology? Create a website about it! Not only does it show what the student themselves (themself?) has learned, it also shares it with others and helps viewers learn too! ...hmm....wheels are spinning LOL.... would your Ditz enjoy doing something like that for a particular subject area? Computer skills come right along with it, so it's sorta like feeding two cats with one mouse. :-)

Ganeida said...

Moly there's some great ideas in there. I may suggest the scrapbooking one. Anything that will be too time consuming is out or I would try the web page thing.

Time is the one thing we just don't have. yes, we are over~extended, no, I don't know what to do about it at present. Our week at present goes Monday: Soccer trials, violin: Tuesday school day, soccer practice:Wednesday school, shopping, errands, choir: Thursday forget school; flute, band, soccer practise: Friday school: Saturday extra rehearsal, soccer game; Sunday home catching up on chores before we begin all over & I am trying to church hunt in this madness! Thanks for the support. Sometimes I don't have time to put it all in perspective & then I start going loopy thinking we've totally lost the plot. And it is just for a short season. Next year Liddy will probably be out of the equation because she will be able to drive herself though frankly it's the music that's the problem Nothing is ever simple with the music.

Anonymous said...

Having seen a little of Ditz's work, I think the scrapbooking idea is a good one -- and it could be seen as fun! I'm not mad keen on scrapbooking myself (show me the way to the science experiments :-) but lots of my creative friends and their offspring just love it.