Rose continues to do a significant portion of her work independently. I love that Hear of Dakota teaches students this way. She knows how to research, how to ask good questions about historical events, and how to draw her own conclusions about those events.
This week she baked English tea cakes and French tea cakes on different days as she studies the two revolutions. With the exception of a little instruction on how to scoop the flour for measuring and what settings were best to use on the mixer, she did everything on her own! My mom has spent time teaching the girls about baking and cooking and they help me quite a bit for meal preparation. I was pleased to see she has absorbed so much in understanding how to bake and cook. The treats were delicious, by the way!
One thing we are working on this year is taking responsibility to complete assignments independently. This means I’m allowing her to be her own time manager. As I’m recording grades this year I will take points off if she does not have an assignment completed on time. My goal is to help her become a good time manager. As we look forward to high school I’m not quite sure what that will look like yet, but I do know I need to give her the tools she needs to succeed no matter what we end up doing.
Beth is learning to focus a little more intently on her studies. She has always done very well with her studies, but her mind tends to drift to other things and it slows her down. I’ve been pleased at just how focused she has chosen to be since we started back with school after the new year.
One of her favorite things is mathematics, especially story problems. She likes doing mathematical calculations in her head and really doesn’t enjoy our geometry units. Life of Fred is a great supplement for her as she enjoys the stories as well as the mathematical correlations.
History is focusing on the life of Christ currently. I love that with Heart of Dakota the stories she has heard since birth are given a new perspective with the other historical accounts of Rome. It’s sometimes hard to place the events of the Bible with the rest of world history for me. Growing up with a public school education (which was excellent in my case!) the teachers did not talk about biblical events as history and so they almost seemed separate. I’ve enjoyed learning alongside my girls a fuller picture of history.
Grace is such an eager learner. It doesn’t matter what we are doing she says, “Yay!” I hope she always has such a positive view of school. It is partly her personality. Being the third child in the family I think she has a go-with-the-flow kind of attitude about life and always sees things optimistically. It is fun to teach a child like this!
I’m more directly involved in Grace’s learning than her older sisters. We read history together, although this week I didn’t have a voice for the first few days so she read it independently. As part of her geography we learned about land form terms like mountain, valley, and plain. She made the forms out of play-doh and as I gave the definition she tried to guess the word. It was a fun way to review geography.
The only thing she likes less than everything else is literature. It isn’t that she doesn’t like to read and not even that she doesn’t like the stories. I think the problem is that she is always on the move and to have to sit and read chapter books just isn’t her favorite. I also feel it is good to stretch the girls with their reading and sometimes ask them to read books that are harder than what they are used to. She is currently reading The Silver Chair and the chapters a longer than she is used to. Her favorite thing to read for pleasure right now is my collection of Peanuts comic books!
I mentioned our starting this a couple of weeks ago. Grace and Rose were in full-on sick mode and so they didn’t get to participate in the fun. This week Beth is completing her standardized testing this morning so they had a chance to get in on the fun! Even though they each chose a different subject to focus on, they wanted to learn with each other. Fun aspect I hadn’t thought would happen! Below are more about their choices.
Grace dreams of being a doctor or nurse one day. She waivers between the two because she likes the idea of being a doctor, but knows the nurses are the ones who actually provide the nurturing care and that is what she wants to do. She asked to learn about something that would help her learn about being a doctor. I pulled out some of our “body” books and she had fun learning new facts and the locations of our organs!
Rose: Hand Lettering
Rose dreams of becoming an art teacher. She has a natural aptitude towards artistic endeavors and is always looking for ways to build this skill. This week she chose to watch a portion of one of our See the Light DVDs. They created the word “Glory” with artistic lettering and illustration.
It’s fun to see my girls learning and choosing to follow their own interests. It’s one of the beautiful things about homeschooling. It isn’t that kids in traditional schools can’t follow their own learning interests, it’s just that it is harder between the hours spent in school, homework, hours parents are working away from home, and sheer exhaustion. I’m forever grateful for this opportunity the Lord has provided us to homeschool.