Ups and Downs, ups and downs. A couple of things that I think did help revive my enthusiasm last week was endeavouring to exercise, I also made sure I took my Sundays off, I resisted working on the house or on lesson plans. I went outside! I tackled different projects and I also made certain to blog (creative side appeased) After feeling like I had recovered a little last week and starting out the beginning of this week feeling better I am disappointed that this week faded out very early on. Despite the great beginning my self discipline petered out, and I think life interfered. For us we don’t do too well if we have an interruption in our week. What do we do? Do we say no to all interuptions (including piano) or do we have to learn more self-discipline?

At present I have so many books going, I feel like I am jumping from topic to topic, RC History to Catechesis, Classical Education to Brave Writer. However with much prayer I feel a vague direction taking place, the outline is there just the finer details still hazy. So the outline.. after our early years being influenced by Raymond Moore, John Holt and Maria Montessori, then being influenced by Charlotte Mason and Valerie Bendt, I can now see a need for a little less ‘gentle’ approach and it is time to ‘hit the books’.

So areas needing intensive focus?

Writing- a disciplined approach is needed here. A regular “I expect it” with direction and trying of different styles particularly for the olders. Half an hour per day. Research essays, stories with a view, story starters, Write Stuff adventure. Variety and regularity.

Spelling- Whilst the dc have improved using Schonell’s book and dictation (which they also need more volume of) I have decided to use LEM Phonics to give them a solid understanding of the why of spelling, to minimise the guesswork and memorisation. Thrice weekly.

Phonics Drill daily.
Reading- M and M to do daily. Very important.

Dictation- Thrice weekly, to up the standard and quantity.

Handwriting- I will continue to correct their sloppy methods here. Once we have mastered printing we will progress to running writing. Whiteboard is working well. C’s writing is beautiful. Twice Weekly.

Lingua Mater- C is to do their set week IN ONE WEEK. Not happening, needs to.
Emma Serl- Boys to continue twice weekly, by the end of the year to be doing these lessons written as well as orally.

Literature- C directs herself. Boys need to be assigned books (side bar has their list) I may have to assign daily reading time as they are not doing it. I REALLY want to read picture books to the girls daily(set up a book basket) planning on doing little rabbit trails with this (need to plan a little for it to happen) also have a read aloud chapter book alternating between children’s attention span.

Maths- Everyone fine here except D. He needs emotional support;)
Tables Drill daily very important.

Science- C really needs a regular study approach, I am going to use the method described in the ‘Well Trained Mind’ in fact I will even use their books. I need to design a step by step sheet and a tick chart. I think C needs a method of accountability and charts work well for my dc. D will do this with her as I think they will enjoy company. I intend on this being independent work for them.

For the younger set I will borrow Rebecca’s Magic School Bus videos and use these as a basis. Also read the accompanying picture book and may follow rabbit trails. Some notebooking or narration needed here. After reading TWTM I can see that we really need to get back to narrations. Also if my energy picks up M and I will do WON journal.

History- Next Term we will use RC History, I am very excited about this and for once determined that we do it despite any groaning from the children. We need a cohesive approach and I am tired.
For this term we will do Native Americans. History will be done only two days a week, Thursday and Fridays. A different approach for us as we have previously followed an intensive three week approach but I think this shorter focus may help ME.
I am determined that narrations, notebooking, sketches and writings are to be done. I am not doing them a favour by just reading. C particularly has a need to also include hands on activities.

Geography- Despite have purchased Cindy Wiggers Ultimate Guide to World Geography we have hardly made any progress:( C particularly is interested and I am unsure of what to do. I want to do this one day a week. Use Atlas Fun with C and D. Also read Planet Earth and do questions at the end of the chapter.
Younger dc to ‘read’ our way around the world, use map work to go with this, maybe follow continents.

Religion- Division of three abilities/ interest here with some crossing over.
1- Finish St Patrick’s Summer
2- Dominic’s Confirmation prep. to take precedence for the next three weeks.
3-Be more diligent in following the liturgical year (enthusiasm has affected this area:( )

C- To start with Gilmartin’s history that she choose- take notes.
D- St Patrick’s Summer and Inos Biffi’s book.(notebook this)
X & M- St Patrick’s Summer
MT & G- Read some Treasure Box and picture books
M &M’s- Leading Little Ones to Mary.

Reassess last two weeks of term.

Creative Arts- Piano, Cooking
At this stage although I would love to do more I am not going to take on any more till everything else is solid.

Montessori- A work in progress at this stage focusing on the 3-6 stage. Also reading and digesting Moira Farrell’s Manuals.

*Note to Self

C’s must do, create Excel spreadsheet as aid.
Lingua Mater- Achieve recommended LM week in one week.(may take an hr)

Science- TWTM schedule, (hr to hr and half )
Day1- 90 min reading the assigned pages, do experiment and record results
Day 2- 90 min preparing the science report, use the science encyclopedias as resources, record dates (not too worried about this) complete a sketch.

History- Approximately hr and half. Native Americans, notebooking, reading, research essay and making village.

Geography- Approximately hr and half. To be decided.

Typing- approx 10 min daily. Type Tutor.

Religion- Daily- half an hr plus, read and take notes

C- Loves craft, I think she really needs art or handicraft too. Must look into it.