Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Monday & Tuesday

Inventive Blog Post Titles R Us.

Emily and Jon went to the library bus yesterday morning, but came back unimpressed. They'll have to go later this week on the one and only day the village library proper is open. Emily now has a long list of book she wants to borrow (or reserve, more likely, since it's only a small library). I'm hoping that this year she will read a wider range of fiction. She loves the Jacqueline Wilson-esque angst and issues books but there's a whole world beyond that. More time in the day for reading would help too.

Yesterday afternoon we raced through some maths, converting scales to real distances and vice versa. One of the things that happened during my blog absence was that we decided to hold off on formal maths for a while. Although she's perfectly capable, Emily has a bit of a mental block about maths and tends to panic over it. She's at the same kind of level as a schooled child her age would be, but unless she's going to take a maths GCSE, which seems unlikely, we're debating the need to venture into maths beyond the level that most of us use on a daily basis. Fractions, percentages, ratios, decimals, all the primary level stuff, sure. Calculus, advanced algebra, trig and the like? Not unless it becomes clear later that she's going to need some kind of maths qualification in order to get where she's going.

We also steamed through some English word roots work; we're working our way through English From the Roots Up - in typing this I've just found some online flashcards and matching games to go with the book. Would really like to get back to learning Latin at some point, but we struggle with consistently doing any one thing which is a bit of a problem when it comes to language learning. We'll see.

Then we moved onto history. At the moment, Emily's studying modern history as in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. Yesterday afternoon she created timelines for the major world events of the 50s and 60s - 50s being a recap because we did all that before Christmas. For each decade, she's doing the timeline, studying one event in depth (for the 50s she chose the Coronation, for the 60s it's going to be the moon landing) and researching the music, fashion and cultural trends of the decade. In theory. In practice, it's been going on for ever! Some useful websites for this were Connected Earth which has a fab downloadable cheat document for hassled parents ;-) and Topic Box which has lots of useful links. I've just spotted that Connected Earth also has a History of the Internet unit which might be right up Emily's street.

This morning I felt poorly, so Emily amused herself while I amused a parrot; this afternoon she had a session with my Dad using small basic to do some programming and turtle graphics. My Dad has been providing lots of physics education for Emily over the last few months - he normally has the pleasure of her company each Monday afternoon, but he was poorly this week too so it was moved to today. They've done all sorts of complicated stuff with amazing equipment - very impressive! Just before Christmas he taught Emily a load of card tricks using various mathematical principles and she performed them for us on Boxing Day night, very memorably :-))

Tomorrow's education will consist of car mechanics.....well, I'm taking Emily with me to get the car MOT done and they have a viewing bay - does that count?

The problem I'm facing at the moment, home ed wise, is being spoilt for choice. I keep coming across so many fabulous internet sites but I usually don't remember to use them, can't find them again or get bogged down in a topic that we really should have moved on from (or from which we should have moved on, with my grammar hat on). I wish I could be better organised and plan ahead more, but with so much else to do we're (as usual) flying by the seat of our collective, shiny pants.

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