Thursday, January 26, 2012

Shake It

This week was especially shaky,
with daily tremors - sometimes several in a day.
We're expecting lots of seismic activity this year.

Photo of the week -
Lu and Monkey working on Math

Lu is absolutely entranced with Gulliver's Travels,
and reading at the speed of light.

Here's a view through the window
that connects Cha's office to the kitchen.
When I'm making dinner, I can look in on this lovely sight.

After reading, Lu tells me everything (literally everything) that happened in the 15 or so pages he read, sometimes reciting parts word for word. It's funny how he can remember every detail from his book, but totally forgot about the five times I asked him to go brush his teeth (or clean his room, or put on a sweater, or feed the cats...).

This week in World Studies,
he worked on his People and Society booklet.

He learned about the six major religions,
the history of writing and printing,
art, architecture, sports, and fashion.

We learned the lyrics to Bob Marley's War, and
had an amazing discussion about "international morality".
Here's a verse I especially love:

Until the basic human rights
Are equally guaranteed to all,
Without regard to race -
Until that day
The dream of lasting peace,
World citizenship
Rule of international morality
Will remain but a fleeting illusion to be pursued,
But never attained -

Singing isn't actually on our schedule, but is something we do either to start the day, or when we finish work early. But we've been learning so many new words through the songs we're singing that I've been thinking about ditching our slightly boring Vocabulary worksheets for this much more engaging way.
Our schedule is working well for us, which is wonderful. Last year, I was tweaking constantly, and making radical changes every couple of weeks. Something that really helped was making a work table in Excel. This helps me spread the work out over the year, and know exactly how much we need to do each week to get the work done. The chart is specifically for worksheets and lets us know how many we need to do each week per subject. For non-worksheet subjects, such as History and Literature, I use a more general (monthly) chart, leaving plenty of room for expansion (as in, if I think it will take us 4 weeks to get through Prehistoric Humans, I give it 8 weeks on the schedule so that we can watch videos, site hunt, do related art projects...).

I've divided the year into segments of 5-9 weeks, with one week breaks in between. Breaks are synchronized with special events like birthdays, the town fair, grandmothers' visits... This year, we have 42 working weeks and 10 weeks off (including 3 weeks for December break).


  1. I love photos of kids boy has been reading on the bus lately! So exciting :)

    1. Like Melissa, I love pics of kids reading too. :) Has Lu read "Swiss Family Robinson" or "The Jungle Book"? JP just read Swiss Family and LOVED IT.

  2. oooo, yes. will put them on the list.