I was just going to update my previous post. But this deserves its own.
Biden finally got past the post! Of course Trump is saying it’s all lies somehow. Now we just have to wait and see what schemes he tries to pull. But if I understand the U.S. electoral process correctly, he doesn’t have a leg to stand on.
In my eagerness to start writing a novel last weekend, I kind of completely forgot to post on the blog! But honestly, I didn’t have much to say. We finished our NaNo prep and we’re on to writing!
Steven ended up setting the bar high. The “default” NaNoWriMo goal is 50000 words, and Steven’s goal is 67860 words. And here I was thinking it would be easier to write to his goal this year! We’re both a little behind, but we’re planning on catching up this weekend.
One of the science units for grade 6 is space and the solar system. So this week was focused on learning about the rest of the planets. Steven had already read about a couple of them over the last couple of weeks. They were easy to fall back on when he was struggling with math and I had to work.
This week, Steven completed the solar system reading comprehension activities found here this week. He also completed the key terms and solar system worksheets in this workbook. I bought the bundle that covers all the science units for grade 6. I then had him use these worksheets to make a plan for building a model solar system. I’m sure I’ll have lots of photos of that next week.
This Wednesday was Steven’s 11th birthday. Luckily he doesn’t mind not being able to have a party this year. Last year, knowing that parties aren’t his favourite thing, we suggested doing something else. Maybe a shopping trip or just taking a couple of good friends somewhere. He chose to spend a whole weekend shopping, eating out, playing board games and video games… He now refers to his birthday as his “reign of terror” because as long as we don’t go over budget, he can do and make us do whatever he wants. This year I apologized that we couldn’t take him and his friends out somewhere and he said he’d rather have a “family time birthday” anyways. Apparently, until last year, he thought birthday parties were some kind of unavoidable social obligation.
Steven finished reading “The Lemonade War” by Jacqueline Davies last week, so I purposely didn’t assign time-consuming work at the beginning of this week so he could work on an after-reading assignment. He made a comic strip of a part of the book. Maybe not his best work, but he did do some sketches before doing the final copy. Next time I’ll give him more direction before he starts.
We’re still doing French, Music and Phys Ed every morning. This week we did some French worksheets that focus on the sounds letters in various French words make (beginning sounds, hear the sounds). I think they’re meant for a younger audience, but they get the point across without being boring. I had Steven google each word to find the French translation and then listen to the pronunciation and repeat it.
I’ve been trying to think of ways to make this year more fun, ways to keep Steven engaged and motivate him to keep trying instead of getting frustrated and arguing with us all the time (which happened a lot last school year, first with home schooling and then with the distance learning provided by the school). Motivating him has been hard over the years. He willingly tries everything, but if he doesn’t get it right away he often gives up. Sometimes he’ll get really into something and he’ll get past the “I’m not good at this” stage and start to improve, but then he reaches a harder part and gives up. We all do this sometimes, and we’ve talked about how this is normal and you just can’t give up, but often it ends in arguing.
We’ve done a lot of talking about school over the last few months, especially recently. We were waiting to see what the school board had planned, but school is only a few weeks away and they haven’t given us much. Schools are opening again. Grades 4+ are expected to wear masks, but class sizes aren’t reduced at all so social distancing will be impossible. They are “cohorting” so that kids are with all the same kids all the time, and staggering breaks, but teachers for French and Music and such will still be visiting all classes. And there are some huge things they haven’t addressed. Like, Steven’s school only has 3 washrooms. Each one is shared by like 8 classrooms. Is it someone’s job to constantly clean the washroom? What about shared resources? Library books? Art supplies? Toys?
This is not my first attempt at blogging. Usually I get busy or tired or depressed or I think “no one really cares anyways” (actually that’s probably the depression talking) and I just stop. But this one is different. This one is for me. And maybe that’s a lesson. Maybe they all should have been for me.
Today, as I’m sitting down to look at our homeschooling binder and preparing to at least catch Steven up on grade 5 while the uncertainty of a new school year looms (more on that later, I think), I’m realizing that there are tons of things I haven’t shared here. So here’s a list, in vaguely chronological order… the order I found the photos in dropbox anyways. I didn’t really edit them… so sorry for the mess that might be in the background.