Wednesday, May 16, 2012

School done yet?

Some years school has gone out with a bang and some with a fizzle.  Do you know what I mean?  When the kids were younger they started finishing various workbooks (we were much more workbook driven then) as soon as March.  We'd then typically knock off subjects every two weeks or so and finish usually sometime in April.  The exception to that was before we switched to Total Language Plus we'd be behind in either Science or History and end up doing it till June because we'd spent too much time on Language Arts.  Thank goodness I found TLP so that changed!

Now it's more like which kid is done with what since they are much more independent.  To add in the mix Taylor is continuing year round with his College Plus so it seems rather strange this year.

Lexie is now "completely" done and Ariel has her Apologetic s paper to finish.  We are pretty much done and haven't been doing school "together" for about 2 weeks now.  Yesterday Ariel finally finished her final Math Exam!  We do still have a few art lessons that the girls may do over the summer but no big deal.

Ariel's baby radishes
Typically when the kids were younger I'd set up summer reading lists to keep them busy and learning.  Sometimes I'd do incentives but our library usually took care of that part for me.  As they got older I did however set up rewards for choosing books off "my" list.  My list was composed of readers that would go with either their history or science for the coming year.  All the curriculum's I used have lists in the back with recommended "extra" books so it was easy to put together.  I may put on together for the girls this year, not sure yet.

This summer which we'll be focusing on the garden and the house.  Though they don't realize it yet, and never read Mom's blog so we should be safe we're doing some learning things.  First, I will need their help in the garden.  I did get Ariel to plant two types of radishes last week and she was watching them come up this week.  I'm hoping to spark interest rather than force so this will be a gradual easing in process.  Lexie took an interest last year but was largely unsuccessful.  I think this year I may enlist her help rather than let her "go it alone" on her own section, if I can be successful in encouraging that. 

What I don't want is forced weeding.  I remember that as a kid and don't like green beans to this day because of it!  By the way, I am for the first time ever trying a kind of bean I'm going to grow on the fence.  I do like them raw so we'll see how this goes.  I truly do have an aversion to beans and I believe it was because I hated weeding them so much. 

The two house things I'd like to accomplish this year is learning to paint and taking "control" of their "area".  First, both of the girls need their rooms painted.  We switched out who was where last year and never really got around to the decorate/paint process so I'm hoping this summer we can get that done.  I think their own room is a fabulous place for them to learn to paint a room!

The second thing is "control" of their area.  By that I mean that they each have areas of the house that are their "zones", their areas to clean and take care of.  What I'd like to do is give them more ownership, pride and sense of doing excellent work in these areas.  I recently got an e-book called Girls Guide to Home Skills.  It's one of those "old" book brought back to life.  We'll specifically focus on the Bathroom (Ariel) and the Kitchen (Lexie).  What I liked about these was that they gave the instructions for cleaning and check lists but also some unusual things like how to fix a toilet or turn off the water if there is a pipe leak etc...  Quite honestly I don't know that they are really going to like these (Ariel especially) but I'm not put on this earth to be their best friends, I'm their Mom and this is training they need.

Oh, and I can't forget canning, we'll be doing that too.  They both already know how to do jams but I'm pretty sure I can get Lexie to learn pickles this year!  She loves the dill pickle recipes I found last year and begs to open more jars.  I both need and want them to learn to can tomatoes too.  That's honestly what I can the most of and because they don't have a category at fair for tomatoes they haven't done this one yet.

Fair is an excellent way to get canning done.  Our fair has several categories and they get paid to can jams and jellies!  It's a win, win!  This year I bet Lexie will do the pickled category as well.  Wonder if Ariel could can radishes, that might be the only way I can get her "excited" about it this year!

We did pick up the fair book so now we'll have to see what they want to do but that's a whole different subject!

Happy Summer Break!

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