Monday, September 01, 2008

School year

I am starting with my plans/goals for Travis. This is his fifth year following The Well Trained Mind. I plan to keep our school fun enjoyable for all of us this year. Demi will be joining Travis for a few more classes this year.


He is using Saxon 6/5 this year. To me this looks just like all the other Saxon books we have used before. Travis does well with it and finds it easy (a bit boring but simple). It always seems to have a LOT of review (Rob says that is needed to increase his speed) so I am glad we are using this for the year. It should be an easy class.

Our Math book has 120 lessons. I plan to do math 4 days a week and I hope to finish it in about 30-32 weeks. School is 36 weeks so we should not have a problem covering the book. On weeks Travis asks to do Math five or six days a week I will let him (he often asks to do extra classes in fun subjects) I will not require more than 4 a week. Math is a class Travis likes and he rarely needs me to help with lessons or worksheets. I plan to use most of his Math time playing with Demi and Zehira. I hope to keep the girls busy and quiet enough for Travis to stay focused on his math and for our school to keep moving along without many problems.

We will do lots of things for reading I will share all of that a bit later. As far as "grade level" reading and "vocabulary" (what I call read a loud for mom to hear class) we are using Mc Guffey's Fifth Eclectic reader.

It has 117 lessons so he will read about 3 lessons a week. If he does 3 a week they will be finished in 39 weeks. I know this will not take 39 weeks. I know that Travis will read a few extra lessons along the way and we will be done in under 36 weeks. If the title or picture looks interesting he often asks to read an extra lesson. For that reason I am keeping our goal a 3 a week because I don't feel the need to move up to 4 a week unless I see we are falling behind.


He will be using Spelling Workout E. (Modern Curriculum Press). This is his fifth year using Spelling Workout Spelling books. This book has 36 lessons. He will do one a week (I hope). If we need to spend a few extra days or a week on a hard lesson we will and just run school a bit longer. Spelling lasted a couple weeks longer than other subjects last year because we did spend an extra week on a couple harder lessons.

We will be using Writing Strands level 3. We are at a lower level in this than other subjects but that is because we started "writing class" later than some of the other subjects. We plan to work slow and steady, have fun doing it, and finish by end of year. This book is harder to set a goal with. It is a very small book but it could take us a full school year to finish. We will just see how well we do with it. I know we will finish the book by the end of year.

I will write down what our plans are for other subjects over the next few days. I want to blog my plans for....
Reading (quiet reading)
Other languages
Music Appreciation
Art Appreciation
Home Economics
and anything else I might have missed.

I hope to look back at this and see that I am on track all year.

New fear of spiders!

If you are afraid of creepy crawlies DON'T read this!

I have never been a spider lover but, on the other hand, I have never screamed or jumped when I see one. I kind of liked the idea of them catching bugs. Not being a squeamish bug fearing type of person, I always find it a bit entertaining when someone would jumps and screams at the sight of a spider. I don't laugh at the person. I more find the jump or squeal fun to see (kind of like someone jumping around when tickled). An example of this is a silly trick Demi does a lot to Rob. Demi likes to catch daddy long legs. She has a habit of pulling a few legs off daddy long leg and then handing them to Daddy as a surprise. I always laugh when Rob expects a kiss or a penny and jumps when he looks at and feels a daddy long legs missing a few legs dancing in his hand. We ask her to stop doing this but she doesn't listen. This happens so often I wonder why Rob is surprised to see a missing leg long legs in his hand. I guess you can say I never understood why people have a fear of spiders. OK, I do understand MANY states have poisonous spiders (black widows) but we don't have them in PA. I have always been told that we have no need to fear spiders. WELL! I am changing my tune! I am now a spider fearing person! This year we are studying biology for science so we have several bug boxes to observe insects. We captured a spider one day last week. Demi caught a daddy long leg and thought the spider would like to make friends with Mr. long legs. We let her put Long Legs in with Mrs. Spider so they could visit....... In about 2 seconds the spider was attacking Daddy Long Leg. Daddy long leg didn't stand a chance. I wasn't really affected by this but two days later Travis caught a large moth. He asked if he could put the moth in a bug box. I thought he was going to use another bug box not Mrs. Spiders. WRONG! That spider went nuts when she saw jumbo moth in her home. She chased down, attacked, and abused the moth. The moth fluttered around and fought to get away. I think she might have poisoned the poor moth. The moth did some strange fluttering of wings but seemed unable to move except for the fast twitching of his wings. I watched in horror! It was not a quick, blink of an eye, episode like it was with Mr. Long legs. It was long and scary! I started thinking about how we get spiders in our house. Honestly, we OFTEN have spiders in my house. My house was built in the 1800's. We have a stone foundation, old window, large trees near our house, and several chimneys all the things spiders seem to like. I started wondering how many spiders might be around me. I convinced myself one must be in the corner right behind me, maybe even inches from my arm! After seeing this small aggressive spider attack a huge moth AND KILL IT. I found myself thinking about how, at any moment, a spider can climb up on and attack my bare arm in the same manor as the moth! I got myself so freaked out over it all, I now feel that I have spiders crawling all over me all the time. If I am standing still I feel spiders on me. If I am holding the baby and she breaths on me I think her breath is a spider crawling on me. When I walk by an open window and catch a light breeze on my neck or arm I feel spiders on me. Laying in the dark I feel spiders and I am sure they are getting ready to attack me in the same way our spider attacked that giant moth! This year's science class requires reading several books on bugs. I think this might not be a good year for me to teach Science!

This is a picture of Mrs. Spider.