Last week was busy. I feel like I learned a lot, and not just through our lessons.
Last Thursday was November 1, and with that the start of NaNoWriMo. Celeste and I talked about it before that date. I explained what it meant and what we would be trying to do. She seemed ok with it. Thursday morning, we sat down with the Young Writers workbook. Right away, I could see Celeste wasn't comfortable with it. I put it down, but continued with the ideas from it, trying to find out what her favourite novel was. After chatting about it for a while, it was clear that she didn't have one. She hasn't found a book that she really loves or even likes.
This is nothing new to me, but I didn't realize the impact. Personally, I think having favourite stories, novels, or picture books helps with writing. The Young Writers Program from NaNoWriMo seems to think the same way too. I also believe that reading and books should be a big part of children's lives. My other two children have many favourite books, either books they have read or that I have read aloud. They loose themselves in books, bond with the characters, are influenced by the settings. Reading is an enjoyable way to pass the time for them and, even as teenagers, they still like when I read aloud to them too.
Celeste is different. She likes when I read aloud, but she would enjoy just as much if I played cards or did something else with her. It has always been that way.
As we sat Thursday morning, Celeste getting more upset and frustrated with the question "what is your favourite book", not because she couldn't pick one but because she didn't have one, I decided to change the project. I asked her if she would like to do a month of "discovering books" instead of writing. We would focus on finding books that she enjoys. I have read aloud so many books over the years, but most of them targeted towards Adrienne & Andre. That happened mostly because Celeste was younger, and I was focusing on their education more. So, yes, this is my doing. I completely realized that last week. I don't plan on "forcing" this discovery of her favourite book. The plan instead is to take this month of November and use the time that we would have put into writing, or at least a couple of hours each day, to simply read together.
Celeste and I came up with categories/themes of novels that she might enjoy:
We already have picked titles under some of the categories. I looked through our bookshelves and also used The Read-Aloud Handbook. We are going to finish some books that we have already started too. Celeste struggles with reading a little bit still as well, but I have seen a lot of improvement from just a couple of months ago. Practice helps a lot, so we will be able to continue with that as well.
Sorry for the long wrap up post, but I did want to share what I learned this past week. Again and again, Celeste reminds me that she isn't like her siblings, and she is so correct in saying that! I might have been homeschooling for seven years, but I feel like I am learning all over again!
Now for the rest of our week:
Math is definitely her stronger subject. She loves it and is doing great with Teaching Textbooks. I might sound like a broken record, but it's wonderful to see her enthusiasm with Math!
We continued with Language Arts. Growing with Grammar is going well, she is enjoying it more every day, she started diagramming a little bit, finding the complete subjects or complete predicates in some exercises. Writing with Ease is not her favourite, we are continuing for now (since she also didn't like GWG at first).
Science was a little lighter this week. We were keeping track of the weather in a chart. We also completed the lesson and lab work for the seasons lesson. The lab work involved using an orange and a light to show how the seasons happened with the relationship between the sun and the earth. Celeste didn't completely understand with that lab, so I showed her the seasons simulator from Journey North. That worked!
In History, we are now studying France and Louis XIV.
In Geography, North America is still the focus. Celeste likes working on the maps. I read aloud the book "If the World Were a Village", which Adrienne had found fascinating when she was younger, but not Celeste.
Last week was Halloween and we visited the two public schools attended by Adrienne and Andre for their special Halloween events. Both schools did walk-through type shows and both of my kids acted in them. They were awesome, so much fun!
Celeste went trick or treating on Halloween. It was wet but not cold. We visited the local radio station and also went around one crescent near our house. She shared all her loot with us. She's a sweetheart!
We baked last week together, Halloween cupcakes.
We took a couple of walks in the forest and brought home leaves to press. Next time, we will gather leaves and dipped them in wax to preserve them.
We received Celeste's first pen pal letter and she told me what she wanted to write. I wrote it out for her, then she copied it.
We had a playdate on Friday with our homeschool friends. We went in the forest for a walk, then back to our house where the girls played a lot while their mom and I chatted.
A full and busy week!
Linked to Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.