Friday, May 29, 2009

The Year So Far...

Wow - it's been so long since I've posted anything. Things are moving along here - going into Winter very soon, one child's birthday just passed, and 2 more coming up in the first week of June.

What have I learned this year? That my eldest has not been educated by the school system as well as I had hoped, that's for sure. This is supposed to be her last year of primary school, Year 7 in Queensland, and yet she's only now learning fractions and factoring, and solidifying her multiplication and division skills. I hadn't really thought about fractions and factoring being so closely interlinked, because it's just natural for me to bring a fraction to its most basic form. 2/4 becomes 1/2 because both top and bottom are divisible by 2... and so on. I think she's just getting that concept this week.
Spelling has always been a problem for her. At her age I scored 100% on a spelling bee, where she can barely spell her way out of a paper bag, and I believe this rests a great deal on methodology. I went to a fairly old-fashioned Catholic school, back in the 70's. I learned to read with phonics, I learned my tables by rote, and I even learned Greek and Latin roots! I had a very good education, and I would like to thank my parents for sending me there. Poor Beth has had no rote learning of tables, and now has to study the multiplication table that I gave her (thought she seems to be picking it up) and wouldn't know a Greek or Latin root if it hit her in the face. So far. [insert evil chuckle here] She's getting there, and I believe she's already ahead of where she would have been if we had left her where she was.
She loves to read. She was complaining today that she had read all the books she had borrowed from the library (on Monday!) and had nothing to read. So I gave her The Hobbit. She has read about 8 pages, so far, and I'll ask her about it in the morning. A very different level of book to what she has been reading. She has been having a little trouble with some of her books - she finds 'Age of Fable' very boring, but doesn't want to replace it with another mythology book I suggested, as AoF covers a variety of mythology, while the other one only covered Greek mythology. She loves Shakespeare, so far, as do the other two. I guess it helps that I made little dolls, and use them while reading from Charles and Mary Lamb's 'Tales from Shakespeare'. I have also read a few pages of the actual play (Romeo and Juliet) and I must say, it is quite bawdy! Thankfully not in a way that my children will understand, but still - hopefully I won't blush too much while reading it out. (Just keep reading, maintain the flow, and don't explain!)
It's also funny, if you can catch the language. The first dialogue between the two men of the house Capulet starts off with the phrase 'carrying coals' and there is a response about colliers (one who carries/mines coals) and moves right onto a discussion of temprement (choler = bad tempered) and finishes off with the collar! Then they move onto being moved... to stand... to...
To move is to stir; and to be valiant is to stand:
therefore, if thou art moved, thou runn'st away.
he he... Then they get bawdy! Ahem. (blush) And then some men of the house of Montague turn up, and they start to quarrel, but after a side discussion among the Capulets about whether or not they have any support for getting into a fight, the Capulet backs down.
SAMPSON
[Aside to GREGORY] Is the law of our side, if I say
ay?
GREGORY
No.
SAMPSON No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir, but I
bite my thumb, sir.
And on it goes.

And now for something completely different.
Well, not really. Just a different child. Hmm... what have I learned this year (so far) about Mark? He is passionate about things I wouldn't have suspected, and things he probably wouldn't have had a chance to do if he had stayed in school. He loves French. He loves music (though not necessarily the singing of folksongs and hymns.) He still very much needs me to keep him on task, but he is enjoying his Maths, as well. He is coping with/tolerating his writing - I still have him only on copywork, doing about two lines a day, because that is about as much as I can get from him without him baulking. He is enjoying 'Grammar Land' and is learning the parts of speech. So am I, because, for all their benefits, the school I went to didn't do much at all for Grammar. I learned about nouns/verbs/adjectives/adverbs, and I learned to punctuate (basically, anyway) but I don't recall learning any more than that. I didn't know what an article was, let alone pronouns, etc.

Well, I might sign off now for tonight.

1 comment:

Jeanne said...

Oh! I can't wait to do Shakespeare...sorry, for Jemimah to do Shakespeare...