I decided a nice break from homeschool for two weeks was in order, and we have enjoyed some down time last week and this week. Despite this, we are never without some activity or interest. Here is the latest:
Christmas as a Family
This was huge, folks. Our first Christmas together as a family, all living under one roof, since Em was born nine years ago. Dee did visit once for Christmas, but it was early on and we were still working through our mother/daughter issues.
Having all of my loved ones under one roof was absolutely fabulous. We had a simple Christmas, since the year has been tough financially (magic refrigerators and car repairs don’t pay for themselves), but I found it to be the best in a long time.
I continue to count myself lucky to have the husband and daughters that I do. They keep me sane, balanced, and loved.
New Bedtime/Wake Up Rules
So this has been a problem for a while. Em is a night owl and would happily stay up until midnight or later. Unfortunately this means that she also will happily sleep until noon, which really does not work for me at all.
I have instituted the following rules:
- You can go to bed whenever you want, as long as you wake up on time.
- Wake-up time is 8:30 a.m.
- You may not be grumpy or try to go back to sleep after this time.
- I reserve the right to tell you to go to bed if rules 2 and 3 are not followed.
I just want a basic, somewhat regular schedule. We will see how it goes.
End of Year Assessment – With a Twist
On a quarterly basis, we assess progress. I do this by following Rebecca Rupp’s Home Learning Year by Year, and have an Excel spreadsheet. If you have read my blog for a while, you have probably seen this. I use the assessment as a tool to gauge where we “should” be compared to where Em is at the moment.
Now that Em is nine, this means involving her in the discussion, so that she understands what she knows compared to the grade-appropriate standards. My thought on this was, if she knows where she is and what is expected of her, she will be empowered to take charge of her education better than me just telling her, “You have to learn this.”
This assessment was special and rather ground-breaking. For the first time since beginning her homeschool journey I didn’t just ask her questions and then put down a mark indicating where I thought she was. Instead, I showed her the legend – X=knows it, N=Nearly Mastered, L=Learning It, D=Doesn’t Know, and U=Unknown (for when I either don’t understand the educational goal or when I feel it isn’t applicable).
As we worked our way through the assessment she began volunteering opinions on where she was at. “That should be N, because I know it, but sometimes I get confused.”
Or, “You just need to put X’s on all of the music stuff, Mama, because I totally know all of that!”
I will post all the details on the assessment in another post. I really enjoyed doing this with Em. It was great to see her fully involved in the process!