First posted September 5, 2006. Ponytails was almost nine, in Grade 4 and doing an AO 3.5 year I created for her. Crayons (Lydia) was five and doing kindergarten work. The Apprentice was doing a combination of AO Year 9 and classes at the public high school.
What do you do to get ready for the next school day? Just open the book? Make up lesson plans? Somewhere in between? This is a process post...
We're still so new at this school year that I'm making up "lists of what we have to do today," even though Ponytails' and Crayons' work is in my binder, supposedly there to be drawn on. So I go through my list and think "how will I do this? What books do I need? Where are the Scrabble letters?" This is what I'm doing right now.
[Updates after we've done this. I forgot to say that we started by reading Psalm 24 (we have a nice copy of it from an old Sunday School paper), by singing "Day by Day" (see our last Sunday hymn post), and by praying.]
Bible: 1 Samuel chapter 9, the story of Saul and the lost donkeys. Remember last year when we read about the Judges? Now Samuel is old and Israel wants a king. Picture the scene: Can you imagine the day when Saul's donkeys got lost and he was wandering around searching for them? Read the chapter. Take turns narrating. See what other points come up: maybe that God is behind all that happens, even lost donkeys and which way Saul went.
[Update: I should have known we couldn't read a story about runaway donkeys without some references back to The Great Pig Search.]
Spelling: Ponytails find words that start with anti- , and put them into the Personal Dictionary she started last year. Crayons make words that have "an" in them, using Scrabble letters, and copy some of them on paper.
[Update: there are very few good grade 4 spelling words that start with the prefix "anti-." However, we did find one classic: antidisestablishmentarianism. Ponytails added it to her dictionary.]
History (Ponytails): read A Child's History of the World, chapter 5 ("Real History"), for 10 to 15 minutes while I do math with Crayons.
Crayons' math: put one popsicle stick in our "100 days" container. (That makes two!) Do a little work on the hundred chart with me (What is 2 more than 52? What is 2 less than 32?). Trace numerals in a dollar-store math workbook (she still has trouble with reversals).
[Addition: while Ponytails was reading her book on the back porch, Crayons and I also had time to read "The Jumblies" and "The Dong with the Luminous Nose." She likes Edward Lear a lot.]
History: Ponytails narrate back to me.
Memory work: Ponytails work on one Emily Dickinson poem. [She chose "My river runs to thee."]
Writing: we usually have handwriting scheduled here for Ponytails, but we're going to skip it today.
Math for Ponytails: work on the first couple of worksheets in Making Math Meaningful (about place value through the hundred thousands). If Crayons wants some of this math too, show her how to use Base 10 blocks to show tens and ones (like her popsicle sticks). So: remember to get out the blocks (for Ponytails too, if she wants them, although they only go to 1,000, and maybe the abacus we made a few years ago).
[Ponytails let Crayons use her spelling puzzle set during math time.]
Music Theory: this is less intense than it sounds. I bought the introduction-to-music pack to go with our Music Maker harp, and we're going to work through it a bit at a time. The first lesson teaches words like treble clef and bass clef. So: I have to get that out.
Crafts: Morning crafts are the non-messy kind. Since Ponytails is really interested in doing some crocheting (she did a bit last year), we'll review making chains and single crochet. I have some ideas for simple (small) things she could work on this year, like a Barbie hat and poncho. Ponytails has much bigger ideas, like a girl-sized shawl or a pet net. So: I have to go round up some crochet hooks and decent-sized yarn.
Lunch break! Lunch break!
After lunch readalouds: Emily Dickinson poems; "Ra and His Children"; Crystal Mountain.
And then some time with the Apprentice, who will be home before lunch today because the high school kids only go for an assembly and to meet in their homerooms and find their lockers and that stuff.
And then we're done.