Tuesday, March 05, 2013

School and Unschool and Everything In Between

What we've been doing:

* For Ramona's book club we just finished reading Marie McSwigan's Snow Treasure. It was slow going for her at first, but once we got into the meat of it, she enjoyed it. Here's a link to my quick review from 2006. (That was waaaay back when I read it to my then 10- and 12-year olds, and Ramona was just a pre-schooler. And here's a link to loads of other WWII related reading for younger readers.)

* Ramona has a new pen pal. Snail mail lives! We use this stuff called paper, pen, envelopes, and stamps. If you haven't tried them, you should give it a whirl. It's revolutionary!

* Science for Ramona right now is mostly National Geographic Kids and Kids Discover. These also dovetail nicely into the "social studies" category. Also under the social studies category is being ten years old and living with teenagers ... all kinds of opportunities for viewing those creatures in their natural habitat and discussing their anomalies with your mother.

* Finished reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire to Ramona. (I edit the icky, dark parts late in the book.) All past bloggy-things-Harry are here.

Dragon Box is still a hit around here.

* Ramona also likes several of the math games she's tried at Sheppard Software.

* Betsy, who's taking a French class at the college, is reading Pride and Prejudice on the Kindle -- in French. She's also re- (re-re-re-) reading a hard copy in English, so if she gets hung up, she just jogs her memory with that. She's surpassed me and the little bit of French I took many years ago. I do still remember how to ask what time it is and the location of the nearest bathroom. Vital stuff.

* Anne-with-an-e loves spring break almost as much as she loves dissecting things in her zoology class.  Or is it that she loves dissecting things almost as much as she loves a leisurely spring break? Either way, she's having a lovely week.

* Lent rolls along. Our Lamb of God is beginning to grow fuzzy. I can be heard occasionally complaining that I really want to have something sweet. Sugar! (Eeek...How spoiled am I? Really!?) I caved one evening, the Saturday night we were out of town for the girls' Winter Ball. I gobbled some regifted chocolates that night. (That is a story too long to go into, but suffice to say that I do a Christmas gift exchange with a friend each year, and I always give him oatmeal cookies, and he always gives me regifted chocolates, and this was the first time we'd seen each other since Christmas. A sad excuse, but the only one I've got.) Back to Lent: we have lots of talks about sacrifice and hardship, hunger and plenty, waste and abundance, sin and repentance. We talk about weakness and chocolate and first world problems.

We got ourselves to confession. We'll plan to get there again soon.

* We've started doing Night Prayer with the girls. I've used iBreviary for myself for some time now, and love it. Atticus and I also use it for Morning Prayer, and now Ramona is enjoying taking charge of scrolling us through the Liturgy of the Hours before bedtime. It's loverly.


sarah said...

it all sounds wonderful. :-)

Karen Edmisten said...

Thanks, Sarah. :)

Jennifer said...

I need to look into National Geographic. We are unschooling science this year. Apparently.
I tried to get that Dragon math thing but I think my OS is too out of date. I can't figure it out.
And well, I love the pen pal idea. Such a thrill for little girls to get sweet letters in the mail! :)

ellie said...

Ok, so, now I am really curious about HP and editing icky parts and how that will work out going forward.

Now, we love Harry Potter 'round these parts. My eldest (now very grown up) was just the right ages as the books were published to read as they came out. Easy.

With my daughter (now 13.5) we began with the first book when she was ten, the second two when she was 11, the fourth when she turned 12, and then I assessed based on her maturity level: we read together through to the end at that point.

With my son now turning 11, we've done the first two books this past year. I've promised him we'll do book three beginning on his birthday next month. I'm sticking with holding off on book 4 until he turns 12 and then we'll see. He's super sensitive, and I am pretty sure book 5 will have to wait until he turns 13.

Anyway, i'm not saying everyone should do it my way! Only wondering about the editing, and how that works.

Ok, will stop rambling now? :-)

Beth said...

I had to jump on the "how you're handling Harry" bandwagon. I've held off introducing our sensitive reader yet, though I love the books and suspect she will one day too. She's 10 going on 11, and I am thinking it would be way fun to give her Sorcerer's Stone for her 11th birthday and start our first read-aloud of HP then. (Too bad Hagrid can't deliver it with a squashed cake.)

I wanted to lay a good, solid fantasy groundwork for her first. She's heard Narnia all the way through twice, and we've also read the Hobbit and all the Prydain Chronicles. Those got a little "old" for her toward the end, but we soldiered on and they ended up working beautifully.

I'd love to hear how you edit as you read. Do you decide beforehand what to cut, or do it on the fly? And does Ramona know it's being edited?

Karen Edmisten said...

Hi, Ellie and Beth -- I'd love to put this into a blog post, rather than a comment. Stand by! :)