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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Grade 3 - The Reality

This is barely recognizable as the Grade 3 Plan, altered as it has been from the time it was first submitted to the authorities to the time real life kicked in, like now, during her spontaneous trip to Florida with her father. I should have definitely included the coda at the end of last year's proposed plan: Or not, and will be sure it makes it into this year's written review.

We stuck to the basic idea of using relatively few classic, if not purely classical materials, quality versus quantity and depth versus breadth still our goal, and much was left unplanned for those fascinating rabbit trails to lead us off on tangents, but the exact materials varied quite a bit from the ones originally stated.

First of all, I found it tiresome and trying to mesh all her language arts with whatever books we were reading at the time. I'm not interested in creating a curriculum from scratch (not anymore, anyway.) And besides that, I've decided Charlotte Mason pretty much matches my preferred style of teaching and Elle's preferred style of learning: Short, gentle instruction; not boring her to tears over-analyzing an otherwise enjoyable tale. I say 'pretty much' because we are adapting it for our own purposes following The Well Trained Mind's four-year chronological history plan, but remaining a bit looser than Ms. Mason would probably have preferred. Becky at Farm School gets the credit for that. Out with the Harvey's and in with the First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind Level 3, a book that works well within a Charlotte Mason framework, particularly for a child like mine who enjoys workbooks. The grammar lessons are short and incorporate usage, mechanics, diagramming, memorizing selections of poetry, copywork, dictation, and narration. Most importantly for her, there was not a lot of writing. We had done the first book (covering First and Second Grades) orally so she was familiar with the program. Elle needed a separate, specific spelling program. Trying to manage something on my own was too scattershot for my not-quite-natural speller, so instead of re-researching every single last option I just went with Spelling Workout which we'd used before. Level C was a good fit and she likes it because it's a workbook. The Commonplace Book is now dedicated to her non-schoolwork journal writing.

We read Andrew Lang's Fairy books as planned, but I switched to Howard Pyle's The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood and added Otto of the Silver Hand because the library had the first one and I had the second one. Our little local council recently merged with the big city council and access to a really good library system seems to be the only benefit to the amalgamation so far, but I'm very pleased. The new and improved library enabled us to supplement with many more topical books than I originally planned. We might get to Pyle's The Story of King Arthur and His Knights when she gets back.

Where we did stick to the plan was with Latin. She finished Prima Latina and is ready to begin Latina Christiana I.

Math-U-See Alpha was completed but we haven't even begun Beta. We'll pick this up when she gets back and move through it quickly enough to get her into Saxon 5/4 by early next year. She doesn't care for the manipulatives and I don't care for the constant reminders to "use the blocks!"

We're nearly at the halfway point in the Story of the World 2, and we'll keep going until we finish it.

Tennis lessons never materialized after our coach hurt his back. Elle dropped Aikido, deciding one day she hated it and didn't want to go back. Exercise and socializing was instead unstructured and took place at friends' houses and playgrounds. We still play chess. She can beat me. Maybe when she gets back, if we can coordinate it with Sarabelle's afterschool activities to save on fuel, she could take gymnastics or dance down in town.

I am ultimately flexible. It will be fun to see how well the authorities deal with spontaneity and deviation.

1 comment:

Becky said...

"I am ultimately flexible."

You are BEYOND flexible!

"It will be fun to see how well the authorities deal with spontaneity and deviation."

Might make an interesting experiment ;)

Thanks for the mention and the thought -- I'm not as flexible as you are, at least not yet, but I'm getting there!

I think the proof is in the pudding. That Elle can take time off for a spontaneous long-distance trip, so well prepared and with telephone lessons, is a testament to how well you've made it all work for your family.