Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hump

When our family decided to join Summit Homeschool Co-op this past fall, I thought that 31 weeks of academics sounded like an awfully long time. I worried that we wouldn't be able to keep the pace of early mornings, prepared and packed lunches, and (perhaps most importantly) that I wouldn't stay on top of my class duties. The hump, however, has arrived, and I'm pleasantly surprised at how quickly the time has flown!

Originally the plan was for me to teach one class, British Literature. You know the poem, though, "The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men/ Gang aft agley." (It's Robert Burns, and yes, we've covered that one this year!). Anyway, about a quarter the way through the year I picked up a middle school math class as well. There are three of the sweetest students in it, and I'm all the richer for it! We are using Math-U-See for our text, and in so many ways I feel like I've come back to a good friend. I have gone through the book with my own kiddos three times already, and I'm having a blast working through it again with these kids.

For our last class before Christmas break, I surprised the kids with a math project. This year the kids are working on fractions, so for our class time I found a recipe that made up cookies in a jar, and I had the kids triple the recipe (3 kiddos in the class) so they could each make a Christmas gift to give their parents, grandparents, or someone special in their life. Instead of working problem after problem on their white boards (I love white boards!), instead the kids worked out their fractions on the recipe and then worked together to mix it up.
Sugar!

And lots of chocolate chips!

Make yummy Christmas gifts!
Needless to say, my poor Brit Lit students didn't have the fun of making up cookie mixes. Instead my gift to my literary students was a story. One of my favorites at Christmas time is Dylan Thomas' A Child's Christmas in Wales. After we covered the exigencies of high school English life (namely how to merge quotes in literary analysis essays) I regaled them with Thomas' vivid descriptions of Christmas as a youth in Wales. Alliteration, imagery, onomatopoeia and more techniques abound in that wonderful work. If you haven't read it, please do. It will put you in the mood for Christmas for sure!
Working together to blend quotations.

Don't they look excited?

All right, he looks a little excited (maybe).

So now we are at the hump of our year. I pray that each of the kids has increased in knowledge. I hope the rest of the year will continue to be one of growth and enjoyment. My lit kids are reading through Frankenstein right now, and we will begin working on it when the new year arrives.

Until then, have a blessed Christmas!

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