What we are using

23 September 2011

Week 3 -- Writing Problems

CC books completed: The Wee Free Men, Behind the Lines, The War Within, I, Juan de Pareja, Zenda and the Gazing Ball

LB - books received: How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight, Judy Moody The Doctor Is In, The Three Little Dassies, Purplicious, If You Give a Moose a Muffin, If You Give a Pig a Pancake, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Kitten's First Full Moon, Rapunzel


LB working on a newspaper

CC starting her day's work with left hand practice


Kids grinding corn during LB's field trip

LB making her way into an Anasazi cliff dwelling

CC's work this week -
Cello, Math, poetry, handwriting (left hand), poetry copywork, The Story of Science, Sophie's World, Creation myths, Every Bone Tells a Story, The Brain, ClassiQuest Biology, Shurley Grammar, 3 writing prompts, Spanish, vocabulary, Greek Roots, Story of the World written summaries, a dozen pages from Logic Liftoff, a one page paper on a topic of choice.

LB's work this week:
Tap, Gymnastics, Saxon Math, Math in Focus, ETC, a McRuffy reader, Logic Liftoff, cursive handwriting practice for both hands, Jan Brett coloring pages, a field trip to a local historical site, and cave painting.

Challenges:
We have a writing problem.  CC is working on a new story which is turning out to be beautiful.  She spends long hours researching, writing, revising, planning, and writing some more.  She has over a thousand words for this story so far.

Now, you might wonder what my problem is.  It is writing assignments from her enrichment school such as,  "Write an 8 sentence accordion paragraph about your favorite tv show."  She spent a lot of time this week balking at this writing prompt and ended up very dissatisfied with the results of her work although her paragraph was interesting and well-written.  That type of writing makes her feel like a failure.  How do I get her to be more comfortable with this type of writing?  My best argument so far involves something that amounts to learning to write well withing constraints or learn to conform.  I'm not even convinced by my own arguments.  Is this type of writing important? I have specifically avoided writing programs that try to teach that stuff so why am I inflicting it her now?

We added cello lessons and pottery to CC's schedule this week.  She's had trouble keeping up with everything she had scheduled for herself with the additional activities and the burden of the dreaded writing assignments.  However, by the end of the week she had completed her self-assigned work.

As for challenges with LB,  I just need more time.  I chose the Saxon math with it's long  "math meeting" just so that I would not resort to having her only do workbook pages for math.  There are times when I regret that I made that choice.  She loves the time we spend together with the math, but I often feel like I don't have enough time to spare for it.  We normally spend 45 minutes to an hour doing math, but this is a subject that I don't want to hurry.  For her age, reading and math are most important to me so I'm trying to make sure that that is where I spend the most time and energy.

Good Points.
I really like Ellen McHenry's The Brain.  CC is learning and excited about what she's learned.  She's asked to do another unit from her once she's done with this one.  We'll probably do the chemistry units next.

LB finished ETC3 this week, and it has consistently been a terrific part of our school day. We'll start book 4 next week.

3 comments:

Chucki said...

Just keep plugging along with the writing thing. She will need to be able to know how to do these things for college. They may not bring her great joy, but being able to do the assignments well will come in handy.

Happy weekend.

Daisy said...

Lydia is exactly the same way with writing. She hates having to conform to a writing prompt or formula. That really is why I went with IEW this year. She'll write 20 pages of her own story but she needs to learn to write a solid tight essay too.

I love the pictures of the field trip.

Amy said...

Maybe the writing would have been more bearable with a less banal topic. A favorite TV show?

Sounds like you got much accomplished this week.