3.10.2011

This 'n that

I'm glad tomorrow is Friday!  We've got sunshine and mild temps and it's nigh onto impossible to settle down to Duty.  My restlessness (cabin fever?  spring fever?) drove me to rearrange the living room this week, a satisfying set-up that put my favorite sittin' place in front of our sunny window.  My cup of jasmine green tea, my book or Bible, and I'm happy.

Our school is going well.  SweetPea plugs away faithfully and has hit a 'good spell' in Algebra, for which I'm grateful.  This week's literature is wonderful:  a beautifully written story about a young girl in the Dust Bowl era, Out of the Dust, and our read-aloud, Christy, by Catherine Marshall.  I'd forgotten what a good writer she was, and we're savoring the rich characterizations and vivid descriptions.  One of the things I have just loved this year using WriteShop to teach composition is how it has provided such specific and clear understanding of the mechanics of good writing, demystifying it and enabling us to do a better job of literary analysis.  Both of these novels are giving us some good practice at that.

Thinking about spring cleaning...raking & pruning...planning and planting...camping and fishing and roadtrips.  This year I want to include some new items in my garden, including collards, okra, and some kitchen-garden herbs.  This candida diet I've been on for the past two years has introduced me to veggies I never dreamed I'd eat, much less like.  Makes my mouth water to think of picking and cooking them fresh!  What with the cost of produce right now, I'm very motivated.

But first things first.  I hope I can stay focused long enough to get the mending and basement and filing and school year done.

On the other hand, maybe we'll knock off and go nature journaling tomorrow!

4 comments:

  1. Christy is one of my FAVORITE books. I actually have it on my night stand and maybe soon I will re read it again. *grin* And yes greens, collards, salad greens are some of the easiest things to grow and they are packed with goodness when just picked and then eaten. I love going out in the late afternoon and pick my dinner. *grin* and boy there is a BIG savings too! Praying your spring projects go well.

    blessings and ((HUGS))!
    -Mary

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  2. Sounds like you are working on a good case of spring fever! Is Write Shop suggested by Sonlight? Those books sound great. I remember reading Christy when I was a young lady. I hope you get to do some camping. Where do you like to go? You live in such a beautiful state. I can imagine bears around too. :-) Have a great weekend.
    Jenn

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  3. Jenn,

    No, I learned about WriteShop through a friend. It's a fair bit of work for the teacher as far as utilizing lesson plans and forms, but it's a wonderful program overall. The learning is incremental, methodical, but with checklists for both the student and teacher to be able to evaluate and grade. I love it!

    Furthermore, I have maintained for a long time that unless a student can construct a well-thought-out, well-edited paragraph, all other longer pieces will be a challenge. They won't know what they did wrong and neither will I. I don't feel Sonlight did a good job by us over the years in this department, and even though I am a writer myself, I felt that we just never 'got it' as well as I felt she needed. This was really a Godsend for us.

    WriteShop takes the whole first year just doing one-paragraph compositions and has the student do three passes on each one before a final grade. The second year, which we will do next year, moves on to essays--great for high school--and longer compositions.

    To me the proof is in the pudding. My daughter's improvement was exponential in just the first semester, and she was a good writer to start with. So I'm very pleased that we were able to regroup and have her master the foundational stuff. I can't believe what I've learned, too!

    I am giving her other writing assignments from time to time as well, and require her to go through the same process as what she's doing in WriteShop. They have extra forms you can use for that in the appendix--essays, book reports, etc.

    From a teaching point of view, it's been marvelous to have the subjectivity of grading/evaluating writing taken away. I have to spend more time at every stage of each of her compositions, but that thoroughness is what's making for excellence--and vastly improved writing.

    They recommend the program from 6th grade up, and I wish we'd done it last year in 8th grade. But perhaps her rapid improvement has to do with being more mature now and being able to think more critically about her own work.

    Maybe more info than you wanted! I'm going to post this as a post since I've been wanting to do a review on WriteShop as something that works.

    May the Lord lead and guide you in this area of your homeschooling!

    Blessings,
    Wendy

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  4. Sounds like things are going well by you. I hope the garden works out for you. I'm not much of a gardener, but my sister is. She's already scoping out an area for a garden in her new home. :)

    JoAnn

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