Friday, June 12, 2009

Life, Curriculum, and other Miscellany

It's Friday. The week just flew by...again. K is done with school next week - just 2 regents exams the following week. I can't believe summer is already here.

J took her standardized test last week. Now we're just waiting for the results. Then I'll send in the paperwork and it starts all over again. I'm sure she did well on the test. I just don't believe a test like that can even attempt to show what my kid knows. It's all bs and no one really cares how well they do anyway. I tell J that it's just a formality we have to endure so the people in the office can add another checkmark to her file. She doesn't worry about it. And for that I'm glad.

W and I went to the Queens County Farm Museum this morning. We went with the homeschool group and W loved it. We went on a hayride, visited and learned about all the farm animals, made some butter, and planted radish seeds (that we took home and W fully intends to see these actually grow into radishes). A mother duck just hatched about 10 ducklings yesterday and they were jumping out of the tree "crook" where the nest was, hit the ground (unharmed, oddly enough) and formed a group by their mother while waiting for the others to arrive. They were so adorable, yellow, and fuzzy. I love that farm - especially since it's only 10 minutes from my house! Thanks G for a great trip.

This evening W had an award ceremony for cub scouts. He earned a camping badge, a fishing badge, and a few other ones. It was so nice. They had a slideshow going of all the activities and places they went throughout the year and dinner for everyone. W enjoyed hanging with his friends and getting his badges. This is a great pack/troop of kids. 2 are becoming Eagle scouts this year.

J has been out with a friend all day. They hung out at the house, then at the park, then stopped at the school to see another friend's graduation ceremony, then over to the mall. I wonder if I had all that energy at 12 years old, lol. Tomorrow J is performing at a piano recital - she was asked to dance her musical theater solo. A mom of a girl J dances with teaches piano, voice, and flute and asked 5 dancers (her dd's friends) to do their solos. J is excited to have been asked and is looking forward to it.

I'm waiting for the last shipment of books for AO Yr2. I got a bunch on paperbackswap for free last month and the rest on amazon. Some used, some new. I think I've spent about $140 total so far. He wants the new Teaching Textbooks Math 3. It's supposed to come out in the fall. I almost would prefer the cheap workbook route we've been using. I find elementary math very easy to teach. Does he really need a $100+ program? I mean, not only are 3rd (and 4th to 8th) grade math concepts pretty cut-and-dry, but that kind of math is EVERYWHERE and can be learned completely in context. So, I'm still mulling that one over. We were also thinking about continuing with the Live Mocha Spanish and the Outdoor Hour Challenges (at for our nature study. These are FREE to use and W likes them a lot.

J decided she wants TT-PreAlgebra, some classic literature, to do the nature studies with W and me, and a writing program. So I looked at various things with her and she seemed to like Writing Strands. Other things she's thinking about include labwork at the science center, classes at history and art museums, and continuing being the assistant teacher to her "babies" at the dance studio. She wants to be fully prepared for high school if she's accepted.

Both kids have chosen their own curriculum. They have interests, have things they enjoy, things they want to learn, and I facilitate as best I can. They both told me straight out they prefer a schedule and it is my job to research with them what looks good. They each spend less than 2 hours each morning on the academic seatwork, but endless hours exploring their world and pursuing their interests. Throw in the abundant myriad of classes, trips, and outings we do throughout the year in this incredible cultural mecca that is New York City and how can any other education compare?


motherofd3 said...

hi Angela, this is Georgina, i just want to mention that Carmen is 8 and she is using teaching textbook 5,she love it. if you want i could make you a copy and maybe you could let w try. they start from the beginning with addition &subtraction basics so they cover 2-5 grades topics if any is missing i just supplement with worksheet i print from the internet..let me know

NYCitymomx3 said...

Hi Georgina! You're right. The Math 5 does look like it would be perfect. He really wants to use that program, so I'm probably going to get it for him. You don't have to make me a copy - I'll probably just buy it in a month or so. Thanks so much!