Homeschool Thursday: Reports and bits

If we’re not outside, here’s where we spend most of the day…

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Last week we finished our study of the American Revolution and are moving onto Lewis and Clark, the Oregon Trail, and some Native American study.  The big kids and I outlined major ideas about the Revolution based on our readings.  Then they each dictated their reports (separately) while I typed.  I think an argument could be made about the importance of having them write and then correct their work (they both need work on the spelling to be sure) but I find in instances like this where the focus is getting out coherent ideas and learning how to craft a report, that it is helpful to have them dictate rather than get hung up on spelling and punctuation.  These reports were pretty heavily scaffolded on my part–only their own words were used, but I did I a fair amount of stopping them and encouraging them to go into detail, or pointing out when something was worded in a confusing way.  My plan is to have them do a report after each unit we study, making the outlines together, but gradually allowing them to work more and more independently on their papers.  This way they get a sense of what a well written paper sounds like before attempting on their own.  Also, I hope doing it together will make it a fun process, not something scary and dreaded.  As a student, after procrastinating for weeks then stressing about having to work for hours the night before it was due, I actually kind of loved writing papers.  I hope they might someday too.  The funny thing is that since we’re all reading the same books together, discussing ideas, and making outlines together, that their two papers sound very much alike.  I suppose that must happen in school too.

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Learning how to take notes and outline a report.

Other bits….

This new bench from my dad has become winter storage in the mudroom (until the temps really drop). I love being greeted by this riot of color and good food each time we enter.

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We’ve moved onto the orange hats and stretchy gloves of late fall, but this Rosa Rugosa is still hanging onto summer.

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Kale cleaned his room Wednesday, then came downstairs asking if we could build a shelf for his mini-figures since he had nowhere to put them.  I’m sure I respond that “maybe sometime we could,” and that “maybe we could talk to Pop when he got home”.  Next thing I knew, he had dragged an old tree limb from the woods and built his own shelf.  I’m guessing the third child figures out pretty quickly what maybe really means.   Love.

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(Pictures of the shelf in action soon to come).

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