Thursday, September 24, 2015

Lesson Planning - Language Block

Lesson planning for our next main lesson block, which is Language.

Beowulf for my older and Tall Tales & Personal Narratives for my younger.

I just finished reading an article on unschooling called School's Out - Forever and it got me thinking about Natalie, grade 8. She was so excited about this Geometry block because she said Math is her favorite subject, but getting her to do a main lesson book page is like pulling teeth. It's 4:16 p.m. and she's still working on her two page spread for The Golden Mean. She does beautiful work but she is excruciatingly slow. We are always still doing schoolwork at 6 pm, and even then it spills into the weekends. Love and Logic is all about setting boundaries... and it says you shouldn't work harder on your kids' schoolwork than they do. So I have to ask myself, am I working harder than Natalie? She's perfectly content listening in on Leah's lessons, or reading, or taking an hour to wash the lunch dishes, or petting the cat, or sipping slowly on a drink, or looking out the window. Right now she's coloring her fingertip grey with the tip of her pencil.

So do I slow down and accept her pace because when she DOES work it is great? Or do I stop teaching her totally until she takes it more seriously (I'm feeling really disrespected by her attitude)? Or do I nag and push so that we get more done? I haven't had this problem when homeschooling before, when they were younger, and I don't have it with my very internally-motivated middle child, but Natalie has me stumped. She wasn't this way with the first block so either it's Geometry or she feels that homeschooling doesn't have any "teeth" to it and she is happy to wander around the house. Freedom with responsibility is how Maria Montessori would put it, and she has gotten out of balance: too much on the freedom side and not enough on the responsibility side.

And I wonder what will happen when she goes to college.

Here is the list of what I have on my shelf and what I just finished requesting from the library:


Beowulf (Signet Classics)

Beowulf - Signet Classic Edition teacher guide - basis for my ideas for this block (PDF)

Beowulf CD
Selections from the epic poem, Beowulf, and other examples of early English poetry

Beowulf (Audio CD - unabridged)

Beowulf CD

Beowulf: An Adaptation by Julian Glover of the Verse Translations of Michael Alexander and Edwin Morgan

Tall Tales

American Tall Tales

John Henry: An American Legend

Heroes, Outlaws & Funny Fellows of American Popular Tales
so happy to have found this! 1939!

Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox

McBroom Tells a Lie

McBroom's Ghost

McBroom's Zoo

Three Strong Women: A Tall Tale from Japan

Personal Narratives

Reviving The Essay: How To Teach Structure Without Formula

Awakening the Heart: Exploring Poetry in Elementary and Middle School

Stringbean's Trip to the Shining Sea


My Name Is Georgia: A Portrait by Jeanette Winter

If I Owned a Candy Factory

Do You Know What I'll Do?

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