Tag Archives: lessons

A Midsummer Night’s Dream to one who’s never seen it

After watching the 1981 film made of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, courtesy of the Victoria Public Library, Chris and I had a chat about the movie.  Now, let me preface this with this:  I caught him trying to avoid watching at several junctures and offered this alternative to the movie:  us reading the play out loud together.

Me:  What did you like about the movie?

Him:  Nothing.

Me:  Seriously, even a movie that you hate, you can always pick one thing about it that you liked.  Pick something.

Him:  The credits.

Me:  Remember school?  Want to go back?  (said with a grin)

Him:  um… no.  Okay… um, I kinda liked that it was like a fairy tale.  With like, fairies and stuff.  I would have liked it better if there was a real swordfight instead of that stupid one at the end.  I like stuff like that, armor and swords, and other stuff.

Me:  Well, good.  It wasn’t in this one, but it is in some of the other plays.  I’ll have to look for some.  (Pretty sure I saw rolling eyes at this point, but I ignore them.)  I’d also like to go to the Rennaisance Festival this fall.  I’ll talk to your Dad about it, because they have fencing and jousting.

Him:  Real jousting?  Like on horses and everything?

Me:  Yes, on horses and everything.  I LOVE the RenFest.

Him:  Cool!  I’d like THAT.  So… is my test done?  Can I go play?

Me:  sigh… yeah, I guess so.

OK, so it was a little rough.  I probably should have introduced him to Shakespeare with Romeo & Juliet, maybe the Leonardo DeCaprio version.  🙂  In fact, that may be my next one, if he hasn’t learned by then to sleep with his eyes open.  He’s convinced that he’s too young for Shakespeare.  I had to point out that my class performed this play (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) in the sixth grade.  Not said:  I was 11 in 16th grade (twelve by the the end), not 13.  But… what interested an eleven year old girl is not the same as a 13 year old boy.  Another sigh.  🙂

Okay, so maybe the next classic will be Homer’s The Odyssey.  That might be a better one.  In the meantime, I have determined that he has NO idea how to read or listen to and understand Shakespeare’s speech.  So that’s something we’ll have to remedy.  I know it’s hard.  Even as a voracious reader, it’s hard to learn.  I do recognize that because I have read it so much through the years, it’s much easier to get now.  There were times I laughed out loud, and he’d look at me like I lost my mind.  I’d have to pause the movie and go back through the words to help him understand what was going on.  OK, so to him, it was 2 hours of his life wasted.  To me, it was a start.  I have a book for writing on Life in Rennaisance England.  Maybe we’ll have a day of our own, make costumes and try to talk like that all day.  Make it a little fun.  🙂  We’ll see.  In the meantime, I’ve exposed him to Shakespeare, and we’ll go from there.

Afterward, he designed this with his legos.  🙂  Creativity abounds.  And he pointed out that he made some adjustments to the back, paying attention to the fact that it needed a reinforcing column.

In other news, my LabPaq arrived today!!!!  Chris and I were acting like it was Christmas Day… unpacking the box, checking out the scales, petri dishes, microscope, talking about what kind of science experiments we can do.  It was fun!!!  Definitely more interest in Science than Literature.  🙂  I can’t wait for next semester so I can get started on the experiments!!!

I’ve also spent the entire day today with Rebecca Rupp’s Home Learning Year by Year, How to Design a Homeschool Curriculum from Preschool through High School.  As originally planned, I’ll be picking up our goal curriculum (8th grade ABEKA) in about a month.  In the meantime, I’m studying (and yes, taking notes) from this book… 6th grade through 8th.  Just as a reminder, he was failing/barely passing several classes in the sixth grade, but he should have been in 7th grade this year.  So my goal is to bring him up through 8th grade by the end of next year, just in case circumstances become that he has to re-enroll in school (public or private).  This is always in the back of my mind, so I have to be careful to be sure that we’ll cover everything necessary to at least keep him at a 7th grade level, hopefully an 8th grade, at any given time.  Anytime there’s a potential for a custody dispute, I’ve learned, plan for the “worst case scenario”.  So, anyways, I’m combining the three years (one to review what he should have learned, 7th grade and 8th grade to combine what we hope he learns by the end of next  year).  It’s been a busy day.  I’ve barely made it through my note-taking on 6th grade.  I still have 7th and 8th to incorporate.  Then I plan to take the book “A Classical Trained Mind” and incorporate it into these same years.  That will be my “ultimate” curriculum for the year.  🙂

When I’m done completing his “ultimate” curriculum, I’ll go through the same steps to create an “ultimate curriculum” for Kody & Kyle (luckily, they are going to use the same one), in case I can convince my husband to allow me to homeschool them through Kindergarden, and in case circumstances allow me to homeschool them through it (namely, he gets a job that pays well enough to allow it, and my writing income picks up enough to help with what the difference would be if I was working, minus daycare).  🙂

So, that was our day.  How was yours?  Have any tips for this homeschooling mom newbie?  🙂  I can certainly use them!!!!


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Filed under Education, Plans for our Dream Life

Deschooling the first week

I initially planned on one week of de-schooling, then waffled to two, then backed way up to a few days (as Chris seemed eager to start).  He’s now lived with us for a full week.  We haven’t done anything formally, other than to go to the library and pick up a copy of Where the Red Fern Grows.  He only had five chapters left, and he’s read two since he’s been here.  I haven’t been pushing hard, because I did want to give him some time to adjust to our family life, as well as decompress a bit.  We’ve had a few short lessons, mostly instigated by a question Chris asked.  After which I pointedly remarked upon the lessons afterward, partially for his benefit (so he’ll understand that even on days without structure, we are always learning), and partially for Tom’s benefit (so he can see the learning taking place).

One instance was a civics lesson while we discussed homeschooling laws, and Tom and I talked about daytime curfews, etc.  Chris began asking questions, and we talked about the importance of voting, of letting our voices be heard, and participating in the community and elections.  We talked a little about his interests for future career possibilities, and volunteering as a way to further those interests, as well as help out in the community.  Viola, there was our good citizenship lesson… 😀

It helps each day to remind myself of our mindset, of taking the time to answer questions fully and mindfully.

In other news… today we decided to purchase an AMAZING play set from the Re-Store here in Victoria!!  We’re getting it for “a steal”, and it’s HUGE!  Just what the boys need to keep them active and playing outside!  I’ll take pictures during construction, and once it’s finished.  Chris and Dad will do most of the building, I’m sure, with Mom & the twins lending a hand here and there.  So here’s an engineering lesson for the weekend.  😀  Then hopefully we can put our shed up (another engineering & assembly lesson) so we can finish up this stage in the home construction…

Hope to be going to the park in the morning to meet some other homeschoolers here in Victoria.  I never did hear back on the list whether they were still going or not, so we’ll see how it looks in the morning.  They meet at 10:00, though, so I really need to be getting to bed… it’s already 1:30!!!  Good night all!

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Filed under Education