Monday, July 12, 2010

Language, transcripts, activities, oh my!

Friday night,I decided it was time to start planning the next school year. I kicked this off my having a huge sugary granita at about 7 PM and then sitting down with The Well Trained Mind and the new Rainbow Resource catalogue, paper, pen, and the thrash metal Brian was playing on the computer.
It took me 2 1/2 hours to start feeling insane.
I will have a 3rd, a 6th, and an 8th grader next year. I will have to start making transcripts for Matthew this year. So, a few actual questions, dear readers. What do you use to record transcripts? Things like math, language arts, etc are pretty straight forward but what about "squishier" subjects where it's harder to determine a percentage grade?
We have done Latin for 4 years and Greek for 3, but I also want to start teaching a contemporary foreign language. I had always thought to do Spanish simply because that's most likely to be needed in their everyday lives. None of the kids want to do Spanish. I could just force the issue but there are other languages that would be good to learn. Japanese and Mandarin- both could be useful. We have a Japanese neighbour so they could have immediate reinforcement (not to mention watching kaiju and samurai films in the original language). Mandarin is widely spoken world wide and then they could understand *all* the dialougue on Firefly. Opinions, readers?
So this is what I'm looking for for the next year- Ecce Romani, (M,O)Koine Greek, Saxon Math ( with the DIVE compass CD for Matthew), Saxon Grammar (M,O) First Language Lesson and Writing With Ease (A) Science Daybooks (I want to do something more for science but I have not figured that out yet. All the comprehensive stuff seems to be written from a creationist standpoint), Story of the World (Last half of Modern History), Logic, WA State History, replaced mid year with US Gov't, second half of Minimus Secundus (A), art appreciation. I am adding music appreciation and lives of the composers, and looking at Classical Writing for M and O. I can't tell from the description or googling if it's secular or not, and I can;t find the unfunded list on CVA so I just can't tell.
Then activities. We are looking at:
Every other Monday, work MOPS
Every Monday, swim at 4 (all), Olivia ballet at 6:30
Tues- Andrew tap at 4:30, Olivia and I off to knit night most weeks.
Weds: (possible)PE for Andrew at 10:30 ,swim at 4, Olivia dropped off early for ballet at 6:30 on the way to take Matthew ( and any other kid I end up carpooling) to confirmation, also at 6:30. Pick Olivia up late.
Thurs: Drop Olivia off early for ballet on the way to work, require Brian to pick her up.
Friday (possible )PE for Andrew at 10:30
Sat ballet for Andrew at 11:30, if he can be talked into it
Nutcracker rehearsals every Sat/Sun Sept-Dec.
Did I miss anything?
I know I can do this. I know I can.


At 12:58 PM, Blogger Rebecca Kvenvolden said...

Ok, i was SUPPOSED to do a transcript last year for alex and didn't so i'm SO not the person to ask!!! BUT i will say that i'm not TOO scared about it. If you have the chance to listen to any Lee Binz i think it will help you feel better, i can hook you up when i get my act together, i have at least one of her audios. It really is supposed to be simple. And WOW, you really look like you ahve it together curriculum wise! i'll be posting my choices on my blog at some point too but i'm not nearly as together as you!

At 1:39 PM, Blogger Lone Star Ma said...

I would agree that Mandarin is the next best choice if not doing Spanish (the Japanese thing is trendy, I think - Japan is big business but Japanese is spoken in only one small island nation), but I am hard-core on the necessity of Spanish. This nation will be predominantly Hispanic by the time the kids are entering the workforce. I force my eldest to take it every year although she'd rather not (and feel what she is getting is nothing close to enough) and send my youngest to Spanish-immersion schools. That's how I feel about Spanish.

You sound like you have it waaay together. Remember to breathe.

At 2:59 PM, Blogger Cassandra said...

Not much to contribute about kids or homeschooling, but for languages...

I learned Japanese in the early 90s when it was supposed to be the Next Big Business Language. I have very little opportunity to practice it outside anime and movies, and language-specific meetup groups. However, I've never regretted studying it, and study it still, because its grammar and concepts are so very foreign it encourages mental flexibility, especially where phrasing or conveying thoughts is concerned. The kanji are beautiful to study, from a conceptual/linguistics point of view; they're very rich in meanings and fascinating in the ways they are combined to make new words or convey new ideas. The whole structure of the language fascinates me, and study of it is something I tend to escape to as a comforting "treat" when I am mentally frayed. Its benefits are as multitudinous as those of taking up knitting.

That said, Mandarin is also very different in its structure, also uses the original kanji (the Japanese term means "Han (dynasty) characters"), and appears in plenty of movies and other media for practice. And Mandarin is spoken by approximately 874,000,000 people worldwide, as opposed to Japanese's paltry 125,000,000. (Source: -- not quite an order of magnitude more, but give it time. I'm just not as all-aglow about it because my love of Japanese is very personal to me, and Mandarin is not; it would still be an outstanding secondary language to prepare your children with.

(Cassandra Simplex)

At 3:47 PM, Blogger gojirama said...

Rebecca, thanks, I need to hear that transcripts are not hard :)
Mariah, Cassandra, I really, really apprectiate both your insights. To some degree I will let them help make the decision as long as they can agree on one language.

At 5:17 PM, Blogger Lone Star Ma said...

I appreciate Cassandra's point of view, also. Language for the sake of language is valuable beyond all "practical" reasons.


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