Wednesday, April 9, 2008

On Poetry and Atlases

In our normal school schedule this week lined up as an off week. However, with field trips, quilting days and turkey hunting next week I opted to do something a little different and actually have school this week. Grace and Lee are focusing on Language Arts and Map Skills. So this week has been a little more intense concerning those two subjects. The kids are excited to move through the lessons and be that much closer to the finish line, however, it entails some pretty in depth work in some areas.

Today was one of those in depth days. Grace had to write poetry, probably her least favorite thing in the world to do. The word poetry brings her to a panic, whether it be reading, reciting, memorizing or writing. First she had to write poetry based on opposites starting with morning and ending with night. Then she made one up about horses starting with take the horse out and ending with put the horse back in. Things were going smoothly until she was instructed to write a 4-6 line rhyming poem. Her negative vibes were so intense I found myself actually sweating as she scribbled unrelated misspelled rhyming words onto a torn piece of looseleaf. I asked her to take her negativity elsewhere. So she took it about four feet away and huffed and sighed as she wrote. Well after we both calmed down and I directed her to a few children's books of poetry and coaxed her into writing, this is the finished product.

Her pants are blue
and so are you.
Her shirt is yellow
makes me think of lemon jello.
Her shoes were blue and white
her smile so bright,
made me think of golden light.

Not Dickinson or Poe, but we were both happy with the outcome, so much so that she actually plans on reading it to dad at supper.

Next up... Atlas work. Pair a serious, perfectionist, extremely literal nine year old boy with a Map Skills workbook and Scholastic Atlas and the outcome.....? Well, let's just say I wouldn't want to repeat this day. Of course the workbook only wants him to color in 5 general climate zones for the U.S. and the atlas includes 12 different climate zones. The workbook calls it a Land Use map, the atlas, an Economic Industry map. Too many discrepancies, too many countries to look up in the Index, too many everything, according to him. But now the work is done and he is in total glory trapping muskrats.