When faced with the obvious, that changes and adjustments had to be made, I was not particularly thrilled about it. Now, a few weeks after, I am getting to enjoy the fruits of that needed adjustment to our studies plan this year.
With the adjustments, now my oldest girl's week fits her pace, so all in all, only one week has been needed to be back on schedule. These are some of those adjustments:
- I am BREAKING THE READINGS INTO TWO (or more), LEAVING THE STORY AT THE PEAK. This works sooooo much better. We remember where we left, and we have time to settle in what we have read. Sometimes my daughter narrates even better the next day before we continue with the readings.
- I am ashamed to say that after much written and asked at the Ambleside Forum, I am sticking to Pilgrims Progress the original. I understand the value in the Little Pilgrims Progress, but one of the reasons for this year not working was the heavy load of readings and I realized I was in the 36 week schedule. Now that the readings per week are shortened by half, this book is fine again as it was when we took off.
- The Burgess Animal Book. One chapter per week. Pagoo for next year. Wonderful Plan. We now savor each chapter now. We break it in two or even three readings, watch a short video of the animal from a excel page at AO lists yahoo group for resources, and narrations are flowing once again.
- Lamb's book of Shakespeare. We do not do this. Next year, when my other girl starts, she will be ready, and her sister too, that way both will get into the plots and hopefully reenact the plays.
- Parables From Nature. Last year we did this irregularly. I think we missed one or two. This year we are back on track and it is going better too. I do not insist much on narrations though. My daughter is more familiar with the book, and once more, with adjustments in the readings length and breaking the chapter into two or three, this is a nice reading. Greatly loved by me.
- Math. We have come to a great point by mixing Life of Fred, some other math books, and MEP book 1b. Little one, almost six, will start 1a next week. I will not start AOYear1 until next fall with her, but math I will. Specially now that I am more committed to respect their pace and stop to reassess if needed be. After getting the feeling with her sister, she could very well be one of those children who could do year 1 now at 6. She narrates from the readings I do with her sister in a very articulated way, she is that type of independent person that tackles things with a passion on her own. But she is not even SIX. Where is the rush? We are reading those wonderful books we read when my oldest was in Kindergarten. Waiting until she is almost seven will give her the right maturity to do a full swing of Year1, catching up with Shakespeare for children, and PoN and Trial and Triumph in a more meaningful way.
- I thought my oldest would need a year an a half at least to finish her year2, things looked bad by week 6, but it may not get to that point. It may extend into just a few more weeks than 36, we already had to add 1 week to catch up this first quarter. But with these adjustments each week seems very feasible. Next school year, instead of starting school early in July like this year, we may do so at the end of August or even September. Even those two months will count and benefit my youngest, whose birthday is in November.
- We also made an adjustment already in the additional readings category. We left Heidi after the first half. The other books we have read for this year are a total success. I am celebrating my oldest girl's love for Nathaniel Hawthorne. We finished The Wonderbook for Girls and Boys. What a wonderful treat. I am putting some time before we get to Tanglewoods. We are reading Dr. Doolittle, and I will soon start off with another title from year 2 in Spanish.
Now we can proudly say we are ENJOYING our year 2. After all, adjusting is a nice thing, because it reminds me to treat the girls like persons, it gives me a great opportunity to get back on track with good practices (reading meaningfully, stopping at the peak, narrating myself to remember it is a learned task and not an easy one, considering my girl's input about why things are not flowing well). It is a humbling yet empowering process.