Considering how lengthy my last post was, I wanted to focus (far more briefly) on the notebook I just created for squirelflight. It didn’t seem reasonable to me that she have a notebook for each, especially given that they all tend to be interrelated in our educational “plan.” (Most things rarely go according to plan, after all.)
Because direct, clearly written instructions and expectations work best for her (along side a flexible schedule and fluid boundaries), I wrote this on the back of the title page:
- record book title and author
- create list of vocabulary from each book or reading selection based on words with which you were not familiar
- look up definitions for each unfamiliar word and copy definitions and source (e.g. Webster’s, dictionary.com) on book’s page
- write brainstorming, outlines, and rough drafts here
- for final: type or copy in best handwriting (not in notebook)
- practice spelling words from lists and practice bees with Mama
- copy and rewrite unfamiliar spellings on a separate page*
- exercise use of “best handwriting” throughout
- use pages for practice exercises in cursive, italics, and clear printing
Below this, I drew tiny boxes and wrote in examples of each category and how it might look. Since I’m the quadruple Virgo (and not the quadruple Cancer that she is), I figure I’m the best resource she has for organizing her work, and guiding her toward methods that help her learn best. My examples may not work for her, but at least they give her ideas of how one might approach these tasks.
With the unfamiliar words in both her practice spelling bees and her reading selections, I have asked her to not only write them down in the notebook, but to go back through the book in small sections at a time, and create flashcards that show the properly spelled word on one side, and the definition on the other utilizing her best handwriting. This way, she gets the repetition both in reading and writing, and the definitions will sink in better (an area with which she has some difficulty). The definitions also include keys to pronunciation, but those only work with an understanding of phonological writing.
*On the first spelling page, I wrote the additional directions:
Please start on the next page. Write each word three times in your neatest hand. Use one line for each word’s set of three. If you do not readily remember the definition for each word, please look it up in the dictionary.