Julie Bogart

I decided to post the one I've sent to a few of you via email. I've taken o=
ut the names. Since
several more have asked, and I have had a bit of time to sit with it, I fee=
l okay about
posting this one.

Julie Bogart


Program for 2003-2004

In the last 18 mos., we embarked on a program of unschooling. C has always =
been a
willing student, eager to do whatever asked of her. Still, we decided that =
she thrives when
allowed to follow her particular fascinations (of which she has many).

In the school year of 2003-2004, C spent her time in the following ways:

TV Viewing
C is keenly interested in the construction of the situation-comedy. She can=
be heard
throughout the house imitating her favorite characters and actors. She has =
been known to
tell me what makes one show effective and what makes another trite or predi=
ctable. She is
able to identify stereotypical characters, caricature and bad dialog. She a=
lso has developed
an unbelievable vocabulary that I can only attribute to TV. She's really cl=
ever with irony
and puns. One of my favorite comments of hers: "All the Disney villains are=
predictable." She went on to elucidate the qualities that make a Disney vil=
lain. J Go C!

Bird Watching
C loved watching birds with us this year (Project Feeder Watch). She has le=
arned to identify
most backyard birds and helped with recording which ones visited the feeder=
. She also
helped us stock the feeder with seed.

Reading and Language Arts
C is learning to read. She is still working on the phonics of reading and h=
as made lots of
progress, though she still isn't reading fluently. We've used some workboo=
ks (Explode the
Code) because she likes to write in them, but mostly learn phonetics using =
shown to me by a reading specialist. She loves to write and has filled ood=
les of notebooks
with letters and "writing" that is her own. She's working through the Frog =
and Toad series
right now reading a little bit each week.

I've read aloud to her from the Girls of Many Lands books (from American Gi=
rl) and we've
enjoyed creating question and answer games for those. She easily narrates t=
he contents
when asked about the stories.

One of my favorite moments came when she set up her five dolls on a special=
ly designed,
tiered stand. She put the English doll in the middle and at first had the I=
ndian (India) doll
next to her. C exclaimed: "Wait. I can't put the India doll next to England=
. They hate each
other." She began to remind me of the conflicts between India and England t=
hat we had
read about in the book. Then she had to decide who could be next to England=
since China
and France also had histories with the British that included war.

She enjoys a wide variety of literature and we read aloud every day.

She also participated in our language games that produced limericks and scr=
poetry. She loves to read and learn poems.

I read the last three Harry Potter books aloud to the kids during our read =
aloud times in
addition to reading poetry. And we make nearly weekly library visits.

In co-op, she studied the Beatrix Potter books and created several projects=
that detailed
BP's work. She easily narrated to me what she learned and what she enjoyed.=
She also took
"Let's Read and Write."

For math, we took an eclectic approach. C did do some of the Miquon math bo=
oks I have
for her and J bought her two traditional math books from the supermarket. B=
ut C finds the
abstract concepts harder to grasp that way so we use them only intermittent=
ly (she likes
writing in "official books" but they often hinder more than help). More oft=
en, we used math
books like: [I]Family Math[/I], [I]The I Hate Mathematics Book[/I] and othe=
r resources from
the library. We also used the Internet for creative math ideas.

Several games helped to reinforce math concepts:
Lentil Measuring
Managing her money
Counting games

C is also endlessly fascinated with patterns. Currently she has an entire c=
ollection of cut
outs from magazines that she pins to a bulletin board in endless arrangemen=
ts based on
their similarities and differences. She might put all the long skinny model=
s in one corner
and all the short square ones in another. Then she matches the "bling bling=
" (jewelry) to
go with them based on color or shape or size.

She constantly organizes the house, her room and her belongings into arrang=
based on her need to see patterns.

Amazingly, though C can't yet read English fluently, she is fascinated by a=
ncient Greek and
has learned the alphabet. We've worked on both lower case and upper case le=
tters as well
as knowing how to pronounce the names of the letters. She has her own Greek=
and keeps a list of our names written in Greek. We sometimes spend several =
days in a row
working on Greek and then take some time off. She's always interested in do=
ing more.

C played soccer in both fall and spring. And she took gym during co-op. She=
swims at the
YMCA and she danced this summer in a ballet five-week workshop as well. One=
thing I like
about C and sports is that she is highly motivated to practice at home. We =
play soccer in
the backyard and she loves to dance in the living room using books from the=
library to
guide her.

The American Girl books from India, China, and Turkey were our primary reso=
urces for
history this year. We learned about the Indian revolt against Britain (1939=
), the Opium War
in Canton (1857), and we studied life in a harem in Turkey (1720).

C turned her knowledge into a card game making questions and answers for th=
e details of
the books. She played with the dolls as well as identified the places menti=
oned in the
books on the globe.

We watched "Bend It Like Beckham" many, many times too. J That movie combin=
ed her love
of Britain, soccer and India.

She participated in our geography work from "Map the World by Heart." She l=
earned about
longitude and latitude as well as flags. She tasted Chinese food for the fi=
rst time this year
as well.

We read several chapters from Story of the World and took time to read stor=
ies from 1001
Arabian nights. The kids loved these. We did several of the projects that a=
re a part of
SOTW including a Roman banner, Chinese lanterns and clay pots. We also look=
ed at maps.

C loves art so we watched the Sister Wendy video series again. We visited t=
he art museum
many times and she took art at the co-op. She's prolific with design type d=
preferring them to portraits and people.

"Pride and Prejudice"
"Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" (and a repeat of the whole trilogy =
including hours
and hours and hours of behind the scenes material about film making, script=
writing etc.)
"Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban"
"Newsies" (musical about the history of newspapers in the late 1800s in NYC=
"Tornadoes" – History of tornadoes
"Sinbad" – she loves mythology so we had fun with this since it related to =
our reading of
the 1001 Arabian Nights.