It's our first year of doing Essentials, and my daughter and I both have been a bit overwhelmed.
I love the class, because I'm learning more about English and writing than I ever have before, but it is challenging me more than any of my college classes ever did! Ten weeks in, we're getting the hang of things, and Alathia's writing has improved dramatically.
However, we were struggling to find time to do sentence analysis tasks. Alathia also was feeling like Essentials was "hard" and "scary" because I was projecting that attitude, and she was just following my lead.
A wise friend suggested that I make "Essentials time with mom" a special time. She suggested misting peppermint essential oils (essential oils for essentials...how funny!) or lighting a candle, having a cup of cocoa or tea together, and making it a special bonding time in the afternoons.
I loved that idea! I realized that the corner of the guest room where my girl does her independent work each day wasn't really being used for anything. So, this weekend, I dolled it up and made it my Essentials Corner. It is now an inviting space where we can unwind and review our EEL and IEW homework. She was so excited about it that she started diagramming sentences on the new whiteboards on a Saturday!
A visual cue for my art-loving daughter!
New whiteboards were imperative, for they have given us a spot to list the week's work and to diagram sentences.
I brought in a little glass table that was on my outdoor patio this summer to hold my Essentials bag, our books, our basket of scented pencils and candles, and our portable walls.
Visuals gloriously assist us in our quest to be audaciously astounding conquerors of the Key Word Outline.
A friend from church gave us these little boxes she no longer wanted. They were just the right size for sentence pattern blocks!
An environment to placidly contemplate our Essentials work, where hopefully we will not squander our afternoon, but will be diligent to master the English language!
*Underlined words are from our vocabulary words this year. Just for fun!