Friday, April 30, 2010

April 30, 2010

I can't believe tomorrow is the first day of May. It's been a pretty good week. We were introduced to Shakespeare this week in Language Arts. LLATL takes you through Much Ado About Nothing but we went to the library to check out retellings of Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo & Juliet, and one more whose title escapes me. We had a blast reading these books aloud. JW assigns voices to the many characters in these books. She wrote summaries of the books and a biography of William Shakespeare. I must say I see great improvement in her writing and that makes me very proud. I can attribute this improvement to the study of grammar and the IEW "Elegant Essays" lessons. I've purchased Wordsmith to continue building on her writing skills. This in combination with vocabulary study will make for a good high school writer (smiling). This has been one of my goals in the beginning of this journey - to improve JW's writing.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April 21, 2010

We started the standardized testing this week. One of the track moms suggested Seton Testing. I took her suggestion because of the $25 price tag. I was going to use Stanford Testing in a group setting but by administering the Seton Test I save $25 and gain some convenience. The test seems really easy. It included elements that LLATL introduced in the lessons we covered so I was very happy with that. The math sections are pretty straight forward as well.

Including this week we have 9 weeks left before the "end of school" so I looked at the lessons that we still need to cover in LA, Math, & History and divided the work up into weekly lessons through the week of June 12th. I hadn't done that before I just planned based on covering at least so many hours weekly in each subject. But since we are close to the end I thought it best to break it up to make sure we get everything in. I will continue with Math, Reading, and Writing with everyone over the summer and I'll allow JW to finish any Science lessons we don't get to. I'm still putting together all my plans for next year with great anticipation. I'll be attending the CHAP Convention in Harrisburg, PA in a couple of weeks with a good friend. I'll be taking JW along for the ride as well. I'm looking forward to this rite of passage, especially the exhibit hall which so many people warn me about. I don't plan to buy anything unless there is an irresistable deal in the used curriculum sale. I plan to use;; and for all the texts I need for next year and I know exactly how much everything should cost.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Planning for next year

Seems like I keep going back to the drawing board when it comes to planning for next year. Initially, I used TWTM as an outline as to what and how to teach certain subjects at different levels. But as I look to have more than one homeschooler it seems wise to use one curriculum resource where possible. JW will do Classical Conversations once a week using Saxon math, Latin grammar, World Geography, Creative Writing, and Newberry Literature. I'm going to add Wordly Wise to help strengthen her vocabulary. I'm expecting her to be responsible for her work and accountable to her tutor for her assignments with my oversight. She will do history as a unit study with her sisters and physical science under my direction.

My most recent find has been Tapestry of Grace. It will allow me to do Language Arts Reading, History, and Bible/Church History with all three kids using real books and resources catered to their grade levels. I downloaded sample lessons from thier website and I believe it will help make things interesting and a little easier as far as lesson planning goes. I will use Saxon for each kid for their grade level, younger two will do Apologia and Spelling Workout for Spelling. I don't have anything formal for grammar - not sure what I will add if anything for that. Seems like an awful lot to do. Not to mention the fact that I want to incorporate Art & Music as well. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out but I am looking forward to all of this being a family affair.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spring Break

OK Spring Break is over! We didn't get to make the Buffalo head but we made a diorama of a pioneer log cabin. The fireplace came out lovely thanks to the man of the house who was an architecture major in college. We drew the fireplace but he suggested the 3D version. Yes I know the furniture isn't to scale.

Because Spring Break is during Easter Week it was very very busy. Most of the family with the exception of JW and myself were in the church's Easter Production. So the week was filled with practices and ended with three productions that took place Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Needless to say we were all exhausted.

The weather is beautiful. I look forward to the end of school so everyone will be home together. I'm planning now for all the things I want to do with the kids. I really missed out last summer as I was working full-time. I remember how sad it was when everyone went back to school because I felt like we spent very little time together. But this summer will be different. I'm looking forward to it.


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