Monday, October 18, 2010

We are wrapping up the Seeds chapter in Exploring God's Creation through Botany. We ventured outside in search of Monocots and Dicots. We didn't have to walk far to find so many interesting things growing in our neighbors' front yard. A green pepper and other flowers we have yet to classify. Next in Botany - Fruits.

Also this week we completed the 3 week diaroma project on Feudalism. I was so proud of the results. It was so easy to get excited about it in the beginning and then let the project drag on. But I was determined to get it finished and I'm so glad we did. Do you see the knight standing guard on the tower?

Speaking of Feudalism from our study of the middle ages using TOG, I've decided not to purchase any other units from TOG and just follow the lesson plans from SOTW CDs and the Activity Book supplementing with books from the library to complete our second 9 weeks of History studies. After that I am excited to finish up the 3rd and 4th 9 weeks using My Father's World Year 4 - Exploration to 1850. That should take us through the year and then some.
The reason I decided to switch was to save time on lesson planning. TOG is such a smorgasboard that it is too time consuming to put together. I had trouble making all that information comprehensive to ensure my kids were learning and progressing through the information week after week. "Learning and progressing" leads me to my next point - I issued Homeschool Report Cards today. Today officially marks the end of the first 9 weeks so I tallied grades and did my official final grade for each subject. I picked the "homeschool report card" up from the homeschool conference I attended last summer. The 8th grade report card I downloaded from the web and customized it to fit my needs. I can't find the site now but if anyone is interested I'll be happy to email the document.

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Visit Forever, For Always No Matter as well to see what other homeschoolers are doing.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

It seems like I am always looking for new resources and wanting to incorporate so much material that I don't have time to do. Sometimes the monotony of our routine sends me looking for new things to add to our studies. Day in and day out Math lesson, History reading, CDs and activities, library visit, Science reading and notebooking, Writing Lessons, etc.
I can't afford to always buy new things to add some spice to our day but if I don't switch it up I get extremely demotivated. I haven't read much about this from other moms but I can't imagine I'm alone. So I'm looking to add Art & Music Appreciation to coincide with our Middle Ages history lessons. Barb over at Harmony Art Mom seems to have the perfect affordable curriculum.

Here is how it all wrapped up this week.

DD13 - Progressing with Challenge A program through Classical Conversations. Nature study research topic this week was on Arachnids. Daily lessons in Latin and Math, and Geography focus this week, South America. Catechism memorization from two texts, Don't Check Your Brains at the Door and It Couldn't Just Happen.

DD11 & DD9 - Finishing up Feudalism in our SOTW and TOG History Lessons. We are still working on dioramas of the classes. I reviewed the First Knight with Sean Connery on last night as it was recommended on a movie list to correspond to this point in History we are studying. I think my kids would think the movie is boring so I'm going to try one other Knight movie before deciding to pull the plug on these movies altogether. Only one IEW lesson completed this week, daily math and only one Science lesson. I'm not sure why I'm not meeting my scheduled Science lessons each week. We are suppose to do two per week. I'm getting a little weary of Botany, it's a great curriculum its just that I think we've all had enough of plants. I'm skipping the flowers and pollination section as they've had a lot of this in public school so we will be moving on to the chapter on Fruits. I may have to buy another Apologia text because we will be finished with this book I believe before January.

Other happenings this week - State park visit with friends for PE, piano lessons (DD9 every Tuesday), Missionettes (every Wednesday night), Library visit (once each week).

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Friday, October 8, 2010

Wow I can barely remember this week. It went by so fast. We went to the Shenandoah Valley over the weekend so I didn't get any planning done for homeschool. But it was a nice getaway. We visited my alma mater - James Madison University. DD9 says that's where she wants to go to college.

Here is how it all wrapped up:

Classical Conversations Challenge A
- Four Math Lessons Done. Latin exercises and Vocabulary work. She didn't do too well on her Latin quiz. I'm powerless to help as I know nothing about Latin. She does well at learning the vocabulary but gets the different verb(declensions) and noun endings (conjucations) mixed up. I guess I need to set up something with the tutor to see how I can assist. This is the last week on Central America in World Geography - map work nd country capitals. Memory/Mastery work of 1-14 of 50 Catechism questions. IEW Bible Based lessons paper this week on Jesus' words from the Gospels. Dress-Ups and writing tools worked on this week include sentence openers, and topic/clincher sentences. Science nature topic - mollusks. Her research was on Squid. Gleaned from work done with sisters in History - reviewed Fall of Rome through Alfred the Great.

Here is what the rest of the gang did this week:

DD11 - daily exercises in Wordly Wise 6, 4 math lessons complete from Saxon 6/5, 1 IEW SWI A exercise done; writing tools introduced - "who/which" clause and "-ly" words. We really should have done more but didn't work it in. Finished up chapter on Seeds in Exploring Creation with Botany. However, 12 day experiment in process in recording data on seeds growing through germination. Finished 1 of 4 shoebox diorama on Feudalism and review History lessons to date (Fall of Rome through Alfred the Great).

DD9 - same as above with the exception of math lessons from Math U See.

We've also been slowly working on a lapbook (my first attempt at one) on the Fruit of the Spirit.

Even though we do homeschool PE every Friday at a nearby park sometimes I need to really let them loose in the backyard to make some of their own fun. They surprisingly find ways to make that outdoor fun educational as I learned on yesterday.

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Friday, October 1, 2010

Mondays are always our most productive days. Maybe its the idea of starting fresh from the rest of the weekend and going full steam on the first day of the week. Here is how it all wrapped up:

Classical Conversations Challenge A
- Four Math Lessons completed and one Test done. Latin Lessons and New Vocabulary from Latin's Not So Tough Book 3. However, dd13 would disagree that Latin isn't tough. Nature Science Topic done on the Weeping Willow. The topic this week was trees. She makes such beautiful drawings on her science reports each week. I really need to help her hone her Art Skills.
Geography topic was Central America - map drawing and memorizing countries and capitals. You are suppose to know geography terms and major bodies of water but she never seems to master the terms or major rivers. I usually let her skip them as I don't think they are all that important. Do we really need to know what a bog or cavern is?
Expository Writing (IEW Bible Based Lessons) included a paper on Faith, comparing the faith of the Centurion, Peter, and the woman with the issue of blood.
Apologetics - more memorization from the Catechism questions based on It Couldn't Just Happen and Don't Check Your Brains at the Door. Reading done from both of these texts.
I think that does it for DD13.

Here is what the rest of the gang (dd11, dd9) did this week:

We did one out of two Science lessons I planned for this week. Instead of doing two lessons next week we will do three to catch up. The girls always complete their Vocabulary exercises from Wordly Wise for their grade level and their assigned math lessons. We started Lesson 1 from IEW (Student Writing Intensive). I love the idea of having different ways of teaching subjects. For example: notebooking journal for Science, Story of the World CDs and Read Alouds for History, and DVDs for the Writing Lessons. I think the kids appreciate the variety as well to keep things interesting and so do I. DD9 had piano lessons on Tuesday but homeschool PE was cancelled today because of the puddles the rain left behind from yesterday's 24 hour rainfall. Fridays lessons plans were shot out of the water as I heard "let's go somewhere" twenty times after breakfast. I abandoned my plans and we all went shopping to find materials to make our "4 Alls" diaroma depicting feudalism during the Middle Ages. This project will include 4 shoe boxes outfitted to represent the peasant life, knighthood, monks, and nobility. I'll post pictures when it's all done.
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