Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Daily Distractions and Next year's plans....

Moving along on the journey. This week has been quite productive. We were suppose to take advantage of free admission to George Washington's Mt. Vernon but we had snow on the ground Sunday night into Monday so I knew traffic wouldn't be kind. It would have been nice to visit since we are at this point in our history studies. We went to Mt. Vernon last year and the kids hardly remember the trip. They get the governor's mansion in Williamsburg, Monticello, and Mt. Vernon confused...sigh....I guess we will have to visit those places again.

We all watched the
Tale of Two Cities over the weekend as a preview to my high schooler's reading of the book. My MFW lesson plans suggest looking at the movie first as it helps to guide the student through the difficult themes introduced in the book. Everybody loved the movie and is asking to watch it again! What? Seriously? They usually hate academic movies but this one was a winner. I actually checked two versions of the movie out from the library. We watched this one and we will look at this one next. The movie provides insight into the French Revolution and many teachable moments related to character.

Last time I posted I shared a pic of my DD10 and her creative cardboard canoe project. This week it was her Lego creations. This is how she usually spends a lot of her spare time - playing Legos. We have a Engineering place for kids in town that I wanted to sign her up for but I made a mistake and signed her up for the mechanical engineering class-no legos involved. (I had two great photos of her Lego projects but can't get them loaded up in time for the wrap-up. If you want to see them check back in a day or so) Now I'm wondering if I want to pay more $$ for another class. We are entering the Spring season of purchasing next year's curriculum so I'm looking at my budget wondering how to fit it all in. Speaking of curriculum.....

I love it when I find great online sites with free downloadable projects that fit in with what I'm using. I posted last time about the Chemistry unit found on homeschoolshare. This week my online find of the week is here. There are a lot of useful printables under her Geography tab. The printables are specific to MFW ECC which I will be using next year with a lot of beefing up from the Ultimate Guide to Geography and Trail Guide.

Since I hate wrap-ups with no pictures, I posted a random pic of our biggest daily distraction just so you would have something to look at:

How was your week? Join the weekly wrap up by visiting the weird, unsocialized homeschoolers blog and sign up and see what other homeschooling families have been doing this week.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Well I've been incognito for quite some time. I have to feel motivated to write and I just haven't been feeling it lately. My camera is on its last leg as well so you can not blog without having good pictures. I do believe I was able to capture a few good shots this week.

1. The cell experiment with Jello. My DD10 just loves experiments and I am working hard to research resources to liven up her science studies.

There are just way too many choices in the market for homeschooling. You can literally be up all night (it is now 12:24 AM) looking at samples online. I think I'm going to go out on a limb and just pull library books and read about science topics, find experiments that further explore the topic, and have DD write a summary about what she learns. I have such a hard time letting go of the notion that I need a curriculum provider to put everything in a grid for me to make sure my kids are learning. OOOO....I found some great material on homeschoolshare for a chemistry unit study. Now I don't have to reinvent the wheel.

What else have we been up to sense my last post?

2. hanging out with new friends from co-op. Mondays are the kids favorite day of the week b/c of co-op.

3. We are waaaayyyyy behind in MFW Explorers to 1850. I don't know how to get everything done in one week. My grid says its week 20 something and we are in Week 15. I believe we are like 8 weeks behind. Maybe I'm going to have to skip some weeks to not end up schooling all summer. ...sigh...

What's going on in academics?

4. We used Easy Grammar last year but I have to shake things up so I added BJU Grammar to hit some issues I see that come up in my kids' writing. In my work with them I often refer back to topics they learned in Easy Grammar that way it keeps the knowledge fresh in their brains. For example, I often put problem sentences that I find in their writing on the board for us to figure out what is wrong. We start by putting parenthesis around the prepositional phrase (Easy Grammar), identifying the subject and verb of the sentence, and drawing a line between the subject and predicate. By the time we do this they are able to see that conjunctions are missing or they used the wrong participle part of a verb, etc. We don't really diagram past this exercise but I think it is really helpful to help them see how they should write complete sentences. I like that BJU gives you paragraphs at the end of each lesson so you can find
errors. I have learned that it usually takes multiple resources to address different academic needs. However, it can definitely get expensive.

5. I just captured the picture below. DD10 decided to construct her own
Paddle to the Sea out of a cardboard box. Isn't it great? It's equipped with navigation, a dog catcher at the end (why would you need this in the sea?) and a telescope. Her imagination at work, love it! Maybe it's the Mechanical Engineering classes she's been attending for the last 4 weeks that has her juices flowing. I really like the 4 books in the Beautiful Feet Geography through Literature series. We have really learned a lot about the river systems and industries in the US that have been spawned by the river.

Perhaps I will have more spurts of motivation to keep my blog. I've been spending a lot of time on the Well Trained Mind forums learning from so many veteran homeschoolers. I do believe that forum is the single most important resource that I have found where I've learned so much about this journey.

What went on in your homeschool world this week? Join the weekly wrap up by visiting the weird, unsocialized homeschoolers blog and sign up and see what other homeschooling families have been doing this week.


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