Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Schooling Again

We majorly breaked this summer from school... like almost 2 months of little instruction:/ Fortunately we did do a couple of history lessons, especially in the last month and we've been working on some chore training before the school year "officially" got started.

We started schooling again on Thursday, August 23rd. We had 4 solid school "days" and then some big and fun activities the other days. On Wednesday a crew and a man filled our home with power tools and more drywall dust tending to all the problems we found during the walk through :) The kids schooled some through the day and we made a library run, too!!

Thursday we got through our devotion and an art lesson (mostly reading and discussion) before we headed to the "back to school" event with our new home schooling group.

And Friday our morning schooling was detoured by being available to help a fellow home schooling friend. And playing all day with her children.... the kids all had a blast;)

We still got plenty completed;)

We completed the 1st Way (from Our 24 Family Ways). Memorized Matthew 22:37-38. Talked about all sorts of topics like "fear of the Lord", "wholehearted devotion", "obedience and love".

During our pre-rest time reading, we read about the Israelities in the wilderness... we left them just about to "check out" Canaan for a second time.

With all the extra events this week and a half, we only did 4 or 5 math lessons. The girls also worked on on 2 of the days we didn't school all day.

Language Arts
Anna is beginning a new series for Grammar. We are using Rod & Staff 4 for her. It's a lot more "copywork" for her since she had to the practice examples on her paper. But I was VERY impressed with how much First Language Lessons 1,2, and 3 had prepared her for Rod&Staff 4. Makes me kind of wish we had stuck with First Language Lessons 4 instead! I just seemed too easy, who knew it was easy because she liked it... go figure;)

The kids were excited to pull out First Language Lessons again. Chris and Lydia will be working through Level 2 together this year. They started with The Goops poem and enjoyed drawing a picture on their own copies;)


Anna went back to Spelling Power with no problems. And I have held off starting Spelling with Chris and Lydia just yet. I'm hoping to start this week with them.... I just feel like until they complete Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading (our reading "program") that Spelling takes a backseat! I'm planning to do a slower pace with the Spelling Power hopefully using some of the learning activities.

The last two weeks we worked through the End of the Slave Trade. We added the Underground Railroad and famous abolitionists in both America and England. And ended our weeks of study with two examples of slave revolts. We definitely kept the conversations on a "kid level" but I think they understood the mistreatment of slaves and their desires for freedom.

We read lots of simple biography books from the library including one about Sojourner Truth and another about Harriet Tubman. We tried to read the Adventures of Tom Sawyer... we got into the first few chapters but the kids weren't really digging it:/ Maybe we'll continue... maybe not:/

A book and activity we liked was tied to the Underground Railroad. We read the book The Secret to Freedom which talked about the use of symbols on quilts to give those seeking freedom useful information and pointing them to safe houses.

After reading the book, I gave the kids a piece of paper divided into 4 sections to "make" their "own quilt". They copied some of the patterns from the book and made up one of their own.

We found an interactive "story" about the Underground Railroad from Scholastic online. It came at the perfect moment when the kids wanted to listen to more stories but I felt like I didn't have the voice to read another.

I debated over and over about using a curriculum for science this year. Mostly because I didn't do a good job with Chemistry since I was just using an experiment book and supposed to consult another book for extra information.

But after looking and calculating I decided to go with the experiment book and encyclopedia again. I've already planned out 5 weeks of experiments and topics. So I feel like we've got a better handle on Physics this year.... of course I've always been better at Physics than Chemistry:) Thankfully we'll hit Chemistry again at least once before Anna will head off to college!!

We attempted our first experiment...a very simple one! But it even got Daddy thinking about WHY it works;)

We filled a pan full of water. Stuffed a dry cloth into the bottom of a mason jar. And then flipped the jar into the jar of water, open end down first.

Lydia picked the jar out of the water and found the cloth...

We did it a couple of times and then explained it to Brian when he came home while we were picking up our supplies!! I definitely look forward to more of these simple but teaching experiments.

Artist Study
Thought I'd mention that we did 2 lessons from The Worlds Famous Artist study. We started with Van Gogh and have enjoyed reading his biography! So far the lessons have been very simple and done orally. The kids are looking forward to pulling out the art supplies though :)

So after a rough start, then getting onto a schedule. It's nice to be back!!


Anonymous said...

I think you and the kids did a very good school start and it does not matter that f.e. you only 4 of 5lessons in math...the rainy days still will come along and probably you all will get ahead and even be in front of the schedule soon.
Tom Sawyer: I do not mind that the kids did not enjoy it till now. In my opinion they are too young. Perhaps you remember that I did some reading of classical children's book a few years ago and Tom Sawyer was one of it. I did enjoy it but as an adult it is easier to read and especially when you think about the time and style it is written. I would not give a child under 8 to read and even for 8-years-old it still is tricky. Put it back and wait till Anna maybe come around and ask for it. I know Anna is 8 but it does not matter if she will be 10 till she wants to read it...8 is the earliest age I would say it could be interested for a child but honestly I would wait another year or two before offering to read.
BTW I did not like Huckleberry Finn, the edition I got was in slang written, not nice to read.
PS: Sorry I think I did not make a book recommendation for Tom Sawyer...if I did and still find it I will give you the link.

Jenny said...

So fun! Experiments are always so cool to do, hands on learning is awesome!

History is kind of hard sometimes. I want to keep it kid friendly, but some scary stuff happened in our history that makes American what it is.

I haven't started with spelling yet for Abby. I might add that next year.

Suanna said...

I don't usually start spelling until my kids are reading as well. Maybe if I had a late reader I might do something a little different, but that's what's nice about home education.

Science is fun for kids. There are so many ways to work little bits of it into what you are learning.

As for Chemistry, when I was homeschooled we chose not to do chemistry in high school, but then I decided to go into college for nursing and needed chemistry as a pre-requisite. I ended up taking a video class over the next year while I was working. I waited a year after graduation before I went to college.