≡ Menu

curriculum

still here

 photo 1138dc32-2c92-4a08-a91d-a22e1f0078dc_zps4bfb5eea.jpg

Hey bloggy-friends!  I’m still here…problem is, I’ve taken such a long break from blogging, I’m not sure how to get back into it.  A huge part of it has been the on-going saga with my grandparents, I felt/ feel like there is  so much drama and negative-stuff, that I’m not sure how to share it without dumping it out and being, well, negative.

but, um here goes….I’ll just jump back in.  My grandmother is still living with us, in my front living room.  We were hoping to use some of my grandparents’ savings to build her a suite, but we weren’t real sure if it was a wise move, so that was part of why we went through conservator court…so that the court would make big decisions like that, because frankly, we are a bit lost with how to manage what little they have.  The court said no.  So….grandmother is living in my front living room, which has french doors on one side, and the other side we can board up.  Things can’t stay that way, though, she really needs an attached bathroom. So, we will be moving her into our master bedroom.  Our house is a 1950′s house and the master is not really big…she will lose some space in the move, the front living room is pretty spacious.  I think access to her own bathroom kind of trumps spaciousness, though. But only barely.  I’m a bit sad about giving up my room.  Sky and I will move into the front living room.  I love, love, love the big picture window in that room, so I will look forward to that.

I am taking another child development type class, this is my third. I’m planning on getting a certificate for early childhood education so I can be a kindergarten aid or a preschool aid in a headstart-type program.  I was also taking an Algebra class, but I had an epiphany last week that I really hate math and I didn’t want to be there.  I thought getting an associate’s degree would be the smart thing to do, since I’m taking classes….but I really just want to learn to write better and explore art. Sky said from the beginning that I should just take classes that interest me, and I can see now that he was right.  I was beginning to dread going to class, and for my first exam (which I got an A on) I had to spend a lot of time studying for, that I didn’t feel I had.  Amie and Demi have started back up with homeschooling, and then I have the grandparents’ care stuff….and so on.  My math class was two evenings a week, so now it is really nice to be home again for those two nights.

*Homeschool

We’ve started back up, full-swing.  I’ll get a homeschool materials post up real soon.  Demi and Amie are busy with a few Biola Star classes, we have our normal homeschool studies, and then art and music.  Josie is back at the performing arts highschool for her 2nd and last year, she will be graduating this year.  Meg is in her second year of college.  She cares for horses in the morning -as a job, just got a part time job at Barnes & Nobles (Yay!) and graduated from the police explorers program this Summer.  She is very busy, and I am so proud of how hard she is working and how responsible she has grown up to be.  She’s still not sure which direction she wants to go with as far as law enforcement, it changes…at first it was the horses, then FBI, now she’s talking about forestry.  Who knows, but I’m sure it will be exciting.

So, that’s a sort of re-cap of what is happening around here.  Oh, did I mention my grandmother has a dog?  We now are a two-dog family.  Sky is thrilled. (that was sarcasm) She’s a sweet, small dog.  The transition to having my grandmother and her dog here has really gone very smoothly, my grandmother is a gentle soul, and so is her dog. Grandfather is finally landed in a really nice private nursing home…for now.  He got kicked out the first week, we got him new medication and took him back after a week back home.  So far it’s okay, but every time I get a call from that area code, my stomach clenches.

here’s a teaser with the homeschool stuff…. Oak Meadow World History, Aleks Math, Memoria Press First From Latin, Minecraft….. (I’ll just name drop, since most of you stop by for the homeschooling stuff….I cleaned out my homeschool closet, totally!!  {shriek!!!!!}  I’ve tried to clean it out each year for the past 4 years, it is finally done. (Sky had to help me, bless that man!)

 photo 8a6575ce-6e6b-4510-9395-4d2771f812f2_zps7afdaf71.jpg

Here’s a hawk on a fountain I saw during a run (okay, mostly walk….) because,

hawk…..urban….city…..fountain = cool and unusual.  I love my neighborhood.

How’s life bloggy friends?  I’m glad you stopped by :)

{ 1 comment }

Homeschool 2013-2014

2013-2014 Homeschool Year at Cliffs of Insanity Day Academy:

{Teddy, my bonus student, went back to public school last school year.  Meg graduated and is attending her first year of college. (Yes, I homeschooled her all the way, K-12)  Josie auditioned for a performing arts high school (charter school) and will be there for 11th grade and 12th grade (unless she decides to come home, but she loves it so far).  This year, we are down to two students; Demi-Sky is in 8th grade this year, and Amie is in 6th grade.}  Here is a list of our studies and books we are using;

 photo goldensnitchcraft-homeisblog_zps789dc0f1.jpg

Amie 6th grade

Math Mammoth light blue series     Aleks Math (online)           Piano lessons        Parkour classes (p.e.)

Science:  Aha Science -online, and a few Science 2 U classes (monthly themed classes)    Literature: independent reading

Test Prep: Buckle-Down Language Arts 6

 photo lacrossegoalie-homeisblog13_zps67c3f0c2.jpg

Demi-Sky 8th Grade

Math: Teaching Textbooks         Aleks Math (online)           Piano lessons      Lacrosse team (p.e.)

English: Intermediate Composition 8 with Biola Star (once a week class with a great syllabus):

*Teaching Writing: Structure and Style Seminar Workbook Institute for Excellence in Writing 978-0984099092
*Student Resource Notebook Pages IEW   *Word Web Vocabulary Workbook Vol. 1 Sage Education Enterprises, Inc.
The Witch of Blackbird Pond, by Elizabeth Speare
Johnny Tremain, by Esther Forbes
True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, by Avi
The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom
Miracle Worker, by William Gibson
Across Five Aprils, by Irene Hunt

Latin:  online Latin Class with Biola Star (twice a week)

*The Latin Road to English Grammar vol. 1 & 2

Oak Meadow Science 5                   Buckle Down Science Standards Review 8                Independent reading

 photo jump-homeisblog-copyright2013_zps90a56b22.jpg

Together-Amie & Demi:

Veritas Press self-paced History: Explorers to 1850 (online)

Shurley English 4

Bible:  Who is God? -Apologia Worldview series

private art lessons

to get to 2nd semester, hopefully:

 photo twistedowl-homeisblog2013_zpsedc82109.jpg

 

Memoria Press First Form Latin set with dvds

Grammar of Poetry IEW

Fallacy Detective

The Ode less traveled; tackling the poet within -Stephen Fry

Philosophy for Kids

Logic of English: spelling (for Amie)

 

 

 

 

 

After-schooling with Josie -

Who is God apologia Worldview (independently and by discussion)

*Rosetta Stone French      *assigned literature -To Kill a Mockingbird, etc.

After-schooling with Meg-

Mere Christianity (reading together and discuss)

 photo homeschoolprom-jump-homeisblog_zpsd5cbd1ab.jpg

Mom School:

Mere Christianity with Meg

going back to college, 3 unit Child Development class Spring semester

{ 8 comments }

We homeschool all of our kids, but our high school students take a few classes with a wonderful enrichment program. This year, Meg is taking Chemistry, British Lit and Economics outside the home, and Josie is taking Biology and General Lit and composition.  Which brings us to the current season we just survived, known as Science fair project time….

 photo fb1f3ba2-ceca-4ec8-8293-449dfd5525a9_zps4cc80003.jpg

It was high school Science fair time here at {Home}  which resulted in much angst/ late nights/ trips to the art store….flies in my fridge…you know, the normal types of stuff….

Meg leans towards life-science type projects, and she tries, mightily, to bring horses into the equation.  After the gold-fish training science experiment last year, I issued the proclamation that we would have no more Science fair experiments involving live subjects (after a whole batch of highly trained goldfish died two weeks before her project was due).  Famous last words!!!  Meg’s newest experiment involved mom using her credit card late at night to order 200 blue bottle fly pupae.

homeschool world is crazy world sometimes.

it gets better, they lived in my fridge for weeks.  In the butter compartment in the door.  I got to see them every time I opened the fridge.  good times.

So, her experiment involved testing the efficacy of different fly repellents.  She compared a popular insect repellent for families, an all natural insect repellent, and a horse insect repellent.  We had 50 flies in 3 containers, plus a control container, and then the fly repellents applied to fly paper on the bottom of the containers.  Meg researched the chemical make-up of each repellent and explained the process of how they worked on the flies.  It was interesting.  [minus the weekend she left and several escaped and spent several days loose in my house]

 photo 899c2c79-f88a-4673-b33b-2854a7a9dad9_zps211a9e12.jpg

Josie’s Biology Science fair project was a 3-d model of a red blood cell.  She constructed a model and researched/wrote a report.  She used wooden embroidery hoops, red mesh and pom-poms.

 photo ff0c4bab-ebb3-46f9-809a-57fad373c4ef_zps8aad7ee5.jpg

We purchased two sets of big wooden embroidery hoops (because each set has two different sized hoops so they fit inside each other- we wanted them to fit exactly the same size) and then she painted them red.  She used hot-glue to attach the red tulle/mesh purchased at the fabric store, and then put big red pom-poms inside to represent the hemoglobin, and a few of them had small white pom-poms attached to represent oxygen.  She labeled the different cell parts with little paper signs attached with toothpicks.   The only difficulty was making the distinctive donut-hole dimple in the center, she used thread, but it wasn’t very convincing.  If we had more time to re-plan, I think we would have used darker red paint to make a shadow look for the center, or maybe a darker material in the center.  We decided to leave it alone, we didn’t want a failed attempt on our hands right before Science fair day.

And so, whew!….done!

{ 2 comments }

Math woes

 photo 1634ef13-72b3-4f22-b100-61620680ad86_zps56fac17b.jpg

So I’m in the midst of some Math angst here.  I didn’t plan at all, to move any of my kids over to regular school, so our Math choices were a bit unconventional, and I have to admit, I wasn’t in a real hurry to arrive anywhere fast with it.

I’m now in the midst of some Math panic….I went through this a bit at the end of last school year, and we switched the younger kids over to Horizons Math.  I looked seriously at Teaching Textbooks but in the end decided not to throw more money at my problem -it has a price tag that stings a bit.  Well, here I am at the end of April, State testing season is upon us and I am panicking again.  Here are the things I am looking at to bring our Math learning up to speed:

-Teaching Textbooks Algebra II.   I left upper Math in Sky’s hands this school year, but he has been really busy.  I’m not real happy about the retention Josie is showing, so I just ordered Teaching Textbooks and she will be going through this from now through the Summer.  >>>>look>>>> Timberdoodle has free shipping!!  The Timberdoodle catalog has been a great big love of mine for years, I am kind of sad that we seem to be aging out of it.

-Aleks Math:  we tried this with the 3 younger students a few years ago…maybe 3 years ago?  They didn’t really like it.  I did, though.  I liked how it was correlated to State standards, and you can see what the child needs to work on, and what progress they have made.  The site is also very clean and easy to use.  I’ve got Demi working on it right now, I can’t decide if I should add in Josie and Amie or one…or neither…  I’ll stew on it for a few days…

- Mastering Essential Math Skills: 20 Minutes a Day to Success, Book 1: Grades 4-5

I just ordered this, the price was right and a mom over at the homeschool message boards really liked it.    It says 20 minutes a day…I think we could add that to our regular work.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Meg seems to be doing fine with Math U See Geometry, so I won’t mess with it.

So yeah, it’s going to be Math-ageddon here this Summer.

how is your school year wrapping up? What are the keepers in your curriculum?  The losers?

{ 2 comments }

The week in progress- Oak Meadow History

Our homeschool is much more productive when I type up weekly assignment sheets for the high school students.  Not that I always do, ahem…but I should.  Here is what they look like, not high-tech at all…

 photo f3240308-11ff-40c3-a411-c617b61cad72_zps8a24a7c2.jpg

I type them up on google docs (it’s in the cloud so I can move around on different computers) and I don’t mess with tables or charts, just type them in and add big, bolded o’s for the kids to put a check-mark in when completed.

This is Josie’s sheet.  She is on week 16 of Oak Meadow World History.  I simply look through the OM syllabus and through the textbook and decide what she should do for the week.  There is a lot of reading and information to cover in the textbook and we have to keep moving, so I try to keep the work not too-involved most weeks.  Her Biola classes also keep her very busy.  This week, I pulled the bolded words out of the text and asked her to make a definition page, this is not in the OM syllabus.  The OM syllabus has a list of great essay questions after the reading, so I did assign one of them, and then asked her to think about another (because I know she has a lot of writing to do with Biola already)  As I was looking through the chapter in the textbook, my mind keeps wanting to go down rabbit-trails…so I did add in two documentaries from Netflix, and some extra reading and short 2 minute videos from history.com  -because I just have to do the rabbit trails… {help me}  I made an effort to keep it simple so we could move on to the next chapter next week, but it was an effort…

She has gotten behind in her Math, so I am assigning two pages most days.  Her Biola class syllabus are pretty involved, so I just ask her to check and follow them, and then check mark that she did so.

My younger students just do what I tell them to, though some weeks, I do sheet for them, too…but not often, it’s just a bit too much for A.D.D. mom

I am really enjoying Oak Meadow, I like that it keeps me moving, and that everything is in the textbook…as long as I don’t get distracted!

how’s your week?

{ 7 comments }

 photo b11296e3-3fd6-45f1-aaae-60d9dc8c48e9_zps0f603b55.jpg

~1~

This was Josie’s first formal dance; Homeschool Winter Formal.  She went with Meg and two friends.  I heart the girl-power!!  I also loved the photo opportunities :)  They had a blast, the dance was at the hotel at Knott’s Berry Farm.  The girls got ready at our house, and then I took them out for photos.

Josie is on the right in burgundy, and Meg is on the left in cowboy boots {of course}

~2~

I have admitted my adult-A.D.D.-ness, and will try some home remedies first, like green-tea.  I already self-medicate with diet coke and dark chocolate… I think it might be time to discuss this with my Dr. I spend so much of my time spinning my wheels aimlessly, it is very frustrating.

~3~

Sky thinks I should start drinking coffee, since coffee has more caffeine then green-tea.  (the A.D.D. thing) I’m just not willing to go over to the dark-side.  Sky is a true coffee-snob, he drinks french-pressed coffee.  Right now, his favorite blend is one he picked up on San Juan island.  I am about to experiment with bullet-proof coffee for him- basically it is good coffee blended with almost a stick of grass-fed butter.  I’ll report back….does sound kind of yummy, though, doesn’t it?

~4~

I have abandoned my much-loved MFW curriculum and switched over to Oak Meadow.  This is related to #2 above.  I wrote in an earlier post how much better following a simple spine-text works for me and realized I needed to live this truth and simplify things.  *Using spine-texts for homeschooling

We are now using Oak Meadow 5 History/English and Science texts with Demi & Amie, and Oak Meadow High school World History for Josie, and Oak Meadow High school U.S. Government for Meg.

~5~

So, I started Demi and Amie with the second half of week 5 in OM…not exactly where we were in MFW, but I didn’t want to skip reading about Jamestown, so this is where I decided to pick up at.  Sooo, I look through the text and see that it centers mostly on indentured servants and relates that to slavery, but I really want to delve more deeply into Jamestown, so I look through my MFW books still on the shelves, then rifle through the student worksheets I have for MFW, looking for something on Jamestown.  I don’t find anything, so I pick up Hakim’s Story of US vol. 2 -(I love this series) and find a chapter on Jamestown.  Perfect!  Not quite satisfied, I also search online and find a neat animated journey through Jamestown history on National Geographic for kids.

The next day, after all this searching, I realized I just failed the whole A.D.D. thing, didn’t I?

~6~

Meg just started a class for Economics at Biola Star.  I am really, really glad I don’t have to teach this one!

owl message photo owlmessage-homeiswhereblog_zpsfffc1fc9.jpg

special owl-delivery from Hogwarts

~7~

Amie started a Hogwarts for Muggles class.  It is a wonderful/creative class and so fun! Down-side? It is a one-hour drive from here.  She was jumping-up and down excited about it.  I figured, she is almost 11 years old and this is probably the last time a totally magical world can excite her and fuel her imagination, so I decided to go for it.  It’s a 12 week class!  She is having a blast, and doing some really creative things, so it is worth it.

*7 Quick Takes happens on Fridays at Conversion Diary blog, hop over and link up!
{ 11 comments }

homeschool winter days

violinshop

We are finally getting back into a routine since the upheaval of Christmas vacation.  So far this week, homeschool has consisted of:

  • shopping for a new full-sized violin for Meg.  She grew out of her 3/4th size and has been playing on my old, cheap violin while we saved up for a new one.  Monday she and I went to the music shop and tried out several.  We took one home on trial, to let her teacher approve of…and she didn’t like it!  I guess Meg and I flunked “tone” class…!
  •  Getting the kids used to working harder on our studies.  I’ve let them all slip into a routine of easy/lite work. Things are a changing here now.
  •  Meg and Josie resumed classes at Biola Star.

buckledown

  • I started test-prep with Amie and Demi-Sky.  I’ve used Spectrum test prep workbooks before and for some reason I turned up my nose at the Buckle Down workbooks.  I can’t remember what I didn’t like about them now…except maybe that it has no answer key (I think you have to go online or something for it) but- we started using them and I kind of like them.  I am really liking the conversational tone and all the test taking hints/strategies they are pointing out/teaching.
  •  We are doing “Farmer Boy” as a read aloud
  • Demi is still busy with lacrosse.  They actually didn’t take much time off during the holidays.
  •  Josie is neck-deep in graphic-arts work right now.  She wants to- kind of suddenly- apply to the local performing arts charter school.  She has to submit a small portfolio for round one of consideration.  It is really rather wonderful to have her so immersed in something she is passionate about.  It is kind of wonderful to have her totally “own” it all herself, nothing for me to do but encourage her and offer supplies.
  •  It’s also a little terrifying for me.  I worry about how she will feel if she doesn’t get in.  I worry about her getting in and not being here homeschooling.  I really, really worry I will screw something up and not get the right paperwork in or miss a deadline.  I’m on the verge of little mini-panic-attacks a few times a day over this…on the verge, not real ones. Yet.   Sometimes being Bridgit Jones is a hard burden… kidding. not.

DonQuixotebook

  • We started reading Don Quixote before the holidays.  It is a wonderful illustrated version recommended by Susan Wise Bauer in Story of the World- which is one of the resources we are using in MFW this year.  Funny, I studied this book in A.P. English in High School but we didn’t actually read it.  I am finding it hilarious!  Meg and Josie read parts of it at Biola Star in their text book, but they got caught up in it when I was reading it out loud the other day.
  • Today, (Wednesday) I took the show on the road and we did Math and read-aloud time at a local bagel shop for lunch.  I forgot how much fun, and how re-energizing doing homeschool out and about is…I will for sure have to set aside more time for outings that include study time.
  • Art class and piano classes, and violin class have all resumed.
  • homeschool winter days are full days.  How about you, are you getting back to a routine?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
{ 1 comment }