Tag archives for homeschool

Well.

It’s been so long since I’ve written here, that I don’t remember what my blog was even about. *head scratch*

I’ve had this blog for so long that it’s a mash-up of so many different versions of me. So many emotions, thoughts, and random ideas, so it probably doesn’t matter much.

I guess an update is in order?

  • NK is 4. RS is 13. SA is 15. SM is 17. Wow.
  • Their grade levels for the upcoming year are kindergarten (although she is currently working her way through this and should be done by November), 8th, 10th and 12th.
  • Colleges are on the radar. One in particular.
  • Thinking of ways to celebrate graduation. :)
  • I won’t be keeping much homeschool information here since I also have a homeschool site.
  • In the process of publishing first children’s book.
  • In the process of creating toys to go with the book.
  • Spending more time writing.
  • Still working for a homeschool company part-time.

I think that’s about it. Haven’t figured out what we’ll be doing for next year’s curricula, but I can share what we’re doing for kindergarten. Now, we only spend about an hour or two working on kindergarten lessons. The rest of the time is really following interests and hands-on play. If she ever gets tired of a lesson, we move on to something else. She turned 4 in March and picks things up very easily and quickly. We didn’t push for early kindergarten at all. She just loves learning and was bored with the pre-school work. We “school” 4 days per week.

KINDERGARTEN CURRICULUM

Phonics & Reading
Reading Eggs
All About Reading 1
Get Ready for the Code, Get Set for the Code, & Go For the Code *
Bob Books**
Keeping a journal***

Literature
Selections from Ambleside Online (e.g. Winnie the Pooh, The Tale of Peter Rabbit)

Math
Rod & Staff Math 1
Khan Academy

Social Studies/Geography
A Beka Social Studies K5****
DK Workbook

Science
DK Workbook (used as a spine)

Handwriting
HWOT

Extras
Keyboarding Without Tears
Dance, Karate, Hiking
Arts & craft projects (practice cutting, pasting, painting, etc.)
Gardening
Time4Learning

 

*Get Ready for the Code, Get Set for the Code, & Go For the Code: She started this series (a, b & c) in preschool. They are a little easy for her, but she wants to finish them. We will go on to Explode the Code as soon as she finishes up.

**Bob Books: We started these, but them on the back-burner for a bit. They are great readers and work well, but for some reason, a few of the characters make her upset. I wanted to pick it up and try again later, but we may not get a chance.

***Keeping a journal: This is very casual. She likes to write words that she knows. Sometimes I will have her draw freely or make up a story with pictures. She can write, draw, scribble, paste pictures, etc. You could use this or just a regular journal/notebook.

****A Beka Social Studies K5: We skip anything dealing with church or school. Mainly use it as a spine. For instance, we used the pages on police and safety to go further into what policemen do. We also used it to talk about calling emergency numbers. How to use the phone. Learning address and phone number.

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Taking of the Notes.

Ahhhh. Note-taking.

Note-taking was one of the most difficult tasks of my academic years. My thoughts were never organized, which resulted in a mess of words. Notes from texts ended up being lengthy and almost a duplicate of the text. Notes from lectures, missed out on important points as I battled to keep the page organized, write, listen and understand. This was just one of those things I was really bad at. Classmates had neat and organized notes, while I struggled to find a method that worked for me.

I didn’t find one until after school was over and done with. Enter the Cornell Note-Taking System. It’s so painless and easy that I can’t figure out why I hadn’t thought of it on my own. Instead of spending my note-taking time trying to figure out how to set the page up, I could have focused on the actual notes.

I am currently trying to get my children to use this system. Even the 10 yr old. I introduced it today, and they looked thrilled. As I lectured about Augustus Caesar, I could see the stress on their faces as they quickly (and some not so quickly) scribbled notes. The lines were too close together. The information scattered. There was no room to go back and insert a thought. And when all was done, there was a page full of writing. Now what?

Once they saw the setup of the Cornell method, I saw relief wash over them. This was going to make things a little easier. If you’re not familiar with the method, take a look here & here. Simple stuff, right? Like, why didn’t I think of that?

We don’t usually use textbooks, so gleaning the important information from the books we use and producing a complete and comprehensible notebook is important. There’s just so much information in our readings.

>>More note-taking systems<<

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I’m a Teacher.

The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see.

-Alexandra K. T.

This is absolutely my teaching and parenting philosophy. Of course there are exceptions. Some things have a clear right or wrong answer. For things that don’t, I give them the tools to draw their own conclusions. I try not to influence their opinions too much. My older children are 14, 12 and almost 10. They have been provided with a solid foundation of what’s right or wrong. Now they can decide the grey matter on their own. Obviously they are still young, and may still need guidance, but I honestly don’t want my children to be carbon copies of me (although sometimes it’s like looking in a mirror with my daughters). I want them to have their own minds and their own opinions.

I don’t usually discuss religion outside of my household. My views probably won’t mesh well with many other’s views. The problem with this is that, while I can accept everyone’s views and be perfectly fine with it, a lot of them won’t accept mine.

In my house, I teach religion. What religion? All of them.

Blasphemy. I know.

We do primarily focus on Christianity since it’s the one that I’m most familiar with, but I think I am doing my children a disservice by not allowing them to know about the other religions. Why do people choose to be Christian? Muslim? That’s something we might discuss.

We are currently reading Trial and Triumph: Stories from Church History. I love the stories in this book. Then we may go on to A Concise History of Buddhism. Is it wrong to study more than one religion? To know and understand where religion came from? To know the whys, whos, and whats? I don’t think so.

I also teach creation and evolution. The horror. :)

What do you think? Should children be presented with the whole story? Or should a parent only feed them what they want them to know?

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Absolute Value.

Algebra (and all other math) is fun time, yes?

No.

But we must.

I have one child that loves math. The boy child. The rest? Well, they wish they could do math without so many numbers.

One of the lessons SM is studying this week is on absolute value. We love absolute value. Why? Because it’s simple.

Below I’m listing what I used to teach av.

  • Compass Learning has a learning activity in their Algebra 1 curriculum. Activity A1111. Don’t quote me on that because we are using CL through an outside source and they re-number their activities. You might find that Time4Learning has this activity in their Algebra 1 course. I’ve never used Algebra with them, so I can’t say for sure.
  • Khan Academy’s video: Absolute Value 1 along with the practice. You can run through the practice more than once. (You can also login and get cool achievements and points! — ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: COOL MOM BADGE) – Seriously, Khan Academy is an ABSOLUTE God send.
  • Saxon Algebra 1 (3rd Edition), Lesson 5.A and 5.B, along with part of the problem set. Numbers 1 and 4-9. Yes. I realize the setup of the 3rd edition leaves something (everything) to be desired, but the 4th edition is just a dream right now. *sad face*

For extra practice (in case it’s needed):

Games:

And for the serious scholar, WORKSHEETS!

I don’t guess anyone needs that much ABSOLUTE VALUE in their life…but just in case.

Absolute value is generally taught in 6-8th grade. We’re doing review right now. Since they despise math so much, I really have to make sure those concepts are still with them.

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