When I started blogging it was to write a weekly journal “This Week at Great Peace Academy” of all the things we did in homeschool each week. Over the years thought the blog has transitioned into more of a homeschool mom resources blog. But, I miss writing regularly about what we are doing in our little homeschool. So, I thought why not do a monthly summary?
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So… this month at Great Peace Academy
My Little Man has grown into quite the Young Man, which freaks me out a bit. He talks with a man’s voice, has started to have the build of a man, and now looks down at me. Such, a weird place for a mom to be.
We spent time setting family goals for the year. I’m truly loving the added family time we are purposing to do.
Family Time This Month
Here is just some of what we’ve done for family time, in no particular order.
- Family movie night, we watched E.T.
- Family game night x2.
- Mom & Son Time – Ice cream Date
- Dad & Son Time – Video game: Tiger Woods Golf
Family Kindness Projects This Month
Young Man and Beloved were able to help an elderly man move. As a family we wrote cards to specific individuals for specific purposes.
Date Night This Month
You know I love date night. It gives me and my man a chance to reconnect, hold hands and just be us.
Beloved and I went to a movie, we saw Hidden Figures. It is an excellent movie, and I’d even recommend it for family movie time.
In our homeschool this month…
It’s incredible to me how far we’ve come. He’s now very independent in his school work. We continue to be eclectic in our homeschool. So, I allow him to work mostly independent of me, I simply guide the expectations for the week.
For Bible we’ll finish up the advanced version of Bible Study Guide for All Ages this year. We’ve gone slow, and often dig into deeper study. We also chose to use this guide in a chronological way instead of the scope & sequence of how it’s written. This month he finished up the last part of Esther, then completed, Ezra, Nehemiah, and an overview of the time restoration of Jerusalem.
We’re using Uncle Sam & You from Notgrass Publishing. I’m so glad I made this selection this year. Because, with the contested election, coupled with the political climate surrounding our country, this material helps me to speak openly about how our nation works, our laws, and the responsibility of it’s citizens and government. He’s getting to see first-hand how it’s supposed to work, and how it works when citizens get involved, both sides of the political coin.
We watched the inauguration. And, now we’ll be continuing to watch as cabinet members, and the supreme court is vetted and voted upon.
Ok, so science has been a bit tricky this school year. In September, he joined a First LEGO League. I was not prepared for how much work, effort and research go into this league/event.
There is the cool robotics competition that most are somewhat familiar with. That in and of itself is STEM learning.
Then there is the research project. Each year the FLL organizers assigns a theme for the year. This year, the theme is Animal Allies. The project then requires teams to find a problem that exists between humans and animals, then theorize and present to judges a solution to that problem.
Therefore, a lot of research is required. First, they must research a variety of problems that exists. Then choose a problem to address. Then, they have to research potential solutions, and choose for their own group the solution they want to present. Once, they’ve chosen the problem/solution, they must research how they might put together their solution in a feasible way, and how the solution will impact both humans and animals.
All of the research, as well as the STEM robotics programming and practice for competition takes time. I’d estimate about 7 hours a week.
So I decided that for the first half of the year, we’d let that be his science and pick up on a text curriculum after competition was over.
The first competition was in November, the qualifier. His team, Show Me Legos, was selected to qualify for the next round, regional competition. That means they were selected to go on to the regional competition which was scheduled for January the 14th.
Little did we know, that the competition was to be postponed until late February due to a potential ice-storm that in the end didn’t hit our region. Still, it was postponed until late this month.
But, the research part is really done now, so we will be hitting the text-book learning again in February, and will be working through that into summer.
He’s progressing nicely through Algebra 2. We’re still using Khan Academy because it’s what works for us. I like having the video tutorials to instruct him because, let’s face it, I’m not qualified to teach him this level of math. He likes the interactive interface and is constantly taking math formula notations in his notebook. So that he’ll have a ready reference to those whenever he wants them. They remind me of Da Vinci notebooks.
The Notgrass civics curriculum incorporates literature into the study. So he’s getting a good amount of literature through that. I’m also assigning additional reading on the side. These are more for increasing a desire to read for entertainment than for a literature study, so to speak. This month I assigned, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
Yes, I know that most boys his age read this several years back. But, he’s never been one to read for entertainment. He’d rather read an encyclopedia than a book of fiction. That being said, he is rather enjoying the first book of the Potter series.
English Language Arts
I pulled together our own language arts curriculum from a wide variety of resources for the year. My goal. Get him past the point of refusing to write. I’m doing this in small ways.
- Encouraging him to write his thoughts — not for a grade, but just to put pencil to paper to write down his thoughts.
- Editing other works. I use Evan Moor Daily Paragraph Editing.
- Notetaking – I’m using EIW’s Bible-Based Writing Lessons and Notetaking from textbooks by Mark Twain Media Inc.
- Storytelling, again this isn’t for a grade, it’s simply asking him to write a story, any story. He’s currently writing about an event from a few years ago that startled him, and he’s morphing that into a story. It’s slow progress, but it is progress.
- Then, there is the research he was required to do for the FLL team. That was a huge eye-opener for him. It allowed him to see the need for writing down what he’s learning for the benefit of others in a cohesive way.
All of these things, plus grammar, and reading comprehension are how I’m working through his writing struggles this year.
This month… well, I set a new standard. No complaining. I really just got tired of hearing his complaints, every time I even mentioned that we were doing English.
So I put my foot down. Regardless of how he feels about the work, it’s still a requirement and I don’t want to hear complaints. Yes, he can still express himself if he’s stuck on something, or ask questions. But, merely complaining that he has to do the work or it takes too long. That won’t fly with this mama this year.
He’s continuing to take piano lessons. We found a teacher that we both really like and he’s truly begun to shine under her tutelage. Sadly, though, she’s decided to stop offering private piano lessons.
She has given us a referral and suggested that for his skill level he needs to be in more of a conservatory setting. So, I’ll be researching the reference and hopefully getting started there soon.
For music appreciation, we’ve been researching the composers that he’s been playing. He’s currently playing Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in C and Mozart’s Rondo alla Turca. So a study of those two composers is what I’ve had him researching.
Resources for Studying Bach, and Mozart
- Zeezok Music Appreciation
- Mozart, The Wonder Boy, Opal Wheeler & Sybil Deucher
- Sebastian Bach, The Boy from Thuringia, Opal Wheeler & Sybil Deucher
- SQUILT Spotlight, Bach, Mary Prather
- SQUILT Spotlight, Mozart, Mary Prather
- The Best of Bach – YouTube Video
- The Best of Mozart – YouTube Video
- Bach’s Big Adventure Unit Study – Homeschool Share
- Mozart Lapbook – Homeschool Share
We’re still using Sparketh video course for art. But, I’ve noticed lately that Young Man is using the skills he’s learning from that course to do his own art. For example he sketched this globe a couple of weeks ago, using the shading techniques he’s learned from Sparketh.
We’re using Mango Languages free resources through our public library. They use passages from the Bible to teach Koiné Greek.
I must say, it gives me chills when I hear him reading from New Testament scripture using the original language. While I know the passages he’s reading in English, and I’ve heard references to words here or there, I’ve never heard it spoken in the Greek tongue.
Places we’re Going and People we’re Seeing This Month
- Young Man and his FLL team was able to present their project to staff at the Kansas City Zoo.
- They also visited a local animal shelter to further research their project, and to talk with staff about their project to get feedback on how it would be useful to their efforts.
- I was privileged to join 5 other homeschool bloggers from iHomeschool Network for a weekend retreat. We laughed, we shared frustrations, we encouraged each other. We also had mastermind sessions to help each other to become more knowledgeable and to give and get tips and pointers. These ladies have grown to be friends and are now an integral part of my blogging life.
On my blog this month in case you missed it…
- Family Goals we’ve Chosen to Prioritize for 2017
- Central Ohio Field Trips for Homeschoolers to Explore
- Music Appreciation in the Homeschool
- Art Supplies to Keep on Hand for Creative Thinking Kids
- Low-Carb Strawberry Crumb Bars Recipe
- Ohio Field Trips – Places to Visit in Southwest Ohio
- 9 Soup Recipes for Winter & How I Use them on THM
- Educational Government Game that’s Full of Fun for the Whole Family
- Just the Presidential Facts Notebooking Pages
- How to Get Your Kids to Hate Bible Study
- 10 Family Bonding Time Ideas
- 50 Awesome Marriage Quotes to Inspire Joy and Peace
What’s been happening in your homeschool and life this month? I’d love to hear how your family is managing life as a homeschooling family. Share your monthly happenings with me in comments. What was the highlight? What was your biggest frustration?
This post is part of iHomeschool Network’s Homeschool Mother’s Journal – February.
Available 2-3-17 you too can join the journal by clicking above and following the journal prompts.
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