Finally Settling into the 2013/14 Homeschool Year
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This week was the first week we were able to settle in and complete an entire week of homeschool. It’s only October. We worked during September but those weeks were scattered. Our landing into the new school year was rough to say the least.
But we have settled in now to a routine which I am pretty thankful for.
Along with the iHomeschool Network team we did a short study of copyright. I explained to Jonathan that it’s copying and/or sharing printed or digital materials illegally and that is called piracy. You know, stealing like a pirate.
We are using Bible Study Guide for All Ages again. Since we are continuing our chronological study of the Bible I’m using my friend Chelli’s (from The Planted Trees) guide to piece the Bible Study Guide lessons into chronology.
Since I loved the original guide so much from last year, I went ahead and ordered the student pages this year. There are a few things I wish were different, like a daily verse copy work would be nice, but I recognize these were written for use in the church Bible class setting. I need to be more diligent about having Little Man write copy work.
That being said, I love the graphics that are on these pages. There are map studies as well as timeline studies. Each lesson comes with an interactive sketched Bible story with question prompts to lead the student on a Biblical discovery. What I love most about these guides is that they not only teach the student the Bible, but how to use and study the Bible and how to apply the Bible to their daily lives.
This year we have picked up where we left off last year. In Canaan following the death of Moses, Joshua’s conquest and the Judges. This week he studies about Abimelech, Gideon’s son and his conspiracy and downfall.
We are reading the book Tirzah, by Lucille Travis. I chose this book because it is a fictional look at the life of a young girl who was a slave in Egypt and was a part of the Exodus to Canaan.
Due to the historical fictional nature of this book, I wanted to give Little Man something to think about in regards to what it was like for the Israelites when they left Egypt, what walking through the desert felt like and how the grumbling which they did that displeased God was from their own human nature. It is a good way for him to review where his focus was in Bible and history last year while seeing the fruition of the promise come true in his Bible study.
This week’s read was about the crossing of the Red Sea and the need in the desert for water and God sending meat from the sky.
Swimming Creatures of the 5th Day by Jeannie Fulbright and Apologia Science. This week he began his study of whales. We did an experiment where he put equal amounts of water into 2 separate cups, in one cup he added salt and tested the freeze rate of each. The salt water froze at a slower rate. This was to see why whales can swim in waters below freezing temperature.
We are continuing with Khan Academy. This week he learned about distributive properties, solving for X linear equations, solving for y linear equations, 2 step equations. He also reviewed working toward completing mastery.
In the last couple of months Khan Academy has changed many features. They have enhanced much of what they previously offered. At first I was frustrated by this because although the student retained their points and badges, they did not retain their mastery levels.
I was frustrated because knowing my son he wants to SEE that he has proven mastery. So many of the skills he mastered years ago he is repeating. That being said, for him it’s a game, he declares “that’s easy” calculates quickly in his head and moves on, while I sit and watch amazed at his skill and frustrated with the program that is wasting his time, even though he likes it.
This year I am using Write Shop B. I really like the daily writing guides (although to be honest, I only do this 2-3 times a week) but I do see that by showing him the skills he is picking up on patterns in ways that I had never been able to teach before. The brainstorming also is leading to better writing skills.
For the first time EVER I am seeing a spark of excitement in the process and his creative writing is allowing his beautiful penmanship to show. This week we focused on writing friendly letters.
I am reading How to Design Your Own Language Arts Curriculum by Jimmie Lanley. For years I’ve been pulling material from a lot of sources and attempting to create my own but Jimmie has put a lot into proper perspective for me, helping me to see what level I should be working at with my son.
I’ve adding regular copy edit practice to his general grammar lesson which I can see is also helping with his writing skills. He worked this week on sentence structure.
This week we received a package in the mail from Prufrock Press. In it was a new logic workbook called Orbiting with Logic.
Little Man loves doing logic workbooks. He thinks they are like puzzles to be solved. Here you can see him working on analogies by looking at how words are relational. These type of books help student to hone their thinking skills by putting things into a different perspective.
We are using A Simple Start in Chalk Pastels by Trisha Hodges over at Southern Hodgepodge. He is liking “chalking” as much as I do and is seeing that with just some very basic techniques beautiful art can be accomplished. I highly recommend this for your classroom.
My son loves music! He loves playing the piano. He really would play any instrument if we could afford to buy/rent and get lessons for them.
For music appreciation this year we are using SQUILT by Mary Prather from Homegrown Learners. She lays out a simple to follow guide for the teachers to teach actual appreciation of music.
We are using Volume 1 which is the Baroque period. This week he learned about Francois Couperin and his piece Chaconne. He was fascinated to learn about the pipe organ and the harpsichord. I think this may actually lead us to a separate instrument study. In fact he may be heading down a rabbit hole for a while.
This is an interesting one. I have yet to purchase a spelling curriculum. With everything going on I simply have not gotten around to it. But that hasn’t stopped Jonathan. He came (during non school time) to me and asked “Mom, can I borrow the dictionary?”
Well of course he could. So he has been spending his own time studying the dictionary. He found a anatomical diagram of a snake and recreated it. He quizzed me on several words then he set out to recreate the dictionary, starting with the letter A, writing down the words, parts of speech, definitions and pictures. So as long as he is fascinated by the dictionary, I will be letting him explore it to his hearts content, and skip an actual spelling curriculum.
How was your week? Anything fascinating happen this week? What scientific activities did your children explore? What books were read? What was life like around your house? Comment below and share your week with me. If you are a blogger who writes about your homeschool week in review, I would love for you to link up. Just use the inlinkz tool below.
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