Monday, September 8, 2014

Homeschool Report August 2014

The first month went very well.  I’d say it was due to two things;  ds4 was excited to start school again, and I did major lesson planning beforehand.  I mean literally mapping out every lesson for the year, printing up worksheets, finding and bookmarking websites, etc.  For the whole year.  Everything is done and all ds4 and I have to do is show up lol.

HPIM0773 Hard at work!  This year’s workload is definitely more than he is used to but so far he is sticking with the longer school days.

HPIM0775 First book of the year, The Chalk Box Kid.  He really enjoyed this and gave it a 10 out of 10. 

Math is coming along slowly but surely.  Trying to get multiplication and division downpat.  Doing great with language and geography and turns out ds really loves history!  One day we opted not to do school, but he asked if we could still have a history lesson.  :)  He’s doing well in science but does not like to take the end of chapter tests.  I used tests all the time with my two oldest boys but never have with the two younger ones.  Need to work on getting them more used to them.  We took an unexpected week off at the end of the month for dh’s vacation.  Got to put nose to the grindstone for September!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Homeschool Wrapup 2013-2014 Year

I found an old post where I compared my curriculum choices from the beginning of the school year to the end and thought I’d do that again.  It was actually quite helpful.  Here is the post from the start of our 2013-2014 year with my notes.

Ds3 12yo 7th grade
Math  Abeka Basic Math, work on multiplication with 5x5 does not equal 10 We actually finished up the math workbook but never got through the times tables
Language   Writing Skills book 2  Liked this one quite well, no frills grammar and writing
Science  Tops Science units on electricity and chemistry to begin with  This did not go over well.  Too hard to follow.  Even though it was very hands on I feel they didn’t learn anything and we wound up not doing much science this year
History  Complete Book of US History  Another one I liked.  Simple but efficient
Geography  continue Trail Guide to World Geography  We completed this one!  It was a lot of work to put together but a very nice geography resource
Nature  The Nature Connection  Wish I hadn’t bought this one.  Way too simple
Reading  various classic books  Ds chose some good books and progressed nicely with his diction and read-aloud skills.  I have to note here that toward the end of the school year ds became restless, bored and uninterested in school.  We switched him to Time 4 Learning for the last few months and he did very well.  I think he needed a break from me.  ;)
Ds4 8yo 3rd grade
Math  Abeka work on basic skills with 2 plus 2 does not equal 5  Abeka math has worked well with all the other boys, but not ds4.  I think it’s the repetition
Language  Writing Skills book A, continue Explode the Code series  We never made it to the Writing Skills book, but did continue with ETC and thank God for that…ds is now reading proficiently and proudly!
for all the other subjects ds4 will follow along with ds3  This system worked great.  Ds4 enjoyed having lessons as a group and I enjoyed not having to teach twice

Monday, August 11, 2014

Homeschool Room 2014-2015

We did a pretty big overhaul of the homeschool room last year, and I still love it, so this year will just have a few tweaks here and there.

Keeping the same desk configuration with my desk facing the window and two tables butted up against it, one for ds3 and one for ds4.  The tables work great…lots of room to work, we can all see each other, the cats have full access.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  :)

room HPIM0767

On our map wall we replaced the World Map with a US version for our Road Trip USA study this year.  There is also an animal classification poster for use with both the Road Trip USA and our science.

HPIM0771

The opposite wall still houses a bulletin board and now also a word wall for science vocabulary.

 IMG_2620

Last year we had supplies set up in the middle of the tables for easy access.  Turns out, easy access is not all that desirable when you have four cats and young kids.  This year I used these super cute labels and hung the supplies in a clear shoe hanger thingy.

HPIM0768 HPIM0769 I like this very much.  :)

All our homeschooling books and resources are still housed on a shelving unit with (most) everything labeled and organized.

r2

And that’s the tour of the homeschool room for this year.  Familiarity with a hint more organization.  Ohh, that should totally be our theme this year.  If we did that kind of thing.  I’m linking this post to the Not Back To School Blog Hop. 

nbts-blog-hop-2014

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Homeschool Curriculum 2014-2015

This is a milestone homeschooling year for us.  It’s our 15th year!  We started when ds1 was in 4th grade.  Now ds4 will be entering 4th grade.  So this is the fourth and last time that I will be teaching 4th grade.  :)

Ds3 is 13 and will be in 8th grade.  Towards the end of the last school year he just wasn’t giving it is all and seemed to really dislike school.  So we switched him to Time4Learning (which he used for a while a few years back) and he really liked it.  I’m going to let him continue with T4L for now.  Soooo, ds has decided (at the very last minute) that he would rather have books and be taught by me this year.  He thinks it will prepare him better for going to public high school next year.  Nothing like having to put together a complete curriculum at a moments notice lol.

Math  Math Connects
Language  Writing Skills Book 3
Science  Physical Science
History  The American Journey
Geography  Road Trip USA
Reading  Various classics

Ds4 is nine and will be in 4th grade.

Math  Spectrum Math 4
Language  Writing Skills Book A
Science  Harcourt Science 4
History  The Complete Book of US History
Geography  Road Trip USA
Reading  Various classics

Here’s to another fun-filled homeschooling year.  :)

I’m linking this post up to the annual Not Back To School Blog Hop

nbts-blog-hop-2014

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Halloween 2013

We had a good “holiday.”  Just good.  Definitely better than last year, but it wouldn’t really take much to beat last year.  Dh and ds2 were in Disney World at a Biomedical symposium but my brother and his wife and my nephew and his son came over and we enjoyed ourselves.

IMG_0096 Here’s my front entrance.  The monster door was so simple but really turned out super cute.

IMG_0101 IMG_0104 On the menu:   Bones, Green-Eyed monster cookies, and punch served in googly eye cups.  I traditionally serve a vegetable-filled “Halloween Soup” in preparation for the candy gluttony, but my heart wasn’t in it this year and we ordered pizza.  With mushrooms, which is a vegetable, so there.

IMG_0114 My nephew’s son (maybe we should call him ns here on the old blog) and ds4 playing with the inside decorations.  Those green alien things are balloons that have a blinking led light…they were super cool and are still blinking three days later!

IMG_0123 Ds3 was “Steve” from Minecraft, ds4 was “toxic waste” and ns was a skeleton (and a total cutie pie and ham the whole night.)

IMG_0139 This is from the end of the night when we came back home…ds1 stayed home and handed out candy dressed as a green guy…yeah, I don’t really get it either.  ;)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

In The Name Of Knowledge

The boys have been plugging away at school, having more good days than bad, and for that I am thankful.  All my planning has paid off (for the most part) and I have been prepared enough to keep things flowing.  The other day, ds3 actually said that school had been fun, and we didn’t even do anything special.  Gotta love that.

However, we have been doing some fun things to help reinforce lesson plans. 

HPIM0011 HPIM0014 HPIM0016 Like using Oreos to chart the phases of the moon.  And of course eating the broken ones and the extra stuffing (that’s called preserving our resources folks.)    Oh, the sacrifices we homeschoolers make for our kids.  Sigh.  ;)

IMG_8180 Ds4 is making huge strides in his reading.  It amazes me how a child can go from struggling to read the most basic words, to *click* just getting it and reading big words he’s never even seen before.  He and ds3 both are reading books on their own this year in addition to the books I read to them during school.  I know a lot of kids do this from the get-go, but mine didn’t and now they do and I am beyond happy about it.  Ds4 is reading The Swiss Family Robinson and doing a great job with his cadence and expressions.  So far I am quite pleased with our curriculum choices and hope that the school year continues to be this productive.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

And They’re Off! First Weeks of School

We had a pretty good transition from summer to school.  Both boys got right back into our routine and suffered from no supposed “summer memory loss” that the schools love to complain about.  By the way, our “routine” is pretty much the same as last year.  Boys get up, get breakfast, brush teeth and get dressed, and meet me at the school table.  There is no strict time that all this occurs; one boy may sleep in while the other is up and at them.  I just let the morning play out so we have a smooth school day and just because we can.  :)  I have the boys work individually on their math and language workbooks first, then we tackle the “group” subjects of history, science, geography, reading and nature studies.

IMG_8164 IMG_8166 Our first science unit is on electricity.  The bulb lit up!

IMG_8169 IMG_8170 IMG_8172 Nature studies have us sketching pictures of the sky in our journals.

IMG_8175 IMG_8176 History is focusing on Early Americans.  Here the boys are making petroglyphs on sandpaper.

IMG_8168 Genie and Ellie listen in on our lessons.  Because they are smart like that.  :)