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Showing posts from October, 2014

A History of the World in 100 Objects - Discovery Ahead

We kicked off our new addition to our history curriculum, A History of the World in 100 Objects.  It is perfect for us and for how we learn best.  We are not completely abandoning A History of the Ancient World, but this will be used as a supplement rather than our core text.  

I simply adore the themes that run through this book, that humanity shares common DNA despite our skin colors, our religions and our cultures.  If we can focus on commonalities rather than differences, we can see that these carefully chosen objects from the collection at The British Museum, demonstrate that we are really not as different as we appear to be at first glance.
We began our study by reading the Preface and the Introduction last week.  We are using this as a working text.  Each girls is allowed to highlight and write in the margins.  They are uncomfortable doing this but I told them these are study skills that will help them in the future.  
This week we studied objects #1 and #2.  We read from the text…

Last show of the season

It has been years since Grace and I rose before the sun, grabbed coffee and breakfast to go and drove over an hour to get to a sporting event.  This used to be our Saturday routine when she would spend the day skating at the ISCC in Simsbury.  She gave that lifestyle up in favor of her family and since then we have not had many occasions to watch the sun rise as we traveled along a country road.

This weekend gave us that opportunity, although she slept through most of the sunrise!  Grace competed in one more show for this season, a benefit for breast cancer research at a farm in the Litchfield hills.    

In some ways this show was a better experience than the last one.  Grace felt part of a team now that she knows the other girls better and has a stronger relationship with her trainers.  There was more camaraderie at this show since the girls all competed back to back and hours of time did not separate each class.  There was more time for warming up and an indoor ring to stand in when t…

Party Planning: Halloween

It is well known that Lilah lives for party planning.  Give her an event and she will give you an experience.  This was the first Halloween party she has thrown and it was a grand event.  

The highlight was a scavenger hunt game that the girls played in teams.  They had to find clues hidden in the house.  Some clues were spells that her team mates had to work together to reverse.  Others were clues to decipher the name of the witch who organized the game.  The first team to get her name won.  Along the way the teams used monopoly money to buy and sell clues and spells.  The remaining money was used to purchase prizes we picked up at the dollar store.  Everyone went home with something, whether they won the game or not.  

I wonder what Miss Lilah will plan for Christmas??

Week of October 19 - 25, 2014

SUBJECT ACCOMPLISHMENTS week of October 19-25 Math Grace: Lesson 23: Undoing in reverse order Lesson 24:  Lilah: Lesson 16: Division Basics Daily review of multiplication with flash cards. Her speed and accuracy has greatly improved.
History Incorporating A History of The World in 100 Objects into our study and changing the title of our course from Ancient History to The History of Humanity (1 credit) Read Preface and most of the Introduction.  Each girl chose a colored highlighter and when they find information interesting, we are highlighting it to be used in their notebooks as a double journal entry.
Science didn’t happen this week.  Next week my goal is to do two-three lessons.   Language Arts After reading chapters 12-14 we were intrigued by the Hindu religion and introduced to the Goddess Kali.  Before the story turned towards Hong Kong, I wanted to take the opportunity to explore Hinduism.  2 hours at the library and the girls each have a little project of the fundamentals of the Hindu Rel…

Do you have a Guidance Counselor?

Students in high school have guidance counselors.  According to, counselors give assistance when it comes to the student’s core curriculum, they assist with individual planning, respond to students’ needs and concerns, provide referrals, consultation and collaboration.  For a homeschooled student all these roles are generally provided by the parent primarily responsible for the delivery of the education, or in my house, me!
I don’t want all this to fall on my shoulders.  To use that all to popular catch phrase, I don’t want something to “fall between the cracks” and even in homeschooling, there are cracks.  I fully admit that I cannot be everything to everyone under this roof.  
We are very fortunate that the girl’s Aunt Kris, is actively involved in their homeschooling.  Years ago, she took on the role of math teacher and met with the girls weekly to do Simply Charlotte Mason’s Business Math.  While this program is tedious and we never did find out if the businesses…

Around the World

My girls always learn best through projects where the reading is connected to life and life is then connected back to learning.  This is time intensive.  It can slow down the reading of a book and extend what could be a week long assignment into a two week long project.  We have never been about rushing through curriculum but more about wandering our way through what we are learning about and finding some experience to make it stick.
My girls are not always self motivated.  We are not true unschoolers, although we follow many of the guiding principals of unschooling.  As their mother and educator I have to introduce to them topics, facts, stories, subjects that they may not stumble upon through their interests.  Around the World in 80 Days has a chapter detailing an extremist Hindu sect preparing for a human sacrifice while transporting a statue of the Goddess Kali.  As I was listening, I knew we had to dig deeper.  My plans for math and science were pushed aside and we took a trip to …

Last Week: October 13 - 17

When I am fearful, I know it is time for a change.  When I fear that we must adhere to a “high school”-like way of learning, we are headed straight for a fall.  Despite this being our 5th year of homeschooling, there are times when fear raises its ugly head and makes me doubt if we are on track, if we should stick with something the girls hate just because we are already several chapters in, and it is “high school level”........  Often it is my dear friend Karen who talks sense into me and reminds me that we are not on this journey to make our girl’s educations look like their counterparts at the local high school.  If that were the case, it would be so much simpler to send them to school!
So we are tweaking history.  More details will follow in next week’s wrap up, but I am very excited about what we are doing.  
So history was a little light this week, at least in our text.  However they are getting lots of history from the little detours we are taking with Around the World in 80 Days…

11 Weeks