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Showing posts from February, 2015

Binder Update: Language Arts

I have kept track of hours for Language Arts.   120 hours = 1 credit
I am writing this as if our year is over, when in actuality I count our academic year July 1 through June 30, so we still have 4 full months left.  
We have read:
Titles Corresponding Activities The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe Watched the movie and discussed similarities and differences.  Completed a lapbook and biographical notebook page for C.S. Lewis.  Cover to lapbook is hand made artwork of lampost drawn over book print stained with tea to look aged. Around the World in 80 Days 5 paragraph essay in which a favorite character’s personality trait was supported by evidence from the book.  Research completed at the library on the Hindu Gods and Goddesses and elements of the Hindu religion. Watched NatGeo documentary about the history of the Suez Canal.  Watched documentary: Understanding World Religions, What is Hinduism Alice in Wonderland Watched the Tim Burton adaptation as well as the Disney and realized this was one …

High School Binder: Weekly Wrap Ups

It is that time of year, not quite spring but close enough to start thinking about homeschooling housekeeping issues.  For me that means tidying up the 9th grade binder.  Over the next few weeks, I will share where we are with Grace’s 9th grade binder.



Her binder helps me stay on track of several items but today I will profile only one...
Weekly Wrap Ups:


I still do them even though I don’t print them on the blog anymore.  I print out the table depicting the work we accomplish during the week.  These are kept in the front section of the binder and become a compilation of our efforts over the year.  It is worth the effort every day to jot down what we do.  This would be impossible to recreate and it is comforting to know that I can be held accountable for documenting their educational journey.  




It’s an interesting transition, homeschooling elementary to homeschooling middle/high school.  I am not the only one who asks, “Is this hard enough?” “Is this thorough?” “Will they have what they n…

Valentine's Day 2015

Valentine’s Day will always mark the anniversary of our entry into this amazing world of homeschooling.  Lilah’s first Valentine’s Day party was thrown 6 years ago, when she was in 2nd grade.  Six years ago.  That is crazy!  Where has this time gone?  How did my little 6 year old girl grow into a 12 year young lady who would be in 7th grade if she were in school?  



Over the years some things have changes.  Some friends have moved on, while new friends have come into our lives.    Thankfully some friendships have endured and I have had the joy of watching them grow up alongside my girls.  



One thing that has never changed is that Lilah is the ultimate party planner.  She takes responsibility for games, food, and movies.  She makes shopping lists in her planning notebook and spends hours researching the perfect homemade valentine.  She bakes, decorates, and cleans.  For Lilah, the party is not just a gathering of friends, it is an experience she wants each friend to remember for a long ti…

High School Book List

This week I reached out through social media asking for books that my friend, family, and online followers remember reading in high school and would recommend to someone in high school now.  I am always disappointed by the book lists I see on the websites of schools and at the library. In my opinion they are too heavily weighted with dystopian books, or contain books that are frankly, too mature for high school students and really would be better suited for a college class (like 1984).  

The highlight of this year has been reading books with my sister-in-law Kris.  We try to pace ourselves so we finish the book around the same time.  She talks with the girls about characters and the plot and their opinions and then we gather on a weekend to have dinner and watch the movie.  Those books are not just part of us, they are part of our family experience.  Passpartout and Alice and The White Witch have all been featured in conversation and many, many connections have been made to these reads…

Why I'm Saying No To Facebook....

(This is really a letter to my daughters...)
Grace sometimes asks for a Facebook page.  Not to keep in touch with other kids or family, she has Instagram for that, but for keeping track of the weather and following her favorite weather outlets and meteorologists and I have said no.  I have always said no but I have not quite been able to articulate why.  After all she does have Instagram, which for us has been a hugely positive experience, and she does have Twitter, although she is not allowed to post to Twitter, only follow.  The once or twice that she has posted it was to report weather conditions in our town.
Facebook is a different story though.  Unlike Instagram or Twitter, Facebook hits you hard with advertisements and shows you the things that other people like.  It causes you  to react to a visual image or to an advertisement quickly, impulsively, and sometimes naively.  Recently someone I know posted a comment and a link to a newspaper picture that I wish I did not see.  I have…

Crosby

I have not posted much about Crosby because I honestly was not ready to share my thoughts on this dog.  For the past six months I have thought I made an enormous mistake.  Having never raised a puppy before, I honestly thought that reading books, watching The Dog Whisperer and taking a dog training class would give me a well trained, well behaved dog.  I was not naive about the work that goes into an animal and I expected interrupted sleep and accidents in the house.  I did not make a rash decision to adopt a dog from a shelter nor did I decide on a dog based on children’s requests.  I carefully researched breeders, I researched breeds and we selected based on a litter planned for a very honorable purpose, to produce dogs capable of serving veterans and we waited months for this little puppy to enter into our family.


Not only did Crosby enter into our family, he disrupted our entire family.  Daphne is 14 (we think).  She is an old lady.  She was bonded to Jake in a way that words canno…

I'll get to it...

In life it is so easy to tell yourself “I’ll get to it....”.  I am so guilty of that.  I have piles of clean laundry to put away because I will get to it eventually.  Library books go overdue day after day because I will return them eventually.  "I’ll get to it" is a dangerous motto for me because it allows for unfinished projects to build up.  I might be okay with a small pile of dust bunnies gathering under the couch, but I do not want a small pile of unfinished work gathering on the girls’ portfolios.  Nope.  Not this year.
For me, this sometimes means that time must be set aside to do those things that are piling up.  We are not the type of homeschoolers that set aside 6 hours of straight work time and do all errands after.  For one, I get too tired once the sun sets and I lack the energy and determination to go out and run errands after dinner.  Two, this leads me right back to that “I’ll get to it” mentality.  
Life and learning are intrinsically connected for us.  A few…

Writing Group: Taking Time to Share the Good Stuff

Last spring I sat with one of my neighbors who was considering homeschooling and showed her the girls' portfolios.  I was a wee bit horrified to see that work had been placed in the binders that was not 100% complete.  I vowed at that moment that we would not rush to get from one thing to the next.  This journey we are on is not a race.  I realized then and there that we had to slow down and savor the moments, take the time necessary to complete something, and respect the fact that although we may work on many things together, there is an age difference, and the pace of the work is not always the same.
I am proud that I have stuck to this philosophy and every single piece of work that has been placed in the binders for 2014-2015 is detailed, accurate, and complete.  This philosophy has carried over into our activities as well.  Writing group has always been a fun, social, enjoyable writing experience.  For two years we have met weekly to work on writing exercises and pieces of crea…

Moving beyond the postcard

There are a few new things going on ‘round here.  We took advantage of The Great Courses sale and bought NatGeo’s Travel Photography and a geology course: 36 Geographical Wonders of the World.  We love them both.  
To be fair, we have only done one lesson in each. I recently read an opinion that adult courses are usually very good because adults don’t have to take them!  They have to pull you in, teach you something interesting, and hold your attention.  This is what we have found to be true for both these courses based on lecture #1.
The photography course was 100% interest-led.  Both my girls have an eye for photography.  Both love their Instagram accounts, which give them the opportunity to connect with kids who have become friends all over the country from CA to FL and lots of places in between!  They both share Crosby’s Instagram account, and have researched popular pet photography accounts to get new ideas on photo composition.  Plus Crosby is a real challenge to capture because h…