Monday, June 4, 2012

Our week in Instagram

It has been an Instagram kind of week.  This is what we have been up to since our return from TN.  We renewed our commitment to lessons, which have been long neglected in favor of project based learning.....
We covered two chapters in history.  Story of the World Book 2 MUST be finished this summer to keep us on track (my track!).  I want the girls to finish books 3 and 4 in the next two years, which will allow for 4 years of US history when Grace is in High School.

We updated our Book of Centuries.

Grace set up a Dropbox account so that she can drop her chapter notes, print them out, and add them to her binder. 

We visited the library.

The girls made paper monsters.  

A second Art Journaling class began at my house.  I prefer smaller groups for this class so that there is an intimate feel when we write together.  This group will also meet every other week, ensuring that there will be at least one art journaling class per week.  I am eager to see what my girls produce over the summer.  A separate post about this week's class will be coming soon!

I am super excited about a new collaboration that is taking place between myself and another homeschooling Mom.  We have partnered twice a week to work on math and writing.  Lilah is working on a timeline of math concepts.  Each concept that is added is chronological and will have a physical representation.  Last week she worked on stars.  She learned how to find the North Star and she began building an electrical circuit which will be incorporated into a handmade wooden light box representing the constellation.  Pretty cool!  Math, electric circuitry and woodworking!  Grace is working on finishing book 4 of Key to Fractions and she will soon be starting Key To Geometry.    I adore working with the kids on writing.  Lilah and her friend are writing a Minecraft Book.  So far they have two pages about how to collect materials and build a house.  They also finished their About the Author pages and next week they will be learning how to write an essay to persuade someone to play Minecraft.  This will become the book's introduction.  Grace and her friend have been working on personal narrative.  Next they will also write a persuasive essay.   My hope is that the girls will blog their writing after the final edit and revision. 

Taking three months off from lessons to focus on project based learning was fabulous.  We will do it again next year when “DI Season” begins.  The trade off is that we need to refocus our energy and dedicate time and energy to the pursuit of our more traditional lessons like math, history and language arts during the summer months.  Each family could be working on this separately, which would limit the time they are able to spend together, or we can still focus on interest-based learning by allowing the girls to write about subjects they want while having a social experience.  This is exactly how I envisioned the next stage of our homeschooling experience to be.  As the girls move into “middle school” I want to create opportunities for challenging learning in a group setting based on their personal interests.  I have some exciting collaborations planned for later this summer and next fall.  
It has been a good week.

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