Saturday, March 21, 2015

K'nex Education - Car Window Crank

Katie built her 2nd physics project - a car window crank.  She didn't understand it at first and I had to explain to her that we used to have to crank up the window manually.  She was shocked that we had to do such "hard" things - yep, pushing a button these days is pretty easy!  Let's not forget the days of hard things...

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Organizing Homeschool Books by Subject or Category

We have accumulated a lot of science, history or other books that pertain to homeschool topics and I wanted them organized even more than just grouped by science or history, etc.  I wanted to split my science up into several fields and here are the ones we did: anatomy, botany, physics, chemistry, farms, earth science, astronomy, zoology and insects. 

I couldn't find any affordable dividers, so I made my own with colorful cards but I do want to eventually make some that are sturdier; something like poster board.  I also did the few language-related books we have, math, government services and geography.  I've yet to do the history shelf but when I do, I want to divide it up into time periods; ancient, medieval, etc.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

6th Grade History

We had planned to do Notgrass American History next but I decided against it because when we move to Ohio, it is required to teach American history, so I'm saving it for when we move to use as needed.  Katie has already completed a study of history from ancient times to modern, so she will be starting the chronological cycle all over again.

For 6th grade history, Katie is going to start at the beginning again with Ancient History up until 1400.  We have all 3 volumes of Human Odyssey and that is what she will be using for 6th, 7th and 8th grade history and we will weave in Notgrass American history throughout the years to meet requirements.  The first book is Volume 1 The Human Odyssey; Prehistory Through the Middle Ages.

We have many resources that we own to help her in her studies.  We have timelines, encyclopedias, primary resources, atlases, Uncle Josh's outline maps CD and other various books to read.  I took a picture of some of what we have that she will be using along with her studies.  Katie will also be reading from a book list for literature on correlating topics, which I've already planned but have yet to type up but I will try and provide a link to it when I post it.

6th Grade Foreign Language - Latin and Spanish

Katie is continuing on with Latina Christiana II using the DVD teacher and if she finishes it before 7th grade, she will go onto Henle Latin I.

We decided to hold off on Spanish for 5th grade and so, Katie will be starting La Clase Divertida Level 1 Spanish this year.

6th Grade Math, Logic and Bible

In Math, Katie will be finishing up Saxon Math 6/5 hopefully by September and then go right into Saxon Math 7/6.  We use Saxon Teacher and love, love, love it!!

For Logic, Katie will be starting with Critical Thinking Book One and then work her way into Critical Thinking Book Two.

Our Bible program is the same and we are continuing on with Memoria Press Christian Studies Book III.  Katie also reads the Bible on her own and memorizes scriptures.

6th Grade Language Arts - English, Reading and Spelling

For English, we are continuing on with Rod and Staff English 6 - we love this curriculum!  It also teaches writing, so we don't need a separate curriculum for writing.

In Spelling, we are finishing up the All About Spelling series with the last book, AAS 7.  Katie will also be doing Spelling Workout E (finishing up), F, G and possibly H.  Since we have been doing AAS, Spelling Workout is really just extra practice for her and she has been going through a lesson faster since we returned to it recently as an extra.

Reading for us is not a curriculum, it is a book list.  I plan on listing her 6th grade book list in another post, which I will link to here (if I remember!).  She will be reading books that correlate with Ancient History.  She writes full-page narrations after she reads each book and also reads in the evening.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

K'nex Simple Machines Gears - Crank Fan

Katie is really enjoying physics and one of the recent projects she made was an crank fan from the K'nex Simple Machines Gears Kit.  She was so excited to start the kit and at first, the parts weren't fitting but she realized after going back over the directions, that she put something in the wrong place.  She was so excited to complete her fan and she learned so much about gears!

I highly recommend the kit, there are a total of 7 projects to build:  crank fan, car window, blender, phonograph, eggbeater, stationary bike and chainsaw.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Completed 4th Grade Reading List

Here are the books that Katie read this past year for 4rd grade and also the read-alouds we read to her. 

I was pretty lenient this year for the evening reading, so she only read 2 on the list.  However, she read a lot of books on her own at night AND listens to audiobooks just about everyday that she chose but I don't keep a record of those.

Independent Morning Reading
  1. A Child's Garden of Verses - Stevenson 
  2. Kidnapped - Stepping Stone series
  3. Treasure Island - Audio by Jim Weiss
  4. Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde - Stepping Stone series
  5. Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes - Stepping Stone series
  6. Heidi - Spyri
  7. Pinocchio - Classic Starts 
  8. War of the Worlds - Stepping Stone series
  9. The Time Machine - Classic Starts 
  10. Little Women - Stepping Stone series
  11. Little Men - Classic Starts
  12. Blue, Orange or Lilac Fairy Books - Lang 
  13. Secret Garden - Audio 
  14. The Little Princess - Audio 
  15. The Wind in the Willows - Grahame 
  16. Peter Pan - Classic Starts 
  17. How the Camel Got His Hump - Kipling 
  18. The Jungle Book - Stepping Stone series 
  19. Rikki-Tikki-Tavi - Kipling 
  20. Just So Stories - Kipling; Audio 
  21. Laura Ingalls Wilder - all the novels
  22. Beatrix Potter Tales
  23. Walter de la Mare - poems 
  24. Poetry for Young People - Sandberg 
  25. You Read To Me, I'll Read To You - Ciardi
  26. Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats - Eliot 
  27. Charlotte Bronte and Jane Eyre - Ross
  28. Jane Eyre -Stepping Stone series
  29. Frankenstein - Stepping Stone series
  30. Phantom of the Opera - Stepping Stone series
Evening "Fun" Reading
  1. The Family Under the Bridge
  2. The Moffats
Family Read-Alouds
  1. To Swim In Our Pond - Vietnamese proverbs
  2. South Korea - True books
  3. North Korea - True books
  4. Far Beyond the Garden Gate - Brown
  5. Beijing - Platt
  6. All the Way to Lhasa - Berger
  7. A Picture Book of Daniel Boone - Adler
  8. If You Grew Up With George Washington - Gross
  9. Betsy Ross and the Silver Thimble - Greene
  10. Can't You Make Them Behave King George - Fritz
  11. Boston Tea Party - Freedman
  12. And Then What Happened Paul Revere - Fritz
  13. Kids At Work - Freedman (just looked at pictures)
  14. Cotton Mill Town - Hershey
  15. The Story of an English Village - Goodall
  16. The Bobbin Girl - McCully
  17. Redoute: The Man Who Painted Flowers - Croll
  18. Life On a Plantation - Kalman
  19. Cotton Mill Town - Hershey
  20. How We Crossed the West: The Adventures of Lewis & Clark - Schanzer
  21. Swamp Angel - Isaacs
  22. The Lewis and Clark Expedition - A True Book - Perritano
  23. Working Cotton - Williams
  24. A Visit to William Blake's Inn - Willard
  25. Please, Malese!  A Trickster Tale from Haiti - MacDonald
  26. The Miracle of the First Poinsettia: A Mexican Christmas Story - Oppenheim
  27. Ruby's Wish - Bridges
  28. Striking It Rich: The Story of the California Gold Rush - Krensky

5th Grade Evening "Fun" Book List

These are books that are at or below Katie's reading level and she reads for 45 minutes to an hour on the weekday evenings.

She also reads a lot of books that I don't keep a list of, things like Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew and Cam Jansen mystery books.

5th Grade Morning Independent Reading List

Katie will read these in the morning for 45 minutes and do a full page narration on each book upon completion.  Now that she is reading longer books, it will take longer to read them and so there will be less on this list than years before - for instance, the Caddie Woodlawn book is 275 pages!

  1.  Call of the Wild - Classic Starts
  2.  Caddie Woodlawn - Brink

5th Grade History and Literature Read-Aloud List

Some of these are family read-a-louds and some are extra independent reading for Katie that pertain to what she is studying in history.  They are either factual books or literature.

*These books go along with Story of the World Volume 4

  1.  The Visual Dictionary of the Civil War - DK

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Our Growing Educational Books

I like having books on a variety of topics available for my kids, so when they have a yearning for a certain subject, chances are we will have a book on it!  If not, they can use the World Book encyclopedia DVD we bought, which contains all of the encyclopedias on one disk!  My daughter has really enjoyed looking up things in the encyclopedia and I'm glad we purchased the DVD because it takes up less space than an entire set would on the shelf!

Most of the extra books I have are on history and science topics, so we dedicated a shelf to each.  This is our history-related bookshelf but it does include some geography books on states as well:

This is our science bookshelf, which is so full, we had to put some on another shelf:

The last shelf is full of miscellaneous things from geography to math:

I buy a lot of our books from Scholastic and more than half were FREE!  We have what we call "Scholastic Time" and my daughter reads for an hour from any of the books on these shelves.  She always comes away really excited with what she has learned.  My son, even though he is just 2, has already enjoyed several of the books, like the pop-up Presidents and Magic School bus books.

5th Grade Curriculum Index of Posts

Here is an index of posts of what we are using for 5th grade:

5th Grade History & Science

For history we have took our time and are just now getting to Story of the World Volume 4.  I don't regret it though because we have read a LOT of extra books on all the different historical topics and it has been enjoyable.  I have some extra activites to go with this time of history, like a Civil War fun pack but didn't picture those.  We also plan on adding in a state history study and learning the states and capitals this year.

Science is one of those neglected subjects in our house but we finally made it to the last subject to complete our full-science learning - physics!  We are using Elemental Science Physics that includes the Usborne encyclopedia, 2 biography books and some others pictured.  We are using K'nex Gears kit and Snap Circuits Lights as well.

5th Grade Math, Writing, English & Spelling

Katie is almost finished with Saxon Math 5/4 and will go right on to Saxon Math 6/5 by February and will most likely finish it before 6th grade.  I don't teach math, she loves using the Saxon Teacher and it has been working great for her!

For writing, most of it is included in our English curriculum and she also writes a lot in history, science and reading but I may also add in Writing Strands Level 3.  For English (grammar), we are using Rod & Staff's English 5 Following the Plan.

For spelling, we were going to go on to Spelling Workout D and finish it up but decided to buy the next level of All About Spelling - so we are finishing up All About Spelling Level 6 and then also doing Level 7.  Level 7 is high school level but Katie is ready for it and she loves this spelling program!  I haven't ordered Level 7 yet, so it isn't pictured.

5th Grade Bible, Logic and Foreign Language

For Bible, we are in the middle of Christian Studies II and may make it to the 3rd book before 5th grade ends, but I decided to plan the 3rd one for 6th grade.

A new subject for 5th grade is Logic and we chose to go with a game, Building Thinking Skills Level 2, to ease Katie in to adding on another subject and she loves it!

Katie is in her 2nd program for Latin - Latina Christiana I and then she is also adding in Spanish this year with La Clase Divertida Level 1.  I added Ludere Latine games that go along with the lessons in Latina Christiana I.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

My Picks for Best Elementary Curriculum

I can't believe we have finished the grammar stage!  It went really fast and there was a lot of needless worry as elementary was really easy and nothing to stress over.  I can say that LOOKING BACK but during it, I didn't always have the proper picture in my mind.

I decided to list the best curriculum, my favorites and also ones I disliked.  I plan on using mostly the same curriculum with my son because they work and they produced what I was hoping for and even more than that with my daughter.  I feel she is well-prepared for the logic stage curriculum.

Best Elementary Curriculum
  1. Story of the World - hands down this is the BEST history curriculum!  We used it along with the activity guide and used the reading lists for each week for read-alouds.  We took so much time with these books that we still have the last book to do.  I can't wait to do this history with my son!  We also have the audio for each book and listen to them on long road-trips.  
  2. Saxon Math - it has a gentle introduction and builds the foundation very well with constant review, so the child doesn't forget concepts.  Katie loved this up until the 5/4 book where it got difficult but she is very good at math regardless.  We plan on staying with Saxon until Calculus and most Saxon users get high SAT scores in math, so it is a winner!
  3. First Language Lessons - this is probably the BEST curriculum of all that we used in elementary.  This grammar program has 4 books and uses a gentle introduction and constant review that really cements grammar into the child.  We are almost done with the last book and my daughter can diagram a sentence fast!
  4. All About Spelling - this curriculum works but is very teacher-intensive.  My daughter loves it and we are completing the 6th level by the end of January hopefully.  She had issues with spelling and once we began this program, she had immediate results.
  5. Prima Latina - awesome introduction to Latin!  My daughter loved this and is using the next book (Latina Christiana I) and loving that as well.  We used the DVD teacher.
  6. Golden Children's Bible - not a curriculum but what we used for 1st and 2nd grade.  I started reading to my daughter but she ended up finishing the book by 2nd grade on her own.  Good overview of the bible and aligns with the KJV.
  7. Memoria Press' Christian Studies - best bible curriculum that is thorough and doesn't jump around but rather follows a mostly chronological sequence.  I would wait until 3rd grade before starting the first book.  This will continue on into middle school or the logic stage.

My Favorites
  1. First Language Lessons - love, love, love this grammar!!
  2. Story of the World - can't say enough about this history, the best and something we can refer back to in years to come.
  3. Golden Children's Bible - best children's bible in my opinion as it is the only one I could find aligned with the KJV.  (We used Zondervan's The Beginner's Bible for Kindergarten)

They Worked but I Disliked Teaching Them
  • Writing With Ease - I did not like this curriculum at all BUT I have to say it did work.  My daughter was able to do narration very well using this program and learned proper sentence structure.  It is the one curriculum that made us BOTH cry many, many times!  I'm not entirely sure I will use it with my son as we didn't even finish the 3rd book because we could not take the long dictation anymore.
  • All About Spelling - my daughter loved this program but I hated it because it was so teacher intensive!  Definitely works but made me cringe every time we had to do it.  I would have quit this program had my daughter not loved it so much and did so well with it.
  • Saxon Math - again, daughter loved it and it works perfectly but I hated teaching it.  However, with the 5/4 book, we used the Saxon Teacher CD and this made me love it as I didn't have to teach it!  I would have hated ANY math program though because I just despise math.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Our Family Chunk Clock

I listened to a wonderful seminar from The Homeschool Coach, Mary Ann Johnson, on Hecoa's free Not-Back-to-School Summit about the family chunk clock.  It was so amazing, I watched it again and took a LOT of notes and then also listened to the audio and printed out the handouts to make ours.  My daughter Katie has voiced to me before that she feels like she doesn't know what is next each day.  I knew that this would not only benefit me, but especially her!

How it works is, you divide your day up into chunks of things you do.  If there are days where things come up, someone gets sick, etc. (and they will!) this chunk clock helps you see a visual of what is important to finish that day, what you can skip and to help you refocus when you get off track.  You can listen to the audio on her website, just google the homeschool coach and family chunk clock.

We wanted a catchy funny name for our clock instead of the generic -- Family Chunk Clock, so we came up with "Got Chunks?" LOL!

You may be wondering what is up with the weird names on each chunk.  Well, my daughter created each of those names to add some FUN to our chunk clock!  Here are the why's of each chunk:

  • Snore No More - because we are not morning people and we must stop snoozing
  • Moddy Time - She took Mo from Mom and ddy from Buddy (my son’s nickname) to show it was for me and Buddy (Zach) to have time together.
  • Hope Lu - She took Ho from homeschool, pe from P.E. and Lu from lunch!
  • Kazm Time - Ka from Katie, Z from Zach and M from Mom - since this is our time to do individualized things
  • Chep Hour - usually 5-6pm, so an hour and she got Ch from chores and ep from prep (dinner).
  • Foing Up - Fo from food (dinner) and ing from Washing (dishes)
  • Chee - Ch from church and ee from Free(time)
  • Spied - Spi from spiritual and ed from bed

I didn't put every detail in our clock (showers, time with husband, etc.) because I wanted to keep it simple and this is our guide to show us our natural flow and/or routine.

This has already helped Katie KNOW what is next and have a visual of how our day will go.  This also is helping me in the same regards and also to have my priorities highlighted, so I don't lose sight of what is important - God, School and Family!  It will also make a great conversation piece when friends visit!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

5th Grade Writing

I shared our 5th Grade curriculum choices in this post and you may have noticed that we do not have a writing curriculum.  We were going to do Writing With Ease 4 but after Susan Wise Bauer's updated recommendations, we decided to forego WWE 4.  We were almost done with Writing With Ease 3 and both of us were really done with the dictations but we kept pressing on through the pain of them.  I ended up giving Katie the evaluation in the back and she passed with flying colors, so I knew that she was ready to move on.  I also didn't see a need to do the next level because it was just more of the dictation but in paragraph lengths and that made us both cringe!  However, Katie loves reading the little snippets of stories out of WWE 3, so we may still do those.

So, I knew I wasn't going to do the WWE 4 book but what would I do now for writing for 5th grade?  As I was re-reading the Logic Stage section of The Well Trained Mind, that is when I saw it:

"If you choose to use Rod & Staff, the composition exercises provided can fulfill the middle-grade student's need for a writing program."

I think I heard a choir singing the Hallelujah chorus (in my head of course) - little did I know that we already had our writing covered with our grammar book: Rod & Staff English!  I quickly got it out and saw that it taught outlining, paragraph formation and all that good stuff - awesome!  Then, I also realized that Katie gets dictation in spelling right now anyway and she will be writing narrations from books she reads and in history and science.  Enough - I have to tell myself that IS enough, she doesn't need a fancy, shiny new writing curriculum - we got the bases covered throughout the curriculum we are using.

I do eventually want to use the Institute for Excellence in Writing's program but for 5th grade we got it covered!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Our Current Schedule

I haven't done one of these posts in a long time, here is the last time I did before my son was born and my life looks a lot different than that now!  

10:00 a.m. - Wake up; Make breakfast

10:30 a.m. - Breakfast

11:00 a.m. - Homeschool starts - Bible, writing, grammar

12:00 p.m. - Snack for my son & Recess; P.E.

1:00 p.m. - Lunch

1:45 p.m. - Pick up time

2:00 p.m. - Son's nap for 3 hours and this is when we homeschool spelling, history or science, math and reading

3:10 p.m. - My part in homeschool is done, daughter works independently until dinner; This begins my time to do whatever is on my to-do list for the day

3:30 p.m. - Snack

4:30 - 5:00 p.m. - Start dinner prep

5:00 p.m. - Son wakes up from nap

5:30 p.m. - Dinner

6:00 p.m. - Kitchen clean up

7:00 - 9:00 p.m. - Evening activities (different each night)

9:00 p.m. - Son's bedtime cereal and milk; we usually eat a snack

9:30 p.m. - Son's bedtime

Family Freetime

11:00 p.m. - Daughter's bedtime

1:00 - 2:00 a.m. - Bedtime for me

Homeschool time is 11-12 in the morning and then from 2-5 in the afternoon.  My daughter also has evening reading that she works in sometime before bed.  Total homeschooling for the summer is about 4 hours.  Once we get to fall, we will not have such a large break from 12 - 2 - that will be the time my daughter does Latin, Spanish and Logic (new subjects she will start in 5th grade), putting her at 6 hours of schooling.  My time spent homeschooling goes from about 2 hours down to less than one in the new school year!

Sometimes I wake up before my kids and I try to be as quiet as possible, doing something like reading the news on my Kindle.  However I've learned, whenever I get up, my son always seems to hear and gets up and doesn't get enough sleep and then he will be cranky all day - so I've tweaked my own schedule to try and sleep till he wakes up.  I would like to get back to going to sleep by midnight and waking at 8, but that would mean putting my son to bed at 8 and that won't work for our family.

My son gets 12 hours of sleep at night, my 10-year old daughter gets 10 hours and I try and get at least 8 hours.  All of these are for good health and the recommended times for the age/stage.  I recently watched a documentary study on obesity and there is substantial evidence that babies and toddlers that do not get AT LEAST 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night, are at risk for obesity, diabetes and heart disease later on in life.  I was surprised by this but I knew that 12 hours was good as my daughter slept for 12 hours until she was around age 5 and now sleeps 10 hours.  Sleep really does make a difference in children's behaviors and ours!

Friday, June 13, 2014

What I've Learned in 6 Years of Homeschooling

I've been homeschooling my daughter from preschool through to 4th grade and as we finish up the grammar stage of classical education, I can tell that you I've learned a LOT and wanted to share.  Maybe you are just beginning homeschooling or have a year or so under your belt, here is what I would tell you:

  1. God should always be FIRST!  - your homeschool won't work to the glory of God if you get caught up in academics and exclude Him.  Reading the Bible daily for you and your children is far more important than anything else they will learn.  If you find yourself having trouble homeschooling, look and see the place that you put God in - if He isn't first, then you need to reorganize!
  2. Reading is the most important - Teach your child to read and read well EARLY on!  My daughter was reading fluently at a 4th grade level in 1st grade following The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching ReadingIf you don't get them reading on their own, you will find you will be doing a lot of teaching and get burnt out and quit.  Most children should be reading at LEAST 1 1/2 hours a day - it doesn't just stop with phonics, your child has to read books a lot to master it.  You will also find that their English, writing and spelling improves the more they read.  I find a lot of people that have problems homeschooling, haven't taught their child to read on their own - or if they have, they didn't make their child read books everyday - you are shooting yourself in the foot here.....get them to READ!!
  3. After Bible and reading, math is next - If you can just teach 3 things, teach these.  Even if you don't get around to grammar, writing or spelling - it will be taken care of in reading.  Math is so important and one subject you should never get behind in.  Definitely don't take more than 2 weeks off from math because concepts will be lost in the early grades.  
  4. Child should be independent by 3rd grade - if you do the above 3 and are following the classical method, most children should be able to do most of their schoolwork independently.  There may still be a few things you have to teach, like writing (which only takes 10 minutes) but for the most part, you shouldn't be doing much at all.  How so?  Well, you got your child to read on their own!  You also spent 1st and 2nd grade doing narration, which means they learned how to read to understand (comprehension).  If you have problems by this grade, check to make sure God is first and your child can read on their own and does read books from 1-2 hours every day.  Even with slower children, by 4th grade if you don't see independence in most subjects - examine what is going on.
  5. Classical Education is superior - I've looked at a lot of different methods, compared with my public and private school education as well and come to the conclusion that classical education is far superior to any other.  Why?  Well, it teaches to the mind of the child.  In the grammar stages, your child is a sponge soaking up everything.  In the logic stages, they start to ask why and to find out the answers - in other words, they learn to THINK!  By the rhetoric stage, they take all the information they've absorbed and the thinking skills are able to defend their viewpoints and back up their beliefs.  They don't teach this in other methods and they sure don't teach it in public schools!
  6. Include secular beliefs and books - Don't be a Christian hermit and shelter your child from anything that doesn't have a scripture in it or reference to God.  Your children need to know what evolution is and why it is wrong!  They need to see both sides, so that they will not be tricked later on in life.  They should learn mythology, so they can understand references to it in history and the great books.  They need to understand the world with a Christian worldview - not just live in a sheltered educational box for they will not be truly educated to reach the world.
  7. Relax!!!!  - I just learned this a few years ago but I see so many others not relaxing and being burdened down by Satan's lies about homeschooling.  It isn't hard!  They just need to learn to read, write and do math and everything else is gathered really from reading!  You can go through and never do one experiment or project and learn what you need to know by just reading a book on it.  RELAX!!  There are only 4 parts of science and they repeat it every 4 years - so if you miss something the first go round, relax!  Same with history.  Don't sweat the small stuff, they will eventually get it - trust me!
  8. Love Teaching Your Child - if you don't do everything as unto God, you will hate homeschooling and your child will pick that up!  Don't let Satan have an advantage in your home - do homeschooling as you are doing it for the Lord.  Your bad attitudes will be absorbed by your child and they will lose confidence in themselves.  Change your attitude and amazingly - everything starts working again!  Praise your children more than you point out their mistakes!!
  9. Pray constantly about your homeschool - whenever you have a problem in homeschooling - stop and pray!  If your child is struggling with something - have them stop and pray!  Prayer changes things!  You either have faith when you pray or you don't.  If you don't pray for your homeschool before you begin each day, don't be surprised if you have a hard time.  You have not because you didn't ask!

5th Grade Curriculum for Logic Stage

I finally finished planning out our 5th grade year and this is the year we start the logic stage of classical education.  There are few new subjects - Logic and Spanish, so I decided to use DVD programs for this to ease into the extra work.  I will do a more detailed post of each subject when we get the materials!

The only subject I'm teaching is Bible!  I will be helping her with history and science if she needs it but for the most part, she will be on her own this year.

*I've updated this since posting with some changes.

Bible - Memoria Press Christian Studies II

Logic - Critical Thinking Company Building Thinking Skills 2 Software

Math - Saxon 6/5 with Saxon Teacher

Language Arts
     Reading - Well Trained Mind book list
     English - Rod and Staff English 5
     Spelling - All About Spelling 6 & 7

Foreign Language
     Latin - Latina Christiana I with DVD teacher
     Spanish - La Clase Divertida 1

History - Story of the World 4 & State history

Science - Elemental Science Physics
     Art - Home Art Studio DVDs; Artistic Pursuits
     Music - Story of the Orchestra; Composer Studies; Beethoven Who
     Home Economics - Pearables Home Economics

You may be wondering where writing is, well according to the recommendations in The Well Trained Mind, if you are doing Rod and Staff English, you don't need an additional writing curriculum as it teaches writing (outlining, paragraphs, etc.).  Katie will also be writing across the curriculum with her own narrations in literature, history and science.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Our Logic Stage History Schedule

I spent a lot of time researching and praying about what to do for logic stage history.  I wanted to remain true to the Well Trained Mind (WTM) recommendations but at the same time, I wanted to do a full year of American history.  We are still going through The Story of the World (SOTW) because I keep going off to supplement with extra things on American history.  I didn't want to feel this way for the logic stage and the rhetoric stage, so I came up with a plan to do it all! 

I really love Notgrass' America the Beautiful.  Not only is it written for Christians, it is easily adaptable to the WTM style using outlining, timelines and primary sources.  So I knew that I wanted to do the program but how to fit it in with also studying the 4-year Ancients to Modern, I had no idea!  Until.......I came across K12's Human Odyssey history program.  This program covers history in the chronological format and story form as The Story of The World did.  The best part?  It covers it all in just 3 years!  So, in case you haven't figured out my plan yet, here it is:

5th grade - Notgrass' America the Beautiful
6th grade - Human Odyssey Volume 1
7th grade - Human Odyssey Volume 2
8th grade - Human Odyssey Volume 3

This will put us on track to restart the cycle by 9th grade (if we choose to do so) and also let me get American history out of my system.  We will still cover American history throughout Human Odyssey but I probably won't feel like I need to supplement it as much as I did with SOTW. 

I'm adding in the recommended encyclopedias, atlas, globe, geography, etc. that the WTM suggests as we go through Human OdysseyHuman Odyssey will be our story and then Katie will also look up what we are studying that week in the encyclopedia and other sources.  She will find it on the atlas and globe, do an outline map, write it on the timeline, outline and put it in her notebook.  In essence, we are doing both the WTM rec's and my way - love it!  I don't have to add most of this in with Notgrass because it already weaves in the timeline, maps and writing.

*By the way, you don't need to pay $300 for the 3 years of Human Odyssey, I got all of mine for $50 total on Amazon by buying used!  They do have the teacher guides for the first 2 books and student workbooks but from what others have said, you don't need those and they include some things that are only accessed online that you won't be able to access unless you pay.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Homeschool Room Re-Do

I spent several hours going through books, games and other miscellaneous things yesterday in the homeschool/dining room.  It doesn't look like it but believe me, I cleared out a lot of things to sell or give away.  I also added in some Scholastic books that before had no home.  Then, I moved most of the educational games to the small bookshelf to make space on the large bookshelf for books.  We have a shelf full of history-related books, a shelf full of science-related books and a half-shelf with books on math, geography and other subjects.

I also left open shelves for our new curriculum that we will be ordering soon for 5th grade.  I moved a lot of curriculum and books around and dusted everything from top to bottom!!  I have yet to finish my file cabinet because my emergency surgeries came while I was in the midst of that.  However, I did get one drawers almost completed.

I also combined a lot of the card games and very small games into a bucket.  This helps my son not get to them and helps them be contained.  I took the math and science miscellaneous items that were small and put them in the black/white chevron bin.  I organized various small workbook-style books into the white file bins.  I still have odds and ends to do - like go through and file papers, grade papers, etc.

The white cabinet is in the hallway area between the living room and homeschool/dining room.  I also redid it, threw out some things, organized some more things and moved some things out of it onto the black shelves.  It contains mostly supplies - tacks, tape, glue, stapler, bookmarks, etc.  We have another white cabinet in a closet that contains more craft supplies like construction paper, foam, pompoms, etc. but it isn't pictured here because it is not part of this room.