Monday, May 31, 2010

Summer Science - Apologia Zoology 1

We have decided that we are going to hold off on Astronomy (we are at chapter 6) and pick it back up in the fall.  We are going to use Apologia's Zoology 1 this summer.  Zoology 1 covers the flying creatures (birds and insects) so it is best to do it in the summer.

The notebook is too advanced for K because of all the writing, so we are not ordering it but using free worksheets online.  We also purchased some binoculars for our bird watching outings.  We are setting up bird feeders on our deck soon to attract as many birds as we can.  My husband's aunt is an avid bird watcher and her whole backyard is FULL of different kinds of birds - it was so neat to see when we were in NY last year.  We will be using the "Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Western North America" so when we take pictures of birds or see them on our nature walks or our porch - we can identify them.

For the insect portions of Zoology 1, we will be using the "National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Insects and Spiders Species of North America" to help us identify them.  There is a lot more we could do with insects but I want to see what the projects in the book suggest before we choose our own. 

One of the lessons involves ordering live caterpillars and watching as they form their cocoons and turn into butterflies right before our very eyes - so cool huh?

Here is a video using the butterfly kit we plan on purchasing:

Just like with all the other subjects, there is a mass supply of books and videos from the library and videos online to use with each lesson. We are so excited to start Zoology 1 and spend this summer, not only learning, but having fun!!

Image credits: Christianbook; Amazon

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Free "America; The Story of Us" DVD - 12 Hours

This is open to homeschoolers!  I already signed up for ours, you simply fill out the required parts of the form to get yours here:

There is also a free teacher's packet here:

You can see 2 full episodes online now here:

Disclaimer: As I haven't watched it yet, I can't say how correct it is or how biased. If the intro by Obama is any indication - I'm kind of wary of it, but we will see how it tells our history.  The reviews indicate a big lean towards the leftist view and since it is seasoned with many Hollywood actors telling their thoughts, I would imagine it wouldn't be based on the REAL history of our country that began with God.  Although, I'm hoping there a few gems in the midst of it somewhere.  I will screen it most likely and then choose the parts I agree with for my daughter's viewing. 

Thanks to Freely Educate for the info.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Seattle Pacific Science Center

We took a "field trip" to the Seattle Pacific Science Center and had a blast!  We went through all the exhibits, saw the planetarium show and watched "Hubble 3D" in the IMAX.  The Hubble 3D was our favorite part of the trip! It felt like the objects were right on your nose and then feeling like you are floating in space with the astronauts working on the Hubble telescope was so cool!  K expanded her learning of Astronomy on this visit and it was great to see her apply things she has learned.  Here is a short video of our trip with some pictures:

Space Shuttle & Hubble Telescope Model Kit

I wouldn't recommend anyone to buy this kit lol.  Most of the parts didn't fit right and it was a hassle to put together and didn't necessarily fit together but we made it work.  Then the stand couldn't hold it well so it is tilting to the side lol!  The important part is - K liked there.  Here is our completed model:

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

"Days of the Week" Poem Recitation

This one took quite a while for K to memorize!  It was the hardest one for her so far but she did it!  She practiced and practiced and practiced and after she got it and we recorded it, she told me "practice makes perfect!"  ;-) 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What I Have Learned & 1st Grade Planning

My daughter was considered a Kindergartner this past fall according to school standards at age 5 and turned 6 by the end of October.  I started her in a lot of 1st grade material but I do honestly wish I had waited.  It is not that she wasn't "ready" for it - she still begs for school and always wants to do more and she is a steller learner.  BUT.....I've read too many studies, articles and advice from other moms who have been in my shoes.  It is BETTER to let a late birthday child stay in their grade level than to treat them as a higher grade.  Come 3rd or 4th grade is when you realize you made a mistake by pushing them ahead.  Better for them to be an honor student in their current grade than ahead a grade and subpar on that grade level.  I even read one Fox news article that stated research found that going into 1st grade LATE boosts self esteem.

I thought maybe I would have gained some sort of advantage treating her as a grade ahead but I only found that it was me that was striving to get 1st grade done - for what?  So she can be a 6 year old 2nd grader!?  I came to this realization a few months ago but just now getting around to blogging about it.  I've since backed off of some subjects and only did them when we wanted.  We have just let ourselves have FUN in Kindergarten.  We are reading books, doing crafts and only making the basics priority - reading, handwriting and math.  Although, even with those - she has already fulfilled the K requirements a long time ago, so its all extras whatever we do.  It's all about fun right now! ;-)

She has been doing 1st grade math but I didn't want her to be starting 2nd grade math so soon, so we stopped mid-way and slowed way down.  She will still finish early but we can take our time with math in the future.

It was mostly the writing and other subjects being too much that I was concerned about.  There is no need for her to start paragraph dictation a year or two before she is ready.  So as far as her writing curriculum - we put the brakes on that and just doing KJV copywork and reading books and doing narration.  She was actually sad that I put the Writing with Ease book away but I knew she would not be ready for the heavy dictation with the next and 3rd year book so early.  So better wait and just let her write letters to the grandparents!

With History, Science, Art and Music - they are all extras right now.  We actually only finished 4 chapters of Science (there are 14 total) and currently in the study of the Earth, which we plan to take a while in if she chooses.  Then with History - we have gone really slow and its actually been the one thing I'm glad we started early so we can do more projects and learning on each chapter.  We have completed 9 chapters out of 42, so we have a long way to go on that and PLENTY of time too.

Make sure to read my post on Classical Education and Age.