Aug 31, 2009

Curriculum Picks for Fall Session - 7th Grade - Social Sciences

Now on to our picks for Social Science:

Social Sciences - The social sciences comprise academic disciplines concerned with the study of the social life of human groups and individuals including anthropology, communication studies, economics, human geography, history, political science, psychology and sociology.

History -
We will be continuing our journey into ancient cultures and first stop in the fall will be China! Though we will be continuing to loosely follow the Complete Book of World History, I was pointed toward History: The Definitive Visual Guide and I am seriously thinking about switching over to that, but I will make sure to keep you all posted on that!
For China we will be using the Ancient China Thematic Unit and focusing on Between the Dragon and the Eagle. We will then move onto the Ancient Americas.

Geography -
Our co-op will be doing a full year Geography class, loosely following the Trail Guide to World Geography and I will be supplementing with a few resources.

Cultural Studies -
As well as touching on the cultures of areas that we go over in geography we will be doing some specific cultural studies as well starting with Investigating the First Thanksgiving and Holiday's Around the World.
Investigating the First Thanksgiving website
Holiday's Around the World Websites -

Aug 30, 2009

An Evening at the Fair!

There were lots to see and do at our Annual County Fair this week! We made it over there Thursday evening and had a fantastic time! Here are some of KM's favorite pics:

Aug 29, 2009

Always Learning Something New!

All 3 of the girls learned something new this week!
SC has figured out how to get Thomas to work on the laptop -
watch out she is going to be a full time hacker by the time she is 3!

GC has discovered that her thumb is a great soother!

KM has mastered yet another tune on the keyboard!

Aug 24, 2009

Curriculum Picks for Fall Session - 7th Grade - Science

Keeping the ball rolling - here are our science choices:

Our approach to science is going to be a bit hard-core this year because that is REALLY what KM wanted! I am not too sure how we are going to fit everything in, but hey she is excited about science, so I REALLY can't smash the interest!
  • The Story of Science, Aristotle leads the Way - we got the whole shebang on this one! Books, teacher's quest and student quests!
  • Middle School Physics - I fell in love with this site when I stumbled across it at the beginning of the summer and I have to say when I downloaded this program it did not fail to please...hopefully it will be as easy and enjoyable to execute as it appears!
  • Unit study on weather & meteorology - more specific information on resources for that to come later as I am still putting it together!
  • Basher Science Series - we LOVE everything about this series! From the cute little comic pics to the through yet entertaining information! We have been working through Astronomy this summer and plan on starting Biology in the fall and Physics, well when we start Physics!
  • Adaptive Curriculum - to supplement with extra projects that we wouldn't be able to do in our home! She absolutely loves this program and we got a SUPER deal on it through Homeschool Buyers Co-op.

Keep your fingers crossed for us that our ambitious choices will not crash and burn!

Aug 20, 2009

Aug 19, 2009

Fabric Art with All the Girls

How do you get a 2 year old to lay still?

Paint on her of course!!!

Then we made some cute bibs for the littlest one!
Fun day - trying to escape the heat!!!

Aug 17, 2009

Curriculum Picks for Fall Session - 7th Grade - English Language Arts

I am continuing to hammer down our curriculum choices and here are our ELA choices!

English Language Arts
- Traditionally, the primary divisions in the language arts are Literature and Language, where language in this case refers to both linguistics, and specific languages. The subjects, including reading, spelling, and composition, aimed at developing reading and writing skills, usually taught in elementary and secondary school.

You may have seen my many different postings about KM's lack of interest in writing and my realization a few months ago which has lead me to the following choices -
Literature & Reading Comprehension -
KM is an avid reader - she has already read 31 books this summer. So we are going to try a different approach to literature this year by alternating with an actual literature curriculum and literature unit studies. I am hoping that with this mix it will keep things moving and build her writing skills a bit as well...
We also will be trying to increase and encourage more free writing and may work out some sort of writing prompts as we did toward the end of the spring with our Proverbs Project.

Aug 15, 2009

Ancient Egypt - DONE!

We have completed our Ancient Egyptian study ahead of schedule! YIPPEEE!!! Here are some pics of her projects and pockets -

Aug 13, 2009

Science Thursday - States of Matter

For this one we had a fun kit -

It came with everything you needed and very simple directions!

CJ got home just in time for KM to explain the whole process to him as she made the second one.

After 10 minutes she had some pretty cool Super Balls!

Which we will be saving to use with our physics section in a few weeks!

Aug 10, 2009

Curriculum Picks for Fall Session - 7th Grade - Math

It is that time of year again - KM would be entering 7th grade this year and we are finally finished figuring out what in the world we were going to study! We had made an outline last spring as to what subjects she wanted to learn more about and then I set about the task of finding options that I thought that she would enjoy. Of course if you have been visiting my blog before you may realize that we don't always stick to the full plan so there are some changes since the beginning of the summer! One of the greatest as well as most overwhelming tasks for any homeschooling parent is making that final decision and dishing out that cash for the product with high hopes - all fingers and toes crossed - that it will be as FANTASTIC as it looked online or in the store! So I have decided to post our final decisions here over the next few weeks doing one or two subjects at a time so that it does not get lost in the midst of all the other posts!

So I thought I would start with my favorite subject:

Math -

You may have seen my post in the spring where I mentioned that CJ and I had discussed having KM take a year off from Teaching Textbook. She did Pre-Algebra last year and did a really great job - averaging a very strong 94% -, but I felt that maybe I was rushing her a bit in this area. I really want her to fully understand the concepts and processes of math. So we will be working through some pre-algebra and area specific workbooks at least through fall and winter. Here are the ones we will be starting out with -
We will also be using some math software that KM hasn't used in a while to change things up from time to time -

I am sure that there will be more to come in this area, as I am ALWAYS finding new things for math - so I will keep posting additions!

Aug 8, 2009

What will you do differently this year?

This question was posted on one of my favorite yahoo groups and I thought hmmmm.....what a great blog entry! Here is my list:
  1. I feel like I am getting to the point that I am really comfortable with our home learning process, but KM is in the midst of her "middle school" years and I need to really let go a bit to allow her some more independence in her studies. I took her opinion into consideration when I made all of her curriculum choices and allowed her to make the final decision on which programs we would use. This will also be really helpful since I will have not one, but two little ones around my house this fall so she will really need to be a bit more responsible for her own time management.
  2. I am going to be more flexible with our schedule. I upgraded to the Homeschool Tracker Plus late last spring and I have spent all summer inputting lesson plans and outlines so that I can reschedule things with a click of the mouse! We are also getting to the realization point where it suddenly dawns on you that lessons really don't have to be only Mon-Fri. There have been times this summer were KM has opted to get her lessons done on a rainy Sunday so that Monday she can spend the day in the pool with her friends - and it has worked out FABULOUSLY!
  3. I am going to be strict about 3 Stay Days a week! This is for my sanity as well as KM's attitude, as she tends to get REALLY cranky when she is overscheduled. We will also really need to stick with this in order to stay on track with her lessons, as there will be times when we can't work on something with SC running around and wanting to be right in KM's space - see #4.
  4. Setting a routine with the little ones. Last year SC got really into coloring and working right next to KM, but as our summer has progressed SC has gotten to the stage in development where she wants KM to stop what she is doing and get right into what SC wants her to do - this is not going to fly come the fall! The tricky part to this is dealing with the newborn -GC- and my sister's rotating schedule so that I don't have the kids the same days each week. I think we are going to work it out where we will have a Week 1 Schedule and a Week 2 Schedule. On week 1 I will have the little ones Mon, Tue, & Sat and Week 2 Wed, Thur. Since our coop is on Mon I think it will work out that we will have the first day be our go day and the second our stay. So that Wk 1 Mon & Wk 2 Wed will be GO Days and I will plan somewhere - park, playground, library, museum something every other Wed and then the Wk 1 Tue & Wk 2 Thur will be STAY days and I will plan art and craft activities, backyard science things, and games for SC to do in the morning while KM works independently. Then I can work with KM in the afternoon during SC's nap. I am optimistic that GC will still be little enough, at least through the winter that I can have her either in the sling or seat right with us. Come next spring when she is starting to crawl we may need to rework a bit again, but for now I think this plan is going to go very well! KM has her lesson books in baskets on a shelf organized by subjects and I am thinking of setting up a somewhat similar system for SC - with like play-doh in one bucket, art stuff in another, instruments in another - so that she feels like she is doing the same type of thing as KM.

Our homeschooling experience has brought so many wonderful changes to our family and our lives. As each session goes by and we prepare for the next it is so exciting to see how our lifestyle has changed since we began this journey and how much we continue to grow with each passing season!

What will you be doing differently this year?

Aug 7, 2009

Science Thursday - urgh Friday - Volcanoes

Well the humidity this week caused our volcano to take a bit longer to dry than expected, but she thought it was worth the wait...

Then she added bubbles to see how the texture and flow would be different...

gotta love the simple things....