|Random photo on my phone for|
dog appreciation day - no real dogs here
thanks to allergies, but lots of
|A slug Emma noticed this week outside.|
|Random photo on my phone for|
dog appreciation day - no real dogs here
thanks to allergies, but lots of
|A slug Emma noticed this week outside.|
|A couple of the boys are|
working on learning coding.
Another week has come and gone. I wanted to quickly remind readers of a few things:
|Language Arts and World Geography in progress.|
First Week of the Homeschool Year
|Rebekah gathered a lot of |
supplies when she was ready to
Monday, August 2nd, was pleasantly smooth for a first day back to homeschool. I woke up at 5:40am (no alarm, I'm just an early riser) and spent some time quietly eating, reading my scriptures, and putting away the clean dishes from my cooking/baking session on Sunday. At 7am I woke any kids still sleeping. The first hour of their morning is for waking up, eating breakfast, getting dressed, and doing a chore. At 8am everyone begins school, though some kids like to dive right in after breakfast.
Between 8am and noon lunch time we got all our school work done other than our lunch time read aloud. Basically, I go from child to child helping as needed until 10am, when we do group work. I can't begin to remember the order of lessons, but I'll share the things we accomplished just for fun.
Math: Rebekah and Tobias worked on counting and Tobias did some adding and subtracting in real life with toys. Samuel learned about Euclid, a mathematician, and some of the ideas he wrote about, then did a game where you roll three dice to create 3 digit numbers and do subtraction problems with them. Mason did a couple review problems of finding perimeter, reviewed how repeated addition, multiplication, arrays, and division relate, and created a chart of problems showing those relations. (Ex: 7+7+7+7=28, drawing an array of 28 dots in 4 rows of 7 dots each, writing 4X7=28, and then writing 28 divided by 7 = 4). He also did a multiplication review game with me called around the world. Caleb did a review of finding a fraction of a number, such as 1/4 of 24 or 3/6 of 18. Oliver worked with adding and subtraction negative numbers. Daniel defined some geometry terms, measured angles, and answered questions based on a diagram. Emma and Joseph's Algebra 2 lesson was a quick review of exponents and fractional exponents.
Phonics/Handwriting: Tobias practiced writing lowercase 'e', did a flip chart of phonic sounds for the first five letters of the alphabet, and made uppercase and lowercase letters out of playdoh. Rebekah played with playdoh.
World Geography: The 3 oldest read lesson 1 in Notgrass World Geography, answered 10 review questions, chose a project for the week, and started the project. The younger 6 and I explored two books together: Miss Rumphius and Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth. They also each chose one book from our library shelf to explore a geography topic.
Ranch School Science: Today I introduced the kids to the Ranch School website by hooking my laptop up to the TV. We browsed the many workshop topics and they chose to begin the Working Dogs workshop. We learned about different kinds of working dogs (service, therapy, police/military, herding, livestock guardian, search and rescue, sled, hunting, water rescue, rat exterminating, truffle sniffing, and entertainment). There were a lot of discussions about what they already knew, what they wanted to know, etc. We answered the quiz questions about our reading. Tomorrow we will pick up with the next part of the workshop, a 30 minute video about working dogs.
ASL: Joseph wants to learn American Sign Language this year. We are still searching for just the right online class. We are looking for something that covers deaf culture and community as well as teaching sign language. There are several possibilities that we are exploring currently. In the mean time, he and I are working through our collection of Signing Time dvds to begin building a large sign vocabulary. (We have more than 26 dvds that we used many years ago with some of our little kids.)
Lunch Time Read Aloud: We started the book Pie by Sarah Weeks today. It is a fun read and everyone is enjoying it.
Tuesday was day two of the school year. It was the first day for most of the kids language arts curricula from The Good and the Beautiful, so the introduction to a new level for each child. It went well, but a bit longer than things will usually take. Once they get used to how their new level is set up, things go faster.
The kids were all very in to the Ranch School video on working dogs, which took us to meet and learn about specific dogs and their jobs, letting us watch them in action. We all learned things from this video!
After reading Pie today the kids realized this book will be a mystery. We discussed how mystery authors leave clues in their writing, and kids started guessing what might be significant to the story so far. We also discussed red herrings in literature - misleading, or false, clues. The kids had opinions about which of the clues they suspect to be red herrings. We will see how things develop as we read. The best part - I haven't read this particular book, so I'm guessing right along with them. They loved it so much that they requested we read another chapter over dinner. I happily obliged.
Math and world geography went smoothly today. Nothing really unexpected for week one. As usual, the kids spend 20 minutes reading each day outside of their school work. I thought I would share a quick list of what everyone is currently reading, because it changes often!
|Daniel finished this articulated albino catfish|
made from his imagination and a bin of Legos.
We really have spent the end of July just soaking in the end of summer fun. Family time, visit to the park, walking trails, watching ducks, visiting the local science center, building, crafting, creating, and catching a show at the planetarium. We start back to school on Monday. Today I will be sharing about our curriculum plans.
The high schoolers (11th, 10th) and one of the middle schoolers (8th) will be using Notgrass Exploring World Geography as their main curriculum this year. It integrates language arts and geography, among other things. We will be choosing our own literature titles, using a guide from Brave Writer or The Good and the Beautiful to go with some of them.
The rest of the kids (7th, 5th, 4th, 3rd, K, PreK) will do a world geography plan I wrote 7 years ago and used with the oldest kids, along with a hefty stack of books from the library for the many countries in each continent. I have rearranged my original geography plan to coordinate with the order of countries/continents studied in Notgrass. We will do some read alouds and independent reads related to each continent. A great resource for book titles is Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time by Jamie C. Martin (Affiliate link to Amazon).
This year we're doing a mix of science studies as a family. We will use Ranch School from Five Marys Farms to explore agriculture, preparedness, cooking, and many other topics. We will also use science units from The Good and the Beautiful. The key to doing this with such a wide range of ages is to allow older kids to go deeper into areas of interest. Neither of my current high schoolers wanted to take another lab science this year. One of the perks of homeschooling is stepping off the one-size fits all educational model and into the freedom of our own path.
We always explore art, music, and fine arts as a family. We will use a wide variety of resources along the way.
All kids 7th grade and younger will do a level of language arts from The Good and the Beautiful. We love these because they include: reading, writing, grammar, spelling, geography, art, and more. These kids will also have independent reading beyond TGTB. Some of those books will have Brave Writer guides to go with them (Dart, Arrow, or Boomerang), while others will be read just because reading is something we do here.
My three oldest students (8th, 10th, 11th) will have the majority of their writing and language arts integrated into Notgrass World Geography. They will also have some books to read with Brave Writer guides (Boomerang or Slingshot), and each has chosen at least one Book Study from The Good and the Beautiful as well.
The 10th and 11th graders are doing Math U See Algebra 2. The 8th grader is doing Math U See Geometry. The 7th grader is doing Math U See PreAlgebra. The 5th grader is doing Math U See Epsilon.
The 4th, 3rd, and Kindergartener will do math from The Good and the Beautiful. While the company is currently releasing a new math program, we loved the old program and so we are sticking with it. I'll have kids doing Math K, Math 3, and Math 4.
My high schoolers have some electives chosen to start the year, and will either continue those or choose new electives, for their second semester. The 11th grader's electives are Culinary Arts and American Sign Language. The 10th grader's electives are Culinary Arts and possibly Theater.
All of my kids also have a wide range of personal interests that they spend afternoons enjoying. From art, piano, and writing to building, crafting, and coding, they do things they enjoy, and usually surpass my abilities quickly in any area.
The next few weeks will be interesting. Even though we have been homeschooling for over 16 years, no two years are the same. Kids are different ages and personalities, life has different things going on, and my number of students is at an all-time high with kids in the following grades: PreK, K, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11.
I also have lessons to prepare five days a week for a group of youth who will meet in my home at 6am every school day to study the scriptures together in a seminary class. My oldest two teens are part of this early morning seminary class. First semester we will finish our study of Church History and the Doctrine and Covenants. Second semester we dive into the Old Testament.
We also have some more painting projects we hope to tackle in August, starting with the living room and piano room area next weekend. I will be glad when all of the painting projects are done.
Sunday we celebrated Samuel's 8th birthday with our usual family party. His dessert of choice was cupcakes, and the icing covered faces on some of my younger kids were quite hilarious. We also enjoyed church and a rainstorm.
Monday Emma started Theater Camp. She spends a large chunk of each day at camp, with their performance on Friday. Today was a lot of warm ups, auditions, and casting. They will actually be doing two small plays. For one she got the role of Jack's mother (from Jack and the Beanstalk fame). This is a small part and something she was comfortable with. For the other play she hoped to be cast as one of the fairy godmothers, but to her surprise was cast as the lead - Cinderella. She's excited and nervous and having a blast.
At home on Monday we made a lot of progress preparing our dining/school room for painting. Lots of mudding, sanding, and repairs were accomplished. Paint was purchased. The trim was taped.
Tuesday was my day to focus in on back to school prep. Today's focus was our world geography study. I gathered books, worked through book lists, and sorted materials. The only subject left to really organize is science.
Wednesday was a laid back day at home, lots of playing board games and crafting things. The house feels pretty cramped with the contents of the dining room split between our piano/living room and our bedroom. It is very motivating for me to want to actually do the painting on Saturday. Does anyone else not enjoy painting? It just isn't my favorite thing to do.
Emma had a bit of a surprise at theater camp today, when she was asked to take on a larger part in the first play, as the sports reporter for the Fairy Tale News station. She has more lines and blocking to learn now, in addition to everything she's learning for her role as Cinderella. She is getting a bit nervous. Today was also costume day, so they got fitted for costumes.
|Emma as Cinderella|
Thursday and Friday have blurred together. The highlight for everyone was going to the theater camp performance on Friday night. The kids did a great job. Emma remembered her lines for both parts and had a wonderful experience.
Nearly everyone wanted to help. Rebekah was especially enthusiastic about painting on the walls.
We chose Sherwin Williams color Naval. I was a bit nervous to go so dark.
We spent part of the morning painting coat number one. Then everyone played and visited with Grandma until it was time to paint coat number two.
Once that was done we took the kids to the library to turn in their summer reading program tickets and choose the books they earned.
Sunday was a special day in a different way, because it was Samuel's baptism day.
It is hard to believe my eighth child is 8 years old! He was so excited to get baptized.
In the afternoon we put the dining room back together, hung the new dry erase boards, and put some of the books back on shelves. Here is a quick picture from one doorway, before we brought all the chairs back in to the table.
Other things we did on Saturday:
|Rebekah's mad face is ridiculously cute.|
Monday kicked off with four dental cleanings and three eye check ups. Definitely a busy morning and afternoon! We also cleaned out refrigerators, Daniel made cinnamon rolls from scratch, and grilled hamburgers and hot dogs for dinner. We also did some review of Church History as a family.
Tuesday the kids were excited for a big update to Minecraft to finally release. They play Minecraft on Kindles that only have access to each other's local games. All I've heard this afternoon are things about axolotls, caves, ore, and so on. Emma baked magic cookie bars for snack, and dinner was meatloaf, mashed potatoes, corn, and strawberries.
I spent some time looking for chapter books set in different countries to go with our world geography studies next school year. I have tons of picture book lists, but it is harder to find chapter books as often the setting isn't obvious from the title or book blurb. I am making slow progress.
Wednesday we met with our builder about the bathroom remodel we want to do. It looks like things will start moving forward in the next few weeks. I'm nervous about it, because it is our only bathroom with a shower (we do not have a tub anywhere), but we'll make it work while things are done.
Two fun packages arrived today. First up, we made an Usborne books order for some summer reading options. We got:
|Tobias built a train with magnet tiles.|
|We did play lots of games. There was|
even a chess tournament.