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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Physics Study with Logic Stage Electricity Materials

These are the materials that have worked well so far with the Logic Stage study of Physics.  Not every part of our Noeo curriculum has gone smashingly.  But with the addition of massive quantities of snapkits, we've been able to increase the pursuit of science this school year.  I've added an electricity unit from CK-12 physical science textbook in order to strengthen reading comprehension that may aid when taking CLEP or other standardized tests required in high school and college.  This latter addition has not been easy, but my troops appreciate it more than the amounts of writing required by the aforementioned requirements.
The main win with the lesson plans I bought for physics study was the use of Tiner's The World of Physics.  The main deterrence to the plans were the lack of an answer key, which disquieted my troops at times to the nth degree. SERIOUSLY!  We've been adding notebook pages to sections in the Elemental Science Grammar Stage Physics study from four years ago which did have defined expectations and was comforting as well as thorough.  But, because the logic stage materials won't be available until this fall, I went with this option instead of a total text book curriculum that is popular within conservative homeschooling circles.  The final transition for these 3Gs is the issue that I'm not doing demonstrations anymore as I did in the grammar stage science materials.  Each of my logic stage students must complete their own experiments and writing individually.  Incredible amounts of weeping and gnashing of teeth have been exhibited (not really), but each is "owning" their study with differing levels of interest depending on the sections in our curriculum to date.  So, I'm hoping with the upcoming study of magnetism and then light that there is better participation and more epiphanies that take place (or at least less tween angst).  

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Nope, it's not time to volunteer at church for child care during stewardship month. You know, that month when the pastor focuses his teaching on our tithe or giving back of what God's given us. The nursery is ALWAYS less populated that month.  Didn't you know?  Remember, I'm not an elementary teacher.  I'd rather walk without a flack jacket into a junior or senior high school to substitute teach than spend a day with first graders. BUT, I digress.  After thinking about priorities for a few days, I began moving onto the next thing, stewardship. I'd define that place in life (stewardship) as the stage in which we use all that we have been lent by a merciful ORCHESTRATOR with prayer and gratefulness.

I can think about this concept of stewardship because I've been without.  So, when I talk to my kids about living on hashbrowned potatoes for at least 3 years in graduate school, I meant that 10 pounds of potatoes carefully used along with the peels intact through a salad shooter and a tub of Iowa farm-produced lard was the protein, starch and fiber I had to sustain me.  Besides the point that God was really telling me that I wasn't supposed to be in that location doing that job/study in my life misses the issue that stewarding what we do have is essential.  Even when we aren't listening and obeying, we still must regain a place in life where we steward what we have according to how we've been directed.  That takes obedience.

I've been teaching so much about wars during the historical period from 1850 to WWI and the loss of life involved on epic proportions lends me to discuss stewardship of life as well.  We're getting closer to having a plan for college and thus building the high school curriculum that supports that plan.  Someone in my house mentioned going into the service of the nation. I'm wrapping my brain around a government who doesn't steward their people, natural resources or economy well, and I'm supposed to be all fine-and-dandy with them trying to flub up stewarding my kid.  But then again, so many of those who survived the Depression gave up their kids to the Second World War. They were great people who I've learned from, and so my children will learn too.  And, I will cover my kids in prayer, because "to whom much is given, much is expected."

Monday, January 19, 2015

handbook of nature study hard copy - January nature journal

I've had the Comstock book on my kindle for years, but never imagined what a hard copy of the text would mean to me. Barb McCoy challenged me personally, well-not really b/c I've never met the woman in my life, to try a nature journal this year.  So, even though it was in the negative cold category the week the Gs did these drawings, we enjoyed practicing a skill we'd tried a couple times before with our painted leaf friends from the previous post.  These are their winter blind contour sketches of the fading crabapple with no leaves.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Extended Holiday Blogging Break

SO, we've been to visit friends working near Paris, got back to do more school and reading preparing for SOTW4 chapters about World War One, celebrated a 14th birthday, built gingerbread houses which will be decorated today - maybe, tween/teen-agers sewed their own pajama bottoms and celebrated their first white elephant gift party. We've also done a 3 Hobbit-movie-spree over the past week when our subjects were complete for the month. It's been a little busy, but there were pictures that just haven't been collaged quite yet in order to place here on the world wide web.

There was an art project done after a nature hike in a warm valley somewhere in France.
 There are lots of books available from fiction, nonfiction, juvenile or adult stacks about The Great War.  Let me know here what books you recommend about WWI.  Otherwise, we'll catch up with y'all asap.  HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

Monday, November 10, 2014


Recently, I read from a post of Paige at Elemental Science about things she didn't predict as she conducted her work-at-home-mom life.  Number three on her countdown of things she wished she'd known was about remembering priorities. Well, around here, we all have differing priorities, but a few things unite us.  Music is very important here.  Reading is essential here, whether you listen on the text-to-voice kindle or read word-for-word from the screen/page.  Outside time with the lawn mower or gardening is a wonderful escape and exercise.  Lego time is, dare I say, "Holy" here.  There's a room dedicated to it, or mostly because the guest couch and sewing machine also live there.

The Mommy on the other hand continues to aim at doing the best she can with what she has. So many lessons I learned about life from My Grams who was born in 1914.  That was a tough time to be a little kid, especially one in rural Iowa amongst 8 brothers and sisters.  Their parents were first generation in the United States and the Old Folks still spoke lots of harsh Swedish over their heads. The Great War and the Depression were R-E-A-L to them and she shared so much of that with me as I was the only one of my siblings to go to get my bachelor's degree back then (since then my sister who came 20 years later has done the same as me).  I lived with My Grams in order to go to teacher's college.  And so much of that time is very evident in how I teach, guide, cook, clean, organize, drive, all of it. Waste not, want not, so don't even think you are going to get away with dawdling.

But mostly, TRAVEL IS ESSENTIAL AND NECESSARY.  It's how we think about all of our studies and church events and purchases and chores (frugal living-stewardship affords us to plan our errands to save fuel).  Band participation, science lessons each week (this can fall thru the cracks if spelling seems more important) and Bible study are those hills I'm willing to die on here at Paisley Classical Academy.  What would my kids say is the priority in their lives? Why is that what they classify as a priority? Take a minute to visit with them or a nature walk to discuss it.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Unexpected Field Trips to Review a Rain-forest Habitat

Kudos to all you teachers out there who are constantly carrying out a unit study.  But when you don't know if the Daddy will authorize an attempt at empty seats on a plane (because he works at the airline) it's hard to plan ahead for the unit study opportunity. Most often, our field trips don't relate specifically to what we are studying in history or science.  With exception, our trip last month to Gettysburg National Park came just as we finished our studies and reading about the United States Civil War, but the trip to San Jose, Costa Rice this month was an unscheduled review of HABITATS (as well as a visit to our church's international workers here).

I seem to recall from my professors in teacher's college that we, as teachers, must repeat something three times before a student will process it (even to the smallest degree) - or maybe that was in church from one of our pastor educators.  Either way, we've completed physical geography lessons from Hands of a Child regarding the (cloud) Rain-forest Habitat and visited the big island of Hawaii once to see the Hilo side where everything is lush and forested in like manner.  But we never expected to take a day trip to the La Paz Waterfall site north of San Jose on a perfect October morning with the guide extraordinaire.

We saw brilliant foliage, indigenous animals and waterfalls. This trip made an impression on my kids so that if given the choice again, they would go to the mountains before trekking to the beaches on either side of the isthmus between the Americas.  And maybe they will visit more sites in the future to make reference to their habitat studies, but that only reinforces how important it was to be intentional and make the effort to teach them nature study no matter what habitat they found themselves (irregardless of our unit study status).