Tuesday, August 24, 2010

WebRangers and Stepping Stones

Yesterday was a fast attack Monday with all subjects covered sufficiently before noon! We learned about Mexican independence and began to suspect news of the Alamo is around the corner. Typing is going well with Mavis Beacon and each child continues to study basic foreign language phrases with Mango freely through our library connection on-line. But the most exciting part of each day, besides the swift movement in Heeleys across the kitchen floor, is a bit of work on the National Park Service's website called Webrangers. The exercises include work in history, science and some economics. My kids are very competitive. They want to accomplish more than each other. Go to the above link and see what I mean.

Stepping stones were made from quickcrete that the Spanish-speaking Kansas house painters taught me to use about five years ago. In the picture on the right, the three round stones were made back then. The rectangular stones were made yesterday.  Yes, those ARE old toothbrushes. The middle picture has the new stones, and those need to cure a bit longer before you can see the toys that are just under the surface.
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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mom, that's not Beethoven!

Group study is done and individual work commences.  No, that's John Lee Hooker singing "Ida Mae" my Dearies.  That's my own form of music therapy for the day folks. 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Our Week and the Daily Schedule

This was the 2nd week of school, BUT this was the first week to get through almost everything. Including physics experiments AND an art project. We got to the pool AND the splash pad. So much done and all done together. Maybe, just maybe the conference last weekend provided some important skills, both for me and for the kids. Last Friday I sat the children down in their first home school conference meeting and explained that the lady speaking wrote our grammar AND our history AND recommended most of the stuff that we use and have used for the past three years! That is Susan Wise Baurer (ok, she didn't write the grammar stuff, but her mom co-wrote it and it was profound). My husband met SWB too. I don't need to go to any other conference after this now that I've seen that SWB is profoundly sincere in what she does. I just needed to hear her AND see her. Praise God that the Well Trained Mind book was in our public library for me to read and turn to when I made the choice to homeschool.

This past week went well because I set up a "suggested" schedule for us to follow throughout each day. The main purpose was that if it was not G2's time with me, she should WAIT for my attention OR move onto what you are able to complete.  So, we're putting Lewis and Clark behind us in history. We've reviewed all of the basic cursive forms of upper and lower case letters along with those phonics sounds. We'll work on groups of letters next week per the Spalding Phonics cards from, um, kindergarten. It definitely didn't follow at strict clock, but it was helpful and the computers were working in order to let bored kids work on their National Park Webranger account.

times                         G1, G2, G3
6:00 AM Daddy wakes kids for breakfix
6:45 AM Daddy says goodbye and delivers the first cup of coffee to Mommy
7:00 AM Mommy goes for second cup of coffee and is officially out of bed
7:30 AM Bible Study Everyone
8:00 AM SOTW4 Everyone
8:30 AM SOTW4 Everyone
9:00 AM Physics Everyone
9:15 AM Habitats Everyone
9:30 AM Artistic Pursuits Everyone
9:45 AM Monday Spelling, ETC, Handwriting
10:00 AM Handwriting, Monday Spelling, Monday Spelling
10:15 AM Break
10:30 AM Language, Handwriting, ETC
10:45 AM Math, Language, Flags
11:00 AM Flags, Math, Language
11:15 AM Typing, Flags, Math
11:30 AM Lunch Lunch Lunch
1:00 PM Grammar 3x/wk, Typing, Violin
1:15 PM Piano, Grammar 3x/wk, Typing
1:30 PM Mango 1x week, Piano, Grammar 3x/wk
1:45 PM Devotions Everyone
2:00 PM Fly free little birdies :-)

We've definitely begun.

The only thing I forgot in this picture was the twins' grammar book, First Language Lessons Level 3, and MathUSee Delta materials. We also got to the language of choice at Mango.com and handwriting with the Spalding phonics cards along the guidelines defined by DonnaYoung.org.  I didn't begin reading Zoo2 with the kids, but will add that later.  They all practiced their music lessons too. Then, they finished before 2pm and played at whatever they wanted with each other or with others along the neighborhood. The planner checklist is helping along with the daily schedule to keep everyone on task and me involved with who needs direction one at a time.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The University of Nottingham Science Videos

I'm beginning to see that odd science professionals are able to put a bit of fun into our day with videos. For chemistry study last year we watched many videos from the University of Nottingham Chemistry Department. So, when I found that were were videos from that university's physics department, I was thrilled. I can't wait to see what my kids think of those. We started school this week with a restricted schedule.  We will enjoy the homeschool expo on Friday and Satruday.  It will be the first time I've heard Susan Wise Baurer in person. She wrote many of our materials for classical education.  Next week we begin Elemental Science's Physics for the Grammar Stage and I'm thrilled to include the physics videos from the other side of the pond.  Try the video about a vuvuzela and see what I mean.