Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Circulatory System Lab Before/ After

All this time, The Daddy has been donating blood when it is his turn at the local blood drive.  Sometimes, he is able to donate platelets. We've never understood what that meant until now. So, a  Circulatory System lesson from Elemental Science Logic Stage Biology brought us a little closer to the background of blood and it's pieces parts.  The most important thing to us about the Daddy donating blood however, was the ice cream coupon when his session was completed. 
Is that an incentive or what!?!?!?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

More Ideas for Curriculum, But This Time 6th & 5th Grade

I've never done this before. I'm planning for 6th and 5th grade homeschool curriculum and I don't have a clue if it'll work.  Yes, SWB says that it will work (the Well Trained Mind), but will it really.  Last year I had grand visions for foreign language study, which didn't happen here. I was going to try to implement a literature approach to history, um, nope, didn't swing that one either. See last year's plan here:
So, after considering the general direction laid out in previous school years per this list: 

2010-11 Curriculum (with Well Trained Mind recommendations) 3rd and 4th Grade
Artistic Pursuits K-3 bk 3, Awana -- TandT, Physics for the Grammar Stage, Rod and Staff Grammar 5, First Language Lessons 3, Flags around the World: Latin America , Delta and Epsilon MathUSee, Handwriting w/ Donna Young Helps, Ocean Habitat with Swimming Things, First Start French at Memoria Press, Latina Christiana, Saxon 5/4 2nd ed., Spelling Workout DandE, Mango for Libraries, Story of the World 4, CBS- Daniel, Colossians and 1-2 Peter 

2009-10 Curriculum for 2nd and 3rd Grade
Artistic Pursuits, AWANA, Chemistry for the Grammar Stage, Explode the Code 7&8, First Language Lessons, Flags Around the World: Africa, Gamma & Delta MathUSee, Handwriting for a Reason, Kids 4 Truth Devotionals, Ocean Habitat, Prima Latina, Saxon2and3, Spelling Workout CandD, Story of The World 3

I've come to the conclusion that I can only wrangle so much out of my 3Gs.  For 5th and 6th Grade around here we will pursue the Medieval stage of history by a visit to sources from Gombrich, Synge, SWBMarshall and Hillyer.  Those authors don't cover everything, so sometimes we won't visit them all each week.  I haven't decided if there will be a series of historical fiction that ties well into our needs as The Roman Mysteries did in the ancient stage.  The red Kingfisher will be consulted on a regular basis and Usborne History Encyclopedia will be used for the Internet links to graphics for our notebook pages.  Haaren and Poland's Famous Men of the Middle Ages  is very easy to use in car school as we travel from here to there. 

Math is delving into the Saxon realm deeply.  I was given the Math-U-See Epsilon book and will finish that with each G, but after that, the Daddy takes over the Math train around here.  Grammar is planted in Rod and Staff camp until the end of year 6, then we dive deep into Latin from Memoria Press.  Spelling is almost over for this 6th grader. He will spend more time each day on Spelling Workout H.  It will definitely stretch him.  The twins will work through level F for their year and maybe even attempt a bit of Level G if they wish to excel there.

Science for this year is anchored by the Elemental Science Astronomy and Earth Science materials for the Logic Stage.  I'm adding in Charles Kingsley's Madam How and Lady Why just because we didn't do many read alouds four years ago when "divide and conquer the mommy" worked so well to end science time.  There are also pieces of Dinah Zike's Big Book of Science Middle School that will be handy (kinesthetically speaking).  I was an earth science teacher and look forward to sharing some time with hand lens out wandering rock piles.

We'll continue with Community Bible Study for the books of Mark, Galatians and Ephesians.  AWANA will continue to be a part of our week too.  I look forward to how home school band participation works out.  There will be a percussionist and clarinetist, but maybe not a flute.  We still have our swim passes at the indoor pool a village over and we'll do all kinds of other activities including soccer.  Our art book from several years ago will be recycled and more mature artist will try again at the different projects.  I also plan to use DK's Medieval Life for 5 pages a week examination of various subjects that will involve sketches in our history notebooks. 

Finally, we will have a summer look into the human geography of Oceania per our study of flags around the world.  I hope to develop a second swing through all the flags we've studied, but add something more analytical about flag vexillology to each in order to develop our knowledge further.  The final habitats to study are grasslands and mountains per the Hands of a Child materials we've used in the past.  So much to do and yet a bit more realistic than ever before.  The schedule and checklist that we've come up with over the past few weeks is working well and I hope to continue that too.  It'll be another adventure with field trips that require passports, and maybe the last, but always together teaching to the moment.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Update from April and May 2012: N.C., science w/ bones and band concert

Elemental Science Logic Stage Life Science brought us to a lesson on the human body about skeletons.  My kids were fascinated that I found chicken bones, because I don't usually serve chicken on the bone.  We talked about how the bone reacted to the differing conditions in the experiment. 

The home school band concert for the end of the school year was so well done!  Each G participated to some degree or another. They like band or at least the opportunity to socialize at band each week. One enjoys the percussion section and moves around like a man on a pogo stick. The next is in a very supportive flute section, but can't hear herself play.  The last doesn't think he does well playing the clarinet, but he does play well according to the clarinet people I've met and consulted with. Either way, this experience helped them grow a little each week throughout the year and we plan to continue in the future with a few tweaks to our system.

Our April adventure involved a trip to visit family who live on the Atlantic Coast in North Carolina.  There was so much oceanography involved on the first day when we spent time on the beach that I couldn't even admit it was time to leave. Dolphin, brown pelicans dive fishing, hermit crabs, jelly fish, drainage patterns, turtle sanctuaries and more. We visited to the USS North Carolina Battleship too.

Successful Home School Conference Visit

I got to hear Dinah Zike and the Daddy got to hear 4 speakers who were very helpful. Fun day!

The 3Gs got to be with my parents who came in from the Iowa farm to celebrate Mother's Day with us. Brilliant Weekend visit!