Monday, January 28, 2013

Easy Peasy Homeschooling- and panning for gold!

So, i mentioned in the last post that I've had the older kids working on a new to us curriculum, called Easy Peasy Homeschooling  I thought i'd update on how its going, and the answer is WONDERFULLY.  I am trying to figure out how to include more of science and history so we can move through year 4 faster, since we just started in Jan, and with busy-ness, sickness vacation for Grandpa's visit and a number of other things, we've only gotten through day 5! aak! anyway, that will be changing  I'm thinking of having them double up on days and do whatever they can with their time they have, and then move on to the next day, at least on days when we can pull of a full day of school.  I'll do a bit less reading aloud on those days and they can use their DEAR time to do at least some of their school reading which i'm working on adding to kindles (the curriculum includes books in public domain but i'd prefer they not read their chapters right off the computer, other than just short segments, games etc)  Then we'll school through most of the summer and finish where we end up.  Next year we WILL be starting Ancient history, we've dragged on far too long with American history.  

My plan is to go through the EPH curriculum and figure out the topics being studied, then we can add in resources as we wish, i'm also going to add in younger resources for the youngers, or i could just make my life easier and check the younger kiddos link to the EPH first,  which I think i'll do.

OH, just so you know, if you aren't a facebook friend of mine, i posted this last night,

If you are a homeschooler, i cannot recommend this site enough! You know how there's a bazillion amazing free resources online but you put them into pinterest folders and never actually use them? well she gathered up all these resources and put them together into one cohesive curriculum! its REALLY good. Right now my 6th and 8th grader are working together on level 6 and its going REALLY well.

 And i absolutely MEANT it.  Good stuff! What i love BEST about the Easy Peasy Homeschooling is that you can allow your children to work independently and interject yourself into the picture when time allows, which for me right now, is PERFECT.   I really prefer to do our Bible/science/history together, but there are times when that's hard, so if i just have us do our devotions and Bible together and then send them on their way to do school together and ideally read aloud to them a little later, its still a good school day!  

If you want to try the EPH curriculum, i HIGHLY recommend you watch the video, in the How to use section, here's a link  it helped me understand it much easier.  There's so many options that it can be a bit confusing at first but its well worth it.  My goal is to add in additional literature and hands on activities as time permits.  To that end, i worked last night on developing a list of what would be covered on each day-  we do 4 days a week so i can have a PRETTY good idea when we'll hit each topic.  IF the doubling up plan works, that would change it. we'll see!  anyhow here's a picture of that 

So this morning we started right off with history, missed Devotions, OOPS, and dove right in.  We read the last chapter of Story of the world volume 3 and learned about how the California gold rush came about, and then went to the Easy Peasy Homeschool Level 3 history, and found gold rush on day 122 on, and we used some of the web resources there.  Then we took our Hands and Hearts gold panning part of the westward expansion history kit, which we'd partially used in previous history cycles but never did get to THIS project, and took it outside to pan for gold! 

It was a BLAST! everyone was super into it, and it was enlightening too- we'd learned that the President had announced that Gold had been found, to the whole country on December 5th, and our weather now, is pretty similar to northern California weather in December, so it was almost accurate.. of course the kids weren't up to their knees in river water or anything, and they did get tired of being in the cold, with wet hands after about 10 minutes, so it sort of drove home the point that way :) 

They found all 8 of the little gold balls that came in the dirt in the kit, but proceeded to lose one once inside the house, then Elliott lost another, so we have a net total of 6 of the 8 pellets  

We also thought it would be fun to try and hammer out the gold to see if it would flatten, but as soon as the hammer started chipping at the step, i vetoed that experiment.  It dented the ball but didn't really flatten it.  

Then they took turns looking at the gold through a hand lens and comparing it to iron pyrite (fools gold)  they were NOT especially impressed with the gold- they found the pyrite to be much prettier!  

All in all, it was a fun experiment and well worth our time.  I think i'm going to have them get back to regularly scheduled programming tomorrow, and offer the 2 historical fiction books i have on this topic for optional reading during dear time if they'd like to learn a bit about the Yukon Gold rush. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

A quick glimpse of one moment in the first day of winter quarter

I think i'll post more "snapshot" like posts, in hope of actually DOING it.  time has been tight and i've been super, super busy lately... here's what's going on with us.   Much has changed this year, we are trying a bunch of new things, Before five in a row (elliott Leif) Five in a row (annabeth, Leif)  and easy peasy homeschool (Nik, chloe, Annabeth, MAYBE Leif)

Leif, Elliott and I just finished up working on our "before five in a row" reading "a carrot seed" We read the book, discussed the story, the plot, the moral, and today we focused on the art of the book. 

Chloe just finished sewing her owl, below, and finishing her easy peasy school, and is getting ready to work on her Saxon math- above, one of the few curricula which stayed the SAME for us! 

Nik, below is working on his easy peasy homeschool.

Annabeth is working on her triangle sentences/word maps for her therapy that her therapist is wanting her to work on for her learning disability issues. 

That's it! more to come later, but my computer is slow and its time to pick ash up from the bus!