Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Today's theme- Geography

I wanted to touch on Geograpy since its been a long time since we'd covered it.  I was surprised to see how much they already knew despite formal instruction. Anna in particular was able to pick out continents, countries, etc.  My secret is, I put up a map on the wall in front of the toilet, works like a charm!  anyway, we read a bit from Layers of Learning and did some of the activities.  we

1.  Did continent quiz using the hall wall map.

2.  Next we talked about the physical features of a globe/map, skimmed through an atlas, and learned about hemispheres using and apple. (Thanks Layers of Learning!)

3.  Finally to close off the day of group school, we played "10 days in Africa"

Now it is time for math and language arts so I'll bring this to a close.  It was a fun morning.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Today's theme- Astronomy

I'm still working out the kinks, but i plan to have one day a week of exclusive science content.  The first unit we're doing is astronomy, which has been eagerly anticipated and wildly popular.

Before starting, I gathered my supplies, gathered my peeps, and quickly formulated a plan for how the day would go.

So first, we read from our Layers of learning unit book which gave a good concise overview.  Then we read from the magic schoolbus book

Which was like information overload, but it did help with our next project, which was to draw your favorite planet and add information about it, (except for the 5yo who did saturn and the moon but didn't add info.  I also let the 2nd grader narrate to me)  We also learned the rhyme that I learned as a child about how to remember the planet order, except instead of "my very eager mother just served us nine pizzas,"  I had to adjust it due to pluto not being a planet to "my very eager mother just served us noodles."  NOT the same.  boo. 

So then we had book basket time, The 15yo continued working on his in more detail, and finally they are watching the tv show of the magic school bus to help it sink in better, since it was soooo much info.  Its working out to be a pretty sucessful day.  Now for math :(

Layers of Learning

Of course I didn't leave well enough alone, because that's how I roll. ;)  And when I was going through materials and came across my "Layers of Learning" materials from last year, i knew I had to pursue this avenue this year. 

The units come in packets of between 40-60ish.  You can buy them printed from rainbow resource or ebooks straight from the company which is what i'm doing.  I am taking part in their review program so I wanted to be able to figure out how to use the ebook without having to use it on my kindle or ipod, since, with this type of material, i prefer to have it in hand, so i can flip through it, mark it up, etc.

So what I did was use my brand spanking new printer (wooohoo!) to print out the units front and back. stapled the spine, then covered it in colored duct tape.  Its working beautifully. I have units 1-1, 1-2 from last year and just purchased 2-1 and 2-2 for this year.  I printed each myself except for unit 1-2 which i printed at the library.  We get a good amount of free printed pages each week at my library, which is great to take advantage of, the one downside being that I can't get it printed front and back.. so the packet is  much thicker.  After seeing the beautiful laser printer color, however, i'm sold on doing  it that way and will probably just suck it up and deal with the increased packet size. 
Here's a picture of it.  The thicker packet, what I did was stapled three times in one direction, flipped it over and stapled three times along the other stapled parts.  Since i'm duct taping it, it won't matter if its pokey.  I gotta say, i'm feeling pretty brilliant about this one ;)

So in order to keep things complicated, as I like them ;) I've decided to use the space and geography unit from the first year, then add in the history from the second year.  I'm not entirely sure if we'll use the science unit from the second year yet or not. It looks like fun, but everyone is bent on studying astronomy right now, so that's probably what we'll do.

So anyway, one thing I love about Layers of Learning is that I can pick and choose parts of the unit, or the whole thing, and it all works out.  Plus- at $5 each, its affordable to do so.  So we'll be doing space, geography from  unit 1-1, then move on to 1-2 in the same themes, meanwhile on history days i'll be adding in LOL in addition to our Build your Library routine.  We'll be starting history with 2-1 which is AWESOME since our local greek festival is coming up at the beginning of October, which i'll be posting about, but essentially its a smorgasbord of food, dancing, but most of all, Byzantine Art, just AMAZING. 

So i should add, that as a review member, I will be getting compensated for my reviews with additional units, but the reviews I post will all be entirely my own.  They are awesome.  Period. And if you don't believe me, you can try the first unit free on the Layers of Learning site
Ok, so that is all!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Back to school!

C and A started school last week. Big A doesn't start college for another few weeks. Today was the start of our Homeschooling year. The day got off to a rocky start, as the house was a mess and that had to be dealt with. Also I lost the signs for our picture taking extravaganza, finally finding them in the "safe place" in which I had hidden them. 

Once we got past those little kinks we proceeded to have a really good day. We started the day by having the kiddos work in their journals and on making a cover page for their binders. Then we all went outside and took pictures.  We then read aloud from "trumpet of the swans" and did a history lesson. We broke for lunch, and then had an hour of DEAR time. (drop everything and read) The rest of the day is theirs to pursue their own interests. We omitted language arts and math today but we hope to get to those subjects tomorrow. Here are the pictures that I took.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The upcoming year

This year our school lineup is changing significantly.  It will be our 15th year of homeschooling, and two of our children will be in public school, 13yo "princess" one "the engineer"will be attending a prestigious private university (provided the remaining funds avail themselves!)

The remaining children are:
15yo Boy "Godzilla"
10yo Girl "Turkey"
8yo Boy "Einstein"
5yo Boy "monkey"

A couple  children are delayed. So developmentally i'll be doing Kindergarten, 2nd grade, 4th grade and 9th grade.

This year is interesting because princess wanted to try public school, so there's a wide gap between my 9th gradeGodzilla and 4th grade turkey and the youngers. This means he'll have to work by himself on a lot of things that he normally worked with his sister on. (they have always been close, like our non-twin twins)  So my strategy is to have him work with us through some parts of the day gleaning what he can and then do his extra work independently when possible.  So what are we using this year?

For the youngers, our main curriculum we are planning to use is, Build your Library grade 2, supplemented with Sonlight B level read alouds and 3rd grade readers for Turkey. The cool thing about literature based curriculum is that multiple ages can benefit from it with some tweaking.


For Godzilla, We'll be using Sonlight G for the first half of the year, and Build your library 7 for the second half. 

So for the youngers and older, we will be studying medieval history for the year for the youngers and half a year for older.  His other half year will be spent starting Build your curric. 7 which studies geography, cultures and religions

Science for the youngers will be astronomy and earth science.  (build your library) 
Science for older will be either zoology or anatomy, he's not yet decided, and chemistry for the second half. 

For language arts:

Monkey will be starting his first year of kindergarten and will be using McRuffy Kindergarten LA

Turkey and Einstein will be using the Language Smarts series from the critical thinking company

Sequential spelling
 And Six trait writing

Godzilla will be using lightning Literature grade 8

And MAYBE One year adventure novel.  We have it and he was once really excited about it, but isn't now, so i'll encourage him but not MAKE him do it.

Also considering adding Life of fred Australia


Monkey will be doing McRuffy Kindergarten Color math

Einstein and Turkey will be doing Teaching textbooks math 3

And Life of fred when time allows

Godzilla will be using a combination of Teaching Textbooks 7 and hopefully moving on to prealgebra

And Life of fred Decimals and percents and perhaps prealgebra

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Our Family: an update.

So i haven't blogged in a long time.  Having had the realization of the effect of blogging, the nature of being exposed to the public, those who know you, or don't or wish you well or wish you ill.  All of these elements exist.  Its taken me a while to get past that so i've not been posting all the fun things we've been doing this year!

But so much has changed that I thought i'd post an update.

Asher-  Asher went back to preschool in November.  We just reached that point where we needed him to be in school if we were to get anything accomplished.  We are now struggling with his placement for next year.  Its so difficult sometimes.  But he's my special dude and i am so glad to have him.

Elliott- is a completely crazy smart, motivated dude.  He's writing his name with ease, he's practicing making words with writing and magnets and can draw absolutely adorable pictures.  He'll be homeschooled for K-4 next year.

Leif-Anna-Chloe-Nik-  are all doing well and will be homeschooled next year

Alex- Alex will be starting his first year at Seattle University!  a small (prestigious!) private university in Capitol Hill.  It will be his 3rd year toward his Computer engineering degree, having completed his AA next month.  Graduation will be June 12th from the CC, which i'm so excited about!

Its so weird having an adult child.  Its fun- but weird.

That's all for now, i'll start sharing pics and stuff again soon

Monday, September 9, 2013

The FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL pictures!!

This is my favorite part of the first day!  And i LOVE the first day! its a wonderful celebration of the amazing freedom we all experience getting to learn together and spend the days together and bond and all that stuff...  Gosh, i love my kiddos and love being a mom!  

Anyway, this year, I decided to copy everyone else in the blogosphere and use a slate, which we have 3 of, so we took turns writing them.  I wrote the twins and Leif's and mine of course.   Here's the results!  

So, click on the pictures for a closer view, and please excuse the wonky order.  i'm simply DONE wrestling with Blogger and its format. 

Twinnies!!! age 4

Chloe- 12, my beautiful daughter that refuses to smile! 

Alex, 18, 3rd yr of comm. college.  Had to use his own tablet :)

Annabeth- 9 barely smiling.  upset with me for making her brush her teeth. 

Nik-14 his retake after he accidentally wrote "8th grade"  LOL. 

Elliott- 4
Asher- 4

And me! defying my hatred of the camera to capture the moment.