Saturday, August 31, 2013

Week in Review August 26-30th, 2013

We have completed our 1st week of the 2013-2014 school year. This week was a school lite week, slowly easing us back into routine. The public schools did not resume until Thursday and we had 1 babysitting girl here all day everyday a
nd she
didn't like that I wanted my kids to do school when she felt it was still summer holidays and that posed it's ow
 n issues as well. Now that she is back in school too it certainly makes it easier.

What we did:

In Konos this week we are working on frontiersmen/tracking as part of the attentiveness character trait. We read a couple chapters out of our Daniel Boone book, added him to the timeline, practiced using compasses and sewed possibles bags.



In Language Arts H did lesson 5 in R&S2, Language lessons for little ones red, All about reading, All about spelling, Writing with Ease and Handwriting without tears. He only did one lesson in each total for the week rather than 1 a day, but he did well with each one. I did Language lessons for little ones book 1 (3 lessons), learning language lessons through literature blue book(2 days), All about reading (3 days), and Handwriting without tears (2 days). SHe is very much enjoying being in 1st grade this year.

English 10, this week A worked ahead on his reading for his Lord of the Rings literature class. Both C and A watched lecture 1 on the Teaching Company dvd of The Iliad.

In Science H and I completeed 2 weeks worth from the SL science K they did not finish last year. We read aloud from Apologia Botany. And all 4 added entries to their nature journals

In Math A and C each completed 2 chapters in MUS delta. They are still playing catchup in their math skills. H finished chapter 2 in MUS beta, and I did 12 pages from Mathematical reasoning beginning book 2.

In PE we tried out the new weighted hula hoop that arrived. It is both harder and easier to use than a cheap one from the dollar store. A loves this thing and tries to hoop with his arms, his neck and his waist several times a day.

In nature study we watched the woodpeckers that visited our street one morning, and a a large orb garden spider wrapping up a bee it caught in its web. I wanted me to see it through her eye spy toy.

Morning basket has actually become evening basket instead. The kids have been practicing their hand bells daily. They are currently learning "He's got the whole world in his hands" and "Jingle Bells". We did readings from "101 favorite bible stories"; "Classics to read aloud to your child"; "Tales from Shakespeare"; "The Harp and Laurel Wreath"; "Nature Reader vol 1"; "The Blue Fairy Book"; "Plutarch for Boys and Girls"; "They broke the law, you be the judge"; "Wilds of Whip-poor will farm"; and "Young folks library vol 1" Basket time is quickly becoming the favorite time of our day.

Other things that happened this week. I caught C teaching I how to play pokemon, I love catching this moments of sisterly love.

I had her very first job interview, at the public library for the position of page. It will be a couple weeks before she finds out if she got it.

I had a dentist appointment for a cleaning and check up. We have to take her to the city to have some tiny cavities between her back molars filled. We go there so she can have the laughing gas and get it all done at once.

We were blessed with the bounty of other people's harvests. I made 12 quarts of pickled beets with the amount we were given, 6 spaghetti squash, 2 bags of apples (to be turned into sauce)and 2 bags of cukes (to be turned into pickles). Tomorrow we are heading to another home to pick more apples, and then I can start on the sauce and we are being given fresh dill so I can start making the pickles. I love canning and having those jars up on the shelf.

Lastly I got a new job, writing study guides for a well known lapbook company. Due to the confidentiality agreement I signed I can't say anything else, other than it is like a dream come true to get to write these. I love spending time each evening when the kids are asleep working on researching and writing.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Chore Cards

I got really lax last year about the kids doing chores. So lax in fact that the kids started behaving as if I was their maid with nothing better to do than pick up after them. They are all more than old enough to be doing their share so I have written up these chore cards to help keep them on task and accountable for what needs to be done. In additio
n to raising these 4, and homeschooling them I run a home daycare. The home must be clean clean clean yet it should not be up to me to be up until 2 am daily making it so. Which brings in the chore cards.

There are 3 types of cards. The black card lists the expectations for every child every day. The Blue cards are the daily cards and the orange cards are the saturday cards.

How it works
The black card has:

Put own laundry away
clean your room
general help as mom asks

These things are to be done everyday by every child. With a large family as ours there is laundry going every single day. The kids share rooms, boys vs girls and it is an old house so rooms are small. If not cleaned daily it gets too far out of hand too quickly.

In addition every morning each child randomly picks a blue chore card. I mark on my master chart what card they got so someone doesn't get the same one more than twice in a week to keep it fair. They do their designated chores twice each day, once during morning chore time, and again during evening chore time

Card #1 has
*pet care-feed/water all pets and scoop litter boxes
*Laundry switcher. At this point I load and run the washer still, but the switcher is responsible for emptying the dryer and moving the clean wet clothes into to get dried. Due to the age of the house, the washer is in the bathroom while the dryer is through the house in the back mud room so it is an annoying job for sure)
*vacuum the livingroom rug
*swish the toilet (this does not use cleaner, just give it a swish so no stains can set in)

Card #2 has
*dry the dishes and put them away (no dishwasher in this house)
*sweep kitchen and entrance(connected to kitchen)
*walk the dogs and poop patrol (meaning scoop the poop in the yard and on the walks)

Card #3 has
*Wash the dishes
*wipe the sinks (kitchen, bathroom, middle room-weird dressing room turned into home office with a sink)
*wipe off the washer and dryer

Card #4 has
*make sure shoes and coats are properly put away in entrance (no closet just hooks and shelves, if not neatly put away it looks like a huge mess
*fold the laundry
*Take out the trash
*clean livingroom

On Saturdays new cards are drawn, these are the orange cards

Card #1
*Clean the bathroom-wash tub, wash sink, clean toilet, polish mirror, sweep floor

Card #2
*Clean livingroom- vacuum couches, dust, fix pillows, polish glass, tidy up, sweep hard floor and vacuum rug

Card #3
*Sweep/shovel paths & sidewalks (depending on season)
*clean exterior entrance space
*Clean interior entrance- dust, straighten up, clean windows on doors, wash any dirty finger prints off furniture, shake out floor mat.

Card #4
*General help- strip bedsheets, polish middle room mirror, tidy up back mud room, clean cages/tanks with mom, pick game/movie and supper for family night

Every kid wants orange card #4 of course. Family night can not happen if the chores are not complete. We want to have fun as a family in a clean space and save Sunday for church and rest. With 4 kids and 4 weeks in a month every one will get each orange card once.

All the cards are kepted in a magnetic clip on the fridge when not in use.

My homeschool binder

At the start of the year in addition to preparing and organizing the shelves and curriculum, I organize my homeschool binder. This binder is where I keep all the bits and pieces I need to lesson plan, samples I need to show for credits (important for my high schoolers) and anything else I deem important.

I always start with a new pretty binder.
I prefer to feel newly inspired each year. This year I fell in love with this pretty owl themed binder.

When you open the binder you find my coil bound lesson planner (from rainbow resource) and my program plans for each child. Those get submitted at the start of the year to the school board we are registered with to outline our plans for the year. I have them printed in a different color per child in order to make planning easier for myself. I go off of these program plans when I start my lesson planning for the year.

Next in the book is our Morning basket schedule. This is broken down into 3 terms and is the read alouds we will do together each morning. There is always more read alouds through the day but if we are having a bad homeschool day and all we get done is morning basket I am usually pretty content.

First term is sept-november and I will write out what is on the chart since I don't know how well you can see it in the picture.

Everyday- we read a bible story, a chapter from one of the current titles we are reading, listen to 1 track off of one of the classical CDs we have here, practice our handbells, and this term read 1 selection from "Classics to read aloud to your child"

THEN we have the reading that changes based on day, so

Monday: Tales from Shakespeare, and Harp & Laurel Wreath
Tuesday: Nature Reader and The Blue Fairy Book
Wednesday: Young folks Plutarch, Music flash cards, They broke the be the judge
Thursday: Wilds of Whip-poor Will Farm and Young Folks library volume 1
Friday: Story of the world 1, Best australian short stories and poems twice told

In morning basket we get a combination of fiction and non fiction, poetry, plays, music and bible.

Behind the morning basket sheets I have the 3 year high school plan for each of the teens. Student C helped decide what she wanted to cover over the next 3 years to meet the Alberta requirements for a diploma, and for the classes she felt would help her future goals. Student C is highly motivated to graduate early with a lot of courses under her belt so the list per term is huge. She was supposed to be registered in 8th this year, but is actually registered in 9th, and is doing 10th/11th depending on the course. High school here is grades 10-12. Student A is also registered 9th and while he is doing many of the 10th courses she is doing she does not have the same drive as she does so he will likely just do the bare minimum requirements to graduate. Both know what they want to do with their futures so that is fine.

Each child has a pocket divider with a "school with a smile" chart. When I catch them working diligently without complaint they get a check mark. 10 checks mean a reward at the end of the day (extra screen time, using mom's ipod, play a game with mom, whatever)

Within each divided section I have forms to fill out to record what we are doing. A log to keep track of PE activities for the teens (both are working on their 11th grade PE mark), Reading logs broken down into : journals/periodicals, books, then then plays/movies/concerts/live events.

At the very back each child has a page protector pocket I use to keep certificates, awards, reports from online classes showing final grade etc.

And lastly a pocket that holds our assessment forms and acceptance forms from our registered school board.

If you then open my coil bound lesson planner you can see I fill in by the week, as the kids finish a lesson I either stamp it with my stamping markers or highlight or otherwise indicate it is complete. That way if someone was ill and couldn't finish a lesson I don't have to erase and rewrite the rest of the progression of the course I just start where there is no stamp even if it is then "behind" the rest of the planner. At the end of the year we either finish unfinished work in the summer or pick up in the fall where we left off depending on what the kids summer activities were.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Curriculum Plans 2013-2014

With the new school year starting up August 12th I thought I would share what we are going to be doing this year. Student A and Student C Both are registered in 9th grade this coming year, however they will be doing a combination of remial courses and 10th grade classes. High School here does not start until 10th grade, however homeschooled students can start earning their credits in junior high and they get submitted for their transcript when they register in 10th. This gives them a chance to spread that course load out over a few extra years. Their upcoming year reflects this.

Character Education A and C will be joinging the younger children using Konos Vol 1. The character traits being covered this year will be Attentiveness, Obedience, and Trust.

English some of these had been scheduled last year but had been put aside while we focused on other things so they are back on the list along with new stuff
Composition: Meaningful Composition 4+ (II) and 5 (I)
: Writing with Ease
: Copy work Grammar: Rod & Staff English 5
Poetry: Music of the hemispheres
Penmanship: Handwriting without tears
Vocabulary/Spelling: Rod & Staff spelling with sound and structure
Literature: Learning Language Arts through Literature Green book
: Online literature classes with Wisdom

Math MUS Epsilon & Zeta Student C will also work through MUS prealgebra Games/drill

Science Both students will be working on their science 10 credits using the following programs: Apologia Physical Science Ellen McHenry's The Elements, Carbon Chemistry, Cells and The Brain Apologia elementary anatomy & Physiology home made forensic science unit.

They will have 2 science periods per day one being physical science, the other one of the other units

History/Geography Both will continue working through early modern Canadian and American history using Time Travelers cd-roms and Modern History through Canadian eyes, along with an abundance of living books. For geography they will continue working through Mapping the world with art

Bible Both will be working through Sonlight bible 110 as well as doing a topical study of the psalms Logic Traditional Logic by memoria press

Art Artist study lapbook artistic pursuits interesting methods such as soap stone carving, and other media not taught in artistic pursuits

Foreign Language
French- (both) Mission Monde (I) & (II)
Greek- (both) Hey Andrew teach me some greek level 1
Latin- (C only) Online class with Wisdom

Electives Most of these are online classes with alberta distance learning center and each is worth 1 alberta high school credit (a credit here is given for every 25 hours of classtime to understand how that works)

Keyboarding- program TBD
Word processing 1 - adlc
Data processing 1 - adlc
Digital presentations - adlc
Food Basics - adlc
Contemporary Baking - adlc
Snacks and appetizers - adlc
Meal Planning - adlc
Canadian Heritage foods - TBD
Introduction to agriculture - adlc
Agriculture safety - adlc
Workplace safety (A only, C already completed this one) - adlc
Word Processing 2 - adlc
Data processing 2 - adlc
Introduction to animal basics - TBD
Companion animals - TBD
Engine fundamentals - adlc
Farm to Table - TBD
Food and nutrition basics - adlc
Cake & pastry - adlc
Milk products & eggs - adlc
Equine 1 & Equine 2- C only using history of the horse, studying anatomy and physiology of horses in conjunction with the practical experience she has been getting.

C.A.L.M. 20 (Career and Life management) a required course for high school graduation
PE 20- outcomes to be covered by cadets, TKD, ski club and a variety of indoor and outdoor physical pursuits in addition to discussion and research of health issues.

Student H is registered in 4th grade next year, however he struggles with multiple learning disabilities which means he is actually working at closer to a 2nd grade level across the board

Character Education H will be using Konos Vol 1 focusing on attentiveness, trust and obedience

Language Arts
Reading - all about reading; finish 1 and do 2
Writing - Writing with ease 1
Spelling- All about spelling; finish 1 and do 2 then switch to R&S spelling 2 Grammar - R&S english 2
Read aloud - konos recommended titles
Penmanship- Handwriting without tears 2
Other - copy work, bob books, learning language arts through literature - red book

MUS beta
BUILD math centers

This will be covered by konos vol 1 however H is always welcome to join A & C in their science studies whenever he wants to

These will be covered by konos vol 1

Bible Study
konos vol 1
101 favorite bible stories
Christian studies 1

Art Artistic pursuits artist study lapbook

Foreign Language
Latin - Latina Christiana 1
French - Mission Monde ABC

Student I will be officially registered for the first time this year as a 1st grader. She recently began reading basic bob books and is always complaining that I have not done enough school with her so we will see how the upcoming year goes with her.

Character Development
Like the 3 older kids I will be working through Konos vol 1 focusing on attentiveness, obedience and trust

Mathematical reasoning beginning book 2(finish the 2nd half of this book)
MUS alpha
BUILD math centers

Language Arts
All about reading pre-level 1 and level 1
Handwriting without tears K(finish) & 1
Read alouds from konos vol 1
Learning Language arts through literature - blue book
Writing with ease 1

Konos vol 1

Konos vol 1

Foreign Language
French - mission monde ABC

So there you have it, the curriculum picks for the coming school year. OF course things may change, get dropped, new things starting, etc. We are hoping for a full but fun school year this year.