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Saturday, September 26, 2009

What are Your Ideas for Making this School Year Exciting?


So, What are Your Ideas for Making this School Year Exciting
and Different?

Here are some of my ideas:

Start a Nature Journal

Once a week go outside and study something in nature (We take Fridays for our nature study.) Give your kids a notebook with some blank pages, you may want to print out some free nature or animal pages also, and take one day a week to just go outside and see whats happening in your own backyard.

One year we studied spiders, and it was the best year of nature study we ever had! Spiders are everywhere and it didin't take the kids long to find 5 different types of spiders in our backyard. We watched them and even caught a few and learned so much through our own observation. We journaled everything in our notebook. Three years later my kids still love to get their spider notebooks out and read them to me or dad. That years is definitely remembered as our "Spider Year."

Use the internet to teach a subject

Something as simple as using the internet to teach or reinforce a subject can break up the monotony and bring new life to your classroom.

If you usually teach math or grammar from a textbook, why not take a semester and let your kids learn these subjects using an online program. If they like it then you might consider sticking with the program all year.

Using the internet to help teach your older students also frees up teacher time to work one on one with younger students.

Some other ideas are:

  • switch up your subject order periodically
  • Let your older students teach a subject to younger students one day a week
  • Take a break from your regular studies and try a unit study for a few weeks
  • Instead of having older students read silently, try reading a classic aloud to the entire family. This is a great opportunity to talk about elements of a story (setting, plot, characters) and have family discussion about the story...include dad too!
  • If you've never notebooked a subject before...why not start now? Pick one subject and start a notebook for it.
  • If you have used notebooking before, try taking a subject like math and notebooking it for a month. You will surprised of all the notebooking ideas you and your kids can up with for math.
Please Post your ideas in the comments section. I will include your ideas in my upcoming newsletter.
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My plan for using Teaching the Classics

I am using "Teaching the Classics" this year with my second and fourth graders. I am really excited about this program. It's not a curriculum per se, but rather an outline for the teacher on how to teach your students to analyze and dissect any literary work. I have been watching the videos and reading the manual for about a week now. I think I'm ready to start our first book and discussion. Here are my plans:

week 1

Read "Where the Wild Things Are" and use the Socratic method to analyze Setting

Read "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" and use the Socratic method to analyze Conflict and Plot

I am also going to introduce them to a couple literary devices such as alliteration, Imagery, Smilies and Personification. We will find examples of these literary devices in the reading and start learning to recognize them in future books and poems.


week 2

Read "Brave Irene" and use the Socratic method to analyze Characters

Read "Horton Hears a Who" and use the Socratic method to analyze Theme

Depending on how all of this goes we will either keep practicing on these elements seperately (setting, conflict, plot, characters, theme) using a selected reading to study each one, or we will move on to reading a longer book and looking at all 5 elements in that one book.

I have a plan. Now let's see how it works!! Will report on our results soon.
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Finally Getting Started

Well, we just officially started our new school year today. Yea! We were supposed to start three weeks ago but unfortunate circumstances seriously delayed us. This is the latest we have ever started a school year, but that's the great thing about homeschooling, you can always rearrange your schedule when things come up and still make it work in the end.



student planner,Notebooking Sets
We are kind of starting off slow this week, just getting back in the hang things. We got our student planners ready to go. I printed out all of our pages and put them in a notebook for each child. We went over the pages and the kids looked at what is required of them everyday. The great thing about this planner is that it's so easy to use and the kids enjoy keeping a planner in a notebook like mom has.

In the planner there are pages for budgeting money. My kids are really excited about this. They each started a savings account( in a glass jar for now) and have agreed to save at least 10% of their money for an entire year. They get an allowance and these budgeting pages are really gonna help them see where their money is going. These are life lessons that will hopefully last them a lifetime.

Student planner sample pages ( boy/ girl)




We also started Apologia: Exploring Creation with Astronomy. We made a cover sheet for our notebooks and read most of lesson 1. Evan has already fallen in love with it. I started making Notebooking pages to go along with the curriculum, so those will be up for sale sometime by the end of this school year.

We started copywork and dictation today. I have made copywork pages for Psalm 121. We've never used dictation in our school before so I am curious to see how it goes. I have heard it helps with spelling and punctuation, which Evan needs to work on, so I am excited about it. Evan is now using the smaller primary lined pages. I am trying to get him ready for regular lines by the middle of the year. Juliet is still practicing cursive. She is doing well, just still writing very big. She was using regular lines but I am switching her to small primary lines so she can remember to keep her cursive small.

Started using IEW's "All Things Fun and Fascinating." Evan is starting to just do the key word outlines orally. He will probable be doing this for several weeks or maybe months before he is ready to move on.

That's about it! We will be starting math and grammar next week. After doing science for a while we will start geography. Looking forward to this year even though we got off to a late start.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Poetry Memorization

I have been reading about poetry memorization for a while now and I finally decided to start it with Juliet. I am going to purchase IEW's poetry memorizatiion cd's for next year, but for the remainder of this year I decided to just pick out the poems myself.

Juliet started a poetry notebook. We are just using a sketch book. If you open it up to a two page spread, we typed up the poem on computer paper and cut it out and pasted it on the left side, the page on the right side is reserved for her to draw a picture to illustrate the poem.

We just started this last week. On day one we looked over the poem and I read it to her. We glued it into her notebook. I recorded the poem into our voice recorder for Juliet to listen to everyday. This is really helping her to memorize the poem. She listens to the recorder once to twice a day. After she listens, she repeats as much as she can to me out loud. I then work with her for a couple of minutes, making sure she is memorizing more of it each day or so.

It only took her about 5 days and she memorized her first poem! I decided to take two weeks for each poem, letting her illustrate it on the last day.

We started out with "The Lord's Prayer." I am putting together our list of poems for the remainder of the year. I will post the entire list when it's finished.

My son is also memorizing the poem. I didn't intend for him to start this year, he just picked up it from hearing his sister and he wanted to listed to the recording. I am not starting this formally with him until next year, but I have a feeling he already likes it!
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What's with the Attitude?

I am really having a hard time with my 7 yo son. His attitude is so difficult right now. He complains about doing everything and this is really making my life hard right now. It is affecting my daughter too because we do many subjects together. He stops our reading with complaining and when asked to do a notebooking page he will say his hand hurts too bad to finish. This week has been the worst. He had me in tears on Tuesday, I just couldn't take it anymore.

I want to be a good mom to him. I just don't know how much more of this I can take. The only thing I know to do is to pray for the situation...I mean really pray. I am also going to start punishing him by giving him extra chores to do when he just refuses to mind during school for absolutely no reason. I have asked my husband to help me out. We decided that during school time he is the principal. If Evan can't send him to the principal (dad), and then dad will decide what is wrong, and what, if any, the punishment should be. This way I don't have to completely stop school work with my daughter to deal with my son.

We are going to try this out and see how it works. I desperately need something to give with him. He really is such a sweet boy with a good heart. I definitely believe that he wants to behave, he is just going through something right now.
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Thoughtful Thursdays January 29, 2009


Today's date is...

January 22,2009

This week my greatest challenges have been...

my son's bad attitude toward doing anything

Things I wanted to do this week but didn't get around to doing...

cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning

Our favorite thing we did in school this week was...

learning about Daniel Boone and the wilderness road

Our least favorite thing we did in school this week was...

spelling

My biggest accomplishments this week were...

just getting through the week

The biggest thing I need to work on doing better is...

not stressing over the little things

I feel I need the Lord to help me...

learn how to better deal with my children right now, especially my son

I am most thankful this week for...

my loving husband

One word to sum up my week...

difficult




If you would like to participate in this just put the image above on your blog with a link that redirects back to this page. Use the setup below each time you post.



Today's date is...

This week my greatest challenges have been...

Things I wanted to do this week but didn't get around to doing...

Our favorite thing we did in school this week was...

Our least favorite thing we did in school this week was...

My biggest accomplishments this week were...

The biggest thing I need to work on doing better is...

I feel I need the Lord to help me...

I am most thankful this week for...

One word to sum up my week...



Just copy this into your blog page and then fill it in. I ask that as you read others entries, you would pray for one another using the information that others put after "I feel I need the Lord to help me..."


if you are participating in this and have written your entry, please come back here and put a link to the exact page where your entry is located. Make sure it is the exact page your journal entry is on rather than your home page so that others can find your post easily. This way we can all share what we are going through together. I encourage you to invite others to join in with us! DO NOT put a link here if you haven't written a journal entry for this!! Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think.
Continue Reading...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thoughtful Thursdays January 22, 2009

Today's date is...January 22,2009

This week my greatest challenges have been...trying to battle my kids bad attitudes

Things I wanted to do this week but didn't get around to doing...too much to mention...mostly things related to my homeschool website

Our favorite thing we did in school this week was...Our state notebooking sheets. Both kids love to learn about a new state

Our least favorite thing we did in school this week was...spelling and math

My biggest accomplishments this week were...starting out the week on a bad note but finishing it up on a good one. I had to readjust my attitude A LOT to get through this week!

The biggest thing I need to work on doing better is...delegating more chores to the kids. They are getting bigger now and I think they should be expected to do a little more than what they do. I need to find bigger chores and follow through with making sure they get accompolished

I feel I need the Lord to help me...study his word more diligently

I am most thankful this week for...being a homemaker

One word to sum up my week...introspective




If you would like to participate in this just put the image above on your blog with a link that redirects back to this page. Use the setup below each time you post.



Today's date is...

This week my greatest challenges have been...

Things I wanted to do this week but didn't get around to doing...

Our favorite thing we did in school this week was...

Our least favorite thing we did in school this week was...

My biggest accomplishments this week were...

The biggest thing I need to work on doing better is...

I feel I need the Lord to help me...

I am most thankful this week for...

One word to sum up my week...



Just copy this into your blog page and then fill it in. I ask that as you read others entries, you would pray for one another using the information that others put after "I feel I need the Lord to help me..."


if you are participating in this and have written your entry, please come back here and put a link to the exact page where your entry is located. Make sure it is the exact page your journal entry is on rather than your home page so that others can find your post easily. This way we can all share what we are going through together. I encourage you to invite others to join in with us! DO NOT put a link here if you haven't written a journal entry for this!! Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think.
Continue Reading...
 

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