Monday, April 25, 2016

Friday, April 22, 2016

Logic Resources before the Logic Stage: Part 1

While we have been doing things differently than a strictly classical education approach in the last few years, I still like to "check in" with The Well Trained Mind to get an idea of what our goals should be close to. I started Builder Boy's 4th grade year with the goal of having him ready for the classical approach for 5th grade as laid out by TWTM. Not sure if we'll actually get there or not, but I do like the idea of introducing formal logic in 5th grade. But I didn't want to just dump it on him with no warm up, so this 4th grade year we have been having some fun with various playful logic resources to introduce him to the concepts.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

How Does a Homeschooler Raise a Butterfly?

I love the homeschooler changing a lightbulb joke. You know the one:

"How does a homeschooler change a lightbulb? 
First, mom checks three books on electricity out of the library, then the kids make models of light bulbs, read a biography of Thomas Edison and do a skit based on his life. 
Next, everyone studies the history of lighting methods, wrapping up with dipping their own candles. Next, everyone takes a trip to the store where they compare types of light bulbs as well as prices and figure out how much change they'll get if they buy two bulbs for $1.99 and pay with a five dollar bill.
On the way home, a discussion develops over the history of money and also Abraham Lincoln, as his picture is on the five dollar bill.
Finally, after building a homemade ladder out of branches dragged from the woods, the light bulb is installed.
And there is light."

Friday, March 25, 2016

Overdue Update

In October my good friend babysat all three kids for me for several hours. When I went to pick them up from her house she asked me to stay for a minute and talk. She had been doing some random reading the night before about signs of autism in toddlers and she thought she saw some of the things mentioned in Lady Bug. She shared a link to the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, Revised (also known as the M-CHAT) and suggested I try the checklist and see what it said.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Wordly Wise A, B, and C Review

We recently completed the Wordly Wise series A, B, and C and have moved on to Wordly Wise 3000 workbooks. We first started these workbooks sometime in Builder Boy's 2nd grade year, after they took the DORA for the first time and the results showed that they were ready for a vocabulary program and would benefit from one. I asked around my online homeschooling groups and purchased the first book from Rainbow Resource online. I purchased the answer key (sold separately) as well, but it really wasn't necessary. It was pretty obvious to me what the answers were most of the time.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Costume Making Season

So I'm in full blown costume making mode. And I have the spray painted fingers to prove it! We've usually gone simple for costumes but this year we're going a bit more elaborate with a Doctor Who family theme. Oh, and I also threw together a quick bat costume for Early Bird because he's currently obsessed with bats. I'll have pictures and guidelines to follow once I find my hot glue gun, but if you just can't wait to see what's going on I've been updating on the blog's facebook page.

Here's the link to all the easy costumes I've made over the years.

Here's the link to the facebook page.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Catching Up in Language Arts, Part 1: FLL3 and WWE2

The goals:
  1. Finish First Language Lessons level 3 and 4 in one year's time and be prepared to move on to 5th grade grammar at the beginning of the next school year. 
  2. Finish Writing With Ease level 2 by the middle of the school year and move on to a new curriculum, probably Brave Writer. 
The students: Builder Boy (not quite 9 years old) and Early Bird (6 1/2)

The purpose of this post: to show you how we are doing it if you ever find you want to do something similar, and a reminder that curricula is not the boss of you.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Our Homeschool System and Schedule

We finally found our homeschooling groove! I wrote here about the general things that helped us find it. Now here are the specifics of what our groove actually turned out to be. This may be nothing like your groove, or it could have one element or two that you would like to add to yours. Whatever the reason, if it helps, here's the information.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

How We Found Our Homeschooling Groove

This is our 4th year homeschooling. I have seen it said that it usually takes 3-4 years to get your homeschool groove. This has been true for us. I have also seen it said that you find your groove and then things change and you have to find it all over again. Lord, I sure hope that one doesn't apply to us!

If you are still trying to find what works for you and your family, here's what it took for us to find ours:

1. Trial and Error
2. Timing
3. Realizing My Own Limitations (again, and again)
4. Letting Go of the Ideal
5. Practice and Maturity

Monday, August 31, 2015

First Day of School 2015

Here we are at our fourth first day of school. I know it's cliche to say, but it really does seem like we just had our very first day of homeschool recently.

We started with our traditional pancake breakfast and pictures with signs. This year I also added a little present; a math concept book for Builder Boy and a Beethoven action figure for Early Bird. Lady Bug was not impressed with my signs or picture attempts this year.

This was our first year not taking a break before the start of the new school year. We have been working on vocabulary, spelling, handwriting, and math consistently starting at the same time every day for the past two months. I have to say I really think this works best for us. The no-longer-summer-schedule saw us add just two new subjects (grammar and writing) in the morning and I got the next Story of the World cds for them to listen to during quiet time.

If our current schedule and system works for us, then I will blog about it. But I don't want to count my chickens just yet.

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