Saturday, March 19, 2016

School Ramblings {March 19, 2016}

The last two weeks have been for the most part smooth sailing. I really thought we would get behind this week. Even Caleb kept saying he wasn't going to get it all done. I just looked over the weekly lesson sheet and everything was completed. : )  Next week will be a four day school week and then Easter break. Just 8 weeks of school left after that!

We made it out to the family farm on Wednesday afternoon for some nature study. I took Lucy for a long walk while the boys helped my dad plant potatoes. The boys did a nature hike after their work was done. There isn't much to see right now (so no pictures). Things are greening up and a few trees are blooming. Lucy and I did scare up some wood ducks on one of the creeks.

Stopping at the creek so Lucy can get a drink. She always has to go into the water.

What's in the Morning Basket? 
Not much! I have been inconsistent with Morning Basket this year. Mornings are not my favorite and we have struggled with starting on time. I tried a few things to fix our lack of morning time but have not been successful. This week we did listen to Swallowdale (and hoping to finally finish this before the end of the school year since we have listened to it off and on for two years now). We also read some poetry and had a drawing lesson.

What's this (improvements needed)?
As I mentioned above, we really need to work on our morning routine.

I noticed I was missing a lot of narrations from one boy in particular and I will need to remind him that it is his duty to make sure he gives those to me.

We've got this! (improvement made, stuff mastered)
At the beginning of the school year (and a few months in) I thought I would never get Tyler writing a proper sentence. Written narrations were a real struggle for him. I think that goal has been met! I think the key with him (who can give a really long and detailed oral narration) was telling him his written narrations could be on just one part of what he read and it does not need to be as long as his oral narrations. Another key step was having him read his narration out loud to me. This allowed him to hear the awkward sentences and fix them. (I also didn't need to see his horrible handwriting, which caused me to not be encouraging of his work.) 

I've been impressed with improvement that Caleb has made to his drawing. He is slowing down and paying attention and giving some effort. Now if I could just get Tyler to do that.  ; )

Cassie's (and Tyler's) favored book.
I've been reading out loud Carry a Big Stick: The Uncommon Heroism of Theodore Roosevelt to Tyler as a history biography. We are really enjoying it! I chose to read it to Tyler because the vocabulary makes the book almost arduous. It makes it a tough read aloud too, but it would be a challenge for Tyler to read alone. I'm hoping even with all the tripping around all the adjectives that Tyler is picking up on the challenging vocabulary. We do recommend this book if you are reading this era of history.

Looking ahead (teacher's duties).
I'm very slowly starting to plan for next year since this year is wrapping up. I've got grammar and foreign language heavy on my mind at the moment. I think history will easily come together for next year (perhaps a first for once!!) and I haven't even thought about science yet.  

I do have a ton of pre-reading to do for next week. I'm averaging getting all but one book done each week. I think I plan to skim one book to help getting them all read.  

How was your week?        

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Term 3 Plans {2015-2016}

(Pictures from our nature hike on Monday.)

It's already the last term of this school year. The first year of high school is almost complete and the youngest will be entering junior high next year.

Our school year is just trucking along at a good pace. I feel like we are accomplishing much! One goal I had for this year was to be at the end of the year and to feel finished instead of just stopping because it was time to be done. I've made changes to accomplish that this year and I think it will happen!

We call this scat rock because . . ..  well, that obvious. Critters sure like this rock next to the lake!

I made one major change after Christmas break to history. I listened to A Delectable Education Podcast and felt like our history needed some revamping. I was easily able to make the changes mid-year without any problems. It went smoothly and both boys are happy with the changes.

At the beginning of the school year it was a struggle to get all of Caleb's work fit into the week and there wasn't enough of me to go around. That has changed. I'm not sure how it worked out but it did by second term and third term is looking like a repeat of term 2.

I struggled with having enough school work for Tyler and even though I have added in more than originally planned he is still getting it all done.

Look what I found!

You will find term 2 plans/term 1 in review here, Tyler's 6th grade term 1 plans here, Caleb's 9th grade term 1 plans here, and math choices for the year here.

Overall, term 2 went great. Caleb's favorite book was a new Ancient history book we picked up after Christmas. Caleb's least favorite book was Watership Downs by Richard Adams. Tyler's favorite books in term 2 were anything on his free reading list (he has been reading from the Redwall series).  Tyler couldn't give me a least favorite. : )

I decided I will just list the whole book list. I won't be linking any books (time issue), but I will mark those that came from AO and which year.

Caleb 9th Grade Term 3
A History of the American People by Paul Johnson (US history and will probably use through out high school)
Christ and the Americas by Anne Carroll (US history more of an overview with Catholic history)
The Book of the Ancient World by Dorothy Mills (ancient history)
Light to the Nations (European history along side Church history)

The Brendan Voyage by Tim Severin (AO year 7)
Why Greenland is an Island . . . . by Joyce Davis

Amateur Naturalist by Gerald Durrell
Book of Insects by Fabre
The Book of Trees by Sean Brooks
The Mystery of the Periodic Table by Wiker (just because he hasn't read it and we needed an easy chemistry intro)
Biology lab at co-op

Watership Down by Richard Adams (AO year 7)
Prose and Poetry for Enjoyment by Maline and Downey 
Odyssey (translation by Robert Fagles) (at co-op)

Splendor of the Saints by Aloysius Roche

The Fallacy Detective by Bluedorn (AO year 7)

Language Arts:
oral and written narrations (3 written per week now)
Life of Fred Australia
review basic grammar with Winston Grammar (also work on learning comma rules)
a little work on cursive
Creative Writing class at co-op 

Math-U-See Algebra 1

  Tyler 6th Grade Term 3
Our Island Story by H.E. Marshall (British history)
America Grows Up by Gerald Johnson
Carry a Big Stick: The Uncommon Heroism of Theodore Roosevelt by George Grant (AO year 5) 

Book of Marvels: The Orient by Richard Halliburton (AO year 5)

The Story of Inventions by Frank Bachman (AO year 5)
Nature Reader 5 by Worthington Hooker (AO year 5)
Dr. George Washington Carver by Shirley Graham (AO year 5)
Rocks, Rivers, and the Changing Earth: A First Book of Geology by Schneider
Chemistry and Physics lab at co-op
Animal Survival (Tops) at co-op

The Age of Fable by Thomas Bulfinch (AO year 5)
Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Old Sam, Dakota Trotter by Don Alonzo Taylor
Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Governement and Civis:
Uncle Sam & You by Notgrass (with their Citizens Handbook) (will spread out and work on the remained of this year and the next)

Saints and Heroes by Ethel Pochocki
St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism #2

Language Arts:
oral and written narration (two written per week now)
cursive copywork
review grammar in dictation lesson

Foreign Language:
Greek Alphabet by Memoria Press

Math-U-See Epsilon
Life of Fred Miner
brain games class at co-op  


Saturday, March 5, 2016

School Ramblings {March 5, 2016}

(Pictures from nature hikes at the family farm last weekend and Friday afternoon. Plus above was Friday's sunset.)

This week was the last of term 2. The boys did a normal week of school with end of term examinations. I should have our term 3 plans published mid-week or earlier.

We were able to get out to our usual spot for nature study on Friday afternoon. I won't be doing a separate post of that, so here are the highlights. We took a walk to a creek because Tyler must get in his rock search. I'm not sure where he is putting all the rocks he keeps collecting, but I did break his habit of bringing them in the house . . . . I think . . ..  I could be surprised if I cleaned his room. 

This little pond we call frog pond. I love hiking the trail that leads to it because it just appears out of no where.

We took a long walk around the hay field looking for antler sheds. Didn't find any, but we stopped at a creek and found some interesting trash. May be going back with shovels to dig it up this weekend. We found several large holes in our walk and Scott explained what animal likely lived in it and why to the boys. We did find a rodent colony of some sort on the edge of the field. Too small for rabbits (we think), but there were a lot of rabbits in that area. 

A good hiking rule is to always hike with a boy so you don't have to clear your own paths. I had to do my own clearing last weekend.

What's in the Morning Basket? We listened to Swallowdale, some poetry of A. A. Milne, a chapter about Blue Jays in A Field Guide to Familiar and some drawing lessons with Art for Kids: Drawing

No idea what Caleb found buried in the creek.

Caleb's favored book of the week: same as last week (The Book of the Ancient World by Dorothy Mills). Caleb mentioned a couple times this week how much he enjoyed this book. When he was working on his exam (Tell me everything about the Egyptians that your learned and thought interesting.) he exclaimed that the Egyptians were so interesting that he didn't have enough time to write it all. Last time he studied this time period he said they were boring and asked to never study them again. What a difference a good book does!

Lucy was a little crazy on Friday. She was running full speed up and down the trail and sliding in the leaves when turning. We had to stop her and make her sit and relax. She can take a person out doing that!

Tyler's favored book of the week: Tyler said he enjoys exam week because he has less school work and the exams are easy. Hmmm . . . .

Boy adventurer with his air-soft gun. You just never know what you will find. Note there is nothing in the woods that would hurt you, it's just pretend.  ; ) I hope he never out grows this!

Looking Ahead! I need to edit the boy's weekly lesson sheet to make changes for term 3. I still need to work on term 3 Morning Basket. I also still need grammar for term 3 for both boys. I didn't get my Looking Ahead! done last weekend, so those things have been left.

Resting at a creek. I really liked this stump.

How was your school week?
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