Friday, August 26, 2011
Week 1 Part A
Back to school for most of us.
A-M and E started high school this week. E is thrilled with the social opportunities available at school. We shall see if the academic opportunities are as thrilling! N starts his first year of college at Brigham Young University Idaho on September 7, so we have been gathering everything he needs for that move. In the midst of all of that as well as an out of town working vacation we started our homeschool school year.
Since I am recovering from that exhausting trip, this first week was purposely planned to be light therefore allowing naptime (for me). I planned Week 1 to cover two calendar weeks since we started late this week, end early next week, and will have some interruptions along the way these first two weeks.
We started out the week on Tuesday simply looking at our books and discussing how things were planned for the year.
After looking at our English books , we quickly decided my carefully planned lessons needed some tweaking. I had planned to start with the last chapter in English because it covers all those skills that are important throughout the year like reference book skills and sentence variety. It's always bugged me that Rod and Staff sticks those skills at the end of the book, so this year I planned to begin the year with that chapter instead of end with it. Upon further inspections of their books, E-R and I-E decided we needed to back up one more chapter and cover the capitalization and punctuation chapter as well because the writing portion of that chapter covers story writing. Recently both girls have decided to write a novel and thought this chapter might have good tips to incorporate into their writing. So Tuesday we completed the capitalization and story character lessons. Done for the day. E-R and I-E used that extra time to work on their novels while I used that time to nap---repeatedly changing time zones has recked havoc on my body.
Wednesday we completed two more Rod and Staff chapters as well as started our math by working on Algebraic expressions. We also started our geography program, Mapping the World with Art.
I heart this program. The reading is interesting and the DVD mapping lessons are awesome.
Of course the first project involved cookie dough, so how could our family pass it up?
The History of the Horse literature program which included drawing a horse on day one was also a huge hit.
Thursday involved E-R and I-E reading a lesson in Rod and Staff on their own, completing another geography lesson, and lots of history. I have planned history and science a bit differently this year. Both subjects will have the bulk of our writing assignments. And we will have history four times a week for two hours each day except for science weeks. Our science weeks will involve only science. In the past I never felt that science got its fair due when it came to experiments. Science often happened at the end of the day when my attention started to get pulled in other directions. Kids were often left to finish the projects on their own without my help. I think by focusing on just science all day for five days at a time will help me be more available during that time.
For history we did a quick review of the Middle Ages and an introductory overview of the Renaissance times. We read from the Almanac of World History and the girls started outlining that article. We read the first two chapters in The Story of the Renaissance. We looked at the differences in Giotto's art in comparison to art work from the Middle Ages and art work that came after his art in The Story of Painting. E-R and I-E started reading Rats, Bulls, and Flying Machines. I think our weeks will involve a lot of reading on Mondays and Tuesdays and a lot of writing, outlining, project time on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
In geography I-E and E-R learned how to draw the Nile River.
Friday we took a trip to the library and listened to an interesting story on NPR about the opening of the Heart Mountain Interpretive Learning Center and the resourcefulness of the interned. Following the story we had a wonderful conversation on what it means to be an American. We also discussed our Chinese Filipino ancestors' part in World War II as well as the treatment they received from America as well as Japan. Conversations like this are a balm to this homeschool mom's heart. Lately I have been so tired and rushed. I just have so many needs to meet and so much to do. But taking the time in the library parking lot to have this conversation, helped me to see the importances of all the stretching to meet those needs. I'm glad I got to be there to talk to my daughter about who she is and how she fits into history and the world at large.