Wednesday, July 27, 2011

WW: A Whole Lot of Fishing Going On...

 I think Benny's main reason to help DH in the garden is to have more time for fishing.
Henry rarely gets to go out in the boat, so he was thrilled with a short 5 minute ride and a few casts.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Art of Argument assignments

One of our logic selections for the year is Art of Argument by Classical Academic Press. Since we're going to alternate it with Critical Thinking in US History, I decided to just put together an assignment list rather than a schedule, so we would have more flexibility on the number of lessons each week.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

More Harry Potter for Books 16 and 17 of 52 in 52

Still rereading Harry Potter for the 52 in 52 reading challenge this year.  I completed Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban during the past two weeks.  I've also made some progress in Confessions by Augustine and The Fellowship of the Ring but haven't completed these selections yet.  Here are the links to my previous reviews of the Harry Potter selections:

Book 2 - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Book 3 - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Friday, July 15, 2011

Schedule for 2011-2012

I think I have struggled more with creating a schedule this year than any other for a variety of reasons.

1.  When I wrote my initial lists of what I wanted each of my kids to accomplish, the corresponding list of how much time that required of me, and added off the numbers I knew we were in for a rough start.  After a great deal of prayer, prioritizing, and regrouping I finally got every one's workload down to what I believe is a manageable level without packing the schedule so tightly that it is stressful. 
2.  One of the biggest changes I made was to set up Jessie's work in larger blocks of time.  This gave us a good compromise between her wanting more input on when she did her work and my need for set times to check her work and work with one on one.  Within each block, she is free to work on her assignments in any order that she chooses.
3.  I also tried to give Jessie more input on her schedule this year.  It was her decision to keep her morning playtime with Henry and to start 10 minutes later than last year.
4.  Scheduling resources was also more difficult this year.  The girls needed separate times for Latin due to the DVD instruction, for history since they will both be reading some of the same resources, and for writing and history so the computer is available for assignments (although I probably will start Violet off writing by hand and transition her to the computer over the course of the year.)

Here's the result:

Now, I just need to finish up the lesson plans.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Final Plans for 2011-2012

Jessie's 7th Grade

Bible:  Beautiful Girlhood, Heroes of the Faith, Jesus Our Savior and Friend
Math:  NEM 1 (the non-geometry chapters) then start Foerster's Algebra 1
Literature:  Omnibus 2 Primary and Secondary
Vocabulary:  finish Caesar's English 1 and Caesar's English 2
Grammar:  Rod & Staff 7:  Building Securely
Writing:  Classical Writing Diogenes Maxim and Intermediate Poetry
History:  Truthquest AOR 1 and part of 2
Science:  BJU Life Science
Latin:  Latin Alive 1
Greek:  Elementary Greek 2
Logic:  Art of Argument, Critical Thinking in US History, and Building Thinking Skills 3 Figural
Geography:  focus on North and South America
Music:  The Story of Classical Music with a Composers lapbook
Art:  Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain

Violet's 5th Grade

Bible:  The Hidden Treasures of Philippians
Math: Singapore Primary US 5A &5B
Literature: various library resources
Spelling: Spelling Workout G
Grammar: Rod & Staff 5
Writing: Classical Writing Homer and Poetry for Beginners
History: Truthquest AOR 1 and part of 2
Science: God's Design for the Physical World
Latin: Latin for Children B
Logic: Building Thinking Skills 2 and Mind Benders B series
Geography: focus on North and South America
Music: The Story of Classical Music with a Composers lapbook
Art: Drawing with Children style lessons

Benny's 2nd Grade

Bible:  Egermeier's Bible Story Book
Math:  Singapore Primary US 2A & 2B
Reading/Literature:  various library resources
Spelling:  Spelling Workout B and part of C
Grammar:  a modified form of FLL
Writing:  copywork
History:  TruthQuest AOR 1 and 2 with more emphasis on America history
Science:  Apologia's Exploring Creation with Zoology 2
Critical Thinking:  Building Thinking Skills 1, Mind Benders beginning books
Geography:  US geography
Music:  Classical kids series
Art:  Drawing with Children style lessons

Friday, July 8, 2011

The past few weeks....

Man time flies by in the summer.  I have spent a lot of time on the computer and Internet but next to none on this poor neglected blog.  We all had a blast at our church's VBS and have been hitting the lake as often as the weather permits.  What else have we been doing?

Summer school has been a little erratic depending on what else needs done on a given day.  Jessie's nearly finished her Singapore CWP 6 book.  She has one section of review left.  She has completed all of the remaining lessons in her Properties of Matter book and just needs to take the final unit test and the final exam.  We've been using Headventureland to keep up with her Latin vocab and some cut out conjugation charts I found on the CAP website for grammar.  Violet has been doing the same Latin review and working with the Flashmaster each day to work on her math facts.  We've also been practicing some more cursive writing to make it more automatic.  Benny has been reading to me off and on.  He finished reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone which required a great deal of perseverance on his part, and I've let him start reading the second book as well.  (He has already seen both movies with his older sister).  I also have plenty of Frog and Toad, Magic Tree House, and other easier readers for him to use to work on fluency.  He finished his Miquon book, but has a few pages left in his 1B IP text (which is my fault for not being consistent).

Around the house we're slowing deep cleaning and getting everything back into shape.  I've washed all the bedding except the girl's comforters, shampooed the carpets (including under the furniture) for half of the house, cleaned out both pantries and 80% of my kitchen cabinets and drawers, and helped Benny get his room back in order after Henry dumped out all of his Lego sets all mixed together in his room. 

Our garden is coming along very nicely.  We've picked and canned beans twice and have eaten lots of fresh yellow squash, zucchini, and cucumber.  We've also pulled a few onions for dinner as well.  The tomatoes are coming on strong and should be ready to start picking soon.  So far the sweet potatoes and potatoes are doing well although I'm tiring of battling potato beetles.  I know I've pulled more than 200 off the plants and killed them.  The battle is still ongoing, but we seem to fairing much better than last year.

I have the majority of our subjects planned out for the year.  I'm still working on reading and scheduling for history and Omnibus.  I also can't for the life of me figure out any way to plan Latin Alive 1 without watching the DVDs because I really need Jessie to do this independently in the fall.  I've made an initial attempt at a schedule only to realize that there are not enough hours in the day for me to teach the kids.  Now it's a matter of prayer and priorities (and making the school day reasonable for each kid while still challenging them and spending time with the 3yo).

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Hobbit by Tolkein and Harry Potter, Books 14 and 15 of 52 in 52

Books 14 and 15 are both rereads for me this year.  I read The Hobbit as part of the Omnibus 2 secondary book selections, and I'm in the process of rereading the Harry Potter series before the release of the final movie on the 15th which I'm planning to go see in the theatres with DH.  (It will be our first movie date in years.)  Rather than writing new reviews, I'll just link back to my reviews from last year since I'd write pretty much the same comments again.
A review of The Hobbit by Tolkien

A review of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by Rowling

Eusebius: The Church History, Book 13 of 52 in 52

I know I'm way behind in my book challenge, but I'm finally getting back to having some reading time.  For book 13 I've been working on The Church History by Eusebius with Paul Maier as translator and commentator as part of preparing for Omnibus 2 with my 7th grader this fall.

The Church History was written by Eusebius who lived in the late 3rd and early 4th century and served as a bishop in Caesarea.  This text summarizes the history of the Christian church from the time of Christ to the reign of Constantine included the succession of bishops in important churches, the succession of Roman emperors, as well as stories, writing, controversies, and historical events of the time period.  He does an excellent job of weaving into the story numerous excerpts from a variety of sources including the works of Josephus, various letters written by different bishops, translations of edicts from Roman emperors, and other first hand accounts of the events.

I have to say that I'm usually not a big fan of non-fiction nor am I a major history lover; however, I truly did enjoy this book.  There are moments like some of the lists of bishop successon that can be a bit dry and tedious, but there are also an amazing number of first-hand accounts that I found both an engrossing and enlightening means of glimpsing the reality of the time.  While there are necessarily a large number of stories of various martyrs, I only found one paragraph at the end of part 6 of book 3 quoting a description of Josephus concerning the conditions inside Jerusalem during the siege of Trajan that I felt compelled to mark for by daughter to skip this fall.