Archive for the 'Educating' Category

Scientifically Speaking

I am combining our Nature Study and Science Experiments into this post, and I’ll throw Math in, too. Math=Abeka. There, that’s done :)

Stuntman asked to study stars this term, so our focus will be astronomy. He originally said flowers, but I asked him to let’s wait and do that one in the spring, because I think it will be more fun then. Since it will be getting dark earlier, I’m hoping we can do some observation. We’ll check some books out from the library, and I’ll read the astronomy section out of the Comstock book so I can present the material to them. I may or may not read sections of it to them, we’ll see how it goes. We’ll do this on Tuesdays.

On Thursdays, we’ll do an experiment from the Telling Time by the Stars or Explorations in Outer Space sections of the experiment book. I’m thinking we’ll do some on the moon and planets as well. I’m making a note to look in the library for books, and also find some other experiment materials–you can read that as one of those planetary model kits.

I’ll also be making it a point to go outside and observe the skies.

Diva will also be reading It Couldn’t Just Happen.


Our homeschool adventure is based (somewhat loosely) on the program laid out by the wonderful folks at Ambleside Online. I do take quite a few liberties because of the number of students I teach, but I think that’s certainly allowable.

We are also using Learning Language Arts Through Literature again this year for Country, Diva and Stuntman, grey, purple and orange respectively. LLATL covers grammar, reading, vocabulary, spelling, writing, poetry, research, etc. Of course, we do way more reading than LLATL calls for because ….we can. When I had fewer students, it was easier for me to write up a LA program for them, but now that I have so many, I’d need to invest more time than it’s worth, so we just order the books.

And so we begin

The first things will go in the calendar today. And I’ve already made some changes to what I was thinking last night. Remember I mentioned last night I’d write lesson plans each Saturday afternoon? That isn’t going to work, at least for this term when we are involved with football on Saturday mornings, because I’ll need to do the shopping for the week on Saturday afternoons. Saturdays are also the days when I take any personal time I need (about a day a month). So, first things first, I am writing in a “specials day” after every 15th day of school and a teacher’s work day for the day after that. Specials Day will involve science experiments, art projects and just such as this, and teacher work days are for me to write plans for the next 16 days (no surprise, right?). We are also taking off the day after Thanksgiving. Experience has taught me that DH is off that day, and I try to give the kids the day off any time he’s home.

This is going to put us with 60 regular school days and 4 specials by Dec 7, provided nothing goes awry. (Remember, I;ll be in Vegas for almost a week.) This leaves the cushion I wanted, but also allows us to take off most of December provided we stay on track, which is something I also wanted.

I guess this is as good a time as any to mention that it doesn’t bother me at all to school year round as long as we can have an enjoyable experience. And also, if I find that we can’t fit in all the art and science we want, I’ll just give us another specials day each period.

Continuing Education

Teachers in public schools are required to take so many educational credits per year to keep their certifications. Now, most home schoolers, myself included, aren’t real worried about certifications and such, but I am going to encourage you to do some continuing ed anyway. It never hurts to refresh yourself, and reading a book that aims to improve your technique as a mother and/or educator can help you help your children.

This school year, I am aiming to read three books related to school, and I am going to be right up front and tell you that these are affiliate links and if you click and buy, I’ll earn 4%. As a matter of fact, consider this a blanket announcement that almost every time I link a book it will be an affiliate link. I’m going to be talking about a mountain of books over this series of posts, and odds are some of them will interest you. If you would buy through Amazon anyway, please click from here. If you wouldn’t use Amazon, then feel free to go wherever you normally shop for books, and it won’t hurt my feelings one bit. Psssst—I’ll never even know 😉

First, I plan to read Educating the Whole Hearted Child. This book has been on my list for a couple of years, and when I ordered the LLATL for the children, I stuck this in the cart as well. We’ve already discussed how God paid for it. Then, I’ll finally read The Charlotte Mason Companion in it’s entirety. I’ve been nibbling little bits out of this for a couple of years now, but it’s time to sit down and do the deed, I think. And finally, I’ll read Seasons of a Mother’s Heart, just because I have heard it is a wonderful book for moms. It’s been on my shelf for quite a while as well. I’ll mostly likely do my reading out of these books early in the morning, so I can concentrate.

77 plus

After I posted last night, I did pull out my calendar/plan book. Just for future reference, they are the same thing. I am making notes in a notebook, then my actual plans will be written in a calendar. (Since I’ll be posting about this quite a bit, I wanted to explain.) There are at least 77 school days between now and Christmas, and that’s after deducting the holidays and the time I will be in Vegas.

I was really glad to see that, because it means I can concentrate on the journey. I’m less likely to decide we don’t have time for science experiments or art projects. I’m more likely to decide that a chance to serve others is more important than math now and then. I’ll be able to teach that life is about living and not just about books. After looking at all that, I’ve decided we will start school next Monday. The materials are here (and that’s the subject of my next post), and there’s no reason not to take the plunge. Well, except that the plans aren’t written yet, but I am working on that!

Where I’m at

Ok, all my subjects are laid out. If I were to compare it to map making I’d say that I now know where we are going, and the major attractions. I’ll start filling in the details next. And actually map making is a good analogy because there is so much more to that that just the destination, isn’t there?

My temptation has always been to lay out 12 weeks at a time, but each time I do that, my schedule ends up getting messed up because of unplanned days off for this or that thing. I may try laying out major things–month and week long focii, and then filling in the plans for each coming week on Saturdays. The first thing I will do is schedule the days I know we will miss, then I’ll see how long it will take us to get in 60 days, and then I will add another week (maybe 2) to that, because we are doing the fun extras this year, and we will invariably run over. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but if I plan for it, I’ll be less likely to turn into a screaming banshee of educational doom. If we don’t need the extra time, great, but if we do, there it will be. If we can accomplish one term by Christmas, I’ll be satisfied.

This first term will be more of an issue than the next two, because it takes time to get into new habits, and I have a new reader, too. The girls have schooled like this before, and I have let them know we are going back to it. Stuntman has not, because he would have been ready this past year, but it was the year of pumping hell and so school was very basic. This type of school is more work, and there’s no getting around it. But it is a stretching and growing and fun kind of work, where I learn things, too. In truth, I really am looking forward to it. You guys feel free to remind me of that if I start sounding like a raving lunatic, mm-kay?

Gathering my thoughts

Here are the subjects I’ll be dealing with:
Foreign language
Crafts (Scouts)
Natural History/Science
Life Skills
Artist Study
Composer Study

Now, not all the students will have all these subjects, and even when they are all studying a subject, they will have different materials, foci and expectations. I still need to order some hymnals and I am looking into foreign languages. Also maybe art. I need Bible materials if we do a formal study type study. I’m still debating on that.

Oh, and if this series of posts makes you crazy, blame my friend. She said it was a cool idea.

Seasonal Discomfort

hmmph! I took Hocks outside today and worked on it, as I have been doing. Alas, it will probably be the last time I do that for several months. Unless I start getting up and going out at 6AM. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Totally. Or, you know, not, cause me and 6AM??? Not friends. Barely even acquaintances. That’s great news for those of you waiting on the sock pattern, though!

I’m a little disappointed, truly, because I had set a goal, and now that goal will have to be adjusted. My goal was not as high as that of Dr. Carla Thomas, the Capella University student who wants to be Surgeon General of the US, but it was my goal, and important to me. She was featured recently on the Inside Online Education podcast.

What, you thought I only listened to knitting podcasts?? Tsk, tsk. I’m a multi-faceted girl, and my taste in podcasts reflects that! Which is a very good thing for me, and for Hocks, since it’s now relegated to inside, late at night stitching.

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