Sunday, September 22, 2013

My homeschool journal: a new schedule

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In my life this week...April came to me this week after starting her first reading assignment for her Shakespeare class and said "I don't get it, I can't read this!  Can you help me".  The play they are studying for the first semester is Julius Caesar , so she is using this book pictured below.  I'm glad they are using the Cliffs complete version because now I have to read it with her, looks like I'll be learning a lot about Shakespeare this year too!  I sure hope I can help her.  I've never studied Shakespeare before, let alone read any of the plays.


In our homeschool this week...we tried something new this week that I think we'll continue.  I had heard about some families who do focus on one subject a day, and thought that maybe it was time we give that a try because that is what we usually end up doing anyway.  As soon as I decided to give this a try it all started coming together in my mind about which subjects we would put on which days, and which subjects we'd still need to do every day, like math and unit studies.  I have to say after our first week of trying this out, I LOVE it.  It is so much less stressful to focus on all aspects of one subject in one day rather than cramming 5-6 subjects in every day.  For this week our schedule was:

  • Monday:  History and art (all aspects of history including artist study, story of the world chapter and extras, art projects, art class for April)
  • Tuesday: Language arts (this would include all reading lessons, spelling, writing class for April, anything that has to do with reading and writing)
  • Wednesday:  co-op day (just math and 30 minutes of reading on this day)
  • Thursday: Science (this includes lessons from each child's book, nature study, seasonal science activities)
  • Friday:  Geography (this includes U.S. State studies, maps, and anything else that would be geography related)
  • Everyday:  Math, 30 minutes of reading, and any unit studies, memory verse
It was amazing the amount of work we were able to get done this week on this schedule!  I was able to move all kids along in each of their levels and have time for extras.  I'm excited to see if this works for us long term.  Scheduling is always my biggest problem.

In our history this week...We studied King Tut in Story of the World.  They really enjoyed this chapter.  I even made a archaelogical "hunt" for Tut's mask with some treasures, they had a great time finding where "Tut was buried."

Some books we flipped through.  The boys didn't have too much interest in these.
They do love this book though.  I also pulled out our Ancient Egypt toob figures.  They love those.

In our science this week...The boys learned about the planet Mercury.  They did the craters experiment by dropping rocks into flour (what a mess!), and they made a mobile of Mercury with old CD's.  April read from her science book, and was supposed to do an experiment, but I didn't have all the supplies (ugh! story of my life).  So, she started on a bear lapbook (her choice to study bears also).  The boys worked on parts of their lapbooks.  Aaron is working on a rock lapbook, and Aric decided he wanted to do a space lapbook.  We were also able to go on a nature walk on this day.

dropping rocks into flour to make "craters".
A demonstration that's hard to catch in a picture.
Aric's Mercury mobile.
Aaron working on his mobile.
A pretty sight during our nature walk, some spider webs in these wild flowers.
I made these for the little guys during our outdoor time.  One is a brown paper bag nature journal, and the other is I spy cards.  Both ideas from Spell outloud.
In our art this week...we started learning about Van Gogh because I knew that April was getting ready to learn about him in her art class.  I will do a sunflower art project next week with the boys, but April and I did the Van Gogh Sunflower art lesson in oil pastel from Deep Space Sparkle for her class assignment.  I was planning to do this art project with the boys too, but after doing it myself decided it was way to difficult for them.  So glad I did it ahead of time.  I will find a Sunflower craft that will fit their level better.  So, for the boys' art this week they did a lesson in chalk pastels and made a football picture. 

Aric's football (with a little bit of Mom's help)
Aaron's football.
April's sunflowers
My sunflower picture

Helpful homeschooling tips or I mentioned that sunflower art project was a lot, and would have been a disaster with my boys.  My advice is, if possible, try the project out first.  Sometimes I never realize how difficult or time consuming something is even when it looks easy.

Places we're going and people we're seeing...we had our first co-op day on Wednesday.  This is a new co-op for us so we're still getting to know everyone, but so far so good.  I think we will have a lot of nice new friends.  On Friday we went to our local homeschool group's activity at the library, and then after that we went to see a special homeschool showing of Monster's University at Northern Lights theatre.  The kids really enjoyed going to that, and the whole experience.  April even had a friend from our new co-op sit with us.  She was excited about that.  Then on Saturday morning Aric had a soccer game which is always fun to watch.

He's loving soccer!  It's exciting because he's the first kid to really like a sport so much.
My favorite thing this week was...watching The Sound of Music with my family this weekend.  I always love that movie, and that was the first time my kids have ever seen it.  They all liked it, and thought it was good.  Now I have all the songs stuck in my head!  That's a good thing though, lol.

Things I'm working on...changes to our daily routine and schedule.  I'm making some huge changes like the scheduling of subjects that I talked about earlier.  Some other things I'm trying to do are little like showering at night instead of the morning.  That has made a huge difference. 

I'm have known a great man from our church who died this week in a tragic and unexpected tractor accident.  He was our Bishop, and my husband even worked side by side with him for a time.  I'm grateful that my husband had that experience, and learned a lot of great things from him.  I'm grateful for all the things he taught me, and the inspiring words he always had for those around him.  I'm grateful to know what a precious thing life is, and that it can be taken away in a blink of an eye.  I'm grateful that I was super distracted with a lot of fun activities on Friday, the day we found out.  I might have just broke down and cried.  I had a heavy heart that day.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share...a photo from last week of my 5 year old playing with squishy circuits.  I love this introduction to electricity for him.  Basically you create an electrical circuit using playdoh.  He loves his new squishy circuits set.  It's pretty amazing too.

He loves playing with squishy circuits.
I'm linking to The Homeschool Mother's Journal at:
So You Call Yourself A Homeschooler?


1 comment:

  1. Awesome week! I'd love to hear more about your new co-op.


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