Thursday, October 31, 2013

Safe travels; Warm brownies sprinkled with powdered sugar; Fall colors; Pheasants out our window; A friend borrowing us an out of print book; Bent & Dent; Potatoes.....

Monday, October 28, 2013

A History Gathering.....

History = the branch of knowledge dealing with past events; a continuous, systematic narrative of past events as relating to a particular people, country, period, person, etc.; acts, ideas, or events that will or can shape the course of the future – taken from Random House Webster’s College Dictionary

I really enjoy gathering with other moms to discuss homeschooling.  This evening we gathered and discussed teaching history.  The beauty of homeschooling is that everyone can put their own spin on the best practices for teaching.

I must confess we have never used a traditional history text in our homeschool.  We read literature, sometimes supplementing with a spine book.  Last year, I read aloud The Mystery of History Volume III and this was as close as we got to a history text.  Any of our kids will tell you, history is one of their favorite subjects.

I recently read notes from a Rainbow Resource video called Sorting Out Social Studies.  Janice Price, a Rainbow Resource Consultant, did a wonderful job explaining the concept of Social Studies and how teaching it differs among various homeschoolers.  I have posted in the past about Various Methods of Homeschooling.    I feel four of those methods that really apply to history are Traditional Textbook/Workbook; Classical; Unit Study; and Charlotte Mason/Living Book/Literature Study.  I created a table sorting a variety of history resources and publishers by approach/method.

History Resources & Publishers by Approach/Method
**See also Rainbow Resource list**

Textbook
Unit Study
Charlotte Mason/Living Book/Literature
Classical
A Beka Book
Accelerated Christian Ed.
Alpha Omega
Bob Jones University Press
Christian Liberty Press
Christian Light Education
Landmark’s Freedom    Baptist Curriculum
Rod & Staff
Notgrass Company

Konos
My Father’s World
Sonlight
Cadron Creek Christian Curric.
Geography Matters
Lessons From History
Weaver
Five in a Row
History Links
Amanda Bennett
In the Hands of a Child
Tapestry of Grace
History Pockets
Time Traveler CD’s
WinterPromise
Simply Charlotte Mason
Heart of Dakota
Living Books Curriculum
Lifetime Books & Gifts
Ambleside Online
Queen Homeschool
Lamplighter Publishing
Nothing New Press
Bethlehem Books
TruthQuest
Yesterday’s Classics
Higher Up and Further In
Beautiful Feet
My Father’s World
Sonlight
BiblioPlan
Veritas Press
Classical Conversations
Story of the World
Tapestry of Grace
My Father’s World
Bright Ideas Press
Veritas Press
Greenleaf Press
Memoria Press
BiblioPlan
Nothing New Press
IEW

  
This is certainly not an all inclusive list, but it will give you some ideas and a place to start if you are researching curricula based on a certain methodology.  Rainbow Resource also has a list of history curriculum they carry.  Their list is broke down in a similar fashion as the one above.  

I personally teach history using a variety of methods.  We study history chronologically broke into time periods that would qualify as unit studies.  We draw from spine and living books.  Our kids narrate and complete notebooking pages.  Each student keeps a timeline.  I also try to incorporate a variety of hands on activities and take advantage of historical field trips whenever possible.  

How do you teach history?  I'd love to read your comments below......

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Thursdays of Thanks....

16 Months; Hope; Phone call to friend; Ruben reading; Kindness of Aldi check out attendant; Once Upon a Child; 10 years of walking with "new" leg.....

Monday, October 21, 2013

Caught Ya!

Did I ever tell you about Levi's love of tomatoes!?!  One day Riley and I were working in the kitchen and some how Levi got the stool RileyAnn uses when she's cooking.  Just take a look at what he got into....


What do you have baby? ....a TOMATO!!


Oh, it was so good...maybe I'll take another!


Hmm...what else can I find


...a pear!!


Look mama...




Hmm, maybe I better try another bite....


....Oh, I like pears too!!


Summer has come to an end here at Drywood Creek :(  We've had several frosts and there's predicted snow flurries today!  The gardens have been cleaned out, other than some onions and a couple heads of cabbage.  We have canned tomatoes and tomato juice and 30 pints of grape jam set aside for winter.  God is good :)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

My Love of History Grows...

If you read my profile, you'll see I'm a self proclaimed bibliophile. Yes, I LOVE books!!  Aside from the Bible, my favorite books are historical in nature.  Now, this was not always the case.  As a child, I was not a reader.....gasp!  It's true.  I have vivid memories of my family reading Mother Goose rhymes and I know we were exposed to books, but I just didn't take the time to sit and read them myself.  My best friend's mother was an English teacher and they practically lived at the library.  But, not so much me.  And history, well that was for dead people....ha!  It all seemed so irrelevant and boring!

Fast forward...uh um, twenty years, and here I am loving books and particularly history.  Even though I wasn't a reader personally, I believe I always understood the importance of reading. Probably, because of my fond Mother Goose memories :)  So, how did I become not only an avid reader, but a book collector?

I hate to admit it, but it started in the mid 1990's with Oprah's Book Club.  Oprah made reading seem interesting.  I picked up a couple of her recommended books and was hooked.  I started reading every chance I got.  I even got audio books so I could read/listen while doing other things!

When Jennifer and Angel came to live with us, they were both early beginning readers.  However, they had never been exposed to books outside of school.  I started taking them to the library.  They would bring home Scholastic Book orders and we'd buy a few books here and there.  I created little contests to entice them to read.  I remember reading them stories before bed and they'd get so excited!  No one had ever read them a story before :(   I couldn't believe it!  I vowed then and there to make sure reading books together became a priority in our home.

This was not hard when RileyAnn was born.  Like it or not, she's always been a bookworm.  When she was just a wee toddler, she'd come bearing stacks of books.  She would sit on our lap for hours turning pages, listening, and looking.  It's kind of funny, The Farmer and I attended our first real book sale when she was just 4 weeks old.   Just last week, we attended that same annual sale for the 10th year.  I had no idea when The Farmer was carrying RileyAnn in her infant seat around the tables filled with books, that it would be the beginning of a tradition.  We have since been to many sales and have amassed an arsenal of books.

Upon becoming a homeschool mama, I had to figure out how to teach my kids history.  I knew I wanted to teach Biblical history, but I didn't want them to develop the aversion to history that I had.  I looked at many different textbooks and just couldn't go there.  I found a historic overview timeline and decided we would take a unit study approach and just use library books to study certain topics and time periods in history.  At that point, I had never heard of Charlotte Mason and had no idea what a living book was.

Our 3rd year of homeschooling, I found Sonlight.  Angel completed Core 100 for her 8th grade U.S. History study.  She absolutely LOVED it!  I used Sonlight K with RileyAnn and we LOVED that as well.  Using Sonlight really helped me to see how to use literature and misc. books chronologically to pull the study of history together.   However, I was not fond of the Sonlight Instructor Guides so I started to look at other programs that used literature as their base.  We've since used My Father's World, Beautiful Feet, and TruthQuest History Guides.  Unfortunately, many of the best books used in these programs are no longer available through the library.  Or, there are so few copies, you can't get the books you need when you need them.  This led me to start building our own library.  It has become my mission to rescue older living books.

Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, our library has outgrown our school room.  Last summer, The Farmer built a shelf in the garage for over flow.  This summer, I added another shelf and moved all our history to the garage.  This is not ideal since there is no temperature control there, but it appears to be the only option for now.  At some point, we will need to find a more permanent long term solution.   My dream is to some day open a living book library for other homeschool families.  We'll see what God has to say about that....




Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thursdays of Thanks....


Model tree house; Homeschooling niece; Physics with K'nex; Grape juice experiment; Cousins playing at the park; Covered tomatoes saved from frost; AAUW sale.....

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Model Tree House....




Ruben has been on an "I want to build a tree house" kick lately.  After researching various books, he decided to make a model tree house.  His plans were quite elaborate so the girls stepped in to help.  Using wood, cardboard, and other recycled materials, they nailed and hot glued it together.

Riley has since claimed it for her Polly Pockets.






I enjoyed seeing the fruit of their labor.  I am so thankful for homeschooling the children and their exuberant creativity!!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thursdays of Thanks....



Baby in a dishpan of water he's not supposed to be in; Dutch Apple Pies in the freezer; Making green slime; The kindness of a stranger jumping our dead battery; New battery; A ride with the boys; Clean towels....

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

New Student

My sister decided this week to pull her youngest child from a parochial school to homeschool her.  We are very excited!!  I helped her put together some curriculum and thought I would share her plan here since it's a different grade than our kiddos.  Here goes...

2nd Grade

Bible/Character:
Draw to Learn Psalms by Charlene Notgrass

History/Geography:
TruthQuest American History for Young Students I
Time Traveler CD's
Beautiful Feet Early American History Primary
A Child's Geography of the World by V.M. Hillyer

Mathematics:
Scott Foresman Addison Wesley Math - switched to Singapore

Science:
Apologia Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day

Nature Study:
Keep a nature notebook, watch, identify and describe habitats of birds, plants, animals/insects each term

Language Arts:
Writing with Ease by Susan Wise Bauer
All About Spelling
Explode the Code
Reading lists for various subjects
Oral narration

Saturday, October 5, 2013

2013-2014 Curriculum Choices

RileyAnn -  4th grade - (you can see her checklist below)

Bible/Character:
Draw to Learn Psalms by Charlene Notgrass
Beautiful Girlhood Revised By Karen Andreola

History/Geography:
TruthQuest American History for Young Students I
Time Traveler CD's
Beautiful Feet Early American History Intermediate
History Pockets
This Country of Ours ?? (May be overkill - thinking about deleting)
Maps, Charts & Globes Level D
A Child's Geography of the World by V.M. Hillyer

Mathematics
Houghton Mifflin Mathematics ??  Singapore - see this post

Science:
Apologia Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day

Nature Study: 
Keep a nature notebook, watch, identify and describe habitats of 4 birds, 4 plants, 4 animals/insects each term
Handbook of Nature Study
Various field guides

Language Arts:
Oral & Written English Book 1
All About Spelling (moving slowly - contemplating Logic of English)
Pictures in Cursive - first term only
Reading lists for various subjects
Oral narration
One written narration per week
Book of Mottoes/copywork
English from the Roots Up

Poetry:
Study 3 poets, one per term, using Poetry for Young People Series

Physical Education - ongoing
Misc. games, dance, and exercises
Biking
Hiking
Spring softball

Handiwork & Life Skills - ongoing
Hand sewing
Embroidery
Crochet
Latch Hooking
Cooking
Baking
Canning
Gardening
Cleaning & house keeping
Childcare
Herd maintenance/health


Ruben - 2nd/3rd grade

Bible/Character:
Draw to Learn Psalms by Charlene Notgrass - 4x's per week

History/Geography: - we study history 4x's per week
TruthQuest American History for Young Students I
Time Traveler CD's
Beautiful Feet Early American History Primary
History Pockets
Maps, Charts & Globes Level C - 1 lesson per week
A Child's Geography of the World by V.M. Hillyer - 2 chapters per week

Mathematics: 4x's per week
RightStart Mathematics - 12/13 update - switched to Sinagpore, but still dabbling with RS, especially games

Science:  1 day per week
Exploration Education: Elementary Physical Science

Language Arts:
Tutoring at the Dyslexia Center
Practice reading
Copywork

Physical Education - ongoing
Misc. games, and exercises
Biking
Hiking
Make wood for fuel

Handiwork & Life Skills - ongoing
Learn farm trade
Herd maintenance/health
Building/constructing various projects
Gardening
Hand sewing
Cooking
Cleaning & house keeping

There you have it!  It may look like a lot, but it's going well for the most part.  Here is a sample checklist for Riley's Term 1 so you can see how it shakes out from day to day.  She does not use every resource every day.

                        RILEY’S YEAR 4 TERM 1 DAILY CHECKLIST

 DAY 1                                              1     2       3        4      5        6       7       8        9     10     11     12
Draw to Learn Psalms












Math












Poem-Emily Dickinson 












History












Copywork- Pictures in Cursive













BREAK- outside 20 min












English












All About Spelling - Dictation












English Roots- copywk make 1 cd perfectly












Nature Walk and Journal












Physical Education

























PM- Quiet Time (free reading )













DAY 2                                                  
Draw to Learn Pslams












Math












Poem-Emily Dickinson 












Child’s Geography-1 ch (oral)












History












Copywork- Pictures in Cursive












BREAK- outside 20 min












English












All About Spelling - Dictation












Flying Creatures












Physical Education

























PM- Quiet Time (free reading)













 DAY 3                                             
Draw to Learn Pslams












Math












History












Copywork- Pictures in Cursive












Beautiful Girlhood












BREAK- outside 20 min












English












All About Spelling - Dictation












Written Narration












Handicraft












Physical Education

























PM- Quiet Time (free reading)













 DAY 4                                                     
Draw to Learn Pslams












Math












Poem-Emily Dickinson 












Child’s Geography-1 ch (oral)












History












Copywork- Pictures in Cursive












BREAK- outside 20 min












English












All About Spelling - Dictation












English Roots review












Physical Education

























PM- Quiet Time (free reading)













  DAY 5                                                    
Draw to Learn Pslams (optional)












Math Flash Cards/games












History (wrap up – may be optional)












Copywork- Pictures in Cursive












BREAK- outside 20 min












English (optional)












Drill-review old memory work












Handicraft












Nature Walk and Journal












Physical Education






































PM- Quiet Time (free reading













You can see that we opted not to use English from the Roots Up.  I originally scheduled it and then decided to hold off another year.  I am contemplating making a few other adjustments to RileyAnn's materials as well as you may have noticed the question marks next to various resources above.

Math has been an ongoing crisis.  I love the older textbooks, but need to figure out the best way to implement them. Some key topics I want RileyAnn to cover this year include place value through millions, multiplication, division, measurement & misc. geometry concepts, & Roman Numerals.  I am re-looking at MUS Delta, RightStart, and Math on the Level to see if I can make them work.

You can view Angel's Curriculum here.

What are some of your favorite curriculum choices this year?