Posts Tagged ‘k-12’

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Spring is here – time to think of the new!

April 27, 2012

Ok, spring has been here for a while now. 😛

I have started my thinking on the upcoming “school-year” in the past few weeks. So far, it isn’t nearly as involved, planning-wise, as last year because most of it is continuation of what we are doing.

Things we will be continuing:
Singapore Primary Math with Mr E, and possibly starting Singapore Math Essentials with Mr A.
Rex Barks for grammar.
Mind Benders logic puzzles.
– Spanish
– SOTW 1 and 2 when we get to it

Things we may be doing differently or adding:
– Latin
Mavis Beacon typing
– Chemistry and Physics
– I am currently undecided about English. I may have him continue with Spectrum, or I may have him start using First Language Lessons or Writing With Ease.
– Mr A will continue working through sounding things out, and pre-writing skills

In other news, Mr E has started speech therapy, finally. It is going great! He already recognizes when he slips up and uses the “F” sound instead of “TH”, and his therapist is pleased with his progress!

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Encouragement.

March 20, 2012

I frequent a forum of friends, many of whom homeschool. Recently one lady asked about homeschooling, requesting “convincing” and information as she ponders the decision to homeschool. I decided to share my response to her here, for anyone who may be reading and also pondering this decision. 🙂

“It is so intimidating when you are first pondering (and doing) it! But its so much more rewarding and easier than one would expect, at least it was/is for me.
Sure, there are challenging times, but the rewards have been so much better than any cons I have experienced.
I have a mix of public schooled/ing and homeschooled/ing kids. My oldest son and youngest daughter have been public schooled, and my oldest daughter has been public schooled for the most part, with the exception of homeschooling last year for at least half the year.
My middle son was public schooled for kindergarten and we pulled him out during 1st grade. His Dr (at the time) wanted us to try reintroducing him to public school in third grade, and it was a miserable, horrible fail. My youngest son will be our only child that will be homeschooled from the beginning and never entered into public school (that’s the plan). He has already learned more than I expected him to this year, as a 4 year old, and we really haven’t started “school”!

I always knew that school systems are just substandard (in my opinion and experience). They are institutions. I truly believe that the real goal is basically enough education to get by, but that the biggest thing is to create little soldiers, little “good citizens”, yes-men and a work force.
I want my kids to be individuals who think for themselves, have their own educated viewpoints, who learn at their pace and are not hindered by the institutions.

My middle son is so much better off and happier at home then in a school setting, and he has learned a whole lot!

Its interesting (and frustrating!) to have kids in both situations. Seeing both every day makes the public school’s lacking even more obvious to me, I really can’t say we have been lacking at home (I’m sure there is some bias, because this is dear to my heart, but when I look as objectively as possible, any lacking I find here at home are not so bad and entirely correctable). I can say that public school is a ton more demanding than homeschool, and my homeschool children learn much more. Public school creates a lot more stress on the entire family. Homeschooling is so much more relaxing and the stress level is minimal in comparison.

I don’t really consider myself a “teacher” – I am a facilitator. Sure, I teach things to (all of) my kids, but as a homeschooler my main job is providing the resources and planning. Its more a management position than a teaching position, sort of.
You don’t have to know everything for your kids to get a good education. We learn as we go, and what I don’t know, I can most certainly find out, or find someone who does!

There are lots of resources, and you don’t have to have lots of money invested to homeschool as well. Of course you can choose to, but it isn’t necessary.

Familiarize yourself with the legal requirements in your area, then start thinking about how you want to proceed.
I suggest checking out HSDLA, and reading the books The Well Trained Mind by Bauer, Dumbing Us Down by Gatto and eventually later on The Teenage Liberation Handbook by Llewelyn.”

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Some New Links

March 14, 2012

This is just a quick post to lend awareness to a few new links I have added.
Starfall
Discovery Kids fun Mummy Maker game
JUMP Math, which came highly recommended by a friend of mine
Awesome Knot Tying videos
Free Advanced High School courses

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My Fabulous Keeping Up With The Blog Skills – a.k.a. It’s March already!

March 6, 2012

We all learn new things almost every day of our lives. Fabulous that we do, even if sometimes what we learn isn’t the most flattering thing about ourselves!
This winter I have been learning that winter is a bad time for me to try to keep up with school. I am fairly certain that I suffer from SAD and doing anything consistently through the doldrums of yucky, gloomy, grey winter is pretty difficult for me. So, I have been doing the best I can, as I can.
Since my last post, we did in fact get mostly back on track, just not quite as on track as I would like. My 9 year old is slightly behind schedule, but all things considered he isn’t very far behind where the public schools are as far as days, so I am not really worried about it.
He has been learning so much this year – I am so pleased!
He started the second set of books in Singapore Math 4. He has been working on decimals in 4B so far and doing splendidly at it! Fractions, which were in 4A, were more difficult, but that isn’t shocking for me, as it is typically more difficult for most people.
He has been continuing with diagramming sentences in Rex Barks, and has really been doing very well! It seems to be starting to make sense to him. It isn’t the easiest subject to grasp either, and it has been getting easier for him.

This is a somewhat recent Rex Barks assignment that I was very pleased to see. He only had to correct one of the diagrams!

We are getting close to finishing with learning about Ancient Egypt, and are about to begin learning about the Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians and Ancient India. Egypt has been a subject that I actually didn’t think we would be focusing on as long as we have, but there is just so much to learn about it! I certainly don’t mind taking our time through history, that is much better than rushing, in my opinion.
As ever, he has been reading lots of science books from the library, he has been reading all about mammals and how they live and behave.
Today, amongst other things I am scanning and printing, I am printing out Spanish worksheets from two new books I purchased with Christmas book money. He will be learning Spanish much more regularly than we have been up until this point. I am also adding in some extra math work, in the form of word problems.
My 4 year old has been doing workbook activities that I have been scanning. He absolutely loves mazes! I have had him doing mazes from Kumon, and he will be starting more pre-writing skills, such as mazes in another workbook I have for him. He really enjoys “doing school”!
We are loving the spring like weather that we have been having! The less winter there seems to be, the happier I am!
🙂

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Oh, look! A Post!

November 14, 2011

Yeah, I have been slacking on the upkeep of this here blog. 😀
We have been pretty busy. Doing school, running errands, getting a nasty stomach bug, therapies…. on and on it goes.
Therefore, I am compelling myself to write this post, and hopefully it will motivate me to keep posting.

Today’s subject? Diagramming sentences. Yes, I said it. Diagramming sentences.
It seems, that somewhere in the history between today’s students and when I was in school (you know, way back in the ancient times, and all of that), that the Ancient Art of Diagramming was lost, or rather set aside as “unimportant”. This is unfortunate, in my opinion. For many it is a daunting evil task. For some it is fun, like puzzles! I believe that diagramming is actually very important to those who are studying and learning the English language. It is mind-boggling to me that the public school systems of this country have decided it is unimportant!?
Anyway, this leads to Rex Barks. This is the book I decided on last spring after looking around for a good program for diagramming. My second choice was First Language Lessons, which introduces diagramming somewhere in the third and/or fourth levels. It was a tough choice for me, honestly. Ultimately, I decided upon Rex Barks because we would be introducing diagramming farther along than FLL begins, and I was concerned that my son would potentially be lost. Rex Barks came highly recommended from another homeschooling mom whose opinion I value, and I have to concur with that opinion. The book is well written, humorous and superb. I decided that I could continue with the language book I already had and add Rex Barks diagramming alongside, and that perhaps next year I would do FLL from the level that he will be at. I am happy with my choice!
My son? Doesn’t enjoy diagramming. It isn’t too much of a surprise, as thus far the English language, and writing, has been his difficult-for-him subject. We keep on keeping on, though. We will survive!
I am definitely open to suggestions on how to make it more fun for him!

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Rave!

October 13, 2011

I just wanted to post a quick one about a site I just discovered that, so far, I am rather impressed with.

JASON Mission Center is a fabulous, free site that has great science curriculum for free! As a homeschooler, you would sign up as a homeschool teacher, and set up your virtual classroom. There is already made curriculum, resources and the ability to create your own curricula as well.
The geek in me is really dancing in my head at the awesomeness, haha.
Enjoy!

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Otherwise known as The Fancy Link Post.

October 3, 2011

Free Printables are The Awesomest.
Sometimes I spend too much time collecting bookmarks of homeschooling pages and especially of free printables. Today, I have randomly decided to share a collection of printables sites as well as tutorials for activities and some other great links with you.
Did I mention, free?

Pre-K and K:
Must read “What every four year old should know”
Alphabet Animals coloring pages
Alphabet printables
Copy me game for critical thinking
Kindergarden worksheets
Letter paths
Pre-K and K pre-printing worksheets
Pre-K and K worksheet package
Pre-K and K worksheets
Toddler to elementary school activities
Tot School Printables

First grade:
First grade Outer Space free unit
First grade printables
First grade site list

Third and fourth grade:
Halloween corrections worksheets

Multi-level:
Excellent multi-level worksheet printables site
Free homeschool links
Free phonics site
Free MIT courses
Khan Academy – excellent videos everyone should know about
Multi-level worksheets and more
NASA Optics
10 ways to explore math
Various printables

United States history:
Charters of Freedom
US history activities

Maps:
Free printable maps
US maps

Audiobooks:
Free online storytime

Handwriting:
How to improve a child’s handwriting

Spanish:
Games and flashcards
Spanish worksheets

Coloring all ages:
Dover manatees free pages
Dover stained glass faerie tales free pages
Dover turtles free pages
Geometrix
Hidden picture color by letter pages
Teen+ coloring pages

Projects:
Art projects for kids
Art and sensory recipes
Awesome Hand Tree drawing tutorial
Basket weaving visual tutorial (non-english)
Biospheres
Cloud in a jar
Dover free puzzle pages
Flat Stanley
Geo-board tutorial
Homemade Kaleidoscope
Homemade Moonsand
Magic ketchup experiment
Octopus craft
Paint chip reading skills project
Preserving leaves
Q-tip skeleton
Spring grass terrarium
30 dirty kid activities
Tiny bow and arrow
US Geological Survey activities k-6