Saturday, August 25, 2007

More pictures at last

This is my attempt at being artistic. Here are my sweeties on a hike we took this summer:

Here is my other sweetie hiking with his parasol :)

Here are just some cute pictures of my girls. The big girls,

And my baby, who is not so much of a baby anymore :(

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Flower Power

I told the girls we were going to "do school" in the summer because we take so many breaks during the school year. And we did - kind of... I really wanted us to learn about insects and plants, but ran out of time during the "school year." So while the rest of our academic stuff went by the wayside by mid June, we did enjoy getting books from the library and doing activities relating to insects and plants through June and July. I misplaced my insects book list, but here are some books about plants that we enjoyed this summer:

Dancers in the Garden by Ryder
How do Apples grow by Maestro
The Mountain that Loved a bird by McLerran
The Rose in My garden by Lobel
The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree by Gibbons
Sunflower house by Bunting
A Tree is Nice by Udry
ABCedar by Lyon
The Legend of the Blue Bonnet by DePaola
The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush by De Paola
The Red Poppy by Lucht

It was really interesting to learn about plants and insects back to back since the 2 topics related to each other so well. We are now very familiar with how insects help in plant fertilization :)

Friday, August 17, 2007

My Topic Plan

In my schedule post I explained how I don't try an do every subject every day. We have co-op one day a week. I plan to do math and copywork or free writing 4 days a week and spelling and grammar 2 days a week. The rest I consider "topics". Here is my topic plan for the coming school year:

I am using What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know as my guide plus a few things from the K - 2 books that Kali missed. This is the order I plan to do these topics. They might take only one day or a week or a month. This way I don't feel like we are not "on schedule". I just want to try and finish the list by next summer. And even if we don't we can just do the rest the following fall.

1. Geography
2. Animal Habitats (like the Arctic, Desert, Grasslands, etc. I may combine this with geography)
3. SOTW - Story of the World 2 (about 7 chapters at a time)
4. Music (learn about a composer or something else related to music)
5. Chemistry (states of matter, atoms, solutions and using the chemistry set that I bought at a consignment store 2 years ago that the girls have been begging me to use with them!)
7. Art (learn about an artist and/or art technic)
8. Electricty
10. Music
11. Geology
12. SOTW
13. Art
14. Weather
15. SOTW
16. Music
17. Magnets
18. SOTW
19. Art

I get my books from the library one topic at a time. I may also squeeze in a few days here and there to get math readers and the Grammar books by Ruth Heller and Brain Clearly. Or just plan to get them by topic (like money, measuring, multiplication, etc.) when one of the girls is learning about them in their math or grammar books. I also would like to include poetry somewhere, maybe as bedtime reading or pick a poet or 2 and do a mini unit on each one. We get our literature in with bedtime reading and CD's in the car.

I am feeling really good about the coming year. Dh and I are going to Chicago at the end of the month while his parents are here to watch the kids. We get back around Labor day and plan to start back with our school schedule either that week or the following Monday. I am guessing it will be more likely that we start on the 10th of September. It is so nice to be able to set our own "first day of school!"

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Homeschool Summer Camp

This year our homeschool co-op group decided to have our own week long summer camp. We ended up with 8 moms and 22 kids. We each planned a morning of camp activities (some of us doubled up)and left the afternoon open for free play. It has been an exhausting, but fun week. Activities included ice cream and butter making, pet rocks, shirt painting, beading, clay, tie dyeing, nature walk, games, and campfires songs. I am too tired to share more. Maybe next week after I have recovered...