Saturday, October 22, 2011

Just Because

I was sorting through my pictures and found this one of Kali.  Isn't she pretty? And sandy...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Homeschool Schedule 2011

I am tempted to just copy and paste our schedule from last year because things haven't changed much.  In fact, I think I will and I will just make changes as needed.

7:00am  - I attempt to get out of bed.  This is a half hour earlier than last year.
7:30am - I go to gym to use elliptical machine

8:15 am  - Meet friends for weight training.  This is a recent addition.  I am hoping it will help spark some weight loss and it is fun to be with other women for a while each morning.
9 am - return from home, eat breakfast, computer time (Kids are awake by this time and are eating breakfast and watching TV)
9am - school starts - girls work on independent work while I finish up on computer and do other morning chores, such as start laundry and tidying up a bit. I am often called over to answer questions.
10 am  - I take a shower, put away laundry, more tidying, more questions
10:30 am - Read aloud (or, as has been happening lately because we no longer spend much time in the car, listening to book on tape)
11:00 am - "mom school" time - M and W - history, T - science, Th - depends on my mood (poetry, extra history books from the library, art, etc.) F - is our short day if we get all our work done or is a catch up day, if we miss another day during the week.
12:00 - lunch
1:00 pm - girls finish independent work
2:00 pm -school's out
after school - play with friends, instrument lessons, choir.  Sierra tried an art class, but didn't like it.  Kali and Arwen have been taking a dance class.  

This schedule has been working great almost 2 years now.  I am starting to feel a need for some tweaking. When I don't get in the shower until 10 am, I don't have time to do anything with my hair.  I end up just twisting it up and letting it air dry.  That works fine for Hawaii, but I often feel like a slob all day.  So I want to try and work on getting a shower earlier.  

Also, I am feeling like I need to give my girls more individual attention.  I spend time with them in the morning and afternoon on an as needed basis, but there is often much distraction (either from the other girls or because I am looking at the computer...).  I want to find a time to have a scheduled "meeting" time with them to focus on areas where they need help or to discuss what they are reading on their own.  I am trying to decide whether I should meet with them each once a week on Friday (our short day) or for 10 - 15 minutes each day. If I meet with them each day, I will have to cut something out.  I am thinking of cutting out our listening to book on CD time after we finish our current book. I think this meeting time will be even more important as Sierra does more independent work as a high schooler next year, so I'll have to figure something out. We'll have to see what works best.  I'll keep you posted. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Lost Tablet

It's Fall Break for the public schooled kids here on the island.  Yes, they get a fall break. Yes, already.  They actually started the school year at the beginning of August, so I guess now is as good of a time as any for a break.  For the last few years during the break, some moms have put together a play.  The first year I asked if my homeschooled kids could participate and they were happy to let them, especially since I volunteered to help direct ;)

I have to admit that it is almost as fun for me as it is for the kids.  It has been really fun to have a creative outlet, even if it is only once a year.  It really works out well because we rehearse and perform the play in just one week. So I get to immerse myself for a short period of time and then go back to my regular life. This year it was about a month of work because I helped coordinate a group of teenagers who wrote scenes for the play.

In the end we had a play about kids from Laie who went on a quest to the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World to gather pieces of a tablet that would restore world peace once brought together.

Kali played Artemis and sang a beautiful solo.

Arwen was an Egyptian and did a really cool dance

And Sierra wrote the Egyptian scene.
Here she is with one of  her Egyptains which she called her minions.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

2011 - 2012 Homeschool Plan

Can it be that is is already October and I haven't posted our homeschool plans? This blog started out as I way for me to publicly think through my homeschooling plans with a little bit of regular life thrown in.  Now it is mostly  regular life with a little bit of homeschooling thrown in. When I actually get around to posting...  But in case I have any homeschoolers still reading,  here are our plans for 2011 - 2012:

Reading: Books, books, and more books.  I have 3 readers now, so now it's just about finding good books for them to read.  I made Kali and Sierra lists of books to chose from.  Sierra started the year with The Magician's Nephew and Kali read Alice in Wonderland.  Then I chose for them and had Kali read The Witch of Blackbird Pond and Sierra read The Crucible to go along with our history studies.  Arwen is still developing her reading skills, so I let her chose to read whatever she wants.  She read one of the Gail Carson Levine Princess Tales chapter books and she also sometimes reads picture books.

Writing - My older 2 are using Writing Strands and also writing papers that I assign, like research papers, etc.  Arwen is doing freewriting this year.  All three girls are doing copywork.  And Arwen is learning cursive.

Spelling - We are still doing individualized lists.  Each week I look through the girls' writing and find misspelled words and they study those words for a week and then do a test.  Any words misspelled on the test go on the next week's list.  I give them between 8 and 10 words to work on per week.  If I can't find enough misspelled words in their writing (either they didn't write much that week or they didn't spell very many words incorrectly - unusually the former), I have them pick out words from their grade level in Natural Spelling to work on.

Grammar- We are still using Growing with Grammar. And I am still going with the plan of using the 4th, 6th and 8th grade books but taking 2 years to complete each books.  This avoids much of the repetition in many grammar curricula.  Arwen is beginning level 4 as a 3rd grader.  Kali is doing the second half of level 6 as a 6th grader and Sierra will finish level 8 this year as an 8th grader. I still feel like it is very repetitive, but it is working for me to have the girls each do 2 grammar lesson per week.

Math - Arwen is working on Singapore 3.  Kali is doing Singapore 5 with a plan to also complete (or at least begin) level 6.  Level 6 is not has long as the other levels. Sierra is finishing up Thinkwell PreAlgebra and will begin Thinkwell Algebra in about two weeks.  I am loving Thinkwell.  Sierra can pretty much do math on her own now with the video lessons.

History - We are studying American history by reading through The History of US.  We read 10 chapters per week.  I was hoping to get through the series this year, but we may have to finish the last book at the beginning of next school year. Sierra is reading Don't Know Much about History on her own.  Kali is reading the Jean Fritz history books as they tie in with our other reading.

Science - We are working through Apologia Elementary Science Human Anatomy and Physiology.

Foreign Language - Sierra and Kali are using the free Live Mocha program.  Sierra is studying French and Kali is studying Italian.

Music - Sierra is taking flute lessons.  Kali is taking violin lessons.  Arwen is taking piano lessons.  All 3 girls are in a choir.

Art - We aren't doing any formal art lessons.  Art just seems to happen naturally at our house.

And that's it.  We have finally found a schedule that works ( I'll post that later). Most of the curriculum is a continuation of what we used last year. It was an easy beginning of the school year because we just kind of jumped in where we left off with the same schedule and curricula.