Longer and longer our days have been getting. Now more than ever I need to make sure I stay on top of my time. My planner is getting a workout. What kind of planner you ask? I am a pen and paper type of gal, nothing fancy here folks. Just a simple spiral notebook and a cheap drugstore planner. I write the year inside the cover and it’s ready to go. I keep notes, track of lessons, and any ideas and resources I may have for the upcoming year. Yes, I’ve been covetous of all those neat and orderly ones you see photos of on Pinterest, and it probably wouldn’t hurt being a bit more organized, but honestly, as you can see, I’m just a simple gal and this is how our homeschooling rolls.
My “teacher” bookshelf contains several notebooks I’ve accumulated over the years and every now and again I get a kick looking back on my earlier ones, boy we sure have come a long way since then. It doesn’t really seem like it has been all that long ago really. Yet here I am planning for Miss Sky’s high school years. Enjoy those younger years, they will be over in a blink of an eye. And relax, enjoy the journey. It may not seem like it when first starting out but you can do this.
Last week I mentioned my concerns over our math results (after taking some common core practice tests) where I discovered some weaknesses ( which I will discuss in a moment). Well, I regained my confidence when the girls passed, with flying colors, all the language arts tests. Yep, all the way to 8th grade.
Read and discuss, read and discuss this has been the foundation of our homeschooling from the beginning, no matter what method we used. After all, that is what reading comprehension means. Understanding what was read and being able to explain it in your own words.
So many conversations over the years, so many opinions shared. Sky still rants off on the animal cruelty from the book Bears of Blue River. So many times we thought of not finishing it. It wasn’t that much earlier that she had wanted a fox stole like the ones she had seen in our Laurel and Hardy movies. Now the thought sickens her. What a joy it has been to be apart of their learning discoveries. I wouldn’t trade the time spent with them for anything in the world.
Even though our reading choices might have become a bit more challenging and the conversations a bit more mature, not much has really changed now that the girls are older. I still plan to continue language arts the same way we always have, obviously it is working for us.
Our current story is no different, we really have been enjoying Oliver Twist (at least as much as one can considering the story). Lots and lots of discussions and Sky has commented on how Dickens “likes to break the fourth wall” showcasing his sense of humor. This week we read chapters 17-33.
Sky’s vocabulary/spelling list was: improbable, covetous, antipathy, lamentable, encomium, expend, abrupt, turbulence, bestow and complacency.
Little Sis finished Dogs in the Dead of Night and her words were: expedition, altitude, shroud, and enthusiasm. They both had imperialism.
This week we discussed the third stage of plot, climax. They also did a elements of story interactive explaining setting, characters, and sequence.
I discovered the girls were having trouble with the word problems portion of the practice tests last week, only making it to fourth grade, so this week both girls practiced word problems at Khan Academy. Sky made it right back to where she left off in fractions, at the start of the year, and worked on equivalent and comparing fractions.
Sky helped Little Sis practice her multiplication problems playing war and I found another awesome website (especially love the multiplication drills).
I will for sure be taking advantage of their quizzes.
Continuing with the BBC School Radio show, Victorian Times we learned about life in a wealthy Victorian family, the Victorian railways, or iron horses, and Victorian inventions. The girls added notes to their timeline and I printed a blank map of Europe which we will be filling in as we go.
We also watched the Crash Course video about imperialism.
This year our “theme” is animals and ecosystems preparing Sky for Biology. So I was geeky excited about PBS’s new series Earth Wild airing Wednesdays right after Nature. The first episode was about sharing the world with panda bears, tigers, chimpanzees and how predators help keep nature in balance.
(I told you I was a simple girl.)
We also are watching the series Cosmos again now that the girls have a more scientific understanding. I love that you can grow along with the series. We made it to the episode about physics and the measurement of light rays and sound waves, which led us perfectly into the Victorian inventions of the telephone and phonograph.
We watched Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta, Pirates of Penzance live performance from the Delacorte Theatre in New York.
The girls recognized the song Major General and it was fun to see a young Kevin Kline.
And lots of drawing
We made my favorite brownie recipe,
peanut butter swirl brownies made with oat flour.
Sky still prefers the texture of the other brownies. I like how these are gluten free and much healthier.
Yep, Walk Away the pounds, 3 miles.
Peace for the journey.