Well, this was our first week officially back to school, and the start of a new school year. I have tried to follow a regular school schedule starting in July and ending in May (Indiana’s school schedule) , it just doesn’t work for us.
While on break, I was looking back over our previous year to see if I felt we needed to change anything. I am actually really happy with our progress. Knowledge builds upon knowledge, do I think the girls’ knowledge has grown in the past year? Yes, very much so, and I don’t need yearly testing to see it. I was so caught up in learning about educating high school, making sure that I was doing everything right, that I forgot my original reasons for homeschooling; to become independent learners. To understand how knowledge is obtained, to be able to come to your own conclusions and form opinions, to be able to think for yourself. To understand that learning never ends.
It really is amazing when you are able to stand back and just observe your children actually doing what you worked so hard to instill. These past few weeks, I did exactly that.
Sky has been researching how to properly take care of sea monkeys.
She had them once before, but I killed them while trying to clean out their tank. This time around, she is in complete control (as well as taking care of her Betta fish, which she has been doing a great job with). When she has trouble spelling a word, or understanding what a word means, she looks it up on her tablet. Thanks to technology, we now have traveling calculators and dictionaries at out fingertips. Both girls research purchases, google anything they might not know, or are confused with, and ask for help when needed. The same exact thing that I do. They know how to learn. They literally do not need me anymore, and you know what? It feels great.
I feel like a mother polar bear that has taught her cubs how to survive and are now ready to go out on their own. I can honestly say that I have no regrets, and nothing that I wished I would have done differently (except to not stress so much, they are learning). I am excited to see their journey unfold.
I am no longer worried about getting everything done, because we never will, and life isn’t a race. You can’t force learning, and as long as we are moving forward I am content.
The girls copied and we discussed the poem: It Sifts from Leaden Sieves by Emily Dickinson.
I do plan to focus more on American Literature this year.
leaden, sieves (which they actually remembered from Edward Lear), alabaster, celestial, ruffles, artisans
The girls worked in their root word workbooks, and Sky is continuing with her grammar book.
Reading: I read Neil Gaiman’s version of Hansel and Gretel.
We watched: The History of Hansel & Gretel | Fairy Tales With Jen -YouTube
and Sky and I watched the movie Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters. I actually liked it, and thought it was a clever steam punk adaptation of the fairy tale.
Little Sis is reading: Wicked, book 6 from the Pretty Little Liar series.
Sky started the graphic novel series: Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and artist Fiona Staples.
So Far, I am on my 4th book of 2017.
After finishing Mystic River, the last book that I read in 2016, I started reading: The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson. I loved it. It reminded me so much of Alfred Hitchcock Presents (one of my favorite television shows). The writing was great, the character development was great, the plot twists, though I saw one coming, was great. It was a wonderful start to the new year.
Next, was Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon. This was another wonderful read. I really, really liked it. It will probably be one of my 2017 favorites. This is what Girl on the Train should have been. There was no surprising plot twists, I pretty much figured it out early on. That didn’t matter. I felt that this was more of a story about character growth than an actual thriller. Though the characters were flawed, the writer really made you care about what happened to them. The writing was beautiful, and I can’t wait to read more from this author.
After that, I picked up I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh. Okay, I am honestly going to say that I didn’t see the plot twist coming. This book is a little like Shutter Island in that the author lays everything out for you, it just depends on your perception. This was just okay. It held my attention, and I wanted to see how it ended. The abuse though, was incredibly hard to get through, which should be. I read horror and this was a really tough read. So, I will leave you with a warning, if you don’t think you can handle reading physical or mental abuse skip this one.
I am halfway through Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson now. I was a bit disappointed with this after reading The Kind Worth Killing. It took me several chapters to get into it, I actually put it aside for awhile. About 1/3 of the way through it does pick up. I am not going to lie, this book is giving me the creeps. I think I may need to take a break from thrillers after this one. 🙂
The girls warmed up with XtraMath.
Little Sis is almost done with her division workbook. We will continue with Kumon’s fractions and decimals. I actually like the building of math skills instead of learning some division, or some decimals one year, then some a bit harder the next year and so on. That actually doesn’t make sense to me.
I actually plan on sticking with Danica McKeller’s math series. I really like how she builds each skill onto the next. I plan starting Math Doesn’t Suck with Little Sis after she finishes Kumon’s 4th grade geometry and measurement workbook.
Sky learned how to multiply variables from Kiss My Math. I printed off worksheets for her to practice from homeschoolmath.net. I am excited that she has finally made it to Algebra.
We also played all kinds of games that I didn’t keep track of while on break.
Reading: We read: Magic Tree House Polar Bear’s Past Bedtime and the Nonfiction Polar Bear Guide.
We watched: PBS Nature Snowbound:Animals of Winter
Animals’s with Winter Coats- Scishow Kids – YouTube
How do Whales, Penguins, and Polar Bears Keep Warm?…Scishow Kids- YouTube
I printed off a map of the arctic circle and the girls took notes.
abcteach Printable Worksheet: Maps: Arctic Region
We also read: January’s issue Year in Review Science in the News A-Z.
We watched: How stress affects your body – Sharon Horesh Bergquist…TedEd -YouTube
The girls had homeschool gym. We started working out during the week again with Walk Away the Pounds the 3 mile and Yoga Walk.
Little Sis has been practicing her tryout routine for cheerleading that starts back up next week. I am also meeting with someone this week about getting Sky signed up for horseback riding lessons. She showed interest after watching Victoria on PBS.
We watched: PBS Masterpiece Theater’s Victoria.
Sky and I watched Donald Trumps’s first press conference, and PBS Charlie Rose’s interview of House Speaker Paul Ryan. We all watched Donald Trumps’s presidential inauguration.
We learned how to draw a polar bear from Draw So Cute-YouTube.
Peace for the journey.