Archive for the ‘16-year-old’ Category

A Week in the Life ( Loneliness)

October 13, 2017

Happy Friday the 13th!

This is my last post categorized under 16 (at least until Little Sis turns 16 anyway). Sky turns 17 this weekend. I am still in disbelief about her being 16. What a journey it has been. I have learned so much from her. Not only as a parent, but about myself as well.

What a bittersweet experience it has been to read Braving the Wilderness together just as she is beginning her journey from childhood into adulthood. I think between the two of us, we highlighted all of chapter 3.

I thought this week we could take a peek into what I keep in my Mom-schooling basket. We live in a small house. When I say small, I mean less than 1000 square feet. I keep my basket under the end table on my side of the couch in our front room. This is the spot where the majority of my thinking takes place.

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(Minus the laptop and gel pens.)

I’ve mentioned previously how journaling helps to clear my thoughts. I think the most important item that I keep in my basket is a spiral notebook and pen along with my Dollar General planner. Anytime I get an idea about something that might be of interest or I discover a television show coming on that we might want to watch, I know exactly where to find my stuff. I need to write everything down or I will forget. Then while planning out our next week, I look to see if I wrote down anything that might be of use to our learning journey.

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The next most important item in my basket is my Kindle Fire. I mentioned our small house, yes, our space is extremely limited and my book collection would take up a whole room in itself. (and this does not even include our music collection.) Don’t get me wrong, I love the feel of a book in my hand. The smell and sound it makes when turning a page are amazing. However, for the sake of maintaining peace with my husband, I purchased my Kindle Fire. Now, I use it for everything.

Books I am currently reading are Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King, which I am now over halfway through, and Braving the Wilderness By Brene Brown.

Other items include my adult coloring book, my Mom School journals,

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(Mom-school journal, Braving the Wilderness notes.)

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our resources we will be using during the week,

(I started reading aloud to the girls in the morning while they journal. We are reading The Haunted Looking Glass: Ghost Stories Chosen By Edward Gorey right now. They will be using this book as part of their copywork, spelling, and vocabulary words in their fun-schooling core journals. All these stories can be found in the public domain for free, minus Gorey’s amazing artwork, but I have been trying to not rely upon the internet as much for our lessons. Did I mention that it includes Edward Gorey’s artwork? 🙂 )

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(Our Language Arts and Mathematics resources.)

and a few of my other favorite resources.

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Sky’s basket (I keep the girls’ baskets in the kitchen by our table where they do the majority of their work.).

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(Not pictured is her Monstress graphic novel that she is reading independently.)

Little Sis’s basket.

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They each have their own Kindle too. We get the majority of our library books through Overdrive (no late fees).

(Not pictured is her Seventeen Magazine subscription that she reads independently.)

Lessons this week,

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we learned about Miguel De Cervantes. Sky and I watched Thug Notes’ version of Don Quixote on YouTube. She added this to the film and tutorials page in her Portfolio journal.

We watched Tango videos on YouTube and learned about Eva Peron.

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Little Sis had spelling words beginning with the letter B this week from her spelling journal. So, we watched a video about Black Bears from All Things Animal on YouTube together.

We listened to banjo and bluegrass music while journaling and learned about Belgium from Geography Now.

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PBS Nature this week was all about Foxes. Sky’s second most favorite animal after the wolf. We were lucky enough to observe one while at Wolf Park this summer. So when I saw PBS was airing a documentary about them, I added the date to my planner so I would not forget.

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I read about Foxes from the Handbook of Nature Study and we watched What the Fox Says from Scishow on YouTube. We looked at images of their prints observing their difference from dogs, and the girls added notes to their core journals.

We drew a fox from Draw So Cute on YouTube.

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Little Sis learned about Liz Claiborne.

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Then there was Yoga,

Cheer,

and Sky finally was able to see IT at the Drive-In. She loved it. They had a clown going around to the cars scaring everyone with red balloons. We had a lot of fun. She is looking forward to seeing Blade Runner this weekend. I am just trying to absorb as much of it while I still can.

Peace for the journey.

 

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Week in the Life (Athenticity)

October 7, 2017

So, after a week of trying to make my own journal pages and making sure that I had everything printed and ready for the week, I decided to go ahead and purchase the fun-schooling journals. I just have too much on my plate as it is right now.

Honestly, one of the biggest needs that I had this year was an open and go curricula. Something that would help to keep me on track. I couldn’t believe my luck of discovering The Thinking Tree and their journals. They have the structure I need but allow for the freedom to still do things our way.

I purchased (Yes purchased, not received. I did win the Mom School journal from Free Homeschooling 101. The rest of the journals I purchased myself because I truly love them.  ) the 12 Subject Portfolio for Sky as her core journal. She has always been the child that wanted to do things her own way in her own time. If you couldn’t already tell that from her artwork. She would despise the structure of the other library based journals.

Some great advice that I learned from Homeschooling 101 is “We rule the curriculum, the curriculum does not rule us”. The journals work for us, not the other way around. That is exactly why I like the 12 Subject Portfolio for Sky.

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(Sky’s Fun-schooling journals)

Little Sis, on the other hand, needs structure. She needs to open her journal and know exactly what to do. That is why I purchased the Autumn Homeschooling and the Spelling Time: Animals and Instruments level C journals.

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(Little Sis’s Fun-schooling journals)

Okay, what I liked about the Autumn journal for Little is that there was no circle the date pages. This way we can use the pages however we want to. Not necessarily in any specific order. I still print out calendar pages for them to take their own attendance.

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After we finish our travel study of Spain, I plan on using the Fashion Journal for learning about American History. So, Science through art (two for one) and History through fashion (Yep, you guessed it. Two for one.).

Then there is the spelling journal that brings in geography and music.

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(The spelling journal is on the right. The 12 Subject Portfolio is on the left.)

Some of Little Sis’s spelling words this week were Argentina and accordion. So while working in our journals (mine too) we listened to accordion music on YouTube.

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We listened to The Beer Barrel Polka and Roll out the Barrel. We also listened to traditional French accordion music so that the girls could hear how one instrument can be used to produce different styles of music.

We watched Geography Now on YouTube to learn about Argentina.

Speaking of journals, besides the Mom School one that I won, I purchased the Homeschooling Handbook for Moms journal so that I can also work right along with the girls.

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I love the discussions ( not to mention just being able to get away from the internet for awhile)  that journaling has allowed time for.

Unfortunately, this week we had a lot to discuss.  What a year the United States has had.  😦

Sky and I read and discussed chapter 2 of Braving the Wilderness.

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She is journaling about this book in her portfolio under Social Studies, or what we are calling Social Science. Sky and I watched episode 2 of Crash Course Sociology.

As part of Sky’s film study this week, we learned about Evanghelos Odysseas Papathanassiou, or Vangelis, and listened to the Blade Runner soundtrack.

We watched another Rick Steves episode about Spain

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and the girls added Christopher Columbus notes to their history timeline binder.

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We also watched the Origin of Everything episode about Columbus and cannibals.

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We learned about the Dada, Surrealism movement and Salvador Dali.

We watched: Why Melted Clocks from Artrageous with Nate.

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Little Sis and I watched How Jeans were Invented from Ted-ED on YouTube and she learned about Calvin Klein.

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She also made butter, glitter, and peach slime.

Sky started Monstress volume 2: Blood, as her independent read.

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Language Arts

XtraMath

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Mathematics

Yoga

Cheer

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The first attempt at solo drawing.

Peace, love, and healing.

Week In The Life (Belonging)

September 30, 2017

We have officially flipped to “funschooling”.

http://www.stillsmiling.net/flip-to-fun-schooling.html

While writing my last school post, I realized the reason we took the summer off. We all hit burn-out (like a brick wall).

It should be no big surprise to announce that I have OCD. Not only do I suffer from anxiety and depression, I also have obsessive thoughts. So much, to the point of major insomnia (like for weeks at a time). I can go days without sleeping. How I can get so much reading in. 😉 I have successfully been caffeine free now for three years. Caffeine, at least for me, was not helping with my struggles. I also need to watch my sugar and simple carb intake.

My problem is that I tend to get lost in information. (The internet is not always my friend.) Once I discover something of interest, it is hard for me to think or do much else (I am not just talking about a little bit here either. This is a serious problem that has interfered with my daily life.). Journaling helps to clear the clutter of my thoughts.

I had become obsessed with making sure I knew everything there was to know about homeschooling high-school. In some ways, it was just like when I had first discovered homeschooling. I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t  going to screw up my daughter’s future. I pushed aside everything that I had learned over the years of educating my girls, once again, to listen to the advice of what worked well for other families.

After all, high-school was all new territory for me. It is not the same as the early years. Well to make a long story short, I added a tremendous amount of stress to Sky in doing so. It is not an easy thing to admit that I played a major roll in my daughter’s mental health problems. I did though.

Not to mention that I belonged to a social media homeschooling group where everyone’s child was heading to MIT at 10 that did not help matters.

I don’t know what the future holds for my children, but there will be no more pressure coming from me. I have never been a follower, why on earth would I ever think that my children would any different? We create paths.

Anyways, funschooling.

  1. So this year, I asked the girls what they wanted to learn.

Little Sis: drawing techniques, cats, fashion, hair, make-up, nails, baking, cheer, pilates, Cleopatra, read Emma, slime, yoga, sewing, bowling, swimming, travel study, and outer space.

Sky: drawing techniques, pets, art history, sociology, psychology, film study, entrepreneurship, small business, screen printing, book binding, baking, travel study, sewing, yoga, wolves, animation, bowling, and swimming.

Both girls want to finish Microbiology. We will pick it back up after our Spain study.

2. Find a Thinking Tree journal(s) that works for their needs.

3. Go to the library and find resources to help learn these topics.

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I purchased binders for the girls, to hold all their finished projects to help create a learning portfolio.

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Every morning we start our day with a journaling page while we eat breakfast and discuss any current events.

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This is what the girls want to do.

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We talk about what is excepted of them for the week (I find our mornings flow better if I already have this typed and printed out for them.) and they take their own attendance.

I find our days flow better when alternating between math and writing days (the two things that I require).

Some things they do every day, like reading,  their choice (related to their current study or not),

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A Sentence A Day,  drawing,

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(Pictured: Learn How to Draw Journals from The Thinking Tree and DK Encyclopedia of Cats. Sky follows petTubers.)

spelling,

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(Pictured: The Thinking Tree Spelling Journals along with our writing resources that we use twice a week. Not pictured: Mad Libs.)

and yoga.

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For creative writing, Sky is creating illustrated stories. She works on this everyday too.

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For Mathematics (3 days a week).

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Along with XtraMath.

Topics of interest.

History and Travel Studies. The next few weeks we will be learning about Spain, with the help of Rick Steves. This week we read about Queen Isabella 1 of Castile.

(On writing days, the girls journal about what they learned.)

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We also read September’s issue of Science in the News from Science A-Z. The girls wrote a paragraph about one of the topics they learned about.

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Sky wanted to draw Pennywise from Draw So Cute to get ready for our Halloween themed lessons.

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Sky and I read and discussed chapter 1 of Braving the Wilderness. We both are journaling our thoughts about each chapter. We also watched Crash Course Sociology episode 1.

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For her Film Study this week, we watched Blade Runner. She is excited about seeing the sequel in theaters.

We watched: Blade Runner from Lessons from the Screenplay on YouTube and read the excerpt from the DK Movie Book. We had a great discussion about AI and the current debate going on currently. This movie also went really well with our Sociology study this week. There is SO much more to this movie than just great cinematography.

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She also learned about Ridley Scott.

Little Sis learned about Betsey Johnson for her designer study this week and designed a dress inspired by her. She made snow slime and edible cake dough slime. Then, of course, there was cheer practice. Her team is getting ready for stunt clinic this weekend.

Oh, and she also participated in our city’s local parade.

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I still have a few kinks to straighten out, but the girls had a lot of fun this week. Yes, fun. Everything is what they want to learn about.

Happy Fall Y’all and Peace for the journey.

At The Moment

September 26, 2017

I thought I would pop in and list a few things I am really enjoying at the moment.

My discovery of funschooling, for one. It has turned our whole school upside down, in a good way. This interview with the author Sarah Janisse Brown was just what I needed.

http://funschoolingbooks.com/index.php?action=core_journals

 

(How could I forget, my coffee chat mornings with Free Homeschooling 101?)

https://freehomeschooling101.net/

 

Second, Sky and I have been in deep discussion about Braving the Wilderness.

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I actually purchased this one because it is not a book to be read through quickly. I am using it for both Sociology and Psychology.

 

Lastly, I just started Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King. I can’t wait to see how this collaboration of father and son turns out. (100 pages in and I am really enjoying it.)

 

Other than that, the girls have been busy with lots of bowling, slime making, and drawing.

Peace for the journey.

Week In The Life (“Watch Out For That Tree”*)

September 16, 2017

 

Our second week back to school and all hell broke loose. “Where is the drawing?” “Where is the baking?” “What happened to our learning being interesting?”

Not to mention, while on a walk around the block the girls saw two small dogs almost get hit on our very busy street. The girls have no patience for ignorant pet ownership.

The girls and I had lots of long talks this week. Talks about their future, what they wanted to learn about this year, and what they didn’t like about our school schedule now.

I just won’t do it, can’t anymore. I refuse to recreate the same bloody system that I didn’t want my children to be a part of in the first place. So after lots of thought, I’ve decided to follow their interests and translate their learning into school language for transcripts.

I don’t want to define us as unschoolers. I don’t want to box us inside of any label. I will still require mathematics and writing. Though, both girls actually want this anyway. Both girls have always enjoyed creating their own stories and playing games.

Sky and I are getting ready to start reading Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown (when our hold becomes available) because she wants to. The girls want to learn. They just take too much after their parents.

How will all this work out in the end? Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a sh**. I am done worrying about putting learning into a time-frame. Little Sis is thinking about getting her GED and going to beauty school instead of high-school. She wants to do hair, make-up, nails, and be a cheerleading coach or aerobic instructor. If Sky wants to take two more years before she decides what she wants to do, so be it. She wants to work with animals or children, and sell her artwork. I feel both girls are capable of achieving these goals. Both have the option of taking community college classes whenever they want or they can get their GED.

I used to work for Sallie Mae. I know first-hand stories of the stress student loans cause. I will not allow that option for my girls. If they can’t get scholarships into a university, they won’t go. As of right now, the girls are not interested in attending any university. However, I will have a transcript ready if they happen to change their minds. One that is made from following their interests.

So, that means making sure the girls have everything they need to feed those interests and “strewing” interesting items that might spark some some new ones.

 

Homeschool

Something I am going to start doing this school year to help keep track of the girls’ work is have them keep a journal to make a portfolio. I got the idea from The Thinking Tree (Fun Schooling) journals. I really liked the idea of their journals a lot but feel the pages are a little restrictive. So, I thought I would just create my own journal pages. I already was doing that for our history lessons anyway.

 

Language Arts:

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New Mad Libs 😉

I love the Absolutely Essential Guides for Kids. Don’t be fooled by the title, these books are not just for kids. They have everything you need to know, in a nutshell about grammar and writing. The Writing Guide even has a chapter on poetry.

Sky likes her new Spelling journal from The Thinking Tree.

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She is slowly working her way through it.

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The back of the page is left blank so you can use gel pens. I love the way this journal is set up. Sky likes how this journal is set up.

Here is the thing about Sky and spelling, she has a very hard time memorizing words. No matter what I have tried. Spelling just doesn’t come naturally to her. So, if she could just at least get this list of the 150 most misspelled words, I would be happy. (She would be too.)

Both girls wrote out a summary of their week. Well, Little Sis will finish tomorrow since her cheer team is in our local town’s fall parade. I will be changing up these journal pages throughout the year.

Little Sis created a short story

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and Sky worked on her graphic novel.

Mathematics:

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Both girls warmed up using XtraMath.org. I have noticed a huge improvement in speed while going over the first chapter of Learn Math Fast. I know this is because of XtraMath. We are almost finished with chapter 2.

 

World History/Geography

Sky watched Crash Course: The Spanish Empire and the Columbian Exchange videos on YouTube. She honestly likes both of the Green brothers. She watches their videos in her free time. Yes, without me asking.

Both girls enjoy watching Rick Steves and want to watch more of his videos too. 😉

I printed off a map that highlighted Christopher Columbus’ voyages. I also printed off a map of the Carribean Islands. Little Sis’s best friend has family in St. Kitts and was worried about the hurricane. (They are okay.)

We watched Geography Now’s The Bahamas and Cuba videos on YouTube.

I ditched Zinn’s History of the U.S. for Young people. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse (read last week’s tangent), it did. The girls literally cringed every time I read “the blacks” and “the whites”. I can’t take you seriously as a legit history source while writing that way. Not to mention, “the whites” did not resort to slavery because they couldn’t capture “Indians”. Slavery existed because of the dehumanization of different cultures. I don’t care what “age” range this book was designed for. That is just plain out garbage. Thank goodness I checked it out from our library first.

We will continue with the “Who Wa”s or “What was” books. Little Sis really likes them.

 

Science

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We will continue reading the Basher books because the girls like them. I will be creating journal pages for them to fill out after each chapter to summarize what they learned for their portfolio.

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I mentioned feeding an interest? Little Sis wanted to try to make clear slime.

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It worked. We watched bad scientific information about Borax from Steve Spangler on YouTube. Contact solution contains Borax.

 

Electives

Art:

Sky is excited to see the new IT movie.

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We plan on seeing IT at our local Drive-In, in October. They will be having a Halloween “spooky” month countdown. They are a small family business and we love the atmosphere (we can bring our dog). Until then, she has been busy creating.

We watched PBS’s new Origin of Everything series video about the origin of fear for clowns on YouTube.

 

Film History:

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Sky and I watched The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari and I read the excerpt from the DK Movie book. This is an example of a journal page for her portfolio. (I will show the back next week.)

We watched two CGI animated shorts about beauty, called Reflection, and art censorship called None of That on YouTube.

Peace for the journey.

*George of the Jungle

Week in the Life (In 1492 Columbus Sailed the Ocean Blue.*)

September 10, 2017

Welcome 2017-18 school year!

This was our first year taking summer off. Well, not really off. I mean learning never really takes a break. I guess I should say that our summer was less academic looking.

I took the summer to really think what I wanted our school to look like this year.  What did the girls want our school to look like? It helped a lot to type up Sky’s course descriptions (that is not all of them). It gave me examples of what she still needed to work on and what she didn’t. Both girls agreed that they wanted more table work and fewer documentaries. (In other words, they just want to check off boxes so they can have more time to pursue their own interests. School kills natural curiosity. I am so thankful I am able to see the difference.)

We are busier socially now that the girls are older. We have more outside commitments now too. This means the bulk our academics need to take place at the table. It also means I need to narrow topics and follow a more structured schedule. Something that will require lots of discipline on my part.

There is SO much available to homeschoolers today. Homeschoolers that have finished their journey are publishing curricula. Teachers are uploading their lessons online. Publishers are seeing homeschoolers as a wonderful asset to their business and releasing more books. Podcasts, YouTube videos, information at our fingertips, and man I am beginning to feel overwhelmed. Not to mention that I have two very different children with complete opposite learning styles. So, I picked out my favorite spine resources and wrote out my plan.

I have always preferred to work out of a book for my spine and then add resources for deeper study with the girls notebooking, or journaling information instead of taking tests. This creates a portfolio and lets me see the girls’ progress. I purchased 5 subject spiral notebooks for mathematics and language arts courses and the girls will continue to add journal pages to their timeline binders for science and history.

I decided to finish our Scandinavia studies over Christmas School. It just seems more fitting.

Language Arts:

Grammar:

English Vd: Parts of Speech YouTube. We watched Nouns.

Little Sis read about Nouns from The Absolutely Essential Grammar Guide for Kids.

Sky read about Nouns from The McGraw-Hill Handbook of English Grammar.

Both girls completed the nouns daily exercises from Daily Grammar.com.

The girls had A Sentence A Day.

 

Spelling:

Little Sis is continuing her work in The Critical Thinking Co. Word Roots Beginning workbook.

Sky started The Thinking Tree LLC. Spelling Time: Master 150 Misspelled Words journal.

This is a small example of how differently the girls learn. Little Sis wants clean workbook pages.

Sky needs color and doodles. Spelling lists and memorization do not work for her.

 

Vocabulary:

subjugate, nautical, perseverance, carvels, masts, evocative, psychoneurosis

 

 

Writing:

Reading: Seize the Story Chapter 8: Plotting and Scheming. Both girls worked on writing their stories for at least 10 minutes a day.

Sky received her first essay assignment for the school year. What does it mean to be an American?

She watched: Thesis Statements from 60-second Recap on YouTube and read Developing a Strong Thesis Statement from Writeshop.com.

She brainstormed ideas for her thesis.

 

Mathematics:

XtraMath

The girls started Learn Math Fast Volume 1 chapter 1.

The author suggests starting the math series from the beginning. This volume starts with adding and subtracting numbers up to 5 and ends with multiple digit multiplication and long division with decimals. This is a full curriculum with tests and the problems are worked out to see the answers.  I hope to be done with this volume by the end of the year.

 

Science:

Microbiology:

Sky did a brief review by watching the 3 Crash Course A&P Immune System videos YouTube.

Sky kept up with the progress of the pups at Wolf Park.

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Yes, we made a projection of the solar eclipse, only 90% where we live. We watched NOVA: Eclipse Over America and NASA’s live coverage.

 

History:

American:

I am using Zinn’s A Young People’s Guide to the History of the U.S. for Little Sis this year and will be adding Crash Course and Tom Richey videos for Sky.

I don’t know how I exactly feel about Zinn’s book yet. I like that history is told from a Liberal perspective. I did think it would be a bit more politically correct though. I doubt they call People of Color, blacks. So why still call Native Americans, Indians? Even the girls were getting frustrated by the constant reference. Indigenous or Native anything would have been better than Indians. I will continue using it, for now. Hopefully, it gets better.

We read Chapter 1.

Reading:

We read Who Was Christopher Columbus.

I was impressed with this being it was geared towards young children. It didn’t give gory details but allowed for certain topics to be introduced by parents. Oh, and it was politicly correct. Native Americans. 😉

Watched:

History Summarized: The Mayas, Aztecs, and Incas from Overly Sarcastic Productions and Water and Classical Civilizations from Crash Course on YouTube.

 

P.E.

Walks around the block.

 

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Electives:

Film Study:

Sky watched Crash Couse Film History episodes 5-7. We will be watching German movies these next couple weeks.

We watched Diabolique (French).

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0046911/

Clouzot was one of those directors that worked for German cinema.

 

Art History:

The girls learned about Edvard Munch.

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Watched:

Edvard Munch Biography Goodbye Art Academy

Edvard Munch The Scream Art History Online

Let’s Create The Scream Artrageous with Nate

 

Both girls found Instagram over the summer. Slime and slime videos are all the rage. Little Sis has been making fan signs for her followers.

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She made over 20 of them.

It feels good being back in the swing of things. I think all of us needed the exhale of summer break. However, as Sky likes to quote “Winter is Coming”. Time to inhale.

Peace for the journey.

 

*Annonomus history jingle.

Easing Back In (Not Back To School)

July 26, 2017

So, in honor of the children starting back to school today:

Still lots of the same.

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Tumbling,

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drawing, writing, creating,

late night texting with BFF about upcoming park photo shoot,

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swimming has taken over bowling (for now),

flexibility, and practice (always practice).

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Our year supply of corn is ready for winter and spring.

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As always, reading for mama (and the papa now having his own Kindle, reading about Deadwood, gearing up to start a new television series).

I finished: You by Caroline Kepnes, (Loved it, and no I do not understand all the Joe fan girls.) and Dark Saturday by Nicci French (Loved this one too.).

Wish I can say the same about: Don’t Close Your Eyes by Holly Sheddon (I had really high hopes for this one) and Bring Her Home by David Bell (Actually gave up on it. Okay, his wife died. I am still reading about it 10 chapters later when the plot has nothing to do with her. Maybe, it does but I am not reading anymore to find out.).

 

As for school, I ordered the first two math books in the Learn Math Fast curricula series.

Sky took a crafting notes webinar through Beasley College (learning about the KISS elements).

Sky has been keeping track of the wolf pups’ progress through the Wolf Park blog too. She will be writing one of her essays about this.

I made both Little Sis and Sky’s book list out for the year.

After we wrap up Scandinavia, we will finish up American history, literature, and government this year.

I thought I would make things easier on myself this year and just order curricula. However, the more I read over the book lists, the more discouraged and mad I became. Not one bloody diverse book. Not one Mexican-American, Native American, or person of color author. NONE! No LGBTQ authors, hell there was barely any females on the list. This is supposed to be secular?? Thank goodness for Harper Lee. I mean, I guess she is the only American female to write a novel.

I will share the list I came up with as we go (Don’t want a longer waiting list from our library.).

This is why I have always put together my own resources, to begin with. Might as well finish it out this way.

Only two more years to go for one child.

Last, I decided to use a portfolio as my high-school grading system (which is another reason I started this blog).

Yes, I will have the 4-A, 3-B, 2-C GPA for colleges. However, I refuse to start giving the girls grades now. They have gone all this time without being graded, I am not going to change to be like some dog jumping through a hoop.

Grades mean nothing. I can study for a test to get an A, but what did I retain? I am raising learners here in this little private school of mine. 🙂

Homeschooling has always been my own little experiment. If a child did not retain information over the summer, then just maybe they never learned it in the first place.

Peace for the journey.

Summer Break (Part Deux)

July 11, 2017

Alright, how about another quick update?

Little Sis made it to cheer camp (150 miles away) and came back with her team’s spirit flag. Only 6 out of 300 girls were awarded this honor.

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Unsocialized homeschoolers, say what?

She had a blast and can not wait until next year.

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Swimming, bowling ( both girls getting strikes), tumbling and flexibility classes for a certain cheerleader.

Finishing touches to Little Sis’s room.

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Fourth of July celebration, food and fireworks.

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Garlic curing.

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Batman, Batman, Joker (Movies and Animated series).

Drive-In summer movies. Spider-man Homecoming and Despicable Me 3 being huge hits.

Breaks fixed on our van

and lots of drawing.

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I’ve finished several books. The Child by Fiona Barton being the latest. I really enjoyed it, until I figured it all out. Then, I became frustrated that no one else could. It was still a good read though.

 

Indiana’s children are gearing up to start school in the next couple of weeks (Yes, they go back in July here). This means less crowds at the pool for us.

I have been thinking about our next school year. I think it is time to readjust our schedule again. I really didn’t realize how much all of us needed this break from academics, myself included.

I need an open and go math program for the girls. I think I may have found it (Learn Math Fast). Fingers crossed.

Peace for the journey.

Week(s) In The Life (Summer)

June 17, 2017

So, I am going to see if I can write a blog post in under 10 minutes. Summer is crazy busy for us. So busy, even the girls are getting burned out of pizza for dinner. :0

So, here we go.

Garden planted. Great strawberry harvest.

I read the book: Baby Doll by Hollie Overton in 2 days. I just couldn’t put it down. The same can be said about: A Room with a View by E.M. Forster. I love, loved the movie. I am reading: Howards End now.

Yes, going to the movies. Still talking about Wonder Woman.

Swimming, swimming, swimming.

Kids Bowl Free and a family pass.

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Walks in the park.

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A visit to the wolf park to see the new pups.

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Summer, is that you? (Game of Thrones.)

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Foxes too.

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Learning about Piet Hein and Grooks.

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Movie History (Crash Course), discussions.

Sweden

Carl Larsson

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The Tomten

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Nails, art, and one getting ready for cheer camp.

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I wish I could say no current events. 😦

Well, think I did it. Did I forget stuff? Yes. Enjoy your summer/ winter. Live, laugh and love.

Peace for the journey.

Week(s) in the Life (Now You See Me, Now You Don’t)

May 26, 2017

Papa has been on vacation this week. So, we took the week off to catch up on some projects around the house.

For starters, we gave the girls a much-needed room makeover. Note to self, don’t ever stencil butterflies on walls again. We pretty much needed to prime Little Sis’s whole room, twice. Good thing it is a small room.

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You can kind of see the butterflies pictured above, just imagine those all over the room.  She also had one huge painted butterfly that took up most of one wall.

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This is her room now. Both girls chose pink for their room color. We plan on adding a few cheer decorations for the finishing touch.

Sky’s room was light blue with clouds painted on the walls. White clouds, thank goodness.

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This is her room now. Her room will have more places to showcase her artwork without the need for tape. 😉

Garden update.

We have strawberries.

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I’ve made a strawberry pie, strawberry pancakes, strawberries with frozen yogurt, and still had enough to freeze and fill a gallon freezer bag for smoothies.

 

Mama’s reads:

I finished: Burntown by Jennifer McMahon. Though this novel was a tad different, I liked it. Any book that has me staying up way past my bedtime because I can’t put it down, is a winner. I finished it in 3 days. It is all about the character development in her novels. 4 out of 5 stars.

I wish I could say the same with: Into the Water by Paula Hawkins. I just could not get into it. When it takes me a whole week to read 20% of a book, something is wrong. I liked Girl on the Train enough, to give her second novel a try. Even though I didn’t think it was great.

I really like novels written from different points of view, like the Game of Thrones series. However, we are introduced to new characters through the point of view characters. So, when a new character gets their own point of view chapter, we already know who they are. In: Into the Water, we are introduced to new characters in each chapter. I couldn’t keep them straight. This ruined the pace of the novel for me. Sorry to add my second “did not finish” book this month to the pile.

Fingers crossed that: It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell is better.

 

Homeschool

With Little Sis’s state competition, that was an hour away and we needed to be there by 6:30 A.M., and with mother’s day happening, I didn’t get much of a lesson planned out. So, last week was all about finishing up any loose ends so we could take this week off.

 

Language Arts

World Literature:

We finished: The Kalevala.

In Sky’s words: “I can see how this story was told around a fire during a time when oral storytelling was a thing. It is very poetic, but it’s a bit dated for my taste. I had a hard time figuring what the heck was going on half the time.” and these girls understand Shakespeare.

I kind of agree with her. I have always been a “straight to the point” type of girl myself. What I did get out of it, is the influence it had on other stories. Overall, I am glad we read it.

Handwriting/Vocabulary:

Words: twinflower, devotion, demon’s mountain, vane

The girls finished and we discussed: Nocturne by Eino Leino.

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(Little Sis on the left and Sky on the right)

Sky really liked this poem. Little Sis told her to be careful, that I might make her memorize it. This was just the wake-up call I needed that I was killing natural learning. I decided to do away with “requiring” memorization for the sake of checking off a damn box. The girls have no problem memorizing information that is important to them.

As far as handwriting practice, Sky asked to work on her cursive when she got embarrassed she couldn’t sign her name to get a library card. So to kill 2 birds with one stone, I started having them copy poems we would go over for literature credits. The handwriting was their request.

*I feel a tangent coming on.*

While getting our hair cut the other day, my technician noticed I had a daughter in high school. She asked what school she went to, and I explained that I homeschool. She kind of went: “oh” and kept cutting my hair. A bit later, she asked: if the girls were excited about summer. I said: Yes, very. She went on to explain how her high school son needed to go to summer school because he was having trouble passing algebra 2. I could so completely relate to this with our oldest (soon to be 27. Damn where does the time go?). I started telling her how I thought it was bullshit that kids couldn’t graduate with an alternative to passing algebra 2. How not every child is meant to be a scientist. She went on to explain, how she was worried he would drop out, and in Indiana, it is a law you can’t get your drivers license if you drop out at 16.

This woman is probably a single mom working to raise her kids. There was no way she would be able to homeschool, let alone afford a tutor for her son. It really pisses me off, that because children can’t fit into a certain box, they are left to fend for themselves. I am thankful every day, that I am able to homeschool.

I told her, that she was not alone. I hear stories like hers all the time. It did make her smile a little.

I went to a private school and graduated from a public school. I have family and friends in public education, one being a principle. I completely understand the need. However, this is why I fight so hard for homeschooling. There needs to be another option. Parents need to know, there is another way.

*Fin*

 

P.E.

The girls had homeschool gym, walks around the block.

Science

Microbiology:

We watched: xenophyophores -SciShow- YouTube

 

History

European/Geography:

This week was all about Denmark. We already covered Denmark’s history when we learned about Hans Christian Anderson. So, we kind of just did a quick review by watching:

Geography Now: Denmark and Flag Friday- YouTube.

We also learned about Thomas Dam and the history of Trolls.

 

Movie:

We watched the films: The Prestige and Hugo-Netflix.

I loved the movie: Hugo. I can’t believe I had not heard of it sooner. It is beautifully shot and would make a great family movie. It is about the magic of how films were originally made. Perfect for movie history.

 

The Arts

We watched: Trolls.

Drawing: We made Poppy from the movie Trolls ~ Draw So Cute-YouTube.

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Little Sis had her awards ceremony for cheer, they didn’t make nationals, and she has been practicing her nail art.

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She was inspired by a sweater she owns.

Wishing everyone a happy memorial day weekend and

peace for the journey.