Archive for the ‘High-School’ 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.


(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.


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,


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


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? 🙂 )


(Our Language Arts and Mathematics resources.)

and a few of my other favorite resources.



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


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

Little Sis’s basket.


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,


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.



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.


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.


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.


Little Sis learned about Liz Claiborne.


Then there was Yoga,


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.



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.



(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.


(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.


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.


(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.


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.


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.


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


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




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


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

We watched: Why Melted Clocks from Artrageous with Nate.


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


She also made butter, glitter, and peach slime.

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


Language Arts







The first attempt at solo drawing.

Peace, love, and healing.

Week In The Life (Belonging)

September 30, 2017

We have officially flipped to “funschooling”.

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.


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


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


This is what the girls want to do.


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),


A Sentence A Day,  drawing,


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



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

and yoga.


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





For Mathematics (3 days a week).


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.)


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.


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


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.


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.


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.



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.

Intro to Animation (Fine Arts)

August 28, 2017

Credit (1)

In this course, The student will be exposed to a variety of forms of animation. The Student will experience the production of different forms and techniques of animation, including:

  • Early animation toys (Flipbooks)
  • Traditional Animation (pencil tests – with an emphasis on the basic principles of animation)
  • 2d computer software animation
  • Cut out and mixed media animation
  • Stop Motion/Claymation
  • Rotoscoping
  • 3d animation
  • The difference between Eastern and Western animation

We will also be looking at an overview of the technical and historical evolution of animation to help you understand and appreciate the art.


The History of Animation documentary YouTube

Rotoscoping YouTube

Khan Academy Pixar in a Box

The Reluctant Dragon Disney movie

The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness Miyazaki

Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan

Nostalgia Critic YouTube

The Mysterious Mr. Enter videos  YouTube


Movies: (This is an ongoing list and will be updated.)

Fantasmagorie YouTube

Winsor McCay

Max Fleischer cartoons (My Old Kentucky Home)

Disney’s Steamboat Willie


Rankin Bass animation (2d and stop-motion)

Disney’s Snow White


Pixar’s Inside Out

The Simpsons

Family Guy

South Park

It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown

Blue Sky Studios: The Peanuts Movie

Dreamworks: Shrek


Studio Ghibli: Princess Mononoke

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

Death Note Anime

The Night Before Christmas


Mask of the Phantasm

Don Bluth’s The Secret of NIMH

A Cat in Paris

Song of the Sea

Ralph Bakshi’s American Pop








Film Literature 1

August 28, 2017

Credit (1)

Film Literature studies the diversified ideas and concepts that interact when written literature is adapted to film or when a work of literary art is originally conceived for film presentation. This course includes: (1) the impact of film on the ways in which people perceive the human condition, (2) the ways in which the roles of men and women and various ethnic minorities are portrayed, (3) visual interpretations of literary techniques and auditory language effects, (4) a history of film as a medium of literary interpretation, and (5) the limitations and special capacities of the two media to present the work.

In a comprehensive speech component, The student is given opportunities to present and discuss their ideas as well as opportunities to role-play as movie directors to stage scenes. The student will have frequent writing assignments in which they explore and analyze issues of interpretations, production, and cross-genre adaptation.




Crash Course Film History  YouTube

DK The Movie Book

Let’s Talk Disfigurement in Media Jen Campbell’s videos YouTube

Nostalgia Critic  videos YouTube

Film Studies with Chez Lindsay  YouTube

PBS American Masters: The history of Vaudeville


Movies (This is an ongoing list that will be updated.)

A Trip to the Moon

The Perils of Pauline

Charlie Chaplin Shorts, The Kid, The Circus

Buster Keaton and Fatty Arbuckle Collection

The Phantom of the Opera  1925

Laurel and Hardy The Sons of the Desert, Way Out West, Babes in Toyland

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein


Duck Soup

Dracula (1931)

King Kong (1933)

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Curly Top Shirley Temple



The Third Man


The Birds

Diabolique 1954

The Big Sleep

The Wizard of Oz

The Bell Boy Jerry Lewis

Planet of the Apes 1968

Night of the Living Dead

The Good Bad and the Ugly



The Godfather

The Shining


Star Wars


Batman (Tim Burton)

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Pan’s Labyrinth

Batman The Dark Knight


The Prestige








Health and Wellness

August 28, 2017

(Sky will receive her CPR training through a local park program.)

This is another hard course description for me to write. A lot of this is covered naturally through parenting. I understand why the need for this course exists. Not every child has great parents. It is just hard trying to write a description for something I have been doing since my children were born.

I feel that in order for one to understand proper nutrition, first there must be knowledge of how our bodies function. So, this course would fall after either Microbiology or Biology.


Credit (1)

This course provides the basis for continued methods of developing knowledge, concepts, skills, behaviors, and attitudes related to student health and well-being. This course includes these major content areas: (1) growth and development, (2) mental and emotional health, (3) community and environmental health, (4) nutrition, (5) family life, (6) consumer health, (7)personal health, (8) alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, (9) intentional and unintentional injury, (10) health promotion and disease prevention, and (11) CPR training for certification. The Student will explore the effect of health behaviors on the quality of life. This course assists in the understanding that health is a lifetime commitment by analyzing individual risk factors and health decisions that promote health and prevent disease. The student is encouraged to assume individual responsibility for becoming competent health consumers.



The Way We Work  David Macaulay

SciShow videos  YouTube

TED-Ed videos  YouTube

The School of Life videos  YouTube

The Food Lable and You  US Food and Drug Administration video  YouTube

PBS In Defense of Food

Recipe Rehab episodes  YouTube

Cooked  Netflix

Fed Up documentary

Hungry for Change documentary

What the Health documentary

Happy documentary

The Truth About Alcohol documentary

Super Size Me documentary

Forks Over Knives documentary

Plant Pure Nation documentary

PBS 9 Months that Made You




The Edge of Seventeen

Science (Biology 1 (Possibly 2) with Lab)

August 23, 2017

I am not sure yet if I want to break Biology down into two-year courses with Biology 2 studying the human body, or if I am going to add the study of the human body under Health and Wellness (We are already studying how the human body works in Health and Microbiology.)

Credit (2, maybe 4)


The student will investigate biological systems at the molecular and cellular level. Hands-on laboratory exercises incorporating cellular biology, genetics, DNA
technology, evolution, botany, zoology, and ecology will be provided to assist the student in their understanding of biological themes.

(In Biology 2, you will continue your exploration of the living world by examining five themes in Biology: Diversity, Plants, Invertebrates, Vertebrates, and Human Biology.)



DK Science Encyclopedia

Basher Science: Biology

The Way We Work David Macaulay

The Illustrated Guide to Home Biology Experiments

The Biology Coloring Book  Robert D. Griffin



Crash Course Biology YouTube

SciShow YouTube

Bozeman Science YouTube

It’s Okay to be Smart YouTube

PBS Nature


Bill Nye Saves the World

BBC Life

BBC Human Planet

BBC The Life of Mammals

Nat Geo My Child Is A Monkey

Various PetTubers YouTube

PBS Earth: The New Wild

Dirt the Movie

Seed The Untold Story

We actually watched these with our World History course but thought I would add them here.

PBS Your Inner Fish

BBC Prehistoric Earth

BBC Walking With Monsters

BBC Walking With Dinosaurs

BBC Walking With Prehistoric Beasts

BBC Walking With Caveman

PBS Decoding Neanderthals

PBS The Great Human Oydessy

PBS First Peoples


Reading List:

The Origin of Species  Charles Darwin (Read by Richard Dawkins is awesome.)

The Violinist’s Thumb  Sam Kean

Doctor Mutter’s Marvels  Cristain O’Keefe

Bonk Mary Roach

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks  Rebecca Skloot







(Following along with Wolf Park’s blog keeping up to date with the wolf pup’s progress. They are being released with the older wolves this weekend, already.)



(Collecting the seeds from our garden to replant the following year.)



(Soil management, composting and growing a garden. Sunflowers, potatoes, green peppers, broccoli, garlic, tomatoes, strawberries, cantaloupe, cushaw squash, onions, and jalapeno peppers.


(Annual Bug Fest.)


(Observing Betta Fish’s habits. Learning the difference between male and females. Luna swims to the top of the tank when the food door opens. 🙂 The tank looks so empty. Sky has had added several plants to the tank since this picture was taken. Betta Fish like to hide. Please do not buy a fish bowl when purchasing a fish. Keeping any fish in a small fish bowl is inhumane. They need plenty of room to swim around in to stay healthy.)

Science (Microbiology with Lab)

August 23, 2017

Credit (2)

Microbiology is designed to promote an understanding of the effects of microorganisms on the human body. The study includes the standard precautions necessary for health maintenance and infection control. The focus is on the reduction of diseases that interfere with basic human needs. The student will engage in many topics and competencies related to truly understanding the structure and function of microorganisms. The student will learn through reading materials, study guides, notebooking*, online videos, projects, and labs.

 The student will be able to discuss the physical characteristics of microorganisms.
  Describe bacterial adaptation, attenuation, drug resistance and toxins.
 Understand the body’s defense system as well as disease transmission and control.
 Identify pathological organisms and discuss classifications of microorganisms.
 Develop the skills of scientific inquiry while learning concepts in our school, lab, and field.
 Understand how biological and social concepts related to the content apply to their everyday lives and develop an increased knowledge of these concepts.

(If the topic of evolution has not been brought up yet, it would be best to learn it before the start of this course.)


(*Notebooking is an educational term for keeping a journal. Instead of filling in the blanks of a worksheet to test what a child has learned, you give them the opportunity to show and tell what they have learned. This method requires more than memorizing a few key facts in order to later pass a test.)




DK Science Encyclopedia

Basher Science: Microbiology

The Way We Work  David Macaulay

Crash Course (some) Biology YouTube

SciShow YouTube

TED-Ed videos YouTube

PBS (Great series on NewsHour: Making Sense Stopping Superbugs.) and NPR (Great series on germs.) News Articles

Microbiology Edward Kerschen YouTube

Bozeman Science YouTube


Reading List:

Usborne Science: The World of the Microscope

A World In A Drop of Water Alvin and Virginia Silverstein

Microcosmos Brandon Broll

I Contain Multitudes Ed Young

Dirt is Good Jack Gilbert


( I think I will do a separate elective course on probiotics and fermentation.)






Science (Chemistry With Lab)

August 23, 2017

(Update with photos when completed.)

The Student explores the fundamental principles of chemistry which characterize the properties of matter and how it reacts.
Computer-based and traditional laboratory techniques are used to obtain, organize and analyze data. Conclusions are developed using both qualitative and quantitative procedures. Topics include, but are not limited to: measurement, atomic structure, electron configuration, the periodic table bonding, gas laws, properties of liquids and solids, solutions, stoichiometry, reactions, kinetics, equilibrium, acids and bases, and nuclear chemistry.

Main Goals: The main goal of this program is to provide a solid foundation for the study of matter and its changes.
Through many activities, students will demonstrate how theory is applicable in laboratory situations. All students will develop good methods of problem-solving and proper laboratory technique.

Credit (2)


Basher Science Chemistry

DK Science Encyclopedia

Crash Course Chemistry YouTube

SciShow YouTube

Tyler DeWitt YouTube

Bozeman Science

Khan Academy Chemistry


The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom  Theodore Gray

Illustrated Guide To Home Chemistry Experiments  Robert Bruce Thompson

The Disappearing Spoon  Sam Keen

The Radium Girls  Kate Moore


Culinary Reactions: The Everyday Chemistry of Cooking  Simon Quellen Field (This will probably end up as another Culinary electives course.)






(CO2 chemical reaction. Results from an acid and a base together.)




(Checking the PH level of our soil.)








Science (Earth Science)

August 22, 2017

Earth Science is the study of Earth’s processes in the hydrosphere, geosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere. Topics include rocks and minerals, weathering, earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, oceanography, and meteorology. The student will come to an understanding of how many of these topics are interrelated. For example, Earth’s plate tectonics lead to earthquakes and the formation of mountains and/or volcanoes.

Credit (2)


DK Science Encyclopedia

Basher Science: Planet Earth and Rocks and Minerals


BBC Planet Earth, Blue Planet, Earth: The Biography (The Study of Our World)

History Channel’s How the Earth Was Made

Discovery’s Raging Planet

Bozeman Science YouTube

SciShow YouTube


Reading List:

Journey to the Center of the Earth  Jules Verne

The Big Wave

The Good Earth  Pearl S. Buck

Drowned City  Don Brown

Unstoppable  Bill Nye