Archive for the ‘Homeschool’ Category

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

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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.

Resources:

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

Gumby

Rankin Bass animation (2d and stop-motion)

Disney’s Snow White

Tangled

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

Spirit

Studio Ghibli: Princess Mononoke

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

Death Note Anime

The Night Before Christmas

Caroline

Mask of the Phantasm

Don Bluth’s The Secret of NIMH

A Cat in Paris

Song of the Sea

Ralph Bakshi’s American Pop

 

Examples:

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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.

 

Resources:

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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

Metropolis

Duck Soup

Dracula (1931)

King Kong (1933)

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Curly Top Shirley Temple

Casablanca

Shane

The Third Man

Psycho

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

Rocky

Jaws

The Godfather

The Shining

Halloween

Star Wars

Poltergeist

Batman (Tim Burton)

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Pan’s Labyrinth

Batman The Dark Knight

Hugo

The Prestige

Logan

 

Examples:

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Resources:

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

 

Movies:

Thirteen

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.)

 

Resources:

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

 

Supplements:

Crash Course Biology YouTube

SciShow YouTube

Bozeman Science YouTube

It’s Okay to be Smart YouTube

PBS Nature

PBS NOVA

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

 

Examples:

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(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.)

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

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

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(Annual Bug Fest.)

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(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.)

 

 

Resources:

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.)

 

Examples:

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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)

Resources:

Basher Science Chemistry

DK Science Encyclopedia

Crash Course Chemistry YouTube

SciShow YouTube

Tyler DeWitt YouTube

Bozeman Science

Khan Academy Chemistry

PBS NOVA

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.)

 

Examples:

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

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(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)

Resources:

DK Science Encyclopedia

Basher Science: Planet Earth and Rocks and Minerals

PBS NOVA

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

 

Examples:

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Science (Astronomy)

August 22, 2017

 

I have been thinking about this quote from Carl Sagan a lot these last few days. “a mote of dust.” Especially after yesterday’s solar eclipse. It is only fitting that I open my science courses post with it.

This is probably the hardest course descriptions I need to write. In my opinion, science equals life. I live and breathe for science. It is hard for me to contain and separate life into subjects of study. To me, there is no separation between Microbiology, Biology, Chemistry, or Astronomy. It is the study of life, of how we came to be. It is the story of us.

In my opinion, you can’t understand history until you understand how we got here. When you begin to understand that every metal, chemical, or gas like calcium, carbon, oxygen, and Iron was formed in the universe before our existence, you begin to understand just how small we really are. How the sodium that I taste when I sweat is from the ocean and the calcium in my teeth and bones, or the iron in my blood was formed in the stars, your perception will forever be changed. History will never be the same. Science is the foundation of our homeschool.

However, for the sake of checking off core credit boxes I’ve attempted to separate natural learning into subjects. In my little private school, just like with history, I have attempted to facilitate the study of life chronologically. So in my opinion, that would look like Astronomy, Chemistry, Earth Science (With Chemistry and Earth Science being interchangeable depending on where you are in mathematics.), Microbiology, Biology, Physics and so on.

Resources:

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(This is my spine for them all.)

Like I have mentioned previously, what has worked best for us is introduction then deep study.

 

Astronomy

Credit (2)

This course introduces you to the composition and structure of the universe. Astronomy is the scientific study of the contents of the entire Universe. This course provides the student with a study of the universe and the conditions, properties, and motions of bodies in space. The content includes, but is not limited to, historical astronomy, astronomical instruments, the celestial sphere, the solar system, the earth as a system in space, the earth/moon system, the sun as a star, and stars.

Basher Astronomy Book

DK Science Encyclopedia

Crash Course Astronomy YouTube

SciShow Astronomy YouTube

Supplements:

StarTalk Podcast

Cosmos (Both Tyson and Sagan)

PBS NOVA

NASA

How the Universe Works

BBC documentaries

 

Reading List:

A Short History of Nearly Everything Bill Bryson

Welcome to the Universe Neil deGrasse Tyson

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy  Douglas Adams

The Martian Andy Weir

 

Movies:

From the Earth to the Moon HBO

The Right Stuff

Contact

Apollo 13

Hidden Figures

Hawking

Examples:

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(Extracurricular, Maybe) Equestrian Beginners Lessons

August 19, 2017

I’m not sure whether I will add this under extracurricular activities or electives yet.

Credit (1)

The Student will learn foundation Western riding skills in an indoor arena, how to follow a pattern, and what judges will look for when competing in a horse show.

The student will also learn about basic horse care, habitats, boarding, food and how to groom, saddle, name the saddle parts and bridle a horse.

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