Homeschooling Update – January 2016

Wow, it’s been forever since I’ve done one of these posts!  Yep, we still home school.  Yep, we still love it.  Yep, I’m always tweaking our approach so don’t ask me how to do it because our process is constantly evolving and I won’t be able to give you a good answer.

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We’re still doing Math U See.  I really love it.  The approach is concise, only as much repetition as you want.  The boys are doing really well, even though they both THINK they hate math…  Will’s starting Algebra, which I’m determined to not let intimidate me this time!  Look at that happy boy, (below) about to do math!  (he couldn’t hate it too much, right?)  NOTE:  I have since colored my gray roots and look approximately 15 years younger!  LOL

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We’re still working on our Unit Study of Victorian England and the 1900s.  This week we’ve watched videos about Louis Pasteur, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, The Wright Brothers and a Ted Talk about the Cotton Gin, the Spinning Jenny, the Flying Shuttle, the water frame and the sewing machine.  Scotty also built a Victorian home in Minecraft.

I’m going to need to spend some time soon and figure out what we want to do next for our history studies.  Our Study Unit is about 3/4 finished.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day was this week, so we watched a couple videos on Youtube about him.  Our boys were appalled at the real video footage of segregation in the South in the 1950s. 

For Science, we’ve switched back to a textbook again, returning to Exploring Creation with Physical Science.  Silly of me, I know, but I began the book 2 days before Christmas break.  Now that school has resumed, it’s clear that we haven’t retained any of that information, so we’ll be starting over.  (luckily it was only two days!)

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There are lots of experiments included in this curriculum – right up the boys’ alley!  So although it may be challenging, it’s going to be a good challenge!

This week we also watched science videos about:  Why do we laugh?, Bigfoot, What makes us age? and a 12-part mini series on Evolution.

English/Language Arts is kinda up in the air at the moment.  I had bought a new curriculum for us, but as we took the evaluations, I realized I had bought books far too easy for us.  So, we’re shuffling right now and will do some handwriting/cursive practice and start a new book:  On the Far Side of the Mountain, until our new grammar books arrive, in a few days.  (Thank you Amazon Prime!)

I talked to the boys about doing a foreign language on our non-physical education days and they thought it was a good idea.  We started playing around today with a new Xbox One App called Discover Languages by Rosetta Stone.  I was able to help a little but had to resort to a Spanish/English translation online about half way in.  I’m not sure I understand the approach, but we’re going to give it more time before making any decisions.  I think the boys enjoyed it, but they seemed to take it less seriously since it was on the Xbox and in the form of a game…  We’ll give it a good try though.

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We’re still doing treadmills three times a week for P.E. and I’m starting up cooking again for Health.  (been meaning to do that for quite a while but everyday, when it’s time to start dinner, I forget…)

Yesterday Scotty made chicken stew and biscuits.

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Today Will made Asian beef and cabbage stir-fry.  It was really good and really good for us!

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On Friday, we’re going to do something a little different.  We’re going to take school on the road and see what we can see around home.  We’ll take lots of pictures and do schooly stuff throughout the day, eat breakfast and/or lunch on the road.  We plan to visit some historical sites and talk about those and then we’ll do normal family errands in between and take advantage of all the learning opportunity there too.  Should be a fun day for all of us.  Might even end up at the park!

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