Previous month:
October 2010
Next month:
December 2010

Homeschool Classroom

Is the dining room. But we've made it work.

Homeschool-101 
Hoosier Man and Georgia Boys built our homeschool shelves this weekend and HM hung our bulletin boards for our maps, the white board, and the chalkboard. I organized the shelves with all our curriculum as well as Merit Badge worksheets and some learning games. Hoosier Man will build a smaller shelf unit for a little corner wall in the room also.

We are all set for school this week. I've organized things well so I'm raring to go. 

While we didn't formally have class this weekend I will include it in our classroom time because of the life lessons the Georgia Boys learned using tools and building the shelf unit. It'll be considered shop.


Lovely Birthday

IMG_0274 
IMG_0276 

Little behind here - since my birthday was the 19th. But it was lovely none the less. It was quiet because of our busyness going on with work and upcoming Journey at church. I got a mini-camera, a great necklace which I'll share both soon. I'll share seperately my birthday gift from my Mom - most memorable.

Jarrod is wearing my birthday gift from Mom (mother-in-law). Mom made the awesome scarf he is modeling for me. Always a hoot!


Observations and Schedule

IMG_0283 
IMG_0284 
IMG_0286 
IMG_0289 
IMG_0288 

We began Science curriculum. Our first day we observed. We used our 5 senses. Besides the study material I incorporated two activities into the lesson. One had us going outside and observing using our 5 senses.

John smelled the tree and said it smelled like 'syrup'. I didn't believe him until I smelled where he had and I too, observed the smell of syrup. The second activity I put about 12 items on a try. I had the boys close their eyes. Then they had 15 seconds to observe the tray. I asked them to write down everything they observed on the tray.

That evening at dinner I asked what their favorite subject was today. "Science!" they both exclaimed.

I have solidified our Download Weekly Schedule Nov 29 - Dec 3 schedule for the coming months. I am well aware though that if I find that it's not working, too little, or too much it will be modified. In other words, the schedule is not carved in stone. (If I knew how to upload the schedule you could see it more easily).


today.

1) Curriculum from Sonlight. Very large, heavy box of more than 45 books to read (not text books) plus the parent guide and binder (which I've already put together). Our USA and World Map arrived. Plus,our creative writing, Story Starters, and our Logic and Reasoning Curriculum. So, so much fun getting all of these boxes. And there is still more to come.

2) Dinner tonight was a new recipe, although very similiar to my Mom's (in-law) stuffing recipe. This one comes by way of Deep South Dish. Didn't get a picture of the beautiful Southern Chicken Turkey and Cornbread Dressing and Homemade Chicken gravy that I served with Rice, so I'll just direct you to here awesome food blog.

3) The boys have one month of school left in the public school system. Can't wait. So excited!

4) To turn my dining room into a dining room and homeschool room Hoosier Man is going to build a shelf system under my kitchen counter and give me about a 14 inch wide shelf and about 5 feet long. Two bulletin boards (for the maps predominantly need to go up, a white board, a chalk board, and our time line for our bible curriculum and history curriculum. I wouldn't mind finding a corner shelf for holding additional supplies.

5) Because we always share an evening meal together, school closes before then. My hope is that we won't be in school past early afternoon but we'll need to see how that goes. This is because I want to hit the pool.

6) I begin my last class for my Masters on the 30th of November. I'll get another break for Christmas and New Year and finish my class and my degree on 24 January. January should be verrry interesting.

So that was today. and thoughts today.


Shredded Barbeque Pork Quesadilla's

Shredded-Pork-Quesadillas 
A while back we had put a smoked Boston Butt in the crockpot (for the day), let it hang out for 8-10 hours, and shredded it up for sandwiches. We had some (ah, alot of) leftovers. For my lunch I made an easy, but flavorful quesadilla using the shredded pork.

Shredded Barbeque Pork Quesadilla

ΒΌ C smoked pork, shredded                                                  1-2 T your favorite barbeque sauce (I think I used KC Masterpiece Bold)     1 slice of Chipotle Cheddar (Sargento)                                      1 flour tortilla                                                         Olive oil 

Heat a skillet with a turn of olive oil. Lay a tortilla flat on the skillet to just soften it enough (and long enough to fill one side with the pork, sauce, and cheese). Fold over and press down. When the bottom side is golden flip the quesadilla over to finish melting the cheese and brown the other side. Remove from skillet, slice in half and enjoy. Serves 1


It's a beautiful day.

Blue skies with a touch of cirrus. I'll be heading to work shortly with a stop for sharing lunch with Hoosier Man.

I found a Spelling Power curriculum that after researching seems to be the most widely thought of as the best. This morning I ordered the curriculum with companion Spelling Power Workbooks. I also ordered the Labels for our Bible Study curriculum map and time line. And I finished off my purchasing spree this morning with a US and World Map set that I got in paper. I'll attach both to two bulletin boards that will allow us the flexibility to use push pins, write on it, pin string to places to photos, etc. Every book we read we will have a mini geography lesson of the places referenced in the book.

I've also been researching some books for Read-alouds. I have read that reading aloud to your middle schoolers is a very good thing. There has been research done on the ability of students to retain, comprehend is better when someone is reading to them.

I'm realizing this blog is becoming heavy homeschool but I love the evolution of it.


I played.

I played with our Bible study curriculum and our vocabulary curriculum last night. I realized while I was going through both that I needed the teachers resource for the vocabulary curriculum and that I was going to need a second set of student sheets. I went ahead and order both today.

I set up a tentative vocabulary schedule (I'm really trying to stay on top of everything) and a Bible study schedule. Just a reminder - we are using Bible Study Guide Curriculum and Wordly Wise 3000, Grade 7 for vocabulary.

We were working on the boys' science projects for school today and realized that their spelling is atrocious. Hoosier Man would like me to add Spelling to our curriculum so I'll need to find a good spelling curriculum. I'll hunt down something, read reviews tonight at work.

We also saw just another reason we need to be responsible for our children's education. Case in point: One of our Georgia Boys was dictating 1 3/4. He wrote it as 1 3 quarters. I don't think he even gleened one and three-fourths was one and three-quarters.

Today our Lifepac, Science Curriculum arrived! We have enjoyed getting our school supplies in the mail. I'll take this to work also and do a bit of perusing. I may even be able to come up with a tentative week-month schedule. Because I am adding spelling to our curriculum and with Bible, Logic/Reasoning, Creative Writing, Math, History, and Literature/Grammar I am probably going to reduced studies in some areas to 3-4 days a week instead of 5 and break up our learning.

For instance I probably will only do Logic/Reasoning 1x a week; Creative Writing 1 or 2x a week; Math 5x a week; Science 3x a week; History 3 or 4x a week; Literature/Grammar 3 or 4x a week; Bible 5x a week; and Spelling 3 or 4x a week. All tentative. An I'm going to actually have to see the outcome of us doing work and how long lessons actually will take.

Not frustrated at all by the uncertainty but in fact excited.Can't wait to begin.


Why Homeschool?

Why are we homeschooling?

1)The public school systems here really have no time to teach my boys anything. They spend too much time disciplining kids that won't be disciplined. The disrespect in school have run rampant and nothing is being done.

2) When a teacher calls your child 'pork chop' that is the last straw. One of my Georgia Boys' teacher called him pork chop; now, a bully in class continuously picks at him with name calling and the teacher does nothing. How can he when he was the one who started it. And to top it off Hoosier Man went into the school to report the incident and they have done nothing - absolutely nothing about it.

3) When our boys get punched by a another boy (even though they were instigated) and our boys don't retaliate they all get the same punishment (as if a brush by the shoulder and a punch are the same degree of wrong)

4) When our boys are lied to by teachers

5) This new IB program they have begun just sets our children up for failure. Point in fact: a teacher isn't supposed to give a due date for a project and the child isn't supposed to be penalized if he turns it in a week late. This is not real life!

6) We want our children to be able to handle what life throws at them.

7) We can no longer stand by and watch our boys come home and say we didn't learn anything today because there were too many kids that wouldn't settle down. 

8) We have control over what they learn.

9) We can include subjects that the school systems would never consider adding - Bible, logic, creative writing, etc.

All of the frustrations are gone now that we have decided to homeschool our Georgia Boys. I'm sure I'll experience many new frustrations but these are in my control and my spear of influence.


Homeschooling

I will be homeschooling the Georgia Boys beginning in January. A decision not made lightly but one I am very excited about. Hoosier Man is excited and the Georgia Boys are lovin' the idea. So, this past week I've been researching curriculum and purchasing it. One thing I haven't found on the world wide web is an organization tool to keep our learning each day organized: a binder or bin type tool as well as a planner to layout assignments for the week, month, and goals for the year. I am probably going to have to create my own spreadsheet for this - we'll see.

Anyways here is the curriculum we are trying for this first year - 7th grade. Hoosier Man has looked at most of it with me (but I added a few surprises for the boys like Bible and Logic).

Literature and World History: Sonlight Core 7 Curriculum. I also picked up Story Starters for Creative Writing which I am excited about. The Georgia Boys are creative now so I'm looking forward to this little addition.

Math: Sason Math Series, 8/7, 3rd Ed. This is a mastery learning curriculum which reinforces, reinforces, reinforces.

Grammar and Vocabulary: I'm using the Easy Grammar Series for grammar along with Daily Grams for mastery learning and the Worldly Wise 3000, Grade 7 for vocabulary

Bible: Bible Study Guides Curriculum beginning with Unit 1. The boys are very excited about the bible study. They proposed that they should begin school with Bible and then move on to 'school'. I thought that sounded like a great idea!!

Science: LifePac Science Curriculum - 7th Grade.

Logic and Reasoning: The Fallacy Detective and Mind Benders

I really wanted to add Geography but I think we'll be able to incorporate that into our History lessons just informally to begin with. Logic and Reasoning will be occasional additions as will the Creative Writing.

I'm just really looking forward to getting started. Our dining room will be home to our classroom (unless we need the computer and then we'll move upstairs for that time). Jeff is going to fashion some additional shelves to store all our homeschool supplies and texts so everything can be put away when class is over. The dining room wall will become a homeschool wall for white board, chalkboard, and maps. I'm resigned to this although I'm not sure Hoosier Man is thrilled with the idea but we are going to need the white board and the maps.I don't see away around it.

So that's the beginning. I've got the Letter of Intent to Homeschool ready to send off; I've printed 12-months of attendance sheets that have to be submitted to the school board monthly and I'm still searching for a system to organize our studies.

Not bad. And can't wait!!!