Friday, September 5, 2014

Planning Time - Science

Science is the bane of my homeschool. I don't like science and I don't want to teach it. I also don't like how science is taught. (This is probably the reason I dislike the subject. I was public-schooled, you know.)

Emily doesn't have a science credit this year since she has nearly finished her three required science classes. She has a few experiments to finish from Chemistry that we have saved for her to do this fall.

Thankfully, I found The 101 Series. This is a DVD-based curriculum that gives a nice overview of the science topics for the non-science-oriented child. James will be doing Biology 101 this year since he is a freshman. I add a dissection lab to this curriculum to round out the content. (Anyone want to teach James dissection? I. Do. Not. Do. That.)

The structure I use for this curriculum is for the student to watch the DVD section of the current module and read the text pages.Suggested activities and readings are included with each module, so I usually assign some outside reading from the library and short reports to summarize the information. We complete most of the suggested activities and experiments. Sometimes a field trip is suggested. Once those activities are complete, I have the child re-watch the DVD lesson and re-read the lesson before taking the end-of-the-unit quiz.

Suzy will be doing some experiment and reading from the book Exploratopia. We are starting with some kitchen science experiments. She will be doing experiments twice a week and writing them up on the other days.

Planning Time - History

History is easy. It's just a story.

OK, it's a really long story with multiple settings and countless characters. But still a story.

We use The Mystery of History. We are nearly done with Volume 3.

We will push hard to finish Volume 4 this year so that Emily (my senior) will be able to finish it with us.

When starting Mystery of History all those years ago, I had it in mind to do the whole thing TWICE before David graduated. Well, the books didn't come out fast enough for that. We made do and used other resources.

Suzy and James will get to do all 4 volumes twice. That's the plan.

So, for this year, we will work hard the first three weeks to finish the last few lessons of Volume 3. Then we will try to keep up the pace the rest of the year. We don't do tests or worksheets for history. It's a story and so that's how we study it.

I like to reinforce the topics with videos and hands-on projects. We also work on a timeline to put everything in order.

Monday, September 1, 2014

We're still not starting school....

Most of Michigan's public schools begin the new school year tomorrow, Tuesday, September 2nd. Many of my homeschool friends are following suit.

We, on the other hand, won't start our 2014-15 lessons until next Monday, the 8th.

A friend asked me why and I gave her a couple of reasons, but as I thought about it, I realized I'd only given her part of the story.

Quite a few reasons figured into my decision to wait another week before hitting the books this fall.
1 - I hate starting on a  Tuesday. Mondays are my best "get school done" days.
2 - I have a work commitment this Wednesday and therefore will be out of the house most of that day. Great second day of school THAT would be.
3 - I have NO planning done yet. I mean that. None. So, I need this week to plan.
4 - We were originally thinking about going out of town this week - until I realized that A) I have to work on Wednesday and B) We had to buy a new alternator instead of a vacation.
5 - My summer hasn't been long enough! And now we have some nice weather! I don't WANNA sit inside.
6 - And last, the public schoolers are starting, but that's no reason for us to copy their schedule. I don't copy their snow days, government holidays, or end of school schedule, so I don't need to worry about when the first day of public school is either.

So, this week will involve lots of lesson plans. I hope to post some of that!

And best wishes to all those starting their lessons on September 2nd. I'll think of you! :-)