Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Homeschool Week in Review: Weeks 1 and 2

When I first started blogging. I thought this blog o'mine would be all about homeschooling. I really had not anticipated the massive diversions. Segues. Bunny trails. But I did attempt to get back on track with a weekly report of what we had accomplished. And then last school year. Well. It started weekly. Then it moved to a once every two week discussion. Then I combined three weeks into one. And that was apparently the end of it. I did not do another week in review after week 9 last year. Ooops.

Hopefully I can get back on track. And hopefully ya'll will bear with me and all my homeschooling posts.

Both girls started back to school on the 10th. With Madalyn in public school, it's just easier to have Katie follow her schedule. I spent the weekend before school started really going over all her books. And figuring out a plan of attack. I know. Procrastination is my friend. My really good friend. My BFF.

I like to plan out three weeks at a time. And now that we are entering our third week. I think that I can add a little more to her day. Or not give her as long to complete an assignment. So...this is what we have done:

LANGUAGE ARTS: Katie started her first literature program with Lightning Lit. Learning about different elements of plot. And then reading "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" by Rudyard Kipling. (Do any of you remember seeing the animated version on tv when you were young? I remember loving that story!)

Much to Katie's chagrin, we went back to grammar this year. She is doing a few lessons a week from her Language Arts today book.

And then the new element we have added for this year is Memory Work. My friend Abbey found this great book called Living Memory. It is divided into subjects. And is just full of things to memorize. (I love that last poem to help you remember the kings/queens of England!) The plan is that Katie will go through the book each week and choose something to memorize. It will keep building because she will keep reviewing selections from previous weeks.

The first week, she chose to memorize the 11 states of the confederacy. The second week, she memorized all the prime numbers under 100.

EARTH SCIENCE: We learned about the different branches of Earth science, the scientific method, models, and measurement.

ART: I am still surprising my craft-despising self with this subject. But we are doing art. And by we. I do mean Katie. She spent the first week learning about different types of art. Then she narrowed her medium. And picked an artist to do a little more research on: Vincent Van Gogh. And her research makes one wonder if craziness goes hand and hand with genius.

In her second week, she read more about "line, shape and value." She studied two art pieces with a lot of lines in their components. And then created her own.

GEOGRAPHY: Our focus right now is on globes, maps, and charts. I am looking forward to going back to what we were doing last year. I really liked the cultural studies. There is just one more section before the book starts covering cultures and countries. I can't decide if I want to follow the order of the book...or pick and choose like we did before. Decisions, decisions...

LOGIC: We decided that rather than work through one type of logic book - we would do all 5 books at the same time. Doing one lesson - and then rotating to the next book. And on Fridays we have game day. We have a lot of cool logic games like: Rush hour, Railroad rush hour, Tipover, and a new game called "Shut the Box" that was popular with pirates!

HISTORY: This year our focus is on the Middle Ages. I am thinking that we can do fun stuff like watch "The Lord of the Rings" triology (great scenes of medieval warfare). Or even "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." We also have dvd lectures from "The Teaching Company" that we have started to watch. Right now we are discussing the end of the Roman empire, the rise of Christinaity, and Jewish persecution during the Middle Ages.

Katie has read about monasticism. Life in a monastery. Drawn a bird's eye view of a monastery. (Which was hilarious. I love the monks in the pictures. You see the tops of their bald heads! Katie didn't like it so much. She says her monks look like tomato plants.) And we read the book "The Door in the Wall." She didn't like it so much because of the medieval language. Lots of thees, thous, and hasts. Just wait till we get to Cantebury Tales!

Along side of our history program, we are reading from "Famous Men of the Middle Ages." Katie really likes this because so far the focus is on Norse/Germanic mythology. She has fun trying to figure out how to pronounce the words. Ginnungagap and Niebelungs are her new favorite words to say.

ALGEBRA I: Her class with Derek Owens does not start until the Monday after Labor Day. So we are working on review. Michael is also covering a few topics with her that she did not have with Singapore math last year - but were covered in preAlgebra. I am staying out of the way!

ACTIVITIES: We are constantly on the go. Katie is in her 5th year of piano lessons. She is on the tennis team - and practices three times a week. She has her first match scheduled for September. And she even has a cooking class tomorrow.

Inspired by "Julie and Julia," I have reserved episodes of "The French Chef" on netflix. Maybe we'll see if we are inspired to emulate Julia!

So...what about you? What was your favorite subject in school? Have you seen "Julie and Julia?" Any suggestions for movies we should watch about the Middle Ages?

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Wendy Hawksley said...

Ah, the homeschooling "plan of attack". Just went through that as well!

Wow. I remember "Rikki-Tiki-Tavi"!

"Living Memory" looks very interesting. I have to check it out. And I am so looking forward to working on the Middle Ages here this year.


Jen said...

Wow this actually sounds like fun. It kind of make me want to go back to school. Good stuff.

Love the movie Julie and Julia.

Mama Dawg said...

My favorite subject in school was history. Not American history, but world history.

Of course, I didn't know then that that was my favorite subject! LOL! I really loved English and specifically learning vocabulary.

I love the idea of that memory book. I'm gonna go look at it right now and see how much it is.

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

You amaze me with how much you do in your school. I love the memory book idea and it gives them a chance to pick what they would like to memorize.

Tam said...

I love RIKKI TIKKI TAVI and I found it on DVD!


I have not seen Julie/Julia yet but I still want too eventhough I did not love love the book. BUT I have always adored JULIA!

Worst Subject in school was Math and my favorties were English and history.

angie said...

Call me amazed!

Samvach said...

We studied the Middle Ages for the entire first semester last year and loved it! I HIGHLY recommend finding a Renaissance Fair in your area and attending. The one that is fairly close to us (4 hours drive) even has a homeschool day. The kids had an absolute blast there and it was wonderful for them to have all of those concrete experiences as we continued to study the Middle Ages. "A Knight's Tale" with Heath Ledger is a lot of fun to watch. We also liked "George and the Dragon." We also enjoyed a series of non-fiction videos from Schlessinger Video called "Life in the Middle Ages." We all thought they were really well-done and I was able to get them from our local library. My daughter read "Matilda Bone" and "Catherine, Called Birdy" and loved them. I HIGHLY recommend Matilda Bone by Karen Cushman. You can see some of our projects on my blog from the Middle Ages as well. If I think of other videos, I will comment with them as well. It sounds like you are off to a wonderful start with your daughter. This was our first week and the learning seems to be burning around here!

Brandy said...

You make school sound like so much fun. Why didn't my teachers do that? Actually I liked school okay but it certainly wasn't this entertaining beyond the 5th grade.

I can't wait to see the cooking clases summarized. With pics. And recipes.

Carrie said...

Oh, I've GOT to get that Living Memory book - thanks for reminding me how much I want it! :)

Gretchen said...

Monty Python and the Holy Grail! ha! I'll have to remember to introduce my kids to that next time we do the Middle Ages!


Elena said...

Sheesh...I'm reading the Boleyn books right now and thought I was learning so much. But when I tried to figure out that little poem on here, I didn't have a clue. I really know NOTHING about that time period. Heck...who am I kidding? I am the WORST about History of any sort. Good luck to you and Katie!

Linda said...

How about The Lion in Winter for a film? I have to check out that memory book ... looks great! Yes ... saw Julie and Julia and LOVED it! I'm going to start trying one recipe a week from The Art of French Cooking. I love your homeschooling posts. Keep 'em coming! We're not starting school until after Labor Day, so when I read/hear about what others are doing I feel woefully behind. LOL

Cyn said...

Sounds like a great week. Off to hunt down the Living Memory book!