Saturday, August 29, 2009


The boys like to have what they need done scheduled out for them. They have requested I make sure they learn what they need to know to get into college. This makes unschoolish learning look less like unschool in the highschool years. Life is no longer collecting insects and making graphs of the different kids, or planning a menu and writing a grocer list to go with it. Gavin and Connor are in 9th & 10th grade and have high goals of robotic engineering. This means lot of math and science these last few years at home. They choose what maths and sciences and how they want to learn them. They have chosen Apologia CD-Roms and Brian has chosen ALEKS math for them. Ki has always told me that it's my job to make sure he does school and does everything he needs and likes to do workbooks and reading together. (we talk a bit about unschooling and how it is done in some families and they all say they don't want me to leave it all to them, that it's my job to have them learn and teach them and make sure they get things done- So for us it is a combo of unschool & respecting my husband wishes in what and how they learn. I still haven't figured out what to put on Gavin's high school transcript for his 9th grade year.

With all our extra fun things we do, we need to have a good schedule for school. But we have a habbit of startingout all scheduled then next you know we all decide the beach, hiking, science experiment about something they found on Youtube are more important, fun, and educational then the scheduled stuff. We'll see what happens this year.
here is the schedule I have for our 1st week. I actual am not sure what is being done for writing (but Gavin & connor know they need to work on it on order to take college courses during high school to get a head start on their robotics). I am also not sure about history (whatever they end up wanting to learn about from History I guess. Ki alays asks for Church History and a book we have called Peoples of the World. I'll ask him to make a chart of what he wants to use and how. Not sure about Ki's math at all. Monday I'll have him make a decision on what he wants for that.

1. Go through school supplies (notebooks, water bottles, timers, pencils,) and go over where these will be kept.
2. All kids READ 60 minutes
3. Go Over plan for school subjects. EXPLAIN that these couple weeks will not be a model of our regular schedule, bit will be a week of trying all the school stuff to see how to make a working schedule for later.
4. Take C&K shopping for Gavin’s B-day
5. Have C&G take Test in Aleks
6. Have Ki decide on a math. 3. options: 1- complete a workbook to the end or 2. Go on 6 week alternating cycle of Math Programs. (workbooks, MathUSee, DVDs from Netflix, Online programs ) 3. Mix online games with workbook and DVDs. AND what to doo for Language Arts. The Spectrum Workbook is a choice- what else can Ki think of for LA. And- SOCIAL STUDIES- Church History OR Peoples of the world?
7. Make dinner and cake
TUESDAY – READ BIBLE-Eph 6:10-end of Armor of God, Read Story of the World-
· ALEKS (finish test / program work- total minutes 45)
· SCIENCE – read Chapter 9-Take notes, correct quiz, turn in corrected quiz with problems worked out – spend about an hour on it, turn in notes to me
· READ- 45 minutes
· ALEKS- (finish test / program work- total minutes 45)
· SCIENCE- 1 hour load Apologia DVD on Green Computer, read over the intro, Get a notebook and with mom, take a few notes
· READ- 45 minutes
· MATH- do 30 minutes in chosen math
· SCIENCE- finish reading shark chapter with mom ((maybe start some notes, drawings with labels) no more than an hour.
· READ- 45 minutes
** Leave house at 3:55 for Karate, Ninja Class, and Gymnastics.
WEDNESDAY READ BIBLE-Eph 6:10-end of Armor of God, Read Story of the World
· SCIENCE – 45 reading chapter 9/taking notes
· READ- 45 minutes
· ALEKS- (total minutes 45)
· SCIENCE- chapter 1- read for 30 minutes, call mom, have her help you go back and take notes over what you read.
· READ- 45 minutes
· MATH- do 30 minutes in chosen math
· SCIENCE- 30 minutes- finishing chapter-taking notes
· READ- 45 minutes

THURSDAY READ BIBLE-Eph 6:10-end of Armor of God, Read Story of the World
· ALEKS- 1 hour
· SCIENCE- 1 hour- reading, notes, practice problems
· READ- 1 hour
· SAT – answer email question, go over CD Rom with mom
· ALEKS- 1 hour
· SCIENCE – read 30 minutes, take notes, turn in notes
· READ – 1 hour
· SAT- Answer email Question, Go Over CD with mom
· MATH- 45 minutes
· SCIENCE – if finished with chapter- do experiment.
· READ- 40 minutes
· MAT – questions in email.
** Leave at 4 for Karate/Ninja- then YOUTH GROUP
FRIDAY Read Jesus Freaks
· SCIENCE – test chapter 9
· READ- 45 minutes
· ALEKS- (total minutes 45)
· SCIENCE- chapter 1- read for 30 minutes, call mom, have her help you go back and take notes over what you read.
· READ- 45 minutes
· MATH- do 45 minutes in chosen math
· SCIENCE- make clay sharks
· READ- 45 minutes


Friday, August 28, 2009

A great unschooling week

"Unschooling- the way kids learn naturally...."

Though we haven’t ‘officially’ started school, I thought I’d record what we’ve been doing this week.
This week we have had some of our homeschool friends over (M,T,Th) to play the game Insecta. It’s a basically a role playing game of mutant insects.

I really like the game because it teaches a LOT of taxonomy and I have learned a lot of Greek word roots. I, in turn, taught these to the kids that were here. They all did Great. 'B' was really good at recognizing the roots in other words. Like ‘ptera’ in ‘exopterygote’- he thought of ‘like a pterodactyl?’ right away when I asked if they had that in other words- and he was able to pick it out of the written word ‘helicopter’ pretty easily. (The helic part is from the Greek work helix- meaning spiral).
Other Greek root words we learned (or review as most knew ‘exo-‘ and ‘endo-‘ already and a few knew ‘pod’)
Arthropod- Arthro- meaning joint (like in arthritis) Pod meaning foot. (Arthropods are insects, crustaceans, arachnids, myriapods…)
Exopterygote- Exo- and ptera-
Mryiapod- Mryia- meaning many- like in ‘ There was a myriad of centipedes on the tree’
Lepidoptera- Lepid meaning scales, ptera= wings. Moths & Butterflies
Coleptera- Coleo from (Gr)Koleon meaning shield- these are beetles
Diptera- Di meaning two. These are true flies. They have 2 wings. (dragonflies, sawflies, etc- are not true flies. True flies have 2 wings and 2 word names- house fly, fruit fly, horse fly. Non-diptera flies have 4 wings and 1 compound name, like dragonfly, sawfly, mantidfly…)
Isoptera- Iso (Gr) for equal (think isosceles triangle)- these are insects that both sets of wings are pretty much the same size/shape. (termites, not sure what else)
Orthoptera- Ortho means ‘straight’- think of an ‘orthodontist’- they straighten teeth… Straight Wing insects are grasshoppers, crickets, locusts.
And helicopter- Helix & Ptera

I’d like to go over taxonomy a little more at a later date.

Not only was the game a tool for learning some Greek vocabulary, but it was good for planning team strategy and had complex rules to follow and remember (always a good general brain exercise)
Almost any function at our house includes BOFFER SWORDS! I love that when families come to our house the kids all just run right to the back yard and pick up boffer swords! Well, 2 of the kids decided they wanted to make their own boffer swords, so Thursday they brought all their supplies and my boys helped them make boffer swords.
Then I got out my sewing machine and showed them how to make cloth covers. 'T' had never sewn before. I had him fill the bobbin reel, thread the machine, cut his material, and sew it all.

Then his sister decided to make a tote bag out of her scraps. Another girl wanted to make a bag, too, so we found scraps enough for her to make a tote bag. I also had her do the bobbin, thread the machine, etc. Her bag was also requires ironing, turning handles inside out, I did the gussets, and she topstitched and everything.

We also concluded out Insecta Game and went over terminology. I think we had 11 kids over Thursday! It was about 9 on Monday and Tuesday. It was a fun (& educational) week.

Gavin was the HiveMaster. I love when my boys have opportunities to lead a class and teach!

Teaching is the BEST way to reinforce learning!

Connor has been gone all week- so he missed out. But he’ll be home in time for the Night Time Insect Hunt that’s tonight!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Back in the Un-Saddle

I was writing an email and noticed on the bottom was my 'auto-signature'- which included a link to this blog. "WOW" I thought. "I've not blogged about our homeschooling for awhile!"

So I decided that is time to get back to my homeschool blogging.... We still haven't started back to schooling yet. I think we'll have 3 weeks of 'catch up', take a week off for going to the beach and having lots of fun, then get back into schooling.

Catching up? How does one fall behind when one unschools? Well, we just Quasi-Unschool.. and I feel that it's good to finish what you start, usually- but not always. G&K started apologia science courses last year-Physics & Zoology , but with our move to California, we took a lot of time from busy work to get used to our new surroundings- so They just made it half way through Zoology & Physics. G also just made it half way through the math he choose. (C finished his math and half of another math course)

Monday is G's birthday- so we'll start school Tuesday.

And my husband & think daily reading is important, so we have all been reading all summer.

This school year G will be in 10th grade, C in 9th and K in 7th- according to official paperwork.
What the boys have asked to learn this school year, so far:

G-Chemistry (after he finishes his Physics), finishing Algebra 2 and then Geometry (which might change when he finished Alg2)

C- I don't really know yet. He is doing a General Science course from Apologia, but I we haven't discussed math or anything else

K- is doing a second zoology. Last year he did water animals, this year I think is Land Animals. and we haven't discusses what and how for math- other than he doesn't like doing math on the computer.

So I have a lot to figure out before Tuesday I guess.


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