History: An intro to the last days - this was a great lesson and as soon as it was finished one child said, "Can we do that lesson again?!" Also a lesson on the four causes of World War I. Another good lesson. This year of history is looking great!
Literature: E & N have been learning about fairy tales and studying literary elements included in them. It's been a huge change to teach just the youngest two instead of everyone, but it's also fun to spend time with just them.
J has been doing some career placement quizzes and working on Code for Teens. M has been working on a beginners commercial art course.
Science: We're split for this subject too. M is working on a high school Biology course. So far she says it's a LOT of reading. J, E, and N have started zoology, but we're adding a little extra to the beginning of the course and using The Good and the Beautiful Kingdoms & Classification course. So far it's fun, but it is very simple and short compared to what we're used to for Family School. It's a short course so I'm doing two lessons on a science day and doing all the upper level activities with it.
Geography: We've started studying Africa! We're enjoying this one, we had a introduction to mathematical geography lesson with a touch of astronomy that we spent so much extra time following rabbit trails! We also discovered so many mistakes in a portion of our geography lesson so we had to do a lot of research and correct the worksheet that came with the lesson.
Art: We're doing Charlotte Mason style lessons this year and so far it's.... eh. The kids aren't used to doing it this way but now that they've done one lesson it will go a lot better and I think they'll like it more. I picked a handful of artists to study, the first one is Mary Cassatt.
Music: We decided to start over on Year 1 Family School. So far we have had just one lesson and it was good!
High School L.A.: This has been a big change for us. M and J (10th and 8th grades)are doing The Good and the Beautiful High School 1 Honors and their preferences are already showing. M has been going at her own pace... which means the course that asks the student to do one unit in 11 days is only taking her 7 days. J stretches it out to take all 11 days. They are finding it easier than we expected, they already know the flashcards they've had to do for Unit 1 and 2. They memorize poems in one week. They are learning a few new vocabulary words and getting practice diagramming sentences (which they've done, but not a lot.) I guess I expected it to be more difficult than this. Or maybe I've taught them more than would have been expected in the upper elementary and middle school grades?
N, 2nd grade, has started IEW writing. She was using Writing With Ease 2, and I wondered if we should switch. She's doing People and Places in Our Community and is doing pretty well! The activity in the first lesson was to build a toolbox, color the tools, and name them. We had to do school in the car that day, so when she had two colored she said, "Mom, I named this tool Bumblebee and this tool Flower."
I told her that those were great names but I think the lesson meant to tell me what carpenters call them and what they do. She did that, then finished coloring the rest of the tools and giving them much better names than carpenters do! Luckily my husband was home that day and driving so I could take a picture and remember her awesome interpretation.
Other highlights:We've been having fun watching Grandma and Grandpa's garage start to be built! It was surprisingly enjoyable to watch the cement floor being made.
J now has four hermit crabs. They are great pets and I'm glad he got them.
The kids like camping out back and try to do it every weekend they get a chance. After our geography lesson that talked a little about telescopes, the kids had to plan a night to use their telescope. They persisted on actually finding something in it this time, and came running into the house late at night begging me to come out and see Saturn! They found it, focused on it, and could see its rings. I didn't think our telescope was that good. Now I should probably get a Barlow lens for it!
We tore the bushes out of one side of our front yard this summer. It finally got cool enough that J and I planted grass seed on that area. Then my husband wanted to help water one night. We have a sprinkler system, but it is manual. He left the sprinklers on overnight... not just 10 minutes. He was nice enough to put more seed down because a lot washed away.
M made a delicious peach crisp trifle (recipe from Six Sister's Stuff) for a family dinner.
My computer has had issues ever since I got it. When it goes to sleep or the screen saver times out and goes off, then I try waking it back up, it cannot access the second hard drive. The one with all the data. I finally found an error message hidden in a Dell support program that said the hard drive failed diagnostics checks. My husband called tech support and after a long series of questions and tests, it was determined that yes, the hard drive was bad. So the tech guy determined which drive and ordered a new one. Well, the new one came, a local guy installed it, and said, "It's actually the other drive that's bad. I don't know how tech support didn't know that. It says right here." Well. So we waited a couple more days and got the other one replaced. I've been reinstalling everything, putting backed up data back, and generally cursing computers as a whole. But hey, it is finally fixed!
J and E have joined our city's youth fishing club. They are loving it! J caught a rainbow trout the first day, which meant he had to learn how to clean and cook a fish. He did great, and it was delicious!
Until next week!