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Thursday, August 17, 2023

Curriculum Choices 2023-2024

A few days ago, my college age daughter asked, "Aren't you starting school next week?"

After checking the calendar, I replied, "Oh! Yes we are!"

I guess I should get some things finalized!

Last year we were still under construction when school started. As it turns out, I only have video of the room completed and populated with furniture. These are a couple of the photos I took after the carpet was put in. (We started moving furniture later that day!)

Friday, May 5, 2023

Introduction to Public Speaking Review

Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) has recently released a new course: Introduction to Public Speaking (IPS). This was a course I was interested in from the first day it was announced.

Why was I so interested in a public speaking course? I have many reasons, but my biggest reason is that we are nervous presenters! I don't like public speaking, even if I'm just saying a few sentences. Assign me a talk or speech and my brain shuts down. I can write a wonderful essay, thanks to IEW. But have me present it and my heart rate soars, I shake nervously, my words wander, and I repeat myself unless I can read what I've prepared. My family members also demonstrate various similarities. We attend a church where the members are asked to speak during the meeting. Youth may be asked once a year, and adults are less often. It's nice to be comfortable and prepared and not present a boring reading when it's our turn!

Friday, July 22, 2022

Curriculum Choices 2022-2023

Time for my annual post (which lately is my only post!) 

In addition to getting everything ready, we are also getting WHERE ready. We have had construction going on for a few months and will need to work around stored furniture once school starts. Watching every stage of construction happen has been fascinating and educational.

12th Grade

This will be my son's last year homeschooling. He'll graduate in May!

Math: He had a rough time with math last year and we decided to move back a book. He's been working on Saxon Algebra 2 again over the summer and will continue it through the year, then move on to Advanced Math again.

Language Arts: He's going to use the new Structure and Style for Students Year 2 Level C from IEW. For literature studies, we'll be doing some books that will also count for government and history. He'll be studying The Making of America, The 5000 Year Leap, Animal Farm, and Uncle Tom's Cabin (the last two from Progeny Press.)

Government & Economics: Uncle Eric book series: World War I and World War II 

Science: Apologia Physics. We're not thrilled about this course, but it was written by Dr Wile, and we've been using his Berean Builder courses so far. (Berean Builders will have a new Physics course available in 2023.)

Elective: He enjoyed drafting so much last year that he's decided to continue this path of learning at the local Tech college. He'll be there 12 hours a week.

9th Grade

My third child, who is the first to never attend public school, will begin high school this fall!

Math: Saxon Algebra 1, with the Mastering Algebra DVDs from Art Reed.

Language Arts: We considered having her do Structure and Style for Students Year 2 Level C from IEW to finish out that series, but we decided to wait and have her do that in 10th grade because the updated version of the last level of IEW Fix It! Grammar wasn't available when we were planning. So this year she'll do The Good and the Beautiful High School Language Arts 1. I think it will be a nice break, and she'll still use everything she's learned from IEW in her writing.

Government & Economics: Uncle Eric book series - the first three books

Science: Berean Builders Earth Science 

History: Family School: American History

Geography: The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts courses cover geography and art, but she wants to do Family School geography with her younger sister and me because she loves the thorough studies and the country reports. 

Art: The Good and the Beautiful and Family School 

MusicFamily School

Electives: She's going to study photography using the course I made up a few years ago, and Financial Literacy through Family School.

Foreign Language: The Great Courses and Duolingo. If I am able to save up enough, I'll buy a subscription to Rosetta Stone because I feel it will be a bit stronger than Duolingo.

6th Grade

It's a little strange when the youngest child moves into middle school courses... I'm finding more time for myself to study topics I've wanted to for a while.

Math: Saxon 7/6 and the Mastering Algebra DVDs from Art Reed. I find these DVDs aren't necessary at this age, but she's thrilled to use them and getting into a habit of watching the lesson makes math easier in a few years. She'll also use The Checkbook Project.

Language ArtsStructure and Style for Students Year 1 Level B and Fix It! Grammar level 3. She's part way through Level 7 of All About Spelling and will use Phonetic Zoo next. For literature studies, we'll be using Family School and reading The Merchant of Venice, Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, A Little Princess, Emily Dickinson, mythology, and Lehi's Vision.

ScienceFamily School: chemistry and physics

HistoryFamily School: American History

ArtFamily School: Reformation and the Dutch Golden Age

MusicFamily School Year 4

Some other random things we'll use: Typesy, Mind Benders and Building Thinking Skills for logic, various P.E. videos and activities.

New and exciting: My younger two have needed a way to help them use their time better. In April 2021, I found an item on Kickstarter called Mover Erase Combo. The Bravestorming company already had the product in place--magnetic tiles and organizers to help you plan (using the Kanban or Scrum project planning methods)--but their original tiles used sticky notes. This updated version uses dry erase tiles. 

Anyway, when I saw it, I knew that it would be perfect for helping kids plan. The campaign said it would be ready by Sept. 2021. Due to global supply chain issues and a last minute change in packaging, we didn't receive them until June 2022. That can be the nature of crowd funded projects.

I redesigned the interchangeable templates so that the smallest tile represents 15 minutes. We are using Staedtler correctable pens, a dry erase that doesn't erase at the slightest touch, to label each tile. The girls can use an Expo ultra fine point dry erase marker to add daily info to the tiles if they like. But the main purpose is that they can visualize their day and move each subject to the "Finished" area as they complete their work. They are excited to try this out and I hope it helps them stay on task.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

How it's Going (Curriculum Choices 2021-2022)

I thought I'd do a little update on how we like the new things we're trying out this year.

11th Grade   

Language Arts: 

Friday, July 30, 2021

Curriculum Choices 2021-2022

I have had most of our school stuff ready for a couple of months, but while going over the last things I need to be ready to begin our school year, I decided to get this post done.

Planning high school is more stressful than the younger grades, but it's fun to see what my kids want to learn about. The biggest difference this year is that I'm only planning for three kids. Our oldest graduated in May and is planning her own path for college! Which reminds me I really need to post about the end of our previous school year.

A lot of our books are not pictured, and I did link some things. IEW and spelling links are affiliate links. 

Other things that my kids do are piano, P.E. (various activities, exercise videos, free play, archery), and XtraMath for the younger children.

11th Grade

My son has two years of high school left and we're planning courses to fill in the credits he needs and adding interests for electives. He's trying a new science program this year and I hope it works out. This is his 9th year homeschooling.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Curriculum Choices 2020-2021

I never did this post for last year. Oops. I like looking back to see what we did.

I thought we had everything figured out a month ago. Then we talked about it and decided to change some things. As usual, something will not be ready in time for us to start school. Maybe next year we won't be using something that is brand new and we won't have that issue!

12th Grade

Can you believe my oldest is entering her last year of high school and homeschool? It's crazy! She just took the ACT and did great! She wants to improve her science score though, so we are switching up our science plans this year so she can study chemistry and physics.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Free Schroth Bean Bags Pattern

My daughter does Schroth physical therapy to help with her scoliosis. Her therapist has taught her which size of bean bags are right for her and where to place them. 

Our favorite material to use for these is a sturdy material, something like a giant bean bag seat is made of. It has a vinyl outer and a soft back. Other less sturdy fabrics and materials don't work as well, they just don't hold their shape  which is really important for the wedge shaped bean bags. 

Schroth Bean Bags Pattern

The instructions are on each pattern. The large wedge pattern will need to be taped together.

These patterns are based off a hand drawn pattern our therapist had. We adjusted and modified and included what we found works best. Please feel free to use this pattern to make your own bean bags or to donate to your local Shriner's Hospital for Children or other facility with Schroth trained therapists.