Homeschool Highlights – November

November was a rough month for our family. We battled numerous bouts with the cold and little Levi had his very first ear infection. Needless to say, we had to take a few days in November off. Add Thanksgiving and we really didn’t get a ton of school work in. BUT we pressed on regardless.

Language Arts

Abigail’s reading is starting to sound less robotic. She reads a bit smoother as she moves from one word to the next. She continues to develop her spelling and writing skills and loves to journal in her new Lego Friends composition book.

Sarah also continues to improve. She’ll fight me occasionally because she thinks she doesn’t know certain things (e.g. what sound does the letter “d” make?) but I manage to get answers out of her. We need to move more to phonetics and not just focus on sight words.

Math

It is interesting to me how the Saxon curriculum seems to jump around from concept to concept. One day we’re measuring the length of the table with linking cubes, the next day we’re starting to count dimes and pennies, and then we learn just the beginnings of telling time. It doesn’t seem to bother Abigail though, as she catches on pretty quickly no matter what we cover. It all builds on itself, but it just skips around a bit.

History

I looked ahead and we won’t be finished with Quarter 1 of our history curriculum until mid-December. I’m hoping to pick up the pace once we wrap up this quarter as I think the girls can handle it. We finished with a lesson on Ramses II (or Ramses The Great) at the end of November.

Astronomy

We pretty much just covered the Earth during the month of November. I just love learning along with the girls, and being reminded of things I may have learned long, long ago. When talking about the earth the girls learned about seven characteristics that make the earth perfect for sustaining life. Earth is pretty unique in many ways. God designed an amazing home for us (and his universe is simply amazing too)!

Co-Op

We missed two weeks in November due to sickness and then of course Thanksgiving. Abigail continues to talk about her Engineering class-it was probably her favorite this semester.

Homeschool Highlights – October

We have successfully completed two months of school! We’ve got a nice routine going for is even though we don’t have a “fixed” schedule.

Language Arts
Abigail is doing really well here. She continues to improve her reading skills and is writing well too. She has even started writing things on her own time, spelling words she’s not sure of phonetically. One day she wrote an encouraging note to Sarah about how was pretty how God made her.

Sarah has a good 20+ sight words under her belt. She has her favorite activities and the ones she’d rather not do, but she plugs away regardless.

Math
Math is starting to get more meaty. Abigail has started to learn her doubles and facts and we areĀ  gearing up to doors with money and telling time.

History
We continue to plug along in history. We made it to The Shang Dynasty. The girls favorite part of history is adding to our timeline at the end of every three lessons.

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Astronomy
We finished learning about Mercury and also studied Venus in October. We’ve really enjoyed learning about just how different the planets are from each other, but especially how different they are from the planet Earth.

One memorable lesson related to Venus’ thick and cloudy atmosphere. Because it is so thick scientists cannot clearly see the surface. So, scientists used radar to map out the surface of Venus. Apologia’s textbook explained how we could to do a fun experiment that simulated radar. I prepared a surface ahead of time, then we covered it, mapped out a grid, and inserted a chopstick marked with different colors at every inch. With this we were able to map out the surface without seeing it. This was pretty cool!

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Please excuse the grossness of the flour mixture I ended up making for our “surface”

Co-Op
Co-op is going well, though we’ve missed two weeks due to illness. Levi is doing a little better in the nursery. Maybe someday he’ll be able to stay in the nursery the whole time when a nap isn’t involved.

Homeschool Highlights – September

We are over a month into school. Rather than do a unit-by-unit post like last year I thought I’d do monthly highlight posts. Here is our first one for 2014-2015!

Language Arts
Abigail really started to “get” sounding out words at the end of Kindergarten. After just a month into our Sonlight curriculum she is on a roll. She has already progressed in a noticeable way. One great example is that about two weeks ago she read through an early readers Bible story that was Jonathan’s when he was in school. She read right through it with just a little help from me. She tried going through this same book in July and got really frustrated because she was having a harder time than she would have liked.

Sarah does work surrounding one letter a week and is also working on sight words. She is plugging along. I just need to be more intentional with her so she gets the help she needs from me.

They both dislike copy work. Enough said.
Math
We are just doing the basics right now. I’m looking forward to more meaty math.

One fun thing Abigail did was draw a picture of the tree in our front yard for a page in her meeting book. She’ll do it again for winter and spring. She also had her picture taken in front of the tree with her siblings and friend Melina.
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History

We are plugging along with history. Some of the lessons capture the girls attention more than others. A lot depends on when we do history and how tired they are.

We have a timeline we add to every three lessons. I think this is the girls’ favorite part of history. They also like looking at our maps to see where things happened.

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Trying our hand at cuneiform (the Sumerian’s written language)

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Astronomy
This may be my favorite subject just because I love re-learning about the planets and our solar system. Plus I’m learning it a bit differently this go around. We are learning along with our beliefs. The belief that God created the universe rather than a Big Bang. One thing I will say: we have our beliefs, but that does not mean we won’t teach other theories. We want our children to be able to have intelligent conversations with people, knowing well what others may believe to be true.

So far we’ve learned the basics of what astronomy is, we’ve talked about the sun, and we are currently studying Mercury.

We had fun with a magnifying glass and chocolate in order to demonstrate why we shouldn’t stare at the sun (the lenses in our eyes are like a magnifying glass, focusing the Suns light on our retina causing damage). We also made a pinhole box to safety look at the sun.

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Co-Op
We joined a local homeschool co-op. Sarah is taking art and a Five in a Row class while Abigail is doing an ABC book and Engineering class. I help out with Sarah’s art class and then the nursery. Levi has joined us in art because he gets VERY upset when I am not around. We need to fix this!