So last year I did all these fun activities for our Not-Back-to-School first day of school. The kids thought it was neat, but I found the treats and snacks all over the place for a few weeks. Very annoying. So I opted out of that this year. Instead I let them start back on Tuesday instead of Monday...lol. Then I bought them each a bag of their favorite candy to eat while we did Group table lessons. They liked that just as much.
This "School year" I have 2 ... yes 2 in high school. Joey, due to his disabilities was advised to remain in school longer. So he is working as a Freshman 2. Brayden will most likely follow the same schedule, and he is listed as Freshman 1. This is in my records. Lydia is starting her 5th grade year and Caty is in 3rd grade this year.
This "Not-Back-to-School" year I am trying to do more group lessons. I am spread so thin with 4 kids, it's getting rough. Since the boys are at Caty's grade level in so many subjects, why not try to get them to work together. We are trying this through September to see how it goes. The older kids will be required to do more in certain subjects than Caty.
This year We are using:
History - All American History Volume 2
Science - Sassafras Anatomy and Botany
Math - Math Lessons for Living Education
Computer - Scratch / Python with DK workbooks (This is the link for one of them we will be using)
World Geography - Give Your Child the World
Grammar - Parts of speech and literature
Zoo classes - Habitat studies
Blossoming Artists - Online class
Lots and lots of interest read books for the boys. They have to pick out so many library books each week to read on different topics that interest them. Big difference from last year. I chose them last year. Trying to get them to chose some for themselves, and know I may have to throw in some back up plans.
Lydia is working on Pet Shop Math and a how to draw comic books. Plus she is using the 2nd level of the 4H Photography program and she started the 2nd level of the Veterinary Science program from 4H.
Joey is going to finish up his Careers curriculum. I believe that when he finishes reading the book, then we will check out books on careers from each chapter he covered, so that he can read through them. He will also finish the 2nd half of his high school level Life Skills course.
Caty is working on several different 4H projects. She won't be judged on them all, but they are great for hands-on educational opportunities. Right now she is working on the cookies project, Science fun with Physics experiment projects, and Let's Start Cooking. She's also going to study the history of food. We are going to work on spelling also.
Brayden is going to go interest led approach. I may have to push him in a direction every week, but hopefully this will take off after a while. He will start the Careers textbook when Joey finishes it.
They all will have many 4H activity project books that they will be going through over the course of the next year.
This is the plan for group and individual weekly activities. I keep track of plans in my Big Momma Homeschool Planner from Schoolhouse Magazine. Then I put down their daily/weekly assignments in a spiral notebook. I buy them a cute character or design style that matches their personality. I was inspired by this article last year. It worked out great, and we continue it this year.
Group This Week:
This week we started learning the reasons why the Civil War took place. Of course the biggest issue was slavery. So we also learned about the Underground Railroad. If you remember, this past June we visited a stop on the Underground Railroad that is close to us. That was a very neat experience, and we discussed that field trip again this week. We watched a video on the Underground Railroad and also the 1987 version of Uncle Tom's Cabin.
This week we worked on review of Common/Proper Nouns and Concrete/Abstract Nouns.
The girls continue learned about Matisse. They are working on cut out pictures with their teacher. I highly recommend using Blossoming Artists. Great family!
Lydia caught on very quickly to using Scratch. Joey not so much. But she was very helpful in showing him how to work on his project.
This week we are reviewing the Respiratory system and started learning about the central nervous system and brain. We had a group dissection of a sheep brain to go with our unit.
We also started a small unit study on trees. This is a badge requirement for Lydia and a 4H project for Caty and Brayden. This week we covered the commonly known parts of the tree and included other parts that are important. They are also trying to grow cherry trees from seeds. Lydia and Caty planted them this week.
This week we are learning about the world as a whole. We learned about some major cultural differences from around the world. We discussed housing, food and customs. We read several books mentioned in Give Your Child the World.
We also watched a video on Cultural Differences and had a big discussion about these men who were visiting the United State from Sudan. We talked about how weird that would feel.
As a group we also read a book and discussed table manners. Watch for a review on this great book we had a chance to read called: If A Very Important Person Invited You to Lunch.
This week she learned about the history of cereal. We watched the American Eats on Cereal and we read books about the history of Corn Flakes and how cereal is made. She also made Lucky Charm cookies.. http://www.thereciperebel.com/white-chocolate-lucky-charms-cookies/
She also worked on her Science Fun with Physics Experiments. This week we worked on gravity and also surface tension. We did a couple fun experiments including seeing how many drop of water or milk fit on top of a penny and also built parachutes for an egg drop.
Lydia started learning American Sign Language this week. She has been obsessed about this lately. She is wanting to continue to learn Mandarin Chinese also. I'm not sure how she is going to continue with learning two languages, but I'm not going to stop her. She continued with her Pet Shop Math. This is such a fun program for her.
This week Joey chose to read book about the events surrounding and what happened on September 11, 2001. He checked out a couple books from the library and also read the I Survived book on this event.
Brayden chose to be a challenge yet again. I am working on how to tackle the challenges he presents each day when it comes to school work, or any work for that matter. This week he read a book on how computers work.
On Monday we went to an Adventure Camp through the girls scout troop. We went canoeing, a short nature walk, and the girls learned about putting up a tent and also how to make wood shavings to start a fire.
Tuesday through Friday we started back working on the book work that I talked about above. The girls also had their art class online. We did our group work and independent work. I tried not to have any outside activities planned so that we could concentrate on our work. I am going to try hard to keep a 4 day at home and 1 day out schedule. It won't be perfect, but I'm going to try my best.
We had a pretty smooth week. Praying that it keeps up for next week. Hope everyone's "Not Back to School" is going GREAT!!
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