Sunday, July 29, 2012

School's Out!!

We wrapped up our lessons on Friday and are ready to take a much-needed summer break!

I have ordered all of our books for the coming year and they should be arriving over the next week, but I will be setting them aside. For the next two weeks  plan to do nothing but hang out, do some pleasure reading, and get some much-needed work done around the house!

I survived the first year of high school (relatively intact), got a teenage girl (mostly) through puberty, and managed not to run off screaming into the night! LOL

I may be quiet for these 2 weeks, unless I'm inspired to post something amazing...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Book shock!

I stopped by our local used book store yesterday to see if they had any of the books from my shopping list. I love being able to support locally owned small businesses, plus I can take my used books to sell and they give me credit which allows me to buy any used book for half price. I came away yesterday with 4 books for $15 total!

But the books?? Oh my word!! They are HUGE.

I found Undaunted Courage, Rob Roy, and John Adams. These are some seriously thick books. I am quite nervous now. Yikes!! I may have to revisit my book lists and see if there are any books we can possibly skip or make as Free Reading.

We will give it a shot - who knows, it might work out just fine. But there was definitely some shock when I saw the books! LOL

Monday, July 23, 2012

School Year 2012-2013: Austin (10th grade)

The second year of high school! It doesn't seem possible in some ways! It's been a challenging year and it's been hard for Austin but he has done a pretty decent job of rising to the challenge. The coming year will be another step up, and I hope we all live through it! LOL

This list is based on Ambleside Online's Year 9 Lite.

HISTORY: The Age of Revolution by Sir Winston Churchill; A History of the American People by Paul Johnson; World History: A Human Odyssey by Jackson Spielvogel; Original documents and speeches

GEOGRAPHY: Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose

BIOGRAPHY: Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin; Founding Father by Richard Brookhiser; John Adams by David McCullough

SCIENCE: The Way Life Works by Mahlon Hoagland; The Nature of Life: Readings in Biology by Great Books Foundation; Illustrated Guide to Home Biology Experiments by Robert Bruce Thompson; The Microbe Hunters by Paul de Kruif  Apologia Biology (updated 8/17/12)

GOVERNMENT AND ECONOMICS: Are You Liberal, Conservative, or Confused? by Richard Maybury; Common Sense by Thomas Paine; The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine; Whatever Happened to Penny Candy by Richard Maybury

CITIZENSHIP: Ourselves by Charlotte Mason; An Essay on Man by Alexander Pope

LITERATURE: A British Literature Textbook for background; The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas; Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott; Gulliver's Travels by Johnathan Swift; A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens; Mr. Midshipman Hornblower by C.S. Forester; Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

LOGIC - Logic Liftoff; Orbiting With Logic; Brain Puzzles

VOCABULARY, COMPOSITION, SPELLING - Finish Writing with Skill Level 1; Writing the Essay; Words You Should Know in High School; Sequential Spelling for Adults (Finish Level 1, Begin Level 2)

BIBLE - A Praying Life by Paul Miller; Crazy Love by Francis Chan; A Young Man After God's Own Heart by Jim George

COPYWORK/RECITATION - passages from readings; Spelling Wisdom

SPANISH - Getting Started With Spanish

HEALTH - Total Healthy by Susan Boe

POETRY - Alexander Pope; William Cowper and Phyllis Wheatley; George Gordon and Lord Byron

MATH - Finish Key to Algebra  and Math U See Algebra 1 Jacob's Elementary Algebra (updated 8/17/12)

CURRENT EVENTS - World Magazine; a Secular news magazine (to be determined)

FREE READING - no list for him yet, not sure if he will have any free time! LOL

As you can see, we have quite a school year ahead of us. I will be able to make adjustments as necessary, but I would rather start out with a bang and pare down if it becomes necessary.

Thanks for reading our book lists! I covet your prayers for our upcoming school year! :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

School Year 2012-2013: Riley (8th grade)

These grade levels are really killing me. This is Riley's last year as a "middle schooler" and then I'll have two high schoolers. Freaky!

I have some ambitious goals for her this year. Her history, geography, and literature will be nearly identical to Austin's. I think she can handle it, but we'll have to see. She is also dancing 8 hours a week this year, and her classes will run late into the evening. I may have to pare her schedule down to accommodate that. But I won't know until we get started. This list is inspired by Ambleside Online, Year 9 Lite. (Yeah, LITE - the regular one has MORE if you can believe it! LOL

HISTORY - The Age of Revolution by Sir Winston Churchill; A History of the American People by Paul Johnson; World History: A Human Odyssey by Jackson Spielvogel; Original Documents and Speeches pertaining to this time period (and there are a BUNCH!)

GEOGRAPHY - Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose

BIOGRAPHY - Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin; Founding Father by Richard Brookhiser; John Adams by David McCullough

SCIENCE - Finish Apologia General Science (Human Body modules); William Harvey and the Discovery of the Circulation of the Blood by Thomas Huxley; Selected Physical Science Chapters from Derek Owens' Physical Science course (Physics and Chemistry ones)

GOVERNMENT AND ECONOMICS - Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? by Richard Maybury; Whatever Happened to Justice? by Richard Maybury

CITIZENSHIP -  Ourselves by Charlotte Mason; An Essay on Man by Alexander Pope

LOGIC - The Art of Argument (there are so many jokes I can make about this LOL)

LITERATURE - A British Literature textbook for reference (looking at these at the Expo next weekend to see which one I like best and to see if I can get one used); The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas; Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott; Gulliver's Travels by Johnathan Swift; A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens; The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy; Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

POETRY - Alexander Pope; William Cowper; Phyllis Wheatley; George Gordon; Lord Byron

CURRENT EVENTS - World magazine (high school edition); a secular news magazine (still haven't decided which one)

DEVOTIONS - A Praying Life by Paul Miller; Do Hard Things by Alex Harris; A Young Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George

VOCABULARY, GRAMMAR AND COMPOSITION - Finish Analytical Grammar; Writing the Essay; 100 Words Every High School Freshman Should Know

COPYWORK/TRANSCRIPTION/RECITATION - Spelling Wisdom; Passages from her reading

LATIN - Finish Getting Started With Latin; begin a High School level Latin curriculum (looking at these at convention)

GREEK - Elementary Greek, Level 1 (this is HER idea to do instead of completing another year of French - she's going to have to manage this one on her own LOL)

MATH - Finish Math U See Pre-Algebra, begin Life of Fred Algebra 1 to see if it's a better fit for her than MUS

FREE READING - don't have a list for her yet, I'm really not sure how she'll have any time left for free reading by the time she gets her lessons done and goes to dance class! ;)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

School Year 2012-2013: Reece (5th grade)

Before I begin Reece's book list for next year, can we all just pause a moment and take a deep breath while we notice that she is a 5th grader this school year?? 5th grade?? She'll be in middle school this time next year?!? My baby?!? What on earth?!?

::deep breath::

Wow. Time sure does fly, doesn't it?

We are going to be jumping ahead a little bit in history, mostly driven by the fact that Austin will be a 10th grader (shhh, I'm in denial) and we really haven't spent a lot of time focused on American History. We have done two complete rotations through the history of the world, and we've touched on American History, but not as in-depth as I would like. And since I would really like to take the kids to Washington, D.C. in the next few years, I decided to spend the next 3 years in the time period from the late 1600s to the present, skipping over the Middle Ages. This year we will touch on the late 1600s and dive into the 1700s, which will include the American and French Revolutions.

Most of the books we use can easily be found on amazon (or at your local library) so I won't include links. But if there is a book that I list in any of the kids' lists that you cannot locate, please leave a comment and I will post a link to it! This list is inspired by the Ambleside Online curriculum (Year 4).

HISTORY - Story of the World, Volume 3 by Susan Wise Bauer; The Landmark History of the American People by Daniel J. Boorstin; George Washington's World by Genevieve Foster.

GEOGRAPHY - Around the World in 100 Years by Jean Fritz; Marco Polo by Charles Graves

BIOGRAPHY - Poor Richard by James Daugherty; Abigail Adams by Natalie Bober 

SCIENCE - The Body Book: Easy to Make Hands-On Models That Teach by Donald Silver; Christian Liberty Press Nature Reader, Book 5

LITERATURE - Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe; Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson; The Incredible Journey by Sheila Bumford; The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving; Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving

POETRY - Alfred Lord Tennyson; Emily Dickinson; William Wordsworth. I like to use the Poetry for Young People series.

DEVOTIONS - This will be Reece's first year to read a devotional. I am planning to use A Girl After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George.

MATH - RightStart Mathematics, Level D. Why mess with success?! LOL

LATIN - Minimus Latin. She's been bugging me for awhile to learn Latin, and this is a gentle introduction.

FRENCH - First Start French. This is another thing she has been bugging me about learning French for a long time. Since I have a background in French, this will be easy for me to teach.

GRAMMAR and COMPOSITION -  Junior Analytical Grammar; Writing With Ease Level 3 or 4 (have to look at this at the expo next weekend. She finished level 2 this year but it quickly became very easy for her)

SPELLING - Rod and Staff, finish Grade 4 and begin Grade 5.

LOGIC - Gentle introduction using Mind Benders from the Critical Thinking Company and Logic Countdown if she sails through the Mind Benders books. 

FREE READING - Reece does not enjoy reading at all, though she loves being read to. I keep hoping that will change. Maybe this will be the year! Some of the books I will put in her Free Reading basket include Misty of Chincoteague; Frindle; Along Came a Dog; The Toothpaste Millionaire; Calico Captive; Johnny Tremain; The Reb and the Redcoats; On the Banks of Plum Creek; By the Shores of Silver Lake; Caddie Woodlawn; Alice in Wonderland

Typing it all out gives me somewhat of a panic attack! LOL And this is just the 5th grader. Wow, we're going to have a busy year!

Friday, July 20, 2012

School Year 2012-2013: Family Lessons

The book lists are DONE!! I cannot begin to describe how nice it is to have that weight off my shoulders! All of the hard decisions are made, and now I can start acquiring the materials and begin to work on scheduling and, hopefully for once, get ahead of the kids on reading! LOL

Like I have done in the past, I am going to share our plans for the upcoming year. I will begin first with Family Lessons. As you can probably guess from the name, these are the subjects we do together as a family. We break our year into 3 terms: Fall, Winter, and Spring. So when you see 3 things listed next to an item, that will mean there is one per term, for the most part. Also, please keep in mind that we do not do every single one of these subjects every day (except for Bible and Scripture Memory)!

BIBLE - Mark/Matthew/Genesis. Last year we were able to do a chapter per day, which left us with a lot of leftover days. I will keep moving on if we have that same issue arise this year.

SCRIPTURE MEMORY - Going to get more organized this year and use the "verse packs" from Simply Charlotte Mason. I am going to begin with packs 1 and 2 and see how many new verses we find in there. If necessary, I will go on to pack 3.

HYMN STUDY - We finished our WOW! Worship set after 3 years, so now it's time to move on to something else. Since we are now familiar with the music and lyrics for many classic hymns, I'd like for us to learn the background of these songs. We will do that using the book Then Sings My Soul, Volume 1.

ART HISTORY - A Child's History of Art, Architechture. This is the final book in this series that we've been working on the last few years.

ARTIST STUDY - Michelangelo/Rembrandt/Durer. For the first time this year, we will be using the picture study portfolios from Simply Charlotte Mason. 

COMPOSER STUDY - Hayden/Mendelssohn/Wagner. We love the series of CDs called The Story of _____ in Words and Music and I found a bunch of them at the used curriculum sale a few weeks ago. I think we're set for composer study for awhile.

SHAKESPEARE - Henry IV, Part 1/Henry IV, Part 2/Henry V. We will use the No Fear Shakespeare editions after we familiarize ourselves with the story by watching it performed.

PLUTARCH - Brutus/Dion/Pericles. I'm going to shoot for 3 of Plutarch's Lives again, but we only made it through one last year (so if the names Brutus and Dion sound familiar, they are - those are the two I planned for us to do last year that we never got to). Plutarch is hard, so if we make it through only one or two, I won't be too upset. Better to get through it and understand than to rush and have no comprehension.

My goal for this year is to make sure that the Family Lessons don't get pushed aside. It is easy to see them as the "extras" but really they are what makes education exciting and enjoyable (OK, maybe not Plutarch LOL). These are the subjects that touch the heart and soul and set it on fire! That is every bit as important as knowing our history and mathematics!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Raising the next generation of grammar geeks

During Reece's grammar lesson today (yes we are STILL plugging away at the 2011-2012 school year @@), she noticed something that amazed me.

She is reviewing all the concepts from this year's book, and today she had to identify the prepositional phrases in a sentence, get rid of them (by drawing a box around them), and then diagram the rest of the sentence.

She loves diagramming and is quite good at it, so I leave her to do most of these by herself. Today she called me to her because she wanted to show me something. She noticed that the prepositional phrase that she had to put a box around could be easily moved to the beginning or to the end of the sentence and it would still make sense (in the given sentence, it was in the middle). I was so excited that she noticed this so I took the opportunity to explain to her something she will learn in next year's grammar - when you have a prepositional phrase that can be "moved", it means that it modifies the verb in the sentence.

She said, "Really?? Wow, that is so cool!"

Oh my gosh, she is SO MUCH FUN to home school! :D

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Summer School/Summer Planning

Why is it always so much more fun to plan for the next year than it is to wrap up the current year?? LOL Ah, whatever the reason, it's one of the great truths of homeschooling.

I gave the kids each a listing of what needs to be finished before July 27th. It's up to them to work on it each morning before they can have screen time. When they are done, they are done. As soon as Austin's new swim trunks arrive from Lands End, we will start hitting the pool in the afternoons! I can't believe it's July and we haven't even been to the pool once. Unreal.

I've started some planning for next year already. It has been such a joyful experience this time around, having the encouragement from the kids' testing fresh in my mind. I feel like I can trust my decision-making and the suggestions from the doctor give me an added marker to look for when I am choosing materials. It's a life-changer for sure! I'll post details when I have more time.

I'm so eager for the new school year to begin - I wish we could just skip the rest of this current one! LOL