Friday, April 29, 2011

Our Curriculum for 2011-2012

Ok.. so I am a planner... or I try to be. 

    So.. I FINALLY (to me) have our next years curriculum all set.   And I discovered something about myself  :)  I like curriculum that is multi-grade level...   I don't know if it has a specific name or not, know...  those subjects that are not just "for 4th grade", but more like Tapestry of Grace, for instance.  Which brings us to our first one. 

We will once again do Tapestry of Grace for History,  I will get  some geography, and his missions, with a little of writing (see all-inclusive?) 

I LOVE Tapestry of Grace, we started with Year 3 - mostly just because that's the part of history I was interested in, and being a new program, I wanted an idea of what I was doing. 
There are different levels depending on the acedemic level of the child, for instance  Lower Grammar, Upper Grammer, Dialectic, and Rhetoric.   I, in all honesty, did a blend of some of these, based on what I wanted to do, and what he was especially interested in.
                                    Story:  We got to the part of slavery, and the Underground Railroad.  Now, I      KNOW Noah can be sensitive at times, but I had him watch about slavery on YouTube. I shouldn't have  Though, I was busy elsewhere,  after he was finished I came in and asked him what he learned and all.  He was so distraught, he DID NOT want to talk about it. I felt so bad.  So, needless to say, that was about all the slavery subject we did.  We will learned more when we come around to that part of history again -- in four years! 

There are field trip suggestions, links to the internet, project suggestions, and church history.  I currently don't go over the church history part, but we do read the missionary books given as suggestion!
Oh... and I don't really buy the books listed, unless I absolutely think I will need it, we have a great library system, and that works just fine. 

Click the image to learn more


Again, we will stick with Christian Light.  I think it's great.  Just the right amount of work, and review for NOAH.  Not to much.   Not to little.  Though sometimes for incentives sake, I do allow him to work every other problem. 
...otherwise we would be on math FOREVER. This is just one of those things I don't get.  If he is calculating something in real life {read:  his money}  he does it quickly and correctly every time.  But, the minute that paper comes out, and he has to write them down....well..I think you know what I mean. 

Language Arts -

This will also be from Christian Light Publications.  We don't do the Penmandship part, or the Spelling.  I just use other curriculum for that. 

Spelling -
Spelling this year to say the least was a disaster.  He just doesn't get it. His week to week test look great, because he can memorize really well.  However, when it comes to the standarized test he gets a low spelling grade.   So... for next year I am going to try Spell to Write and Read.  From what I have read, it might be the key to what we need.  Hopefully.  Again, this one is an "all the way to 12th grade curriculum"  I like that, we can just start where we need to start and work our way from there. 

Vocabulary -
This is the first year I am going with a separate vocabualary program.  I have read some articles that said one of the most important things to know in the SAT's is vocab.  So.  I know, college?  But I told you I was a planner.  Besides, he likes vocabulary and words.  He seriously has his dictionary by his seat in the car, just to randomly read it.  Which can lead to some pretty funny conversations.  Trust me.  This is the book we are using... 

Reading -
Last year, we did reading with Christian Light, and it was very good.  But, this year I think we are going to try some more of the books listed in the Tapestry of Grace program.  I will just be buying a separate Reading Comprehension book, though he has no problem with comprehension.  We also have a book report book from Lakeshore Learning, he will fill in after he has read a book. (time limits imposed, of course!)

Geography -
I am going to be using some of the MANY resources that are on the internet, and we   he is going to make a Geography Notebook. 

Other Stuff We Do

Rosetta Stone Spanish 
Latin   - Visual Latin
He will be writing his own blog (his idea), to give him more writing skills (my idea)
For Handwriting we will do A Reason For Handwriting

So... that about covers our curriculum for next year....  It's going to be a great year!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Catch the Reading Bug

The month of May is "Get Caught Reading" month. 

To celebrate this we are going to take a day, to read our favorite books, and I might even read some to him.  Actually, we do a lot of read-alouds.   (though mostly in the evening)

BUT... don't let the reading stop after May is over, and summer is getting ready to begin.  I have found several "reading incentives" for summer reading. 

Check out the ones that interest you, just click on the images for details: 
For Education:  you know...when you just need to kids to sit quietly for a while and rest.  

This site has all ages of books suggestions/worksheets

Scholastic has a bunch of ideas for books suggestions, and contest for kids.
Click the image for more info

For fun:  summer contest for kids

Barnes and Noble

Chuck E. Cheese has a reading rewards chart for free 10 tokens.
They actually have a lot of rewards charts for free tokens for just about every behavior you could think of.

I'll post more if I find out more.  I'd also love to hear if you know of any I hadn't found yet!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Almost the end

I cannot believe that we are coming to the end of his 3rd grade year!  We started this year the second week in August, and time has really flown by!

We have a few things planned for summer, though!

This book, plus the summer reading program at our library.  We have a deal, Noah and I, where if he reads 10 books before our start of school date, he gets a "reasonable" prize of his choosing.   As part of my trying to get him to be more independant, I do not remind him to be reading his books.  He has a chart with stickers all labeled -- that is his reminder.  Believe me, as his mother, it is hard for me to not be reminding him.  

This year I will be adventurous and make his an ice cream cone for his wall --- for each book he finishes he may put on a flavor, similar to THIS.

And, of course, LOTS and LOTS of swimming at the lake! 

Friday, April 22, 2011

It's fun Friday!

As a general "rule"  we don't do paperwork on Friday's.  Many reasons for this.  Number 1 - being he doesn't like paperwork to begin with.  (so as long as he has done his best Mon - Thurs. , Friday's is for fun work!) 

Is there such a thing as fun work?  Of course there is!  It's the work you WANT to do.  And for Noah that is anything on the computer or ipod touch, or DS for that matter.  If it has a screen he's into it. 

As a result, I am always looking for educational games.  I think I found something that will work.  This site has math, grammar, geography, history science, nutrition,  -- in game form.  Some of which is in tutorial form first, like geography. 

Check it out!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Science Challenge

I found a new science blog that looks great!  She is having a science challenge.  And we are going to try.  Or rather Noah is.   

It is going to be the perfect week for it -- since apparently it plans on raining a few times this week...

Anyway, go check out her blog if your curious, and found out about her challenge...  hurry it is only running until the end of April. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Daddy's part in homeschooling

This is a question I see often while I am lurking about on homeschooling forums.  It got me to thinking about the part that my husband plays in homeschooling.  BTW - *plays* is a good word to use, becuase that is what Noah and his dad do together.  You know.  Boy stuff.  Like building.  and wrestling, but I don't have a good picture of that -- I usually leave the room. 

Anyway, my husband doesn't choose the curriculum, doesn't teach the core subjects, or anything school related really, BUT  ...
... he does work hard so that I can stay home to be able to homeschool. 
...he does make up stories with him "as play"  and that is learning.
...he does so many other little things  

And even though as a father he is not there "during homeschool hours", he is still teaching his son a whole lot every single day.

Can't you tell he is proud of his dad!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It's Testing Week!

Testing Week.... so many things I could say about this...
I always feel like the whole year's learning, comes down to this one week. 

The week of his SAT testing at school.    Thankfully, he likes to do  them. 

Erin :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Our Version of a Science Fair Project

Before we left for the homeschool conference, I wanted to make sure Noah had all "major" projects done.  One of those was our version of the science fair.  I wanted to teach him what was involved in research and putting together a project.  This was a slow process, and we did a whole lot of it TOGETHER. 

He came up with the idea all by himself -- only after spending a good portion of an ENTIRE day  going over Steve Spangler Science videos in Youtube. 

 ** Hey, he was learning, right? 

He was required to write out the whys, and wheres and what fors. 

I think he did pretty good for the first time. 

The items needed for "Milk Magic"

Noah doing his experiment. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thinking about next year...

So...  it's been a long week.  I have just returned from the Midwest Homeschool Conference.  I thought it was a good conference.  It got me to thinking about what to do for Noah for next year.  I can't believe it's that time already.... I usually get everything bought and ready for the following year at this time. (it's when most of the curriculum is on sale) 

One of the best workshops I went to was on learning styles.  Something that particualarly stuck with me was that we as our children's teacher tend to teach in the styles that WE learn, and not necessarily the way THEY learn.  is a great website for most things homeschooling. 

In a coming post, I will post what worked and what didn't for this past year.  (third grade. )

One of the main things we will be doing... (I will call it a project)  next year is work on my son's blog.  I have been reading up on blogs, and I agree that it will be GREAT writing practice, and technology skills (so bonus!)   This blog is still very much a work in progress for me, but I did want to know a few things before teaching him. 

I am not sure that is possible -- how he knows the things he does is amazing to me!!

Noah's 4th grade reading list

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