Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Homeschoolers Have Been Busy . . .

You may get the impression that the homeschoolers don't do anything interesting around here. If you get that impression, it is my fault. It is quicker for me to blog about the preschoolers. I just repost the weekly sheet, and put up pictures from the week. It often doesn't take a lot of explanation.

Also, my sister and I co-homeschool. She teaches the homeschoolers Literature, History, Writing, and Grammar in the mornings while I do Geography, Science, Math, Music, Art, and Poetry in the afternoons. We also have been slacking on taking the pictures of the homeschoolers. Our bad. I should have some pictures up this next week of some of the things they have been doing in the past month or so.

We revamped things a bit around the first of November and I think everybody, teachers and kids, liked the tweaks. We do most subjects more independently now, but we do all subjects every day instead of doing things on a certain day at a somewhat certain time.

For example, here is an example of afternoon schedule:

12:45 Math Minutes (a drill sheet for each of them)

After this, they picked from the following activities - Map Activities (South America for the olders and US for the youngers) from Montessori For Everyone, reading on the books about Beethoven and writing 3 facts about him (We are working our way through The Story of the Orchestra and M is for Melody), watching a DVD about Monet (We are working through M is for Masterpiece), and writing a poem with an iambic meter (We are working our way through R is for Rhyme).

At 1:45, we take a break from "work time" and we do a section from either Apologia Botany or Apologia Astronomy (we alternate days.) Then we go back to work time until 2:30.

The children then work on math from 2:30 - 3:00 pm. The olders are supposed to work on a lesson every day (They are doing Saxon 5/4 and Saxon 6/5), and the youngers work on one sheet from their unit every day (They are both working on Math U See Beta). If they get done before 3 pm, they are done for the day. If they don't get it done, we move on the next day. Before, we were getting bogged down with math because it was taking a day or two or three for the olders to get through a lesson sometimes.

For us, it is a good blend of Montessori and Charlotte Mason. From Montessori, we are using some of the resources that would be used in Montessori, and the idea of freedom within limits. From Charlotte Mason, we are using the types of subjects, using "living books" (Probably the best known of Mason's methods is her use of living books instead of dry, factual textbooks. Living books are usually written by one person who has a passion for the subject and writes in conversational or narrative style. The size of the book does not matter nearly as much as whether it is "alive" and engaging. Textbooks are allowed if they meet that criterion) and idea of short lessons.

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