Sunday, November 20, 2016

November 20, 2016

Update on my girls:

14 yo - my only homeschooler.  She's had a huge adjustment this school year - early morning seminary.  Up at 5:45 a.m. every school morning and on the road before 6:30 a.m.  She had argued with me about attending seminary, so it has been nice to see her want to be there.  Every morning.  Ten minutes early.
It's been good for our school day too.  We start school as soon as we get home about 8 a.m.  With a regular start time, we are more consistent than we've ever been.

18 yo - life has been a struggle for the past couple of years (darn depression!).  She was an excellent student at the public school and a cheerleader, but the depression finally kicked her behind last autumn and she switched to legally homeschooling again.  There were lots of doctor's and counseling appointments along with medication adjustments.  She pretty much has spent the past year trying to heal - sleeping, television, and reading.
The very end of August of this year, with the opportunity of moving to a different state, she decided to test for her GED.  She passed!  Moving fell through but it got the ball rolling.  In September she started training at a local care facility to become a nursing assistant.  She finished the training in a few weeks and was hired at the facility.  After a few weeks of working nights she passed the certification test and is now officially a CNA1.
Life is not perfect but she now has goals and she is alive.

21 yo - finishing up her two year degree in child and family studies.  She has been student teaching in a special needs preschool class and loves it!

29 yo - cooking grandbaby #6 and keeping the other five grandchildren alive.

14yo has always been all over the map, but she is always moving forward.  I try not to worry.

The BIG change - I've been disappointed that we never seem to get to the joy of learning.  I get so focused on trying to get through curriculum that homeschool turns into a check list marathon.  So ... we added Morning Basket.  I know.  How does adding something help you do more?  At first it was pretty stressful and I almost gave up.  I've found that if we get our 3r's type subjects done first in the day, then I'm able to do MB and enjoy it.  In the morning we do math, grammar, spelling, and Latin.  Near lunch we pull out our MB notebooks and work on Latin prayer, poetry memorization, preposition memorization (pesky prepositions!) and map review.  Next, 14yo reads to me from a book of Aesop's Fables after which I read to her from a read aloud (recently it was a retelling of The Iliad).  We have a ton of books I want to read to her before I donate them, so I have a never ending supply.  MB has been a good addition.  I feels like we are finally getting to dessert!

Current Events - still hanging with CNN Student News.

Latin - working in Lively Latin's Big Book 2 lesson 4.  Learning to use the accusative case (direct objects), genitive case (possession), and dative case (indirect objects).  Thank goodness she is already familiar with these noun jobs from English grammar.

Math - she finished R&S Math 8 last year.  We are currently working through Prentice Hall Classics Algebra 1.   It was moving a little fast for her, so we've been taking side routes to give her more practice.  She just spent a week working through the second book of Key to Algebra.  Of course, this means she probably won't complete the Algebra 1 textbook this year.  I keep reminding myself that mastery and being fluent are more important.

Grammar - believe it or not, we are using Rod & Staff 7 English.   We made it through the first couple of chapters last school year but then we fizzled.  This year we started over from the beginning and it has gone much better.  If she starts to struggle, we'll slow down and finish it next year.  We have covered sentences, nouns, verbs, and verb usage.  We are currently reviewing and learning about pronouns.

Spelling - Phonetic Zoo A.  I really liked the independent aspect of this spelling program, but 14yo complained.  We've dropped using the CD's and I call out the words for her.  Spelling is not a struggle, so it usually takes her 2-3 days with one card/list.

Composition - Writing and Rhetoric.  I am terrible when it comes to teaching writing because I have never been a confident writer myself.  IEW was working well as long as I DID it.  However, writing was always one of the first things to get shoved to the back burner.  W&R was just too good to pass up.  I had to give it a try.  We were about 1/2 through Fable (level 1) last year.  Again, I've struggled with being consistent, but we are trying.  We are currently working in Narrative II (level 3) and hope to finish in January.  I realize these levels are for much younger students, but I feel this is a good fit for becoming a confident writer.  It is gentle and fun while building up important skills.

Literature - Oh, boy.  This has definitely been a "back burner" subject this year.  We've been reading Anne of Green Gables off and on for months.

Geography - Memoria Press Geography III without drawing the world.  I like the reading and map work but I finally had to admit that drawing the world wasn't going to happen.  It's more important to me that she can find the countries and land forms and have a general idea of what the countries are like than have an ability to draw a Robinson map.

World History - mish mash.  I guess our main spine is K12's The Human Odyssey along with World History Detective as a close second.  Right now we are also including The Usborne Encyclopedia of World Religions.  We've been learning about Confucianism and Taoism and we are about to start reading about Hinduism and Buddhism.

American History - dropped for now.  We just don't have the time for world history, classical studies, christian studies, and American history.

Christian Studies - honestly, I didn't plan to cover this at home this year since 14yo is attending a religion class (New Testament) every morning.  But... the class at church seems to focus more on teachings than historical background.  I think historical background is important to understanding the scriptures/Bible.  I was going to have her do just MP's Christian Studies lV, but it was a little too bare bones.  We are combining CS lV with What the Bible is All About for Young Explorers.  I have to admit that I love the YE book.  Between studying the ancients and this little book, I feel like I have a much better understanding of the Bible and the people mentioned in it.

Classical Studies - in the past, we made it about 2/3 of the way through Famous Men of Greece, so I'm having 14yo read through one lesson each week independently.   We were reading Dorothy Mills The Ancient Greeks together but it has become independent too.  It is easy to assign whenever life happens and I have her work alone.
We recently read Kingfisher Epics The Iliad during Morning Basket.

Science - Science in the Beginning.  Again, this is elementary level but we like it!  We try for a lesson a day.  The goal is to finish Science in the Beginning and Science in the Ancient World this school year.

Art - mish mash.  Using Home Arts Studio and art prints from different programs.  We are trying to do 1-2 art projects every week.  She finished the first level.  These are for young children but I think the hands on aspect is better than just an art appreciation course.

Music - learning to play the piano while playing Christmas music duets with me.

Finished this year:

  • Get Oregonized (Oregon state history and natural resources)
  • Dorothy Mills The Ancient World (cultures from the Old Testament)

Saturday, June 6, 2015

June 6, 2015

Productivity?  What's that?   Yeah, school's out for summer.

edit - The BIG news?  13yo is finished with swimming lessons until the fall.  She started out as a non-swimmer and finished up as a level 6.  So proud of her!

CNN Student News ended yesterday.  Boo hoo!  See you in August, Carl Azuz.

Latin - We finished lesson 15 and the 2nd Punic war.  : )

Math - 59-62 multiplying and dividing with decimals.

The Hobbit - finished chapters 15 & 16.  Reading chapter 17.  Dain has arrived.

Insects - 30 Helpful and Harmful Insects

A History of US, Volume 2:  Making Thirteen Colonies
  • Virginia's Capital
  • Pretend Some More
  • South Carolina: Riches, Rice, Slaves
  • North Carolina: Dissenters and Pirates
  • Royal Colonies and a No Blood Revolution

Famous Men of Greece - 25 Epaminondas & Pelopidas, Review 5

Animal Encyclopedia 
  • Senses
  • Behavior
  • Invertebrates
  • Kangaroos, Opposums

Friday, May 29, 2015

May 29, 2015

We aren't finished, but I'm done.  Somehow I totally lost my oomph over the Memorial Day weekend.

I plan to do math daily over the summer.
I hope to do bird and tree studies.
Anything else that occurs will be a miracle.

Latin - So close to the end of lesson 15 in Lively Latin 1.   We are diagramming attributive adjectives and predicate adjectives.  Scippo has landed in Africa.

Math - decimal fractions

Spelling - LOE high frequency words list #5

Literature - The Hobbit - working on chapter 15.

Insects - 28 & 29 Bees

Geography - Finland

American History - A History of US: Making Thirteen Colonies
Benjamin Franklin
Maryland's Form of Toleration
Carry Me Back to Ole Virginny
The Good Life

Famous Men of Greece - Xenophon

Friday, May 15, 2015

May 15, 2015

We were productive while at the community college; not so much the other days.  Thursday 17yo was a passenger in a car that was rear-ended.  I spent the afternoon trying to determine if she needed to see a doctor and then taking her to the doctor.

Here's a more interesting write-up:
Today we followed Bilbo into the Lonely Mountain, made our first brief visit to Sweden, scaled the walls of New Carthage with Cornelius Scipio, watched the Spartan Lysander lay siege to Athens, cringed when Charles II was beheaded and then Cromwell was exhumed and beheaded too, met a new religious leader - Zoroaster, and learned about the external structure of trees. Math, grammar, and spelling were thrown in for good measure.
And this is why my brain feels like it has had a whisk taken to it.
Love learning! Just hope it doesn't fall out of my head overnight... or in the next few seconds.

Working in Lesson 15 - adjectives.  The 2nd Punic War with Cornelius Scipio in Spain.

40-45  Common Fractions

The END!  We have finished Rod & Staff 6.  Who knows if she will retain the information, but we are done!

continuing LOE high frequency world list level 4

Literature - The Hobbit
Ch. 10 workbook
Ch. 11

22 Butterflies II
23 Unit IV Review
24 Wasps

2 The Root System
3 The External Structure of a Stem

Review Europe I, Norway, Sweden

American History
Memoria Press
20. The Beginning of New York
21. William Penn

A History of US
West to Jersey
Cromwell and Charles
William the Wise

World History
The People of Ancient Persia (Mills)

Classical Studies
Famous Men of Greece
Review 4

Friday, May 8, 2015

May 8, 2015

Well, it was nice while it lasted.   Normal life has descended upon me again.  In other words, we couldn't seem to get in gear this week.  It is true that I had a cold but it should NOT have slowed us down that much.  I might not have felt great, but I was putting in the same hours.  How could we have accomplished so little?

13yo started another session of swimming lessons this week.  We've been going twice a week since September.  We are both ready for a break (summer).

We finished Christian Studies II this week.  I flipped through the workbook and realized that I had forgotten almost everything.  And if I did?  I imagine 13yo doesn't remember much either.  It looks like it is time for a "slow but steady" long-term review.

Lesson 14 in Lively Latin Big Book 1 has been completed and we'll start lesson 15 next week.

Only one more chapter in English 6.  I'm wondering how much has been retained.  I keep telling myself that exposure will help her when her brain is ready.

The loser this week? Ancient History.  There never seemed to be enough time.  We did do a little with The Hobbit, but it suffered also.

I let 13yo go to a sleepover Thursday night, so Friday was a complete bust.  Her brain wasn't functioning at all.

English derivatives and more 2nd Punic War (Cannae)

Distance, rate, and time word problems, line graphs, prime factors, greatest common factors, lowest common multiples.

Misplaced phrases and clauses, courtesy in conversation, interjections, parts of speech review.


The Hobbit Ch. 9
Ch. 10 - read only

Science - insects
19 Moths 1
20 Moths II
21 Butterflies I

Trees - 1 Systems

Birds - 1 Feathers

UK, Ireland

American History
A History of US
The Pueblos Win - At Least for Now
What's a Colony?
Silver Nails and Big Tub

World History
Nothing :/

Classical Studies
Famous Men of Greece

Christian Studies II
Psalms of Joy
Jonah; Vision of Days to Come

Friday, May 1, 2015

May 1, 2015

Another amazing week.  : )

Current Events - CNN Student News

Vocabulary H - adjectives
2nd Punic War - Hannibal Outwits Fabius (The Fabian Policy, cattle with burning fagots on horns)

Lessons 27-32.  Capacity, area, time, time zones, mental conversions of English units, d=r x t.

English Grammar
115 - 119  Prepositions, Using Prepositions Correctly, Making an Introduction, Coordinating Conjunctions, Subordinating Conjunctions


The Hobbit
Ch. 6 - Out of the Frying Pan into the Fire
Ch. 7 - Queer Lodgings
Ch. 8 - Flies and Spiders

Science - Insects
15 Coleoptera I  (Beetles)
16 Coleoptera II
17 Coleopter III
18 Unit III Review (Diptera - flies, Coleoptera - beetles)

Netherlands, Belgium

American History
A History of Us: Making Thirteen Colonies
Statues on the Common (Mary Dyer, 1660)
Of Witches and Dinosaurs (Salem Witch Trials, 1692)
Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Maine (1636)
King Philip's War (1675-1678)

The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic
19 King Philip's War

World History
The Book of the Ancient World (Dorothy Mills)
21 The Land of the Hittites; The Hittite People and Their Cities
22 The Hittites and Their Neighbors
Review 4

Small blurbs about Hittites from our various history encyclopedias.

History Year by Year
2500 - 2000 BCE
The First Writing
2000 - 1500 BCE
The Metal Ages
1500 - 1000 BCE

Classical Studies
Famous Men of Greece
17 Themistocles
18 Aristides the Just

Christian Studies
23 Return to Jerusalem

Saturday, April 25, 2015

April 25, 2015

The most productive week I think we've ever had!

We've been starting with CNN Student News first thing in the morning to help our brains wake up.  Neither one of us is a morning person.

2nd Punic War - battles at Ticinus, Trebia, and Trasimene.
Practice using the future tense of sum (to be).

Lessons 20-23, 25-26 Solving division problems mentally, picture graphs, reading problems: picking out the correct operation, chapter review, linear measures, units of weight.

English Grammar
110-114  Adverb clauses; diagramming adverb clauses; simple, compound, and complex sentences; chapter review

List four words are getting more challenging.  A few mistakes here and there.

Using Memoria Press literature guide for The Hobbit.  Finished lessons for Ch. 4 and Ch.5.  Read pgs. 79-110.

Science - Insects
13 Diptera I - house fly, bluebottle, horse fly
14 Diptera II - mosquito, crane fly

Austria, Germany, review

American History
A History of US: Making Thirteen Colonies
Puritans, Puritans, and More Puritans
Of Towns and Schools and Sermons
Roger Williams
Woman, Hold Your Tongue (Anne Hutchinson)

The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic
17 The Beginning of Boston (1630)
18 Roger Williams (Providence, 1636)

World History
Mills 12 The Gods of Ancient Babylon
Mills Review 2
Encyclopedia of the Ancient World - Neo-Babylonian Empire
History of the World (DK) - Nebuchadnezzar II, Babylonian Captivity, Falls to Persia (Cyrus the Great)
History Year by Year (DK/Smithsonian) - pgs. 20-27  3000-2500 BCE, Battle Standard of Ur, Gods and Temples

Classical Studies
Famous Men of Greece
15 Miltiades, the Hero of Marathon
Review 3
16 Leonidas at Thermopylae

Christian Studies
22 Daniel and the Lion's Den; Prophets of the Exile

Sunday, April 19, 2015

April 19, 2015

Doing school two days a week (Monday/Wednesday) at the community college has turned out to be a good thing.  I'm still not thrilled about it, but it has helped us stay more focused and accomplish more.  We find a spot where there is decent Wi-Fi reception and camp out in a cafeteria style booth for the next 4+ hours.  It is hard on my old body to sit that long, so I take trips to the bathroom to keep the knees in working order.

13yo is still taking swimming lessons two afternoons a week  (Tuesday/Thursday).  We are going to do one more session then take the summer off.  I didn't have a goal in mind when we started in September.  She is in the level 6 class at the moment.  As much as we would both like to be finished, I think she needs to make it to at least level 7.

Current Events - We slacked off for awhile.  Picked up CNN Student News recently.

Latin (Lively Latin I) - Finished lesson 13 (ablative of place where and the 1st Punic War).  Working on lesson 14 (imperfect and future tenses of sum, esse, fui, futurum (to be) and the 2nd Punic War/Hannibal).  It will take a couple more weeks to finish lesson 14.

Math - R&S Math 7  1-19.  So far it has mainly been review of the four basic operations using larger numbers.  We are doing a math lesson M-Sat with hopes of getting through most of Math 7 before autumn.  We'll see.

English Grammar - R&S English 6 109/132.  Skipping the poetry lessons.  We are definitely in new territory - adjectives and adverbs.   This is the part of the book where we usually petered out, so we don't have a strong base to help us with the new material.  We've been learning about prepositional phrases and clauses which act as modifiers, and we've been learning how to differentiate between adjectives and adverbs.  About 20 lessons remaining.

Spelling - using Logic of English high frequency word list level 4.  I call out ten words each day to see what she already knows.  She has picked up spelling naturally.

Science - Insects
9 - Orthoptera and Dictyoptera II (grasshoppers and crickets)
10 - Hemiptera I (water measurer and water boatman)
11 - Hemiptera II (spittle bug/frog hopper, aphid, and cicada)
12 - Unit II Review

Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Switzerland

American History - Trying to sync A History of US and MP's The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic.  We backed up and reread "Indians vs. Colonists," "Massacre in Virginia, Poverty in England," "The Mayflower: Saints and Strangers," and "Pilgrims, Indians and Puritans" in A History of US volume 2.

The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic
9 - French and Spanish Quarrels
10 - Around the World (Drake)
11 - Sir Walter Raleigh
12 - The Jamestown Men
13 - The House of Burgesses
14 - Henry Hudson
15 - The Mayflower
16 - Plymouth Rock

World History - We've been combining encyclopedias and Dorothy Mill's The Book of the Ancient World (Memoria Press)
8 - The Land of Mesopotamia
9 - The Story of Assyria
10 - Cuneiform Writing; The Story of Babylonia
11 - Life in Ancient Babylon

Classical Studies - Still combining Famous Men of Rome with history in Lively Latin I.  Currently studying the 2nd Punic war.
Famous Men of Greece -  Agamemnon, Achilles, Odysseus, Lycurgus, Draco and Solon, Pisistratus

Christian Studies II
19 - Josiah; Fall of Jerusalem; Jeremiah
20 - Jerusalem Destroyed; Songs of the Captives; Daniel
21 - Statue of Gold; Writing on the Wall

Saturday, March 21, 2015

March 21, 2015 Saturday

We are finished with R&S Math 6.  I can't even begin to express how relieved I feel at the moment.  As soon as we finished the last planned lesson and I copied the review lessons, I bagged up the books (student and two teacher manuals) and sent them to a friend's house.  It seemed like I couldn't get them out of the house fast enough.  Having them gone meant spring break had officially started.

Where to next?  We'll be starting R&S Math 7 once spring break is over.

I've had a really hard time with school this spring.  Mainly I think it has to do with being a perimenopausal woman.  I can't say I'm depressed or that I feel bad, but I can't see to find the oomph to stay motivated on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, things are about to get a bit more frustrating.  Oldest at home chose to take a college class that would require her to drive a car rather than use public transportation.  [I'm going to insert here that I was adamantly against this from the beginning]  And, she can't drive without a license.  She just finished her driver's ed class but didn't realize that scheduling a driver's test would be so ... what do I even want to say here ... she is learning what it is like to deal with the government.  She couldn't get an appointment for a month.  So, it looks like I might need to ride with her during the first 1/2 of the term and I'll be dragging 13yo with us, so we can work on school.   I feel tired already.

Friday, February 27, 2015

February 27, 2015

Found an older blog post, so some of what I have written here is repeated.


Wow! Where has the time gone?  It's been a mixed bag.  Some days we've been productive and some we haven't.  The most progress has been made in the "check list" subjects - math, grammar, and Latin.

Latin - we finally finished lesson 12!  Since 12yo already knows how to diagram basic sentences, this has been a low key lesson.  Lots of history though - Manlius Torquatus, Appius Claudius (road builder - Appian Way), and Pyhrric victory.

Math - we've covered a lot of ground with math in the past month.  We finished chapters about working with percents, working with money, and figuring perimeter and area.  Only one more chapter in the book - circles, angles, and volume.  There is a final review chapter which we'll be using as periodic review when we start the next math book.

English Grammar - plodding along.  65-81 Pronouns - possessive, demonstrative, indefinite, interrogative,  and relative.  Now we are working on capitalization and punctuation.

Science - Insects
5 - Unit Review
6 - Odonata I (dragonflies)
7 - Odonata II (damselflies)
8  - Orthoptera I (grasshoppers)

Unit 1 Review
reading through Astronomy (Basher)

Introduction to Europe/Mediterranean Europe

American History
MP's The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic
4 Columbus and the Queen
5 Land, Land!
6 Home Again
7 How America Got Its Name
8 The Fountain of Youth

World History
Great Courses - The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
1 - Taking on the Other Side of History
2 - Paleolithic
3 - Mesopotamia

Classical Studies
Famous Men of Greece - Deucalion, Cadmus, Perseus, Hercules, Jason and the Golden Fleece, and Theseus

Christian Studies II
15 Elijah and the Priests of Baal; Still Small Voice
16 Naboth's Vineyard; Parting of Elijah and Elisha
17 Anointing of Jehu; Crowning of Joash
18 Death of Elisha; Warnings of the Prophets