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)

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