If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. ~ Adlai Stevenson

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Relaxing Rigorously...

Yesterday was good. The Boy got Saxon Math 6/5 in the mail, the 3rd edition of the homeschool version, and is delighted with it. I think one of the appealing points is that it is a write-in workbook, so he doesn't have to copy the problems out. I was a tad worried about him going from 5-10 "Fred" problems daily to 35 Saxon problems, but he didn't have any issues with that. The full lesson took us maybe 30 minutes, not too bad! We'll have The Girl's Saxon Math sometime during the next week, so in the meantime she's doing some Math Mammoth work. I'm not sure which she'll choose - Saxon or Math Mammoth - but either choice is good with me.

The other area I am amping up a little is language arts. The Girl will keep moving through Reading Pathways... she's been making some excellent progress in her [late] reading efforts recently, and I don't want that to stop. I may add in some word family work as well, and of course we're keeping up with Explode the Code. I'm not sure if we actually like Beyond the Code or not. The Boy will keep working through Soaring with Spelling, and he's working in The Paragraph Book three days a week now, and then he gets a day with free writing (he still adores Unjournaling). I think I'll have him do level 2 in The Paragraph series, maybe level 3 (they're short books), and then we'll move on to Writing the Five Paragraph Essay.

Right now I'm all about building a good foundation.

Now, the relaxing part... history and science.

We've decided it is okay if we take a while to get through world history. And it is okay if the kids pursue different interests in the fall, or maybe during the summer... The Boy would love to spend a while on the Greeks, and then the Romans, while Cassia is thinking about American history (she loves Sacajawea, and The American Girls), so in thinking ahead, I'm planning to wrap up our spring semester with the following (using K12's Human Odyssey still as a spine):

Ancient Egypt (we'll add in OUP's Ancient Egyptian World)
Ancient China (again, OUP has a book we can add in)
Ancient India (and the OUP book)
and finally, the Ancient Americas, focusing on the South American cultures of the Aztecs, Incas, and Mayans.This last isn't in the K12 book, so we'll just be winging it with the OUP book.

We'll add in our Horrible History books that correspond as well. We really should be be making better use of these fun and gruesome books!

Then, in the fall, The Boy can dive right into the Ancient Greeks. The Girl can tag along, OR I'm thinking of "secularizing" something like this for her... maybe. Of course, this means putting off the Middle Ages for a while longer, but by the time we get there, The Boy will be more prepared for reading more advanced versions of King Arthur, and so forth. And we don't want to hurry through history--there's too much fun stuff there! Too many potential rabbit trails to just "get through it". We might read the entire Rainbow Book of American History, and/or the books from this, over the summer, and for The Girl, more American Girl books, etc., so that by fall she might be ready for the Greeks instead (truthfully, it IS easier to keep them both on one path!), and this may satisfy her interests while giving the kids a stronger background in American history!

As for science, after reading/flipping through The Magic of Reality myself, I'm setting it aside until fall because you know what? There are so many rabbit trails in it that I think we could use it over a whole year. Seriously. For example, in the first chapter alone, Dawkins discusses evolution (yes, I am one of those), DNA, Watson and Crick, Mendel, Darwin, scientific models, stars and galaxies, dinosaurs, and much more. So if we add in trade books and projects, it could be very full. This means that I should just accept the inevitable, and actually buy the book rather than repeatedly checking it out from the library.

And what will we do in the meantime?

We're hatching mantises, ladybugs, and butterflies. I want to get ahold of some tadpoles. We're drying out a possum skeleton that we think the dog may have killed. We have everything for worm, frog, owl pellet, and sheep's heart dissections on hand. And we're getting our garden ready for spring. We're finishing up a wonderful book about wild "pets". I have Real Science 4 Kids Level 1 Biology, and the Physics book is on it's way to my house. We have Dr. Art's Guide to Science on hand as well. And, we're starting to read The Story of Science: Aristotle Leads the Way. A lovely lady on a homeschooling forum put together a list that correlates the Story of Science books with Milestones in Science, so we'll be working with that once a week.

All this means that while we're learning a lot of science, we're not stressed about it. This week, science has been mainly setting up habitats, and watching documentaries. And I'm good with that!

Hope you're all having a good week!

1 comment :

  1. I love it when you post about what you're using. I never fail to find something new to check out! Thanks for sharing.


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