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

Friday, September 5, 2014

Week One Down...


Actually, the week, as far as homeschooling, went very well. Better than I expected our first week to go! We changed a few things around, but that's to be expected. We had some big hits, and no misses (yet anyway).

A slightly old picture, with her pal Emily

The Girl tackled Saxon Math 6/5 this week, as well as a few lessons from Reading Horizons. The math was, this early in the year, mostly review work... a lot of pattern/skip counting, which I explained to her is a great way to practice multiplication. She finally noticed the pattern the 9 times table makes, and was very excited to share her discovery with me-- "Mom, the 10's go up, and the 1's go down, and then halfway through, you just turn the numbers around, and if you add the 10's and the 1's...they always add up to 9!" I remember too when The Boy made that discovery a few years back, and it made that part of multiplication so much easier. In reading, she worked on common words, "ed" endings, and silent e words. We also started reading Dr. Dolittle's Puddleby Adventures, which she very much enjoys. We read from A Child's Story of the Animal World (our "new" science/zoology "textbook") about the animal kingdom, and small creatures, such as the amoeba. And she watched a couple of episodes of Blue Planet. How we love David Attenborough! The Girl says "his voice is soothing and he knows SO much about animals!"

We did not get to our writing plan this week, but will add that in next week. I also hope she'll apply her reading lessons more next week to actual reading. I picked up a few library books for her, and we've been writing each other notes, plus I leave her a note every morning when I go to work and she's still sleeping. And I need to pick out some projects for her to do from The Amateur Zoologist.

Another slightly old picture

Something has happened with The Boy. Somehow over the summer, my boy really started growing up. He took all responsibility for his own work this week, and did everything I gave him to do without complaint. Not only without complaint, but happily!

This week he tackled his first lessons in The Art of Problem Solving. Now, if you have never seen this math series, it's pretty tough. It is what is called "discovery based", meaning that they give him several problems to solve at the beginning of the lesson, and then explain ways to approach them. This fosters a different sense of understanding than math he has done in the past, and so far he absolutely loves it. I had him sit down yesterday and read, a second time, through their solutions, and he kept saying "I never thought of it this way, but they make it easier". He did manage to get nearly every problem correct this week, so I think we're off on the right foot. He also read a chapter in Conceptual Physics, defined the key terms, and answered a couple of the comprehension questions, in addition to watching a lesson from How Things Work, which involved fairly copious note-taking. And he watched an episode of Into the Universe, wrote an informative paragraph on the uses and benefits of nylon, and read several chapters in The Phantom Tollbooth. He also worked, on his own, on a few drawing projects from Drawing: The Complete Course. And he did lesson one in German, from Duolingo.

I realized yesterday that next year, he will be the same age I was when I started summer art classes at the local junior college as a concurrent high school student. He is very excited about the idea of trying out college that way next fall! He figures he'll start with an art class, then maybe add in German, and then start taking placement tests for math and English. In a nutshell, that means we have another two years, more or less, to finish building a really strong language arts and math base. YIKES!

Next week I want him to continue working with Write Source 2000, to develop other types of paragraphs, and to brainstorm a writing project. And I think I might add in readings/projects/videos from The New Way Things Work, since the Conceptual Physics readings don't take him long.

I asked him point blank if he noticed I ramped up his workload this year. His response was "Yeah, I noticed, but I like it."

And a really old picture!

We did an art project (Drawing Upside Down) together that turned out to be tougher than I anticipated. We watched an episode of Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts, all about what music really means. We started our logic/arguement course, which, as it had Monty Python clips, was a huge hit. The Girl even insisted we take the quiz at the end of the section we did, so I let them answer the questions, getting 9 out of 10 right. We read about Crete in The Book of the Ancient Greeks (as well as a chapter in The Human Odyssey, but the kids and I prefer the Mills' book), learned about the origins of the English alphabet with The Word Snoop, analyzed some denotations and connotations with Figuratively Speaking, made progress through The Twenty-One Balloons, and started The Marvelous Land of the Snergs just last night (our bedtime reading), which so far is just absolutely delightful. We also started our Sunday geography studies, using DK's Geography of the World and outline maps from National Geographic.

Next week we'll add in grammar and poetry, and I plan to read from Tales of Troy and Greece, especially the stories of the Minotaur, and of Daedalus and Icarus, since those were specifically mentioned in our history readings. We'll tackle our geography reading with The Glorious Adventure, nature reading with Swampwalker's Journal, listen to some more Bach (the composer of the month)... and I am still planning our art project.

Looking at everything here, it has been a good and full first week! I am very pleased with what we're attempting, and how well it has started out. Now only 35 weeks to go!


  1. Sounds like an awesome week! I have been considering AoPS for Grace since she is flying through Life of Fred Algebra and I am concerned it may be too easy for her. So I will be curious to know how you all do with it!

  2. that looks like a full week!!! I miss mine being little pushing each other in laundry baskets!!!


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