Archive for November, 2011
First, I have to mention…my book would make a great Christmas present for a teen, young adult or another homeschool mom or family in your life. The King Will Make a Way is a story of living with a sold-out faith in Jesus. It’s an allegory set in a fictional historic village. The protagonist is Gabriel, a teen boy, with his twin sister as his side kick. The antagonist is Vulpine, leader of the village with his sites set on replacing the King. Though many are martyred, as this book is a metaphor of the end times, the book avoids graphic descriptions so it can be read out loud in front of younger children.
The book not only has strong literary elements, it also can lead to great discussions on the Church, what is it, what’s it function, how can we create that today; faith, can we really trust God no matter what, does fate ever lie in our hands, what is our responsibility; choices, one of the characters makes a big choice in the book, why does she make it and how can we make similar choices to die to self daily in order to live for the King.
And of course, I made tons of homeschool materials to go along with the book: lapbook mini books, notebooking pages and worksheets. There is great stuff for language arts and writing. If you have a coop and want to teach the novel, I can help you with lessons for the classes. I have prepared lessons for a formal classroom setting which I don’t have posted anywhere.
I do hope some of you will consider getting the book for a friend this Christmas.
We had our own science fair here at home involving only my children. My son tested his remote control race car on different surfaces and made an Alice video about it. The link will take you to the Alice website. He doesn’t want me to post his project here. My daughter tested different types of vanilla ice cream and made a poster.
She used this online graph maker for her data graph. We’re using another online tool right now for history, an online timeline maker. This is pretty cool. I’m having the kids make one for our study of WWII which is going to last about 2 months. You can add text and pictures to your timeline. We are working on a paper time line as well, but that will just hold the beginning and the end of the war. The online timeline will hold the details.
For English we are in between bigger writing projects, so we’ve been doing short, one- and two-day writing activities. They have written informal and formal letters. I gave my kids a sample business letter. My son had been reading The Peterkin Papers so he has written some funny stories like in the book. I gave both my kids this graphic organizer to organize a story. In the first box goes the character description. The other boxes are for the beginning, middle and end.
And speaking of funny, here is my six year old reading knock, knock jokes in front of the family. Yes, this is school. I make them all read/recite in front of everyone from time to time. (It’s all in the curriculum.) He had been learning about different types of sentences. Ones that end with a period, an exclamation point and a question mark. I realized that knock, knock jokes contain all three! I had him write one and he also read from the page of jokes I linked to.
This year is the first time I’ve taught chemistry. I’ve avoided it until now. It’s been okay though. There are tons of experiments out there and we’re getting it. I finally have a picture of the periodic table lapbook pieces I made. You can click on it to see it bigger. My one son holds them in a lapbook. My daughter doesn’t use the pockets and glues the pieces onto notebooking pages labeled with the group name for that element. My other son uses this wall chart. It doesn’t look exactly like a table, but he’s lined up the periods and groups. My 6 year old just puts them anywhere. You can download the lapbook on the Free Stuff! page.
The best site for learning about the elements is Chem4kids. You can not only learn about but for each one, hear it pronounced and see pictures of where you can find it in your world. For older kids there is a site with videos on each element.
While building my free curriculum, I’ve decided to include a video of each experiment in case you can’t do it yourself for lack of supplies, though all are pretty simple to get. We managed to get hydrogen peroxide from a local hairdresser, when she finally realized what we were asking for, and we made elephant toothpaste
Sorry, that’s all my camera allows for in terms of video. BTW, the videos in the curriculum are not like this. They are better, not my own, and all embedded so your kids are never sent to youtube to see the comments :S
Here’s the video from the curriculum, if you want to learn to make it yourself:
Alright folks, hi, hi, hi, ho it’s off to work I go.
School is going pretty well. There are always things I’m tweaking. I’ve started having each kid tell about what they learned at school that day at the dinner table–basic narration, but helpful. One of my kids told his grandfather we were studying WWII when we were studying WWI.
Narration is always a good thing. Studies show it to be the most effective way to remember something. And if you think about it that makes sense. Instead of just copying the information, say to fill in a worksheet, you are taking in the info and assimilating it enough to be able to recall it and tell it back in your own words.
My son got to 8th grade on Master Math and then he hit a mental road block and said it was too hard. So we played with this interactive algebra equation solver until he could do it in no time at all. I thought we would use this equation balancer, but it wasn’t help for to us.
My daughter has dropped out of Sketch Tuesday. Only made it once! She started some free art lessons though and has homework, so at least she still has a deadline each week. Above is one of her assignments for her lesson.
Right now my kids are working on writing biographical essays. We used hamburgers to help us write the parts of each supporting paragraph. We also read about introductions and transitions. I gave them this proofreading checklist to use with their own essay.
I always try and keep school short so there’s lots of free time for drawing, reading and experimenting. Here’s my oldest son in his free time building the latest contraption.