I’ve been getting ready for our new school year which starts in just a few weeks! Summer came a little too early for me this year and it’s already in the 90s and we’re supposed to have our first 100 degree day this weekend. We’ll be starting our school at the end of this month, and then you’ll be hearing from me more regularly as I post what we are doing for school.
This year our history theme is ancient history. I’ve already posted lessons on ancient Egypt and China and Mesopotamia and the Mayans. For science the major theme is biology. I’ve been working on the human body so far. My seven year old boy had so much fun testing out a video on the excretory system with me today. He couldn’t wait to tell his brothers it was about peeing. I need an eyeball rolling emoticon here 🙂
My oldest son taught me how to make a video of my screen. I tried to make a video about my online curriculum (my kids’ school assignments). It’s not that great, but here it is.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EyL9Vvi9vs&feature=g-user-u&w=360&h=250]
My daughter, just today, had 10 pieces of artwork in her first art exhibition. It was an exhibition of local artisans. There were weavers, metal workers, embroiderers, even dancers.
Last year was the first time we didn’t school year round because I was working on writing their assignments online and wanted to get ahead of them. We are taking this summer off as well, in part.
Other than that they are doing the usual:
We finished another school year. I still haven’t finalized our portfolios though :S Note to self…
The last three weeks we worked on a big project. They chose a research topic related to our school year theme and wrote a report, did an experiment and created a 3D project based on it.
I made them present their projects and I videoed them with my laptop, awkward, but the best we have for the job. It was excruciating for them to present, but they did it. I had a science fair page on my curriculum, so I added history fair to it and put their videos there. If you use the curriculum, send in your kids work, and I’ll post it! Living in a city with no other homeschoolers, we obviously don’t get to have coop and science fairs and such, so this is our best effort. (My son did his 3D project on the computer; he built a 3D model on the computer, so you can’t see it.)
It may not be the best work in the world, but I’m proud of them. Their work is their own and they did their reports by following the instructions in the curriculum from researching to outlining to writing and revising. Panama Canal Computers
The Lord has provided for us in numerous ways. We even have some dramatic tales of His provision. But let me share one about homeschooling. We are in a situation different from most of you because we live overseas. There are resources (like a library!) and experiences (like homeschool coop) that we have had to give up in order to serve the Lord. You may not live overseas, but you may feel that there are resources and experiences you would like to give your children, but you can’t because of finances. I want to encourage you with this testimony.
One of the things we missed out on by being overseas was free art lessons for my daughter. I’ve talked before about her artistic abilities. I’ve shared the couple of books I’ve been able to give her. But at different times I’ve felt bad that I couldn’t help her progress. My best friend in the States had been an art teacher before being a homeschool mom and gave lessons in her home to homeschoolers. My daughter never got to take those lessons.
Less than six months ago my daughter started free art lessons here! My husband met an artist in the street one day. He is a refugee and was excited that he could speak Russian with my husband (his college major). He invited my husband to bring our then eleven-year-old daughter to the weekly lesson he taught. Everyone but us paid for lessons. (You also have to realize that our family lives in the poor neighborhood where the refugees live and not in the fancy neighborhoods the other students come from. We live simply so people see that and want to help us out, plus the artist was just excited to speak Russian!)
After a few months he asked my husband to bring our daughter as often as possible to work with him on his commissions. She now goes four times a week for a couple of hours at a time and works alongside him on drawings and paintings that people have ordered. What an amazing opportunity to be apprenticed! How unbelievable that she has worked on paintings that have sold for $500!
I didn’t have to worry about how I was going to provide art instruction. He gave her the gift and He is seeing to it that it is developed. It’s much easier now to trust that He will do the same for all of her younger brothers.
I’ve also been thrilled to get a few emails recently from families who are using my online curriculum, calling it the Lord’s provision for them. I am so happy the Lord is using me to help families continue homeschooling when they are faced with unemployment. If you know of families considering giving up homeschooling because of finances, please let them know about the curriculum.
When we only had little kids, we often just skipped Easter celebration, apart from going to church and eating the treats there. There have been times we’ve skipped Christmas too. It’s easier for us to get away from the American cultural celebrations because we live overseas away from family, but as our children have gotten older, we’ve added more celebration and tradition into our holidays. I thought I’d share with you what has become our traditional Easter “egg” hunt.
I hide these egg shaped papers around our home. Different years I’ve done it different ways. There are 36 of them. 12 are pictures; 12 are verses; 12 are references. There have been years where I assigned each child to one type of “egg” they were to find, like the picture eggs. As we’ve grown to 5 kids, I now assign them areas of the house to search in. You could do a combo of the two as well. For the one-year old this year I printed out the page of blank eggs for him to find. (Link below)
After everything has been found, I have the kids work together to match the pictures to the verses to the references. Once they have them all matched, I give them a treat which they eat while I read/tell them the story they just put together.
(Yes, that’s a toothbrush holder and soap dish holding things on the kids’ desk. The big bowl is my bread bowl. Don’t know why it’s on the desk 🙂
The eggs are from Lapbook Lessons. Scroll down and click on the left where it says “Resurrection Eggs page 1.” There are four pages to print.
After I read this post by my online friend, Jimmy, I made a note to myself to have my kids make up review games at the end of the school year. This was the week. (We only have 3 weeks left of school. We start in the HOT summer and break in the lovely spring.)
I assigned them to make a review game for history. My daughter made this colorful board game with tons of question cards that each had an assigned point value that sent you either forward or backward that many spaces depending on whether or not you answered correctly. She loves history and loves crafts, so she put a lot of effort into making this great.
For a review of the elements for science, I had my kids play Go Fish with these element cards from another game. I just printed out the first two pages of element cards three times each. Then the kids made sets of three.
I haven’t written about science in awhile. WWII really took a long time! We spent the first part of the year working on chemistry. Then we moved onto physics. The last science post I wrote was about electricity and magnetism for which we used a lapbook. Since then we’ve used lots of online resources. Physics is pretty fun!
There are so many great links. I couldn’t possible list them all here.
Here are some fun games to practice forces. My kids would play these any time just for fun.
Here are some more resources.
Friction game elementary
Friction game middle school
Forces worksheet elementary
Forces worksheet middle school
We learned about the laws of motion and simple machines. We watched tons of videos for simple machines. We sang the inclined plane song for days. (That’s a youtube link.) There are School House Rocks and Brain Pop videos that we watched on youtube as well as Bill Nye the Science Guy.
Of course you can see all that we do for science at the Easy Peasy All in One Homeschool. 🙂