June 16, 2011

Book Review: The Relaxed Home School

Over the summer, I try to read as much as I can - fun books, educational books, self-help books, biographies, miscellaneous non-fiction.  If it's a book, I'll read it!  One book I just picked up at the library was The Relaxed Home School:  A Family Production by Mary Hood. 

I really enjoyed this book.  It was a really quick and easy read (always a plus for busy moms, right?)  It was also full of great practical tips for not stressing over homeschooling.  It definitely has an unschooling tilt, but with useful tips for any homeschooler, in my opinion.  My favorite section was the chapter on homeschooling for high school, and ways to keep a simple log that can help significantly with future high school transcripts. 

What books do you recommend for homeschooling or homeschooling high school?  I'd love to hear from you.

June 9, 2011

Assessment Complete!

We had our annual assessment on Tuesday.   In Ohio, we can use standardized testing, a portfolio review or a written narrative signed by a certified teacher.  We go to a local certified teacher who homeschooled / unschooled her children all the way through.  She now teaches special ed in a local school (she unschools them, lucky kids!)  It's always inspiring to hear the other moms talk about what is working, what is not, what their kids are interested in, etc.  It's also great to hear from the assessor on what worked for her - and her kids (all in college studying various science-related careers.)  It gives this mom a little relief that yes, homeschooling works, and yes, you can go to college, even if you homeschool.  Always a fun time - very informative.

We also attended a park day this week with our homeschool enrichment group.  It was good to get the kids out and reconnected with their Leaves of Learning buddies.  I felt a little out of place because most of the attendees were full-time Leaves attendees (so they want it to be more school-like, there was even talk of a PTA - oh my), and we are happy very part-time attendees (who don't want it to be school-like, it's not school!).   Just more things to keep an eye on down the road.

We also hit the Lego store after our park day, and picked up the first Master Builder kit.  My kids LOVE Legos, so I'm hoping by learning the "more advanced" techniques, maybe they'll feel more confident building their own designs.  I'm sure I will.  :)

June 3, 2011

Curriculum Plan for 2011-2012

As of today, here is the plan for our next school year (which will start probably in early August - we're really enjoying the leisurely days of summer).  I have A-Doll who will be in 8th grade, J-Guy in 6th grade and S-Doll in 2nd grade.

Literature Unit Study (should last around 7 months):
Further Up and Further In by Diane Pendergraft - an in-depth study / reading of the complete Narnia series.  We will also be completing lapbooks from In the Hands of a Child to go with a few of the Narnia books.  This will cover many subjects - although we plan to supplement with some in-depth science and history unit studies, to be determined soon (based on the interests of my kiddos).

A-Doll wants to study Geometry.  We'll be using Math U See Geometry, Patty Paper Geometry and Janice Van Cleave's Geometry for Every Kid.  I figure S-Doll and J-Guy can play around with some Geometry, too.

J-Guy will be working on fractions, decimals and percents via living math books - and some fun games.  Probably also Life of Fred.

S-Doll loves Math U See - so she'll be focusing on Beta this year.  I also intend to start practicing times tables with her (did I mention, she loves math?)

Grammar / Writing:

Grammar Town by Michael Clay Thompson, working through this and then Practice Town.  We also have Paragraph Town, but I'm thinking about going with Institute for Excellence in Writing, we need some serious writing structure, here.  I also picked up a copy of Jensen's Format Writing which I think I'll incorporate, too.


Spelling Power for A-Doll
Sequential Spelling for S-Doll and J-Guy (together)

Hands-on Science:

Astronomy, Birds and Magnetism kit from Homeschool Science.  http://www.homeschoolscience.com/index.html

A-Doll will finish up Botany, and then we will choose another higher-level science for her.  I'm thinking Biology, but it's up in the air.

I'm sure I'll be adding more to our curriculum as I find time - I'd like to add some art/poetry/composer studies, too and an emphasis on nature studies. 

Here's to a good start!

This post is linked up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers Weekly Wrapup   Check out more postings there!

June 2, 2011

Quiet these days

Well, we've technically wrapped up another year of school.  We have our annual assessment next week, and then we'll be moving right along.

We don't take the whole summer off - we tend to school year round, although informally. 

We've spent time swimming this week and a day at the park.  Also, the girls have been continuing with Tae Kwon Do.  My plan is to start Tae Kwon Do in the fall or late summer.

I'm working out the exact plans for curriculum, etc. for next year.  I'll share our plan soon, once I have a chance to finalize what I think is best.

Enjoy the quiet days of summer!