Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas to me! I just put the finishing touches on our rough draft for 2008 fall term. We have used some CM principles, some helpful ideas from Ambleside Online, and mixed them together with what works for OUR family. I still have to choose some Fine Arts components, but here is what I came up with so far.


Blank SCHEDULE that you can edit (Open Office)

6th Grade Curriculum
- Term 1

American History (1865-1890)

  • Reconstructing America by Joy Hakim – Ch 1-37
    (Pre-read 3 chapters per week as teacher background.
    Assign as independent reading or read together and

  • TruthQuest History AHYS III – use commentary as
    teacher background and discussion material.
    Use TQ book list to set up a Book Basket of free reading.

  • Keep a history notebook or timeline book.

  • Create a reading log of books read.




  • alternate 2 weeks of grammar instruction with 2 weeks of
    writing instruction


  • Integrate with American History using weekly
    blackline maps & Trail Guide to US History

  • Memorize States/Capitals using games, software, songs


  • Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

  • Old Yeller by Fred Gipson

Music (See Fine Arts-At-A-Glance schedule) Plutarch



  • Variety of inquiries and readings from TOPS Science, Bob Jones University Science, Janice VanCleave books, home library, public library, kits, local classes. Emphasize vocabulary and labs.

  • Keep a science notebook of vocabulary words, hand- drawn diagrams, reading lists, and labs.

  • Complete one major science project or participate in a
    nce fair.



Blank SCHEDULE that you can edit (Open Office)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Waiting for Christmas Highlights

Quick page "Christmas of Olde" by Christine Smith at Raspberry Road Designs

Miss M performing in a play called "The Reason for the Season" with other homeschool kids from our co-op. She is the angel, btw. : )

Playing the camera person in our church pagaent, "A King is Coming to Town."

She also sang in the choir. As you can tell, she was lovin' it!

Our American bulldog, Sally, taking time from her busy day to pose and wish you a Merry Christmas!

With our remodeling project is about 80% done, and our house is looking more like a home than a Home Depot now! : ) My wonderful husband did an awesome job with all the installing, putting things together, and putting up with my various demands, errrr, requests! Now, we are going to take it easy and enjoy our Christmas break. We fill put the finishing touches on in January.

What will I do on my Christmas break? Homeschool planning! I plan to do some planning for next year, and will be posting those as they are done. Our fall schedule will include American History from 1865-1910 and will have a definite Charlotte Mason feel (of course!). It would also be fun to get a few scrapbooking pages done and finish a couple of books.

May God bless you and your family, and may you draw near to Him this season! We wish you a very Merry Christmas.


Friday, December 14, 2007

Weeks 16 & 17 In Review

The Reason For the Season

For the past couple of weeks we have been doing Homeschool Light around here. We are ahead enough in our curriculum plans that we could take the month of December off (shhhh!), but since I have so much to do with our remodeling project it honestly works better to keep Miss M busy with school work and normal routine in the morning. We have been mostly doing Math or English, reading, reading, reading, a little music appreciation and TOPS/Time4Learning Science. Miss M has been devouring her reading books, acquired on a recent trip to Half Price Books. She has loved other books by Edward Eager, so what a delight that we found another called Time Garden. The other book we picked up is Bright Shadow by Avi. I recently heard about Book Adventure, so I'm going to encourage her to take the little book quizzes and work for prizes. It is a blessing to see her choosing reading as one of the favorite parts of her school day! When she was younger, I could not have imagined! On Tuesday, Miss M said simply, "I'm starting to like math now because I feel like I'm getting good at it." Indeed. She scored a 100% on her last math test, and has been doing her lessons almost eagerly. I truly believe it is due to working through 4 pages of CLE Math every day, complete with daily fact drill and systematic review. All the practice, which was NO FUN initially, is finally paying off. Math has always been somewhat of a struggle at our house, so I am enjoying the breather. A neighbor girl asked Miss M if she could tutor her in math. How exciting. They say that the best teachers teach subjects that they have struggled in. I am going to encourage this, because I have found from personal experience that teaching is the BEST way to learn.

TOPS # 32 "Electricity" is a HUGE hit here. Miss M likes to work through the task cards on her own, gathering supplies from around the house. When she is done with an experiment, she shows it to me, I correct and initial her task card, and we discuss. She is loving the independence! Time 4 Learning complements TOPS nicely, as Time 4 Learning teaches the vocabulary and concepts systematically. Easy for me and enjoyable for Miss M. I think we have a winner!

I will close with some pics of Miss M as an angel in one of the Christmas plays she is in. The play is called "The Reason for the Season." I pray that this joyous season finds you with peace in your home, peace in your teaching, and peace in your heart. : )

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Menu Planning

I found out that I love having a menu plan. It is freeing! Tasty, healthy meals really minister.

Our breakfast plan is still working well. It is nice to just get up in the morning and see what is for breakfast -- and it ain't Fruit Loops! LOL! I haven't gotten around to planning lunch, but am open to it. Just don't have the time at the moment. Here is what is our family is eating this week:

Breakfast Menu
Monday: Whole grain fruit muffins or fruit bread (I made a double batch last time, so this week I simply pulled them out and unthawed), cheese, fresh fruit

Tuesday: Fruit Smoothie, hard-boiled eggs, wheat toast

Wednesday: Oatmeal with a touch of natural maple syrup, Protein bar, fresh fruit

Thursday: Self-serve

Friday: Cheesy spinach egg scramble or fried eggs, wheat toast or bread, fresh fruit

Dinner Menu
( I am using Saving Dinner: Low Carb - Winter Menu #6):

Monday: Pan-Seared Fish with Lemon-Sage Butter

Tuesday: Carolina Crock Pork

Wednesday: Skillet Chicken Mediterranean

Thursday: Polka-Dot Meat Loaf

Friday: Thai Shrimp on Red and Green Cabbage

Week-end: Cube Steaks with Rich, Sweet Onion Gravy

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Weekly Report - Weeks 14 & 15

The past two weeks have been extra busy with celebrating dd's birthday and remodeling our main floor. I have not blogged in a while and I apologize for being such a slacker! We have been installing new laminate flooring, painting, wall papering, replacing trim, and trying to decide how to rearrange rooms. We are only about half of the way through the project, so my blogging is going to be short and hit-or-miss!

Miss M finished up all of her books on o
ur China study early. We decided to move on, rather than extend the study. She also finished up her literature book Wheel on the School, so it was a great time to move on! More on what we decided to do as our Main Lesson later.

Reading time has been going better and better. Reading comprehension and enjoyment have been so good since I scheduled reading first thing in the morning. While most moms recommend reading in the afternoon after the "3R's" are finished, I have found that beginning the day with reading is just the thing for a former reluctant reader. A good book is a pleasant way to ease into the day. Beginning today, her new "required" reading book is Rascal by Sterling North.

In music we are listening to Chopin's '√Čtude No 3 in E major, Op. 10, No. 3.' Our folk song is 'Wild Colonial Boy,' and our hymn is 'Take My Life.' Music combined with a little free time and phy-ed has been really fun and we will continue this. I have a custom music CD and a schedule in our Fine Arts folder, so Miss M can take the lead on getting this done each day.

Christian Light Math and Language Arts are still working extremely well for us. I can't believe the difference in her confidence level since beginning CLE.

Now back to what we are doing in place of our Eastern Hemisphere study. Our newest Favorite Thing has been, and so we decided to spend some concentrated weeks on the "Electricity a
nd Matter" Time4Learning science unit. We are adding in TOPS "#32 Electricity" for experiments, and some United Streaming videos. Instead of daily plans, I arranged a weekly packet for her to complete. Her packet for the week consists of:

  • Time 4 Learning "Electricity" Lesson Plan printout - do 5 Lesson Codes
  • Complete 5 TOPS Task Cards
  • Watch 1 United Streaming Electricity-related video
  • Be able to answer the following:
  • What is electricity?
  • How do electrons flow?
  • What are differences between alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC)? Give examples of and define AC and DC.
  • How is electricity measured?
  • Define volt, amp, ohm
  • What is Ohm's Law?
  • Generate an electricity-related question and design an experiment to try and answer it

The first week's science studies went extremely well. Miss M was able to complete her science packet independently, which is her preference. Since it's been crazy busy around here with all of our household projects, it has been the perfect thing for us right now.

I'll try to post again when I can. God Bless!

: )