Friday, August 27, 2010

Science Boys Will Love...Graphic Science Comic Book

This summer we found this great collection of action graphic comic science books featuring Max Axiom. Max Axiom is a superhero scientist with all the super hero trappings, cool car, cool tools and super smart. Bonus he is a hero of color kicking down the doors about the stereotypical nerds. Bonus Bonus he kind of looks like DH. Big educational bonus the books have real substance and are engaging to boys.

DH and son have spent hours sharing Max's adventures. We just wish there was an action figure.

Here is what Kevin Hodgson of The Graphic Classroom had to say:

"Capstone Press has created its own brand of superhero – Max Axiom, Super Scientist – whose exploits uncover the mysteries of the scientific world. Max Axiom, who sports a bald head and cool glasses, dives into many adventures in the series, exploring such concepts as sound, energy, ecosystems, and others.

With INVESTIGATING THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD WITH MAX AXIOM, the reader goes through the steps of the process of scientific discovery in a very meaningful way. The story doesn't skimp on explanations and the writer (Donald B. Lemke) and illustrators (Tod Smith and Al Migrom) use the graphics inherent in this form to its advantages, showing detailed illustrations that reinforce the story and explanations."

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Not Back to School Blog Hop: A Day in the Life

Not Back to School Blog Hop

It is the final week of Heart of The Matter's Not Back to School blog hop. It has been an great month of sharing and learning with and about homeschoolers all over the world. Thank you to all the families that open their homes and hearts to the bloggersphere. This Blog Hop is a great database for new homeschoolers and veterans who need a little inspiration.

This week's theme is a Day in the Life. We're supposed to share what our average homeschool day looks like. We do not started school until next week, but I would like to share with you our plans.

I shared last week how this year was based on a visual plan. A way for us as a family to see where we were spending our time. The first draft did not have a lot of time to school.

So we downsized what we were doing outside the home to bring the focus in our the family and learning this year. If we find this schedule is to socially light we can add play dates and other activities to it later.

Key to being happy this year is to start the day with a plan. We have a schedule so then I pulled together my own planner based on the more complicated system from last year. It to was downsized to include monthly calendars, daily work plan with workbox numbers and subjects. I have a section for notes but would like a computer program to log in the books we have read.

So that's what our days should look like. Most importantly this year will be a focus on the students needs and the family needs. Blessings.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What is Mom going to learn this year?

We always have great goals and plans for our children for the school year, rightly so because this is our job. However we often forget to stop and say what will we learn this year? What are our goals? Is the homeschool plan or curriculum supporting the family goals for the year?

My friend Faith (that shall be her internet name) and I took the challenge this year to plan our homeschool year in advance. What we did not want for ourselves or our children is a mother who is burnt out and tired before November. We spent days planning and outlining what we wanted to do for the school year. We prayerfully made daily and monthly schedules to share with each other. It was wonderful and energizing but most importantly flaw revealing.

First where were we on the schedule? What are we going to learn this year? When are we taking care of ourselves? What are our goals? I am not speaking of the vague "going to get in shape" goal. We are looking for scheduled self care time and learning opportunities outside of home education. What new skill will you have at the end of the year?

I challenge you look over your photos from last school year. How many times are you actually in the picture? How many events are there where it is just you and your friends? Homeschool conference only counts as a half a point. :-) If you are in the photos only with your children and less than 20% of the time maybe it is time to schedule so "me" time.

I know what of I speak because I am the chief offender in this offense. My goal is not to separate from my family but to cherish who I am as a person, mother, wife and loved child of the most High.

Secondly there was way too much outside activities going on and not enough education time. I know sounds really strange coming from the women who was freaking out earlier this year about her only child not being around other children, but it is true there was very little time for quality schooling on the schedule.

Take a look at the schedule before adjustments. All the green areas are home education blocks. If you look at my curriculum plan for 2010 they don't seem to match up right?

How in the world was I going to do all of that learning with less than 8 hours a week with a real life child with emotions, meltdowns, good days and bad days? Plus we all know how much learning actually happens after you leave the house for the day, none. Because you are tired (If you have ever driven on the beltway in DC you understand this.), the kid is drained and oh that little aliment called "Do I have to?" kicks in after lunch.

Finally we realized that we had planned out days excluding our husbands. Where is Dad in the schedule? What is he doing? How can we include him in our day?

So as we gear up for another year I am looking at the whole home while planning not just the school. It may mean school starts a little bit later this year but it will mean a more focused year.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Not-Back-To-School Blog Hop: School Room Week

Not Back to School Blog Hop
This is "School Room" week Heart of The Matter's Not Back to School blog hop. This gave me a personal goal put our room back together from summer break in time to share it.

We have officially been in our new home here a little over a year. We downsized with last year's move which has been a blessing and adjustment. You will be amazed how simple life can be with less stuff.

The desk we got for TS last year is growing with him and he has added his own decorative boy flare. Next to his desk are the workboxes waiting for work, his telescope for stargazing and crayons for drawing.

Across from that are some of our books which I finally colored coded over the summer.

We learned from last year that some studies can only be completed with minimal or no distraction so we incorporated the Concentration Penthouse upstairs. It is a nice calming space with a lot of sunshine for inspiration or concentration. The art on the wall is all TS's from his art class.

I built myself storage shelf in the basement and organized it by discipline. As the "Back to School" signs went up in stores, I grabbed the family and went through all our supplies. It was great to go through all of the school stuff as a family. We were able to bless a lot of families with our excess and only spent $20 on school supplies.

Have a blessed year everyone.

We have been so incredibly blessed with this move and look forward to an exciting year of learning. If you get a chance check out some of the awesome learning spaces at Heart of The Matter's Not Back to School blog hop.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

2010-2011 Homeschool Curriculum HOP

Thanks to the good folks at Heart of the Matter for hosting Not Back To School Blog Hop. This always helps me organize my thoughts and plans.

Not Back to School Blog Hop

So here we go……………….

We are introducing new math, grammar, spelling and History program this year. Also we are going to start to focus on more home education and a little less roadschooling.

This is our planned curriculum for homeschool for 2010-2011 2nd/3rd Grade Years:

Core: Five In A Row
Our primary curriculum will be Five In A Row Volume 4. I wanted to move to Winter’s Promise for a theme program because I simply didn’t have time to plan, print and organize FIAR this year. But after going to the local homeschool conference I realized that FIAR can work for us just modified. In the seminar about gifted children the speaker did warn changing everything from year to year. After the BIG MOVE last year where his whole world changed, I think we need to limit the amount of changes this year.

After much prayer we thought it best to leave the spine of FIAR but altered it to fit our needs. FIAR has a bible curriculum which I will be using and adding lapbook elements for scripture.

Introducing Grammar with Winter’s Promise Language Arts curriculum and living books from the series “If you were” .

We are excited to start Right Start Math this year. The box arrived last week and we can’t wait to get our hands on the manipulatives.

This will be our first year of formal history study using the Story of The World program Volume I, Ancient Times. It covers history from the First Nomads, Egypt, the Jewish People, Abraham and Joseph, Hammurabi and the Babylonians, the Assyrians, Ancient China, Ancient Africa, Exodus, the Phoenicians, the Greeks and Rome.

Physical Education
We are enrolled in a Homeschool Physical Education co-op class, basketball class, swimming and martial arts.

We are enrolled in a local co-op class and visiting museum exhibits throughout the year.

We are enrolled in a local co-op class and taking part of in free concert/play venues in the area. The search is still on for individual instruction but we do have an at home drum program.

We are enrolled in a accelerated local co-op class and visiting museum exhibits throughout the year.

I am so excited!!!!!!

You can read more curriculum plans and add yours at the Not Back to School Blog Hop.

Prayerful Planning

"If you're starting your new school year depending on your own abilities, be careful. Only the Lord can show you those things that will make your homeschooling truly successful. As you depend on the Holy Spirit, you will not only discover wisdom to teach, but you'll also have your eyes opened to see all that God desires for your family. "Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God" (Psalm 123:1-2a).
Lord, forgive me for my foolish pride that fails to acknowledge You as Lord. Open my eyes to see Your plans for our family this homeschool year and teach me to constantly depend on You. In Jesus' name, Amen."

Courtesy Alpha Omega Publications