Sunday, September 11, 2011

What We've Been Up To....

Now that we are settling into our official school year, I thought it would be a good time to give a progress report on how things are going.

The only "curriculum" we have been using weekly is Apologia's Who Is God study and Horizon's Health...both as a read aloud once to twice a week. This seems to work really well for us! My husband has even mentioned that he would like to do the Who Is God study with us.

The health lessons are extremely short, and make for great discussion starters. I haven't needed the teachers manual or the student workbook for the health lessons. The teachers manual is written more for a classroom or at the very least for someone with more than 1 kid! The workbook..meh... its for kids that WANT to fill out worksheets and some of them are group activities too.

We've also done three of the Meet The Master's Presentations: The Introduction, VanGogh, and Mary Cassatt.  I enjoy them a lot more than Padawan does, but he tolerates them because he loves me. haha

Math- He seems to be naturally coming across and learning the concepts that he will need to know to be ready for Algebra, so I haven't felt the need to do any formal math lessons with him. But still Math without paperwork just seems so foreign to me.

We dropped the Lifepac Science in the middle of the first book on Plant Systems -  our 1st week back in August! We found ourselves making fun of the lessons and especially the repetitious questions at the end of the sections. (I know that's probably not a good thing to teach him, but come on how many ways can you ask for the same answer over and over?...)

Last week during our time of "doing school", I decided to skip to the LifePac about Chemical Structure and Change because Padawan said that's the one he would like to do next. As I was reading the first lesson to him, it was stuff that I knew he already knew. He asked me "Are you enjoying reading things to me that I already know?" I said, "Well, I was trying to skip the main parts that I knew you already knew. I'm sure I'll get to something you don't know in a minute. He said "Yeah, but none of it is anything that I couldn't look up if I wanted to know it". (Yeah, I know, its called Unschooling).

So, it turns out the level is too low for him with these Science Lifepacs. I was hoping it wouldn't have been. I think we'll just pick and choose what experiments to work through and scrap even trying to read the lessons.

This is where things get confusing for me. How old to kids have to be before you can keep track of High School credits if they are already doing High School level work in Science and Social Studies.... I feel like the next 3 yrs are just filler years til I can start keeping track for real...The schooly part of me wants to tell him to slow down on science and history til it counts for real..

Spelling, L/A, and Math- he's pretty much at grade level now for those subjects- whatever that means anymore....

I guess I need more De-schooling....

World Geography and Cultures- Well, it turns out that stuff comes up all the time naturally. We haven't formally studied any countries or cultures as of yet, but we talk about different countries and cultures all the time due to other topics of interest.

Friday we started with the Introduction and Day 1 of Teach Yourself C in 21 Days. As I was reading it, Padawan was really excited that we were finally getting around to it, but he said that it was over his head. I told him that it was OK, because it was over mine too, but we would learn it together. He REALLY wants to learn to program. So, I had to learn what an Editor and a Compiler were and whether or not we had one. After a little help from my friend Google, I figured it we have a Compiler, and can finish Day 1 and move onto Day 2.

For the past two weeks, I have been taking notes of what topics we covered, were exposed to, or had discussions about each day. I'm keeping a list of all the resources we used too- mostly documentaries, YouTubes, and websites.  I think this system works best for me for record keeping. I've actually been pretty diligent about it, but even so I know I haven't captured everything.

99% of these were covered in an Unschooly way since I started taking notes:

History of Dogs, Genetics, Value of Art, Pittsburgh PA, VanGogh, Degas, Cassatt, Tigers, Nuremberg, Origami, Euclidean Geometry, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus, Pluto, Mars, Earth, Venus, Mercury, Atmospheres, Moons, Gravity, Birth of Stars, Colors of Elements, Crab Nebula, Black Holes, Space Probes, Galileo, Hubble, Nuclear Fusion, Super Novas, Geography of the Eastern US, Pangea, Plate Techtonics, Formation of Mountains, Ecosystems, Cherokee Indians, Trail of Tears, Revolutinary War, George Washington, Daniel Boone, French and Indian War, Fossils, Greenland, Global Warming, Glaciers, Bahamas, Vaccuum Cleaners, Collections, Dollywood, Muscles, Genetics, Steven Hawking, Time Travel, USS Normandy, the 80’s, Johnny Cash, How Sugar Is Made, Molasses, Acids and Bases, C02, Saturated and Supersaturated Solutions, Snakes, Crawfish, Bees, Beavers, Spiders, Venom, Neurotoxins, Ghingas Kahn, Hannibal, Napoleon, Hitler, WWII, Dinosaurs, Graphic Design, Photoshop, Foucault, Kinetic Energy, Ferro Fluid, Non Newtonian Fluids, Homeostatic Motors, Hovercrafts, Habitats, Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Republican Primary and Election Process,Boiling Point of H20 in Fahrenheit and Celsius Molds, Fungi, International Date Line,Middle East, Java, Typewriters, Press Hats, Plot, Theme, Setting, Character, Latin Roots,Apostrophe's, Commas, Terrorists, Coyotes, Crime, Drug Awareness, Computer Programming Languages, Line of Composition, Texture, Mental Illness, Fractions,Consumer Math, Polygons, Large Numbers, Exponents, Scientific Notation, Percents,Metric and Standard Equivalents, Allegories, Atoms, Matter, Mass, Creation vs Evolution, Prejudice, Discrimination, Making Decisions, Brazil, Largest Countries, Owl Pellets, Bones, Nutrition, Editors and Compilers....

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