Thursday, May 5, 2011

Weekly Wrap Up-

What a week!

In Science we started working with my teen his new Biology Unit ( resources are posted over on my science tab also see the resources below under "NOTES") and I found some great resources. I have one resource I wanted to highlight and that is CK-12 Flexbooks. 
This is a free program. You join and register for free and can browse through their text listings for what you might be looking for.

My teen REALLY wanted and asked to do Biology so I decided to try out their Biology Book (Highschool Version).

He absolutely loved it. He read through the first chapter which included objectives, vocabulary words, video lessons embedded right into the text and review questions.

I learned more by watching their quick video tutorial they have on the bottom left of their web site and found it very helpful. Just this week I signed up and registered and submitted a request for the teachers books I need for the texts I will be using. All Free.

I also created my own "Flex book" this week by clicking and dragging the chapters I want in his textbook. Once you save these you can send it to your print center and then after a short time you will get an email explaining that your text is now ready to be used and adapted into three forms, an HTML, PDF or Reader. How terrific is that?
We are very happy with this so far and my son (most importantly really enjoyed it) It gives interesting facts and in-depth considerations for topics he is much more interested in. We just love it. Now I find I am looking and browsing over more of them!

Since we have been working more consistently with our block schedules Science is now more at the forefront of their learning and I love that and I think they do too.

Our teen also downloaded Blender  (an open source 3D creation program) today on our computer. He heard about this through another homeschool buddy and was able to really see what it was liked and was instantly hooked. So even today - after lessons he was on Blender tutorials learning 3D animation~ 

Our younger son asked me the other day if he could learn about "puddles" and I remembered exactly what he may have been talking about.. ECOSYSTEMS! He described how he knew his older brother didn't like it to much but wanted to learn about living cycles inside things like a puddle! I could not believe he remembered this because it was a year ago when we worked on it. So we are going to JUMP right on that soon as we finish up our cells unit. ~ and having heard this, I am going to extend out an experiment we are doing for our cells unit with Pond Water. I think  a "Pond Study" might be very appropriate right about now~ :) He was already saying how we should not only test the Pond Water but compare it to our own water from our well.
"music to mum's ears" !! hooray... ~ we are on the move with our science!

Math is going well working through our concepts. Today division was a struggle for my younger son~ here is my "math story"; ( this may be a repost for any MOTL users so you can skip if you want)
We have been working through learning division this past week. My younger son has dyscalcula so I sort of figured we might have some issues with his understanding it. We did. ~lol  He was doing "ok" but it was at a point where he wasn't clearly understanding just how he was getting these answers. He surprisingly had gotten all the steps down but he would still mess up when trying to understand the beginning where your trying to see what ___ can go into ____.

I think I started off wrong. I almost ALWAYS use MOTL teaching books first when introducing a new concept. I don't even look at what the workbook says~ Carlita's explanations are so much easier and logical for me to relay back to the boys I just always use these as our "start". We are working in ABEKA Math - only because my son saw one of his friends doing this and LOVED the pages I mentioned I started off wrong. I did not go right to MOTL to read through her notes. I just jumped in because I was working with my teen on something and skipped me going to my teaching books, big mistake! Can I just say!

I was wording things all wrong for him. I was taking a problem like 8 divided by 4 and saying/modeling "ok, so we can ask our selves what times 4 equals 8 ". oiy. I don't think I was thinking.. as I worked he was getting some but he wasn't understanding what we were doing I could see this clearly while having him work a few problems when he started adding! - He started to get that sad look on his face with disappointment and so I said "ok, we are going to stop here, mum is doing something wrong". - (that sounds alot better and is more truthful than him doing something wrong in my opinion).lol  I said " I need to go back and read Carlita's books". He said
"OH mummy you forgot to look at Ms. Carlita's books! "

I learned I needed to use our manipulatives and not assume he understands division and reword things to ask "how many groups of 4 can go into 8". sigh. Once we came back together after break, I ran through this with him and he got. No troubles, no frustration, he was chuckling because of how easy it is to understand.. so at the end "my teacher" says " now I need to practice my skip counting more" LOL ~ sigh...

I wanted to share this because I thought it could help others who might not understand how or if MOTL can fit for them. It can fit for anyone. It works by itself or as a "go to" place or a supplement. I have not read too many posts where people use it as a supplement but can offer my own experiences that it is a GREAT resource and is SO flexible I really don't know what I would do without it. :)

Our History is now filled with lapbooking and lap-n-notes. I designed a history syllabus / lapbook outline for my teen to match his history and he is going to be doing lots of folds for facts and things. I think he will really like the change up!

Science NOTES: 

On-line Biology Text- from CK12 can use from the very beginning
The Biology Outline (link resources included for each topic)
On-line Biology Text- from CK12 can use from the very beginning Biology Course- Hippo Campus - videos and lectures

Book Resources-   Biology Homework Helpers
                               Janice Van Cleave's Biology for Every Student
                               Lifepac 804 ( Nutrition and Nutritional Diseases)
                               Lifepac 809 ( Photosynthesis, Natural Cycles, Balance & Disruption

Video Resources-
Kahn Academy - Biology section for first year college or highschool biology
Zane Education- Biology section- mostly classification and animal videos.
Learners TV many video lectures and videos

Online Resources-


That's about it for us this week~ Until next time!

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