Thursday, September 29, 2011

New Lesson Outline Pages

We made some minor changes to our Block Scheduling bringing it down to a four day schedule while we continue to work all our subjects but more in a Unit Study fashion. It really seemed quite natural to do this because on the days when we would have our block days we wished we had been doing this all week~ We finally caught on and the boys had an idea. Turn thing around and let their favorite studies be their core, while integrating some of the other subjects!

We tried it out this week ~ I just wanted to see who it would go and it fit perfectly leaving Fridays for volunteer time, Home School Group gatherings, errands and chores etc.

If you are interested, I saved these outlines at these links: Science Core Outline and History Core Outline ( I call them outlines because I leave them very flexible to pull or push to the next day ~ always writing in pencil and this "outline style" has worked splendidly for us this year for the boys. ) Your also going to notice there are different Core Outlines, that's because I have two very different learners and I am following their real interests to make things much richer and rewarding. As we work further into these areas of their interests teaching, facilitating and learning has been so much richer and more successful.

I am now slowly transitioning  their Language Arts skills to be directly integrated with their Core Subjects. It has worked wonderfully so far. It is much easier than I thought it would be~ My journals I use help me do this because I can follow what we do in the program on say Monday in IEW's Fix It and follow through the rest of the week reinforcing the topics/skills/lessons. We are finding more retention in certain areas too just because we are giving more "meaning for teaching" and that is always a good thing.

I have found by using more of a lesson plan method just means that things get all bogged down and we feel frustrated because the "plan" may not have worked out as well as we should. Our outline leaves room for bunny trails on the scheduled topics and makes learning much more fun and comprehensive!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Grammar Practice~ Subjects and Predicates

Today we worked on learning about complete sentences and also complete subjects and predicates.  We need a bit more practice in this area so I went looking for a few more resources for some fun practice in this area.

Here are some games I found for practice~

Quiz Time ~ find the complete subject and predicates with multiple choice
Rags to Riches ~ a game that you play to find simple subjects and simple predicates.
Gamequarium~ practice with sentences
Sink or Swim

Here is a wiki page on subjects and predicates~ Kmott

And some worksheets to add to notebooking pages etc~
Super Teacher worksheets
English for Everyone
Worksheet Works

I think many of these things will really be fun for practicing subjects and predicates~ Happy Grammar!

"Type it In" Reading Log~

Here is a new Reading Log I created this morning for my youngest son who has been busily practicing his typing.
This is a unique Reading Log because you are able to type in the title and author. I thought it would be good for his typing practice and he will be keeping this on his desktop so he can continually add to this.

I also wanted to alter our old one to something a bit older for him as well he seemed happy with this one. ~ 

If you would like to download this Reading Log you can find it here.

Happy Reading !

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Science Learning and new Unit Studies program

We started our new year trying out a new science program for my youngest.  It didn't go over as well as I had hoped. ( thank goodness for the flexibility we have while we teach at home)  Even though we will still use this here and there, I decided to look and try something different for our science.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Our History Day~ and Homeschooling for Highschool the CM Way

We started today working our new history program, Winter Promise.  I had shown the boys this program and we were all very excited to start in on it and today was the day.

It went so well today. I absolutely love the program. It has so much in it that you really can't possibly do all the study guide gives you. But I love the fact that much of the background and research work is done for me. We are really going to enjoy our history this year, and I am really glad I made the choice to try Winter Promise.

photo credit 
I have both boys working the same program~ American Cultures ( 1860-2001) it is scheduled for grades 5-8, however, I am altering this so that my teen can enjoy these wonderful reads and activities. His work will be a bit more involved and more will be expected.  It has worked wonderfully so far.

Our youngest decided to go and create two separate lapbooks; one for the Union States and one for the Confederate States. At first I wasn't sure it would work but as he explained what he wanted I decided it actually would be great. His plan in creating two lapbooks is to show the similarities and differences more significantly between the two sides while our nation was divided.  I thought this was a really interesting approach. And I was also surprised since he told me "NO MORE LAPBOOKS".  As I asked about this he cleared things up with explaining "but this is different, making a lapbook like this is cool". ~

I like how he now takes the reigns with things and my teen was looking up propaganda ( after having read about Lincoln's secret train ride to the White House) ~ he decided he wants to look and create posters of the different forms of propaganda used during the Civil War and other times in history. I loved it!   We have a tendency to really spin off from what we are doing but I think its part of the fun and freedom we have while teaching at home and teaching our own.

It really brings me back and grounds me more when I have days like today~ sitting and reading aloud to them from several living books and listening to the oral ( younger child) and written ( teen) narrations. I really feel as though Charlotte Mason and Ruth Beechick really had it right all along. We work so well this way.

I am planning on re-visiting my CM and RB books as a refresher this helps me to bring more whole learning and less busy work into our learning at home ( at least it does for me).  I need reminders often since we can easily get pulled away into the more traditional, public school model for learning.

Often when you surf the internet you find lots and lots of questions on homeschooling through highschool and how to do while still practicing a CM approach, that has worked so well previously. I haven't found too many answers to these questions but hope to explore this deeper and be able to answer some of my own questions I have over this next year.

For starters, here is a series " Basic Mainstays, Homeschool Through Highschool"  that Simply Charlotte Mason had written a bit back. I really find it helpful and thought I would share this with my own readers here.   There are five parts to the series you can easily find the others below the first article.

If you would like to share any thoughts or comments on this topic/article ~please feel free to post, I look  forward to any feedback anyone would like to post and share. It think this could be a wonderful conversation here at Learners At Home.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Free- Electoral College Voting Map

Sign up to receive a FREE 2012 Electoral College Map. I just did this afternoon~ just in time for the 2010 elections. I found out about this from a favorite place I subscribe to: Freely Educate~ Enjoy!

Starting French - Printables and Resources

We are starting French this year.  Our first year working on a foreign language.  I found some great links that have been working really well for us so I thought I might share.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Spelling helpers~ Rules and a Resource to Share

Many times I hear how people find that spelling rules don't always help their early speller. I would have to agree to some extent. I have found that when introducing spelling to a younger learner it can be hard at times,( especially for special needs children). My experience this far has been that when introducing spelling (encoding) AND rules at the same time it can be too much, too soon for many learners.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Our Assignment Blogs~

I have had a few people asking me lately about our Assignment Blogs I have created for both my boys. I thought it might be helpful to explain things a bit better here for better understanding.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Starting our New Year~ Our Planners

The covers to our planners
I had finished our Lesson Planners a couple weeks ago. I am just now getting around to sharing them. We have had a busy couple of weeks with lots going on at our home. My planners I have created are from various web resources I found and some that others have shared with me.

I will try and explain how I am going to be using these and things I changed in order to suit our own needs and why.

You might like these~

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