Friday, March 30, 2012

Ideas and Updates~

What we have been up to~ 
I have been really busy lately adding new information to the LAH pages~ I have found a whole bunch of great things to use for our home learning and along the way I have thought of some new ideas as well.  I will share them here so lets get right to it, shall we?

Things are going wonderfully with our Grammar.  We have been working through editing passages and I have been reinforcing all our parts of speech and grammar usage through the editing as well. The boys are enjoying the quick lessons, find the edits/proofreading a fun challenge and I have never been happier in making this change in our grammar practice.

I have added a bit more information to our "language" page as it pertains to our Grammar and other areas. I am updating this as things shift and new things fall into place.  Links and a blog post from Jimmies Collage was added, this really was a great post to read for me and explains very closely to how we have been working Grammar lately, with great fun and success I really should mention.
          What are we using? 
We are using Evry -Day Edits from Education World   
I like them very much and they are all free broken down by months of the year.  We are using these while waiting for our books for editing and grammar reinforcement, ( Daily Grams) I chose these after considering a couple others and found these to be the best for us right now. I plan on then getting Editor in Chief series later on and working also with one sentence per day with IEW's Fix it. ( to help them reinforce lessons from there)  

           Why did I choose Daily Grams

First and foremost, these are quick lessons, I am finished with having long drawn out daily lessons with grammar and usage. They are just too boring and we didn't find it helped our writing much at all so what is the point? Writing and editing has been really spicing up our writing and the boys find it challenging and fun. some edits they work on together especially the longer paragraph passages they have been using lately. 

I liked the breakdown of the lessons in Daily Grams. Each lesson has a component (capitalization, punctuation, general concepts and sentence combining along with a dictionary review) that will save me time and my favorite part was the sentence combining practice, with this part of the lesson I can reinforce IEW's stylistic techniques we have learned.  

One thing that I have seen over the past only few weeks is that by being less repetitive and by seeing our our subjects can overlap, we are saving alot of time for things we enjoy doing like studying politics, discussing current events in the news ( my boys can't get enough of these things) extra curricular activities like their archery AND we may even be able to add in more science exploration at this point. - purging the mentality of "busy work" and getting right down to interesting reading, discussion and narrating is our way to a great day of home learning. I will share more about this in the "Taking Stock" series I am working on. 

History Changes! and Geography too!

BIG CHANGES are coming to our History learning. I sat with a cup of coffee the other day skimming through my "Timetables of History" by Bernard Grun what a fabulous resource book to use for learning history.  I pulled this out because I had just ordered the book "Abraham Lincolns World" by Genevieve Foster  and as I learned more about it ( it is a book that talks about Abe Lincolns life and things that were going on in our world around his time)  I was intrigued with the concept of teaching history in a more collaborative way. For example if we were learning about the Civil War we would also learn about things at that particular time period that was going on around the world at that same time. It is a way to integrate World and US History and I think it will bring a deeper more interesting understanding of our history learning.   

I will be leaning on many different time lines to help me do this and am really excited to get going on this. I have never seen this done before (excluding Genevieve's books) and look forward to digging in. I also plan on sharing more as this idea and concept lays out~

 Heritage History review from Jimmie~  I am sure it comes to none of my readers surprise that I subscribe to Jimmie's Collage blog. I love her ideas and I find that her styles matches ours very closely, even more so now that I have 6+ years of homeschooling under my feet.  

Jimmie did a great review of a place I have written about a while back Heritage History. They now have CD's with teaching and study guides to go along with their reformatted books.  I love this! and am planning on picking up a few of these for our history learning.  Be sure and check out this blog post, Jimmie also has a special code you can use for saving yourself some money, it runs till June 30th. 

Geography~ it can be boring and feel disjointed when taught separately can't it? I just hate that~ but incorporating geography into your science and history teaching can really liven things up!  We have been working with the study guide and books from Winter Promise, but I was disappointed with the Geography lessons- they did not compliment the material we were working with so I am changing this part.  When we read about a particular place we will go ahead and grab a map and check out where it is and read a bit about it. Start a notebooking page or make a lapbook fold for it with information they find interesting. 

I just found this (new to me) site called Xpeditions Atlas and I just love it. It will be great for our notebooking. There are also many other interactive maps to explore here as well~ 

Another "find" this week from me was Holling C Holling book series. These provide a more "living" approach to learning Geography and we are adding these to our list of books to get! they are a must for us~  here is an example of one of them.

Note: the above two resources I found at a blog a friend of mine had posted about called Afterthoughts.

I had a homeschool mom recently ask me this week about doing a study of our state and what we had used. I had to really think about this because we didn't actually "do" a "unit" on our state. ( you know the kind you have to do in 4th or 5th grade where you list the state bird, the state flower, the state motto, history of your state etc.. I realized we had done this much different so I thought I would share this here since I was talking about Geography. 

      LAH Geography in OUR state~ 

* A few years ago, we visited our local library and found a really old book on our town and read some pages from that we learned a great deal about how our town received its name and other interesting facts about our area.

* We then moved out from our town to our state and visited local history museums around our area, we talked with old timers who were MORE than happy to share stories about the families who lived in our area and state.

*I also picked up a few local magazines that are printed for our state and found out interested facts and read interesting articles- everything from stone/rock wall history to the 18 wineries we have in our state, farming and tourist economy in our state and then most recently we took a trip to our State House and sat in on some bills that were up for a vote in our legislature. 

* We visited a local zoo and wildlife preserve and then went hiking and learned about native plants and animals indigenous to our area.  

We plan on doing much more,and as I wrote this out explaining what we did, I realized it was a much more hands on "living approach" to learning about our state. The boys know a whole bunch of information, yet it isn't written in a report it is living with them~ how unique and extraordinary the thought of this is to so many~ :) Perhaps this will give you some extraordinary ideas also with your teachings of your own state.

One more thing.....

Free Muli-level curriculum outlines!- free is always affordable. Lee has put taken the time and put together these multi-level curriculum outlines for learning in different areas. These are great for someone who wants to "print and go" with a certain topic. They can be used as a checklist and also a great supplement when looking for information on something. I really liked how they are also multi-level as well.

Until next time~

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