Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Our Days In December~

We have been really busy this past November, it seemed to just fly by... We are already into the holiday season and things are getting even busier.

Right about now, I am always thankful that we home school because of the hectic schedules and very busy days. We are able to be flexible with our studies and squeak things in here and there~ for me, its the flexibility that is the key.

Some notes about our Studies~ 

We made some changes to our curriculum a bit, altered things here and there and here in December we will only be working for about two weeks with our studies.

For the next two weeks we are primarily concentrating on working Math and our History and Science. It is going well and leaves us to be able to catch up on some areas we had not had time for previously while working our cores this year. Writing has been a real focus for us this year and the boys are doing great with their IEW programs. ( SWI C for highschool and my youngest is working Fables Myths and Fairytales and is almost done and should be starting the Following Narnia Series right after Christmas in January).

One really big hit this year for my middle schooler has been something we picked up called Science Fusion. These are interactive texts that are used online and my youngest loves it!. He is working through the Module B Diversity of Living Things.  this program has completely livened up my son's science. We purchased two others the Ecology and the Environment and also Matter and Energy. He works from a spiral bound notebook add vocabulary folds and cut out pictures from the full color workbook that comes along with the curriculum and does his writing of things he learns in that one notebook.

We add lots of color and folds in it as well. There are virtual labs and many other activities like National Geographic videos etc.. that really make the learning much more richer and interesting for him. He is a very visual and auditory learning so this fits him wonderfully.
I was able to get these through Rainbow Resource for a very decent price.

I am finding that with both boys as they get older and as the information is much more in depth that using things like notebooking, graphic organizers like a Venn diagram and things like this really helps process and organize the information.

One area I am really going to start focusing on is having them use and put into practice their skills they have acquired with their IEW program into their writing for Science and History. This needs more practice we are just about there but still more modeling is needed. I quickly saw this over this past week when my youngest was writing about a scientist and began circling "phrases" and not just key words in his paragraph. I let him go and wanted to see what was going to be the outcome. Instead of writing out the outline he was able to tell back and write out the information on paper from what he circled. I saw this and we had a discussion on how summarizing and putting things in our own words is important for both understanding and copyright reasons. I am glad I saw this because now we can focus in on using our writing skills in our science and history curriculum. ( I think what happens is we get so busy moving along with our writing programs that I forget to encourage writing across the curriculum so that they can actually "see" the benefits of learning these skills. I made a mental note of this and it will definitely be encouraged in the coming new year.

The rest of the month we will be taking off for holiday chores, family get-togethers and other things.

I have been working on adding more to our cooking blog over at Inside Mama's Kitchen, so if your looking for some cooking ideas you might find some on there as I continue to post through this holiday season. You can also catch up with us on my facebook page Learners at Home.

I hope everyone is enjoying the month so far and will try and keep up with our blog here a bit more as time permits. ~

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