Tuesday, August 23, 2016

School Summary - The First Two Weeks of 9th and 7th grades

 
Right away, I can tell this year is going to be different.
For the past 5 years, we've done school together. My Father's World is parent-led. That's fine because most ages learn together. So I only had to teach one science, one history, one art, etc. This year they're learning everything separately. You can see what we're using here: 9th grade curricula and here: 7th grade curricula.
With lots of new programs, we're figuring out how it all works as we start the school year.
To get started we celebrated with back-to-school gifts.
Soprano was given a horse bookmark, some candy, a horse placemat that we'll hang in the schoolroom, and a new Bible.
 Tenor was given a math tool set, mechanical pencils, some candy, and a new Bible.
We also took first-day-of-school pictures.

Tenor worked on:
Math: Has gone much better since we started Algebra 2 over. His first test was even 100%! I'm not sure if he just ran out of steam last year, if his brain needed to mature, or if redoing lessons he's already done is just plain ol' easier, but math has been great thus far.
Grammar/Literature/Vocab/History: Supposedly, the first few weeks of My Father's World AHL is extremely difficult and a huge change for students. They even recommend starting your high schooler two weeks before your other kids start so you can spend lots of time with them getting them adjusted. I didn't do that because I only have two kids and knew that Soprano would be working mostly independently. But either Tenor's not working hard enough (unlikely), it's not as bad as they say, or he's had enough prep (I'm hoping this is the reason why), because he's not struggling at all.
He's finished all of his assignments as scheduled and finished his first high school argumentative essay without any difficulty. I am thankful. :)
Bible: Reading in Genesis and Job for AHL and working through Genesis in Bible Road Trip. I really like his Old Testament Challenge text. It's not graded; it functions more like a devotional, but it also offers opportunity for discussion.
Science: I forgot to schedule this the first two weeks so he'll start it on week 3.

Fine Arts: Tenor started his Harmony Fine Arts plans and turned in a decent short essay on de Palestrina. He also started a short guitar course from Schoolhouse Teachers. I need a little more time (aka money) to buy his emedia.com course.
Foreign Language: Greek was just review for the first two weeks. He'll begin copywork in week 3.

Electives: He did a few chapters of logic over the summer so I didn't schedule this for the first few weeks. I figured we'd need more time to get adjusted to school and the higher level of work required.


Soprano worked on:
Math: She had 3 chapters in Life of Fred Ice Cream to finish (week 1). She'll start Jelly Beans in week 3. Jelly Beans is the last of the elementary series in LOF. She also did a lesson of Saxon math all of the other days.

Grammar: English has been a struggle this year. The only reason is that she has some kind of a mental block about it. She got behind on day 4 and hasn't caught up yet. I ended up cutting one of the writing assignments and substituting a different assignment from Uncle Sam and You. We need to figure out what's going on here and see how we can adjust (either attitudes or work) to have less weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Mine and hers.) :)

Literature/Vocab: Soprano's first literature book in History of the Horse is King of the Wind. She did some geography map work, researched Allah and the Quakers, and completed comprehension questions.
 
Bible: I changed the suggested Bible Road Trip schedule to stretch one week's work over two week's time. I think her favorite part so far is watching What's in the Bible? DVDs that go along with the book(s) she's studying.

History: I scheduled Uncle Sam and You for the whole year putting the holiday lessons as close to or on their exact date of celebration. So Soprano started her year with the Fourth of July lesson and then ended week 2 with National Aviation Day. For now, I've made the Picture It assignments optional but later in the year, I'll probably require more of them.

Fourth of July lesson - America's birthday poster
Fine Arts: Soprano started the 8th grade Harmony Fine Arts plans. Her first artist is Renoir.

and her first composer is Tchaikovsky.


Foreign Language: French. I'm dragging the depths of my brain for anything I learned in French to help her with pronunciation. There's not much there I'm afraid. I did, however, learn that the French chef in Disney's The Little Mermaid says "Tout a l'heure! I have missed one!" Not what I always thought he said...which was not that. :)


Extras: We did some Fire Safety worksheets (to fulfill what I'm required by the state to teach each year). And we saw the Budweiser Clydesdales
 
That was about it. I'm trying to get us back into the school mindset and figure out all our new curricula. It's been an okay start. Day 1 was amazing! The rest, not so much.  Week 3 starts...now. :)

Monday, August 22, 2016

Fleece Patriotic Wreath

 
When I think of summer decor, the first thing that comes to mind is definitely not fleece! But I really needed a patriotic wreath for our front door to go with our patriotic living room.
I stumbled across this cute wreath on Pinterest and decided to make one of my own. I didn't want such a large wreath so I used a 14" wire form and eliminated on of the blue sections. For the rest, I followed her directions pretty closely.
It felt like 100 degrees having that in my lap tying all the strips on, but I'm pleased with how it turned out. Cool, right? :)
 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

2016-2017 7th Grade Curriculum Choices - Notgrass, Beautiful Feet, Winter Promise

 
Tenor is headed into high school with new curricula so Soprano is on her own this year. I'm a little sad that we won't be learning together anymore, but we're switching things up and using several new curricula and focusing on her love of horses this year, so I think it will be fun.
Here's what we're planning on Soprano using for her 7th grade year:

Math: continuing on with Saxon and Life of Fred. She'll begin Saxon 8/7 and continue with Life of Fred Jelly Beans. She loves LOF so much that she did Goldfish, Honey, and Ice Cream over the summer. She's also started talking about going to college to become a math teacher. We shall see. :)
 

Grammar: English 7 by Rod and Staff
It includes grammar, some composition, some poetry, and some speech. Gets it done without too much pain. Bonus: no more spelling. We don't do formal spelling after 6th grade. Soprano is not complaining. :)

Literature/Vocab: History of the Horse by Beautiful Feet Books
Beautiful Feet is a new publisher for us this year. I saw their horse program and knew Soprano would probably love it. This program is intended to be done as a read aloud study, but I created a set of notebooking sheets to make this more independent. She'll tackle a huge stack of horse literature.
Books included are:
King of the Wind, White Stallions of Lipizza, Justin Morgan Had a Horse, Misty of Chincoteague, Brighty of the Grand Canyon, and Mustang, Wild Spirit of the West, Black Beauty, Album of Horses, Eyewitness Handbook of Horses, How to Draw 50 Horses, Horses of the World card game, George Washington's World, The Star Spangled Banner, Why Don't You Get a Horse, Sam Adams?, Bully For You, Teddy Roosevelt!, and One Bad Thing About Father. The Black Stallion is scheduled at the very end as an extra book with one assignment, but is also in her science curriculum.

Bible: Bible Road Trip Year 2 -- dialectic stage
Soprano will be using year 2 of Bible Road Trip. I thought it would make life easier if they each had a separate set of plans to work from instead of having to share a binder every day. This will put her doing year 1 (Old Testament through Esther) during her 9th grade year. I'm adding in the What's in the Bible DVDs that are scheduled in the grammar level too.
Science: Equine Science from Winter Promise
This is a new publisher for us. I've heard mixed reviews on WP, but they had the most complete horse science program for Soprano's grade level available. This doesn't have any experiments but there are hands-on activities, crafts, drawing and coloring, and lots of extra literature.
Books included are:
Complete Horse Care Manual, Horse Gaits, Balance and Movement, Album of Horses, How to Think Like a Horse, Your Horse Notebook, Horse Crazy!, Horse Anatomy, Draw 50 Horses, Leonardo's Horse, The Red Pony , Great Horse Stories, Black Horses for the King , Black Stallion, My Friend Flicka. Misty, Brighty, Album of Horses and Draw 50 Horses are repeated from her lit course so we'll probably skip those.

History: Uncle Sam and You by Notgrass
Another new publisher. This is less of a history curriculum and more of a civics and government course. She asked to learn about government and this seemed perfect for our election year.
Literature books are:
The Long Winter, A Letter to Mrs. Roosevelt, Lincoln: An Autobiography, The Wright Brothers, Basher Five-Two, and Lost on a Mountain in Maine, as well as the repeated Misty and Brighty which we will skip.
Fine Arts: 8th grade plans for art and music from Harmony Fine Arts
HFA is another completely new curriculum for us. Soprano asked to study modern composers this year. In searching for what to use, I came across Harmony Fine Arts. The 8th grade plans include modern art and composers that we didn't study with MFW. She will do some of the included hands-on art included, do some sketching and coloring in BFB and WP, and utilize the chalk pastel tutorials from Southern Hodgepodge. She'll continue with piano lessons and will maybe start voice.
Her artists and composers are: Renoir, Cassatt, Gauguin, John Singer Sargent, Matisse, and Pollock
Peter Tchaikovsky, Sergei Prokofiev, Francis Poulenc, Aaron Copland, Dmitri Kabalevsky, and Leonard Bernstein

Foreign Language: French Level I from Memoria Press and Instant Immersion American Sign Language from Topics Entertainment
For this year's work, I gave Soprano (almost) free reign to pick what she wanted to study. She said government and French. I'm not sure where either came from but she'll be doing government and French. I found a middle school level French program from Memoria Press at a local curriculum swap. We're planning on French I this year and French II next year. She also wants to continue with ASL. I got a set of CDRom discs at our state homeschool convention.
 
A few extra things:
art sticker book, ASL VHS tapes, a couple French books, YWAM missionary biographies for supplemental reading, more Mike Venezia books.
We didn't really nail down any other electives. I have a sewing book that we might use for a couple projects. I'm looking at this year to be a lot more relaxed for Soprano so I can help Tenor get adjusted to high school. The year of the horse and all of these books
it will be good!
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