Thursday, October 29, 2009

Book of Years

An important part of keeping Historical events straight for a student is a Book of Centuries. This is generally started in year 3 or 4 - before that either things are done with a family Book of Centuries, or else a Timeline or Timechart is used for the earlier years. (I think the timeline helps more with the continuity concept for the younger student.)

This is, of course, not a new concept. It is easily done with a page for every 50 years, causing a 100-year spread across the pages of a book. Many people will make the pages hold more years in the BC and earlier times, and hold less years in the later years - although I do wonder if that can cause confusion in the younger student.

I have also recently heard it suggested that for US (or Canadian) history, that a "Book of Decades" might be useful - because of the large number of things that occur in the last couple of centuries. I think this is a great idea.

Well, I had what I think is a great idea. I was thinking that we should make a "Book of Years" - actually a few of them. A 100 page book will give a beautiful space to put major events of each year of a person's life on a page. (even a 2 page spread). What a great way to learn about mom and dad during that portion of family history. And what a lovely way to keep track of each child's life - letting them pick out a few events to put in their book. I think this could create a treasured keepsake without a lot of work for "mom" as each child starts to take care of each of thier own "Book of Years".

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Computer Programming Resources

An "extra" subject that we have always planned to teach at Maple Hill Academy is Computer Programming. It has benefits similar to a new language, as well as logic and math concepts - as well as being potentially useful as a career. Mike asked recently about what we were going to do for it - and I suggested that we look into "logo".

Logo is a computer language that was developed years ago, in 1967, for educational purposes. It is designed to be easy for children to learn the basic concepts of programming, math, and logic. Although some implementations of Logo involve a turtle robot (from 1969 on), most places use a turtle "cursor" (often just a triangle shape) on the screen that draws a line as it moves. The student learns how to make the turle draw things. Although I have never used Logo myself, I am aware of it, and I do know that it is more powerful than just drawing pictures.

So, Here are some resources I have found. Logo can be learned (with help) from children that are even Kindergarten age.

Free Logo programming environment
(note there are other options out there if you do not like this one.)
(basically lesson plans for you!)

Another Logo resource - including links to download books.

A School's site on using Logo
- has some nice ideas / lessons. Possibly more friendly than the workshop.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Nature Challenge 3

Well it was nice outside this morning, so we grabbed the chance to do the 3rd Challenge. Note that when I say it was nice out - it was sunny - but it was also only about 3C outside. I decided to draw our sunflowers, which are leaning way over, and some have lost most of the petals. Delta drew a leaf - and I'm not sure what Echo drew - she drew the leaf too, I think, but added a lot of scribbles.

I was going to post the drawings, but from the scanner it was pretty light and hard to see - and when I tried to put it on the blog I saw that you would never be able to see it at all. Not sure why the drawings came so faint.

btw - I am glad we went out this morning - the temperature dropped in the afternoon, and it was snowing on and off. It is snowing now, and I suspect that it might stay. Usually we get a few snowfalls that come lightly, and then melt the next day or so - but there is a fair bit of snow out there, so our first snowfall this year may also be the first to stay.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Narration Example

Well, we are in week 5 of Year 1 with Delta - and I thought I would share his latest narration. Keep in mind that he was my reluctant narrator that would always say "I can't remember". I had him draw a picture first - mainly because I had to check on Foxtrot right then. He then narrated while I wrote (I had to tell him to pause now and then because I couldn't keep up!) - and he more than filled the page...

How the Camel got his hump.

At the beginning of the world there was a camel named Bubbles. He didn't do any work and the dog came by and said "Will you fetch" and he said "Humph" and the horse came by and said "Will you carry stuff" then he said "Humph" again. Then an ox came by and he said "can you plow" and he said "Humph" and all of them said "the camel won't do anything and just says humph". and he said he has to work again. And the man came by and said "Bubbles, you have to work" then he magically made his hump there. When Bubbles saw his back he saw his hump.

(Delta noted afterwards that he got it backwards - the horse came first, then the dog, then the ox.)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Great Weekend

Just wanted to say that we have had a great weekend.

First, Delta, along with other suzuki classmates, was asked to play before the Symphony this weekend. Basically, they played violin music in the lobby area as people came in. They had quite the audience - and they all did very well. We got 2 tickets for the symphony, and Delta loved it. He now wants to be a conductor when he is an adult.

I also got a package from Book Samaritan! They didn't send a lot (I don't think they get a lot of living books), but I did get a couple of books that will be great as they are on the Year 2 list (that I haven't finalized yet) - and I did get one of the Exploring Creation books too.

Oh, and Delta learned "May Song" on the violin in about 3 days. He learned a couple of parts of it from his teacher on Friday (with permission to finish it if he wanted) - and today he played it all the way through. (not at speed yet - but with no errors at a practice speed.) I'm impressed!