Friday, December 21, 2012

Timeline Binders

Ok - I admit it.  It took me over 3 years to get our Timeline Binders started.  Sometimes my perfectionist tendencies paralise me, and I just can't get something going.   I want to have my students start an actual "Book of Centuries" (like the one sold at Simply Charlotte Mason) once they start about Year 6, or are about age 12 - but I wanted the simple version for their earlier years.  I didn't want them to have to do a lot of writing.  I wanted a 2 page spread to be 100 years, and I didn't want it to be too much work, or cost a lot.  I wanted a lot.  I looked at various options.... areas divided by type of event/person?  Lists, or pictures, or lifespan bars?  There are so many choices!

Well, this year, I decided we would get going on this and that I'd find something no matter what.  I even bought a couple of inexpensive scrap-books to do it - then realized that they were counting a page as both sides of a page, so they wouldn't have enough pages!     I finally found a set of 4 files that I'd have to write the dates in, but that would look fairly nice.  (The difference in the files is the name of the Era.)  I bit the bullet, printed them off, and hand dated them.  (I quickly used Adobe to add in A.D. or B.C. to reduce my writing!)

Delta's 1801-1850 page
So, here are our "rules".  During the week, the kids are supposed to tell me people/events they want to add to their timeline.  They don't automatically get the people/events the other person has listed - nor do I go through and add everyone from their history readings.  This is a "connections" thing.  My kids do ask for things that they haven't done in school yet.... as shown by the sample pages.  Delta is still in the Middle Ages (AO Year 2) and Echo is in earlier history (AO Year 1) - but they have people and events in the 1800's and 1900's!

Thursday evening or Friday morning, I start googling from the list of what/who they want.  Sometimes I pick out the pictures, and sometimes I'll ask them to pick from the options I find.    I am using the Avery DesignPro software to make the entries.  (I found one for labels or something that are 2"x2") - this makes our entries large enough, yet small enough, and consistent in size.  It would be easy to use Word or other software too - I already had this.  I like that it makes a little "tab" page for each item, and I can organize them easily.  But to print, I have to jot down the tab numbers (like page numbers) of what I want to print.  

The kids are basically just cutting and pasting - but they care about it, and that is my main desire.  Actually, they do much more than cut and paste - they determine what goes in it, and often select the pictures.  That is the part that makes them "own" the project.  (And I don't think they will "turn their nose up" at their earlier work as they get older either. - a problem that can happen with something like a Timeline Binder that is used for years.)

I do think that for the later years, I'll eventually have to add in a partial page (cut to be below where the timeline arrows are) because it is going to fill up before they even get there!)

They are enjoying it (although sometimes I have to bug them to give me things they want to add....) - and find it interesting when they discover things that are occurring at about the same time.  Also, sometimes adding one thing adds a whole bunch about the same time.  The request for "Winnipeg the Bear" caused related entries like WWI, Capt. Colebourne, A.A. Milne, E.H. Shepard.  The request for "John MacDonnell", then caused "Isaac Brock" to be requested and "The War of 1812".  

Little things I have started doing - if they want an Author, I try to get a picture of the Author AND the Book the child relates them with - on the same entry.   For an Artist, we are using Self-Portraits, if there is one [yes, the one below of Renoir was before we did that...] - and will have the child's favourite painting - on the same entry. [So we will not be adding the Term artiest until done all their pictures from now on...]

Yes, there will be gaps.  Delta has some of the British Rulers he has read about - but not all of them.  I presume if he didn't ask for one, that that ruler didn't make a big impression on him.  But the ones he asked for generally did something that Delta cared about.  He will be more likely to remember them.  Each child's book will be different.

I have to admit - I'm tempted to make my own!  (I don't think I will.)

Echo's 1901-1950 page

Friday, December 7, 2012

Week in Review - Dec 7, 2012


I don't do these very often, but thought you might like to know what we are doing recently!

We have just started Term 2 of our AO year.  So for Delta, he is in term 2 of Year 2; Echo is in term 2 of Year 1.  Things have been going quite well this year overall - once we got the routine going.  That said - I made a minor change this term....

I decided to try having Friday being a "Family Studies" day.... instead of having a Rotation of things like Hymn Study and Folk Songs, and Drawing, etc.... (that often seemed to never happen) - these will now happen on Friday.

Here is a breakdown of our new Fridays!  They will go roughly in this order.... but not always

  • Scriptures (everyday)
  • Memory Work  (everyday)
  • PhysEd  (5BX or XBX)
  • Hymn Study
  • Composer Study (will probably try to have this playing in the background mostly)
  • Picture Study
  • Mapping
  • Timeline
  • German Songs
  • ASL Songs
  • Folk Songs
  • Drawing
  • Poetry
  • Math Lesson (usually a game)
  • Leftover Readings from the AO Week (or a Free Reading)
  • Nature Study

I think this is going to work out well.  That said - we haven't done Nature Study yet... (sigh).  But most of the rest was done - and I hope to get things going smoothly by having things prepared the day before.

Oh, one other change I made - I've taken our scripture memory box - found out which scriptures Delta and Echo knew well... and made scripture cards in different colours for each child.  Doing it together as a family wasn't working for Foxtrot - and sometimes Delta and Echo didn't know them either. This seems to work better so far.

As for the rest of the week - here is the basic plan we use...   I do mostly encourage them to do it in order (because I have it setup to try to vary items - and they are more likely to miss things if they do it out of order.)  They have a list of the AO (and modifications) Readings for the week, and choose when to do them.  This is working out great - I remember our first year trying AO I had things assigned on certain days - and we ended up being on Week 12 of some book, Week 9 of another, etc...  it got confusing.  But by just having times scheduled to read from the list, with the rule that they must finish the readings from one week before starting the next - well, it is so simple!  And as a bonus - I get to find out which books they love and which ones they really don't....

  • Scriptures
  • Memory Work
  • PhysEd (5BX or XBX)
  • Copywork (& Dictation)
  • Readings from List
  • Foreign Language (German one day, ASL the next...)
  • Readings from List
  • Math
  • Free Reading
So - what are we up to?

Delta
  • Enjoying learning about the Crusades and Richard the Lion Heart. He can't wait to start Robin Hood next term.
  • Doing great with RightStart Math.
  • Writing quite neatly with Joined Italic.  Moving towards no longer using a middle line, and then copying from another book (no model)
  • Loving Tree in the Trail
  • Was thrilled that Understood Betsy is done.  (He never liked that book....)
  • Wants to draw a map of Tree in the Trail (although the other week he said of the Crusades.....)
Echo
  • Discovered that Moroni hid the plates close to the time that the Romans left Britain.  (You have to love timeline books!)
  • Enjoying RightStart Math level C
  • Doing much better at writing with Italic.  She was thrilled to be moved to using the Copywork Jar.  She does still sometimes write letters/numbers backwards still (something she has always struggle with more than the other kids.)
  • Loves Paddle to the Sea
Foxtrot
  • Is on Lesson 90 in "Teach your Child to read in 100 Easy Lessons".  She is also reading books on her own to herself.
  • LOVES RightStart Math Level A
  • We are starting "Drawing with Children"... and I did the evaluation exercises to see where to start - she is firmly in Level 2!  Wow!
  • Is happy to have her own Scripture to learn
  • Enjoys Picture Study - wishes she had her own "Masterpieces" Album.  (That is something they get when they start Year 1 - as a special thing....)
Golf
  • Loves to play with Tally Sticks and Tiles while I do math with Foxtrot.
  • Loves drawing and colouring (and is definitely Right Handed)
Well - not sure how interesting this is - but that is what is going on here!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Term Exams

Hard to argue with that!

Last week, we had our first try at Term Exams.  Ambleside Online had put up potential exam questions, and I felt like it was time to give it a try.  Students of the Charlotte Mason method generally enjoy exams as a time to show what they know.  I think Delta and Echo did pretty good for our first time.

Echo  (Year 1, Term 1)


Bible (These are examples; adapt to what you read this term.)
1. What do you remember about Joseph and his dreams? OR In your own words, tell about your favorite character that you read in your Bible reading this term.

2. Tell the story of what happened to Jericho. OR In your own words, tell about your favorite event that you read in your Bible reading this term.

[1 - changed to Nephi and his boat]
[2 - changed to Samuel the Lamanite]

1. I remember that when the boat was done, that they would travel to the promised land.  He got Laman and Lemuel to help him. 

2. I remember that he said that Jesus would be born in 5 years and in that night it would not get dark.

Writing/Penmanship
Copy "How the leopard got his spots."
[worked on copywork instead]

Tales
1. Tell a fairy tale you remember from this term.
2. Tell how the Leopard got his spots, or Moses the Kitten.

1. There were 2 children.  One was named Hansel, the other one was named Gretel.  And Hansel and Gretel and the family had almost nothing to eat.  They only got a little slice of bread every day.  One time their father and mother took them out into the woods. The night before that, Hansel went out and grabbed some pebbles.  And he put them in his pocket.  Then, when they were walking on the trail, Hansel put some pebbles on the ground so he would remember their way home.  When night came, they followed the trail, and then they found their way home.  And also, then, the next day they got a little piece of bread, and their mother said not to eat it so quick.  As that was the only piece they got a day.  Later that day, they went out in to the woods again, but they went deeper into the woods.  The adults went to their house without the children.  But Hansel had not gotten more rocks because the door was locked, so he couldn't get out.  So, they were lost.  They walked around until they found a house made out of gingerbread and goodies.  Then they started to eat the house!  It was a witches house.  Then the witch made a comfortable bed for them.  She wanted to eat Hansel.  She wanted to cook him up for supper.  She said, "Even I could fit in that oven".  So she climbed in the oven, and Hansel and Gretel shut the door!  And the witch couldn't get out.  And the witch got killed. And also, they found their way home.  The End.

2. Moses the Kitten got put in a house to make it warm. 

History
1. Tell about Boadicea, or, about St. Alban.

2. Tell the story of William Tell.

1. The bad queen and the 2 children died.  [Boadicea]

2.  There was a person that could shoot bows and arrows really well.  His name was William Tell.  He had a son.  His son had an apple over his head and William Tell had to shoot the apple - but if he missed his son would have to die because his son had the apple on his head.  And the son knew his father was really, really good at shooting arrows. And William Tell shot the apple and not his son. 

Geography

1. Find Italy and Switzerland on the globe.

2. Find Lake Superior on a map.

1. found ok

2. couldn't find

Natural History and General Science
1. Describe your favorite nature walk this term. What did you find?
2. Tell about "the bully in the old orchard."
3. Choose one question matched to your term's Nature Study theme from here
[1 and 3 - skipped]

1. we saw some deer!   (then started singing "trees and rocks" song....)

2. can't remember.  [I mentioned that the fact that her narrations from the BBB tends to be "Peter rabbit talked to some birds" was why she couldn't remember at all...]

Reading Skill
Father or friend should select a passage for student to read aloud.
1. Randomly picked McGuffy 1st Reader, Lesson 42.  Read it well.

Arithmetic (Questions from your math program may be substituted.)
1. 8 + 5 = ___
2. Skip count by 5's.
[did math test from program]

Foreign Language
1. Recite or sing something you have learned in your foreign language.
2. Introduce yourself in your foreign language.

1. Sang "Grun, Grun, Grun" in German (3 verses)
2. did it in ASL.

Picture Study
1. Describe your favorite picture from this term's picture study.

2 girls at the piano.  There are 2 young girls.  One is playing the piano, and the other is looking.  There is a little stand to light a fire to see the books. 

Recitation
Father should choose a poem, and two Bible verses learned this term for student to recite.

[we need to be more regular about working on these!]

Singing
Sing your favorite folksong and hymn from this term.
sang "The Crusader"
sang "Nephi's Courage"

Handicrafts
Show some work in handicrafts from this term to someone outside your family.


Delta [Year 2, Term 1]

Bible
1. In your own words, tell about your favorite character that you read in your Bible reading this term.
2. In your own words, tell about your favorite event that you read in your Bible reading this term.

1. Moses parted the sea to free the Isrealites.
2. Joshua takes Jericho.  There was a group of people and they were blowing horns, they didn't make any sound at all until the men were carrying the thing that had the 10 commandments in it.  They did it for 6 days, and on the 7th day, they went around it 7 times, and they stomped and shouted and blew their horns, and the walls came tumbling down.

Writing/Penmanship
Copy "She took a book out of her desk."
[did our own copywork instead]

History
1. Tell about William the Conqueror and the Battle of Hastings.
2. Tell the story of the White Ship.

1.  William the Conqueror conquered the whole of Normandy, and then he died by just falling off of a horse.  [note - he wasn't sure about the Battle of Hastings, so I told him to tell me what he remembered of William the Conqueror.]

2. There was a king named Henry I, and he had a son, and his son - he didn't want his father, the king, to come with him.  But they came, and they went on a white ship called "The White Ship", but then the ship sunk.  There were 2 people on top of the mast.  One was a butcher, the other was - I don't remember - maybe a baker or candlestick maker - Then a fishing boat came and saved them.  Then they told them about the ship.  And then a little boy was supposed to tell the king about this.  Then when the king heard this he stood still for the rest of the whole day.  Then later, he died.

Tales
1. Tell about little 'Lias.
2. Tell about two things Christian saw in the House of the Interpreter, or about Mr. Worldly Wiseman.

1.  There was a boy named 'Lias, and he was poor, and he had ragged clothes, and Betsy wanted to make some clothes for him.  Later they did make him some clothes.  And then they gave it to him.

2. Christian, when he was going, he found an old man, and his name was Mr. Worldly Wiseman - a wierd name - he is probably wise.  He is kind of like an alien.  He told him that he should not go to the place that he is trying to get to.

Geography
1. What is a butte? Can you describe one?
2. Tell everything you know about the plains.

1. [no idea]
2. The plains are like a flat lands, and they have tall grass, and that's where the Indians lived.

Natural History and General Science
1. Tell what you know about a squirrel or a beaver.
2. Describe a favorite nature walk, and tell about something you found.
3. Choose one question matched to your term's Nature Study theme from here

1.Squirrel - They jump from tree to tree.  If it is a flying squirrel, they can climb to the tallest tree and just jump down and it is kind of like they have wings, and they just glide.  They like to eat nuts.  They kind of look like mouses [sic] with long tails.  LIke a beaver but not flat - poofed up.

2. We saw lots of (started singing) "Trees and Rocks...."

3. [we didn't do this this term]

Reading Skill

Father or friend should select a passage for student to read aloud.

[Read from McGuffy 2nd Reader, Lesson 50 (picked randomly) - did ok]

Arithmetic (Questions from your math program may be substituted.)
[Did test from math program]

Foreign Language
1. Recite or sing something you have learned in your foreign language.
2. In your foreign language name the members of your family, using full sentences.

ASL
1.  [not at this point yet]
2. [did, faultering... started to call his sisters as cousins.]

German
1.  sang "Grun, Grun, Grun"
2.  [couldn't (but neither can I... sigh)]

Picture Study
1. Describe your favorite picture from this term's picture study.

Favourite is the Self Portrait (earlier one).   The man is kind of in a park.  He has fancy clothes on. 

Recitation
Father should choose a poem, and two Bible verses learned this term for student to recite.

[haven't memorized a poem yet]
D&C 59:7 - good
AofF #1 - good (after given the first couple of words)

Singing
Sing your favorite folksong and hymn from this term.

Hymn: "Love is Spoken Here" (boys part)
Folksong:  [he has been singing "The Crusader" and "MacDonnell on the Heights" for weeks on his own accord - but didn't want to today.]  With some suggestions of songs from me - he sang "Jack was Every Inch a Sailor", with the music

Handicrafts
Show some work in handicrafts from this term to someone outside your family.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Canadianized AO - Year 2 (updated)



Because the AO Curriculum changed their Science Books slightly for Year 2, it just seemed that our Term 2 was a bit heavy with Owls in the Family there, and then our Term 3 was ending up on the light side.  So I've moved Owls in the Family to Term 3, from my previous schedule.

I am also removing "The Story of Canada" by Janet Lunn - as we will be using "The Story of Canada" by E.L. Marsh instead - starting in Year 3.

Most of the year will be based on AO's Year 2

Booklist Change Summary:

  • Remove - This Country of Ours.  (Used the D'Aulaire biographies where there is an option.  TCOO is not used at all)
  • Add - Canadian Minutes from Historica (these are the "Canadian Minute" ads from TV - we watch them online)
  • Add - The Fishing Summer (authors last name is Jam)
  • Add - The Fabulous Song (authors last name is Gillmor)
  • Add - Owls in the Family (Fawley Mowatt)
  • Optional in Free Reads - Abraham Lincoln & Brighty of the Grand Canyon 
  • Note - we also don't do Trial and Triumph
  • (Add - Young Folk's History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints by Nephi Anderson) 
Note - I generally tried not to add something without removing something, so as not to overburden the year. For History, that was generally easy, as we were not doing Trial and Triumph, and also removed the US History.   For Literature, I made 2 books optional in the Free Reads - and 2 of the Canadian additions are fairly "light"   I also looked at the number of readings each week, as well as chronology of the history, to determine where to add in the Canadian content.


Weekly Changes 
(I haven't noted the readings by week that you don't read from the AO schedule for the books that were removed.)


Week 1
  • Young Folk's History... - Chapter 1
  • The Fishing Summer (entire book)
Week 5
Week 9
  • Young Folk's History... - Chapter 3

Week 10
  • The Fabulous Song (entire book)


Week 13
  • Young Folk's History... - Chapter 4


Week 17
  • Young Folk's History... - Chapter 5


Week 21
  • Young Folk's History... - Chapter 6

Week 25
  • Young Folk's History... - Chapter 7
Week 27
  • Owls in the Family Chapter 1
Week 28
  • Owls in the Family Chapter 2
Week 29
  • Owls in the Family Chapter 3
  • Young Folk's History... - Chapter 8
Week 30
  • Owls in the Family Chapter 4
Week 31
  • Owls in the Family Chapter 5
  • Owls in the Family Chapter 6
Week 32 
  • Owls in the Family Chapter 7
Week 33 
  • Owls in the Family Chapter 8
  • Young Folk's History... - Chapter 9
Week 34
  • Owls in the Family Chapter 9
Week 35
  • Owls in the Family Chapter 10
Week 36
  • Owls in the Family Chapter 11

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Map Planning

One thing we really enjoyed learning last year was how to draw our own maps of an area we are learning about.  This has been an exercise that Delta and Echo really enjoyed - and so we plan to do maps along with our Ambleside Online studies.

I'm including a general plan of maps that might go well with each year.  Of course, someone new to doing maps should start with some basic instruction first, and the continents first.

Here are a couple more maps that have been completed!

Delta's Drawing of the travels of the Norse (Vikings)


Echo's Map of the Great Lakes, to go with Paddle to the Sea

Plan:


Year 0.5 - Instruction in drawing maps - Basic Continent Position (mostly ovals instead of actual shapes)


1 map per term in years 1-3.  A student that really enjoys map making might make more...

Year 1 - 
  1. Great Lakes Region (Paddle to the Sea)
  2. Roman Empire (Our Island Story) [probably do an ancient one...]
  3. Scandinavian Countries [maybe including Iceland]   (Viking Tales / Our Little Viking Cousin)
Year 2 -   
  1. Southwest U.S.  (Tree in the Trail) or Travels of the Vikings
  2. England (Our Island Story)
  3. Western Europe [Germany, France, Spain area]  (Our Island Story)  [ancient or modern?]
[someone new to doing maps in Year 2 could do a Basic Continent map, adding in locations for "Seabird"]


Year 3 -  
  • Middle East / China [find a map of the route of marco polo - pref. one that matches what book we read...] 
  • Latin America (Conquistadors)
  • Northern Canada / Eastern Canada (Cabot. Cartier, Frobisher, Davis - their journeys, etc)
2 or more maps per term in years 4-6 - following are suggestions, but by no means exhaustive.  Maps can really bring history to life, so a student that likes to make them might make many.  A student that does not, might make only a couple a term.


Year 4 - 
  • Mississippi River Area (Minn of the Mississippi)
  • early US (Louisiana Purchase?)  / Pre-Confederation Canada? [for us Canadians]
  • West African Coast/Brazil/Caribbean (Robinson Crusoe)
  • Scotland (Kidnapped, OIS)
  • ?? mountains ?? (Incredible Journey)?
  • Map of US (showing Native Tribe Areas) / Map of Canada (showing Native Tribe Areas)
  • Map of Battle of the Plains of Abraham / New France
  • 13 US Colonies
  • Upper Canada, Lower Canada
  • Australia [James Cook] / New Zealand

Year 5 
  • India (Kim); 
  • U.S. (TCOO or other US History book); 
  • Australia 
  • War of 1812 maps
  • The Holy Land
  • Western US (travels of Lewis & Clark)  / Western Canada (travels of Alexander Mackenzie, Simon Fraser, David Thompson)
  • Canada East, Canada West, other pre-Canada Colonies
  • Northern Canada (Franklin) 
  • Canada on July 1, 1967
  • Northern Canada - Klondike Gold Rush
  • South Africa (Boer War)
  • WW1 Europe
  • PEI (Anne of Green Gables)
  • Halifax [area affected by Halifax Explosion]
  • Antarctica [South Pole reached]

Year 6 - 
  • Europe [WW2]
  • Pacific [WW2]
  • USSR [Cold War]
  • Africa (David Livingston) [map of his travels?]
  • Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome
  • Modern US / Modern Canada / Modern anywhere... 
  • Local Province / State
  • Korea/Vietnam/surrounding areas
  • Persian Gulf Area
  • ???


Friday, October 26, 2012

Music in the Home


I try very hard to have all the parts of a good CM school in our homeschool - but don't always succeed.   One of the struggles we have had this year has been doing the music things - composer study, folk songs, and hymns.  They just are not happening.

But I was reminded of something the other day.  I had gone to the store to run an errand, and when I came back, Mike had the family dancing to music....  and I reminded myself of the variety of music our children are exposed to in our house....

Here are a few things that played that day (or other days very recently...)

Classical:

  • Double Bach Concerto
  • Vivaldi's Concerto in A minor
  • Vivaldi's the Four Seasons


Folk:

  • MANY Stan Rogers songs
  • The Capitals Song
  • I'se the Boy
  • Squid Jigging
  • Ketchup loves Potatoes  (Stomping Tom)
  • Big Joe Mafferaw (sp?)
  • The Crusaders
  • The Highway Man
  • Canada's Really Big  (Rocks and Trees....)
  • It's Not on the Test
  • The Pickle Song  (I don't want a pickle......)


Other Instrumental:

  • "Noisy Bagpipes"  (this is our family's nickname)
  • Royal Canadian Air Force March Past
  • Armoured Core March Past


Other:

  • Sneaky Snakes
  • several country songs


and more!

So - I just have to remind myself what I told Mike a few years ago when he said he wanted us to do folk music in school.......   "Our kids know more folk music than most people just from hanging around you....  do we really need to schedule it?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Still here!



Ok, I realize that it probably feels like I've fallen off the face of the planet.  I do have a couple of draft posts that have been sitting.... but honestly I just haven't had the time or energy.... and I'll also admit to not feeling like I had anything "profound" enough to say.

Either way - I think I'll give you a basic update.   Because of my health issues, as well as a few other reasons - it made sense for me to go with a move towards independent studies for my kids.  However, that hasn't meant that we had to get rid of a Charlotte Mason method.  It did mean that I had to reduce the family studies, however.

I'm pretty sure that I put up a post earlier this fall that we were moving to doing AO again, with Canadian modifications.  That has been working out really well for us (after a stressful first week....).  Delta (9) is doing Year 2, and Echo (7.5) is doing Year 1.  Delta did notice that his lists say Year 2 - but I talked to him about that not being a grade level... and that many of the books are at a grade 6 or so level.  This has not been a difficulty with him.

One thing I did to make things easier to be independent is to download audiobooks from librivox.  I created a webpage (just on our computer) for each student with the links to each chapter in their books so they can easily get to their readings.  So they can go to their computer (thanks Computers 4 Schools!) and listen to their books, reading along with their book or the Kindle.  They come to narrate to me when done.

Each child has their schedule with a planner page, and the list of readings (taken off of the AO website and modified with the Canadian changes).   They follow the schedule - picking the readings.  they cross them off the list.

So, what is their schedule like? Well, it is pretty much the same each day, and is pretty basic....   Scriptures, Copywork, Pick a reading from the list, Rotation (ASL/German/Drawing), Reading from the list / free read, , Math, Reading from list or free read, rotation (picture study, mapping, music study, map drills, timelines) and that is it for now.   I do want to add in the Hymn Study and Folk music - at the moment it is just random listening to it.  I also want to get them back to practicing violin and/or learning the organ (violin has been not happening since we lost our teacher)...  but this is working at the moment.

A few of the readings are not independent, Math (RightStart) is not independent, and Foxtrot is doing a little math and reading with me - and that takes my time - as well as Golf running around...   But if I'm sick - I can just get them started on their stuff, and I can have them play one of the math games for math.

So - motivation for them.  This probably isn't CM - but I created a little race-track for them to compete against an opponent (not each other!).  I used a printout from when we did workboxes, which had 2 rows of 6 boxes - perfect for a 6 week "race".   This was laminated (with map-tak) and velcro added.  I created little character boxes that velcro onto the places.  Every 5 days, the opponent moves 1 spot.  When a student has completed a week of their readings (assuming they are doing the other things), their character moves.   If they win the race against the opponent, they get a light day (a day off, except for family subjects.)

This is working well.... except I have noticed recently that Echo is starting to not want to do the free reads (she'd rather do the scheduled readings and be done the week early...) - I may have to specify a minimum number of free read chapters must be done as well.......

Oh, and was also had a birthday recently!  It is so hard to believe that Delta is 9.  I made him a birthday cake... I think it turned out good. (See picture at the top)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Hospital stay and More


Hey everyone!  No, I have not abandoned this blog... just been an interesting summer.  I've been busy figuring out the changes to Canadianize our AO for next year (and the next few years...) - which has me busy reading a new (well, old) Canadian History book.

But - just to make the summer more interesting - I ended up in the hospital for over a week because of a very bad infection in my leg.  I'm better now, and back home.

It seems like there are a million little details I'm trying to work out - because I'm someone that just works better if everything is worked out in advance.  The kids have been spending a lot of time outdoors - but also way too much time in front of screens.  It will make an interesting transition.

All of this means that we have not already started (like I had originally planned) - and will probably not start until September, although I'd like to take some time to run through a couple of days worth of school (probably taking about 4 days to do 2 days of school) to find details I don't have prepared, help the kids find out how things are working so they can be more independent, and to just work out a few kinks.

I'm also planning on going to the "Teacher Appreciation Days" at Staples - probably later today, or maybe next week.  They give some free gifts to teachers, plus we get a % off on that day (I think 25%?)  I'm just not sure what supplies I need.  I love going to these supply stores, hoping, I guess, to find something.... not sure what.... that will be just perfect.  Of course, whatever that "something" is - I want it to be inexpensive too!  I really can't think of many supplies we need right now....  some paper maybe (but I think we have a bunch) - a couple of binders?  We could use more crayons and pencil crayons while they are on sale... but not much else!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Computer Desk? Dresser? What is it?


To me, it seemed like a big problem... but it wasn't one to Mike.  We needed a desk that wasn't falling apart for the school computers - and I had a dresser that had some broken drawers, that I wanted us to get rid of. Mike did a bit of rearranging of the drawers, to provide leg space.  There are a couple of chairs that go in front - they are stacked at the side when not in use...  And the 2 school computers fit right on top.  It is a little taller than the desk was, but not by much.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

May Have Found It?


For quite some time, I have been looking for a good Canadian History "spine" book for Elementary aged students.  I wanted something that was a good "living book", that covered at least most of the time period from discovery to at least the 19th century, would be available to me for free (or very inexpensive), and wouldn't put me to sleep when I tried to read it.   This combination hasn't been easy to find.  The closest I have found so far was "The Story of Canada" by Janet Lunn, which I can borrow from my library.

By the way, I swear the most common name of Canadian History books is "The Story of Canada", followed closely by "Canada's Story".   I have found several by these names.

Well, I think I have found one that fits!  It is called.......  "The Story of Canada".  You just knew it, didn't you.  This one is by E. L. Marsh.  I'm not sure of the date of original printing - it looks like it is around 1912 or so.  The first 2 chapters have been quite engaging, and it is free on Archive.org - it also has been reprinted (a scanning from the looks of it) and is available on amazon - for those that like to hold a paper book in their hands.

Over the next while, I am going to continue to read it, to determine if it is going to be a replacement for the Lunn book... but so far it looks promising.  Of course, it doesn't cover the last 100 years or so...   I also have to admit that I was hoping for something that would be as extensive as the U.S. book "This Country of Ours"... to make figuring out the future plans easier.

I just hope that my kids can get to enjoy Canadian History.  I didn't as a kid, and I think the reasons were brought out well in the book "Who Killed Canadian History?"

Monday, July 2, 2012

Hymn Rotation


I have loosely based this rotation on the AO Hymn Rotation.  I went through the AO selections, and any identical hymns (or at least named the same), I have kept.

Next, if the AO hymn wasn't also an LDS hymn, but gave me the thought of another hymn (similar theme), I put in the one of which I thought.

Finally, I have added in popular LDS hymns.

I hoped by doing this, to get a wide selection of popular LDS hymns, as well as some that might not be as well known.

Sorry if I missed your Favourites!

* - scheduled in the AO rotation (or a hymn named the same).

RESOURCES
http://www.ldshymns.com/   - unofficial, but has some extra resources
http://www.lds.org/churchmusic/ - official website



Rotation 1 (2012-2013 School Year)
September: For All the Saints (#82)  *
October: For the Beauty of the Earth (#92)  *
November: I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go (#279)
December: Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow (#242) *
January: The Morning Breaks (#1)
February: Rejoice, the Lord is King! (#66)
March: Lead, Kindly Light (#97)
April: Count Your Blessings (#241) *
May: All Creatures of Our God and King (#62) *
June: Lo, the Mighty God Appearing (#55)
July: Be Thou Humble (#130)
August: Lord, I Would Follow Thee (#220)



Rotation 2 (2013-2014 School Year)
September:Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken (#46) *
October: Now Let Us Rejoice (#3)
November: Come Ye Thankful People (#94) *
December: How Great Thou Art (#86) *
January: Because I Have Been Given Much (#219)
February: Guide Us, O Thou Great Jehovah (#83) *
March: Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd (#221)
April: Glory to God on High (#67)
May: I Need Thee Every Hour (#98)
June:  More Holiness Give Me (#131)
July: Welcome, Welcome, Sabbath Morning (#280)
August: Awake, Ye Saints of God, Awake! (#17)


Rotation 3 (2014-2015 School Year)
September: Abide with Me! (#166) *
October: High On the Mountain Top (#5)
November: Press Forward Saints (#81)
December: I Believe in Christ (#134)
January: Have I Done Any Good? (#223)
February: Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer (#103)
March: For All the Saints (#82)
April: Improve the Shining Moments (#226)
May: Should You Feel Inclined to Censure (#235)
June: Let Us All Press On (#243)
July: Redeemer of Israel (#6)
August: How Firm a Foundation (#85) *


Rotation 4 (2015-2016 School Year)
September: What was Witnessed in the Heavens? (#11)
October: There is Sunshine in My Soul Today (#227)
November: Come Away to the Sabbath School (#276)
December: Come, Come, Ye Saints (#30)
January: True to the Faith (#254)
February: Master, the Tempest is Raging (#105)
March: Praise Ye the Lord (#74)
April: Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee (#141) *
May: Come, All Ye Saints of Zion (#38)
June: We Thank Thee O God For a Prophet (#19)
July: Faith of Our Fathers (#84)
August: You Can Make the Pathway Bright (#228)



Rotation 5 (2016-2017 School Year)
September: Be Still, My Soul (#124) *
October: Joseph Smith's First Prayer (#26)
November: God Speed the Right (#106)
December: Once in Royal David's City (#205)
January: The Lord is My Light (#89)
February: The Spirit of God (#2)
March: Did You Think to Pray? (#140)
April: Redeemer of Israel (#6)
May: Jesus, Lover of My Soul (#102) *
June:Praise to the Man (#27)
July: Today, While the Sun Shines (#229)
August:  Praise to the Lord, the Almighty (#72) *


Rotation 6 (2017-2018 School Year)
September: Israel, Israel, God is Calling (#7)
October: Scatter Sunshine (#230)
November: The Lord is My Shepherd (#108)
December: With Wondering Awe (#210)
January: Let Us Oft Speak Kind Words (#232)
February: The Wintry Day, Descending to its Close (#37)
March: Dearest Children, God is Near You (#96)
April: Sweet Hour of Prayer (#142)
May: Do What is Right (#237)
June: Praise to the Man (#27)
July: Choose the Right (#239)
August: Count Your Blessings (#241)

Rotation 7 (2018-2019 School Year)
September:  I Am a Child of God (#301) 
October: Our Savior's Love (#113)
November: God is Love (#87)
December: Amazing Grace  (I felt this was worth keeping)
January: Let Us All Press On (#243)
February: Come Unto Him (#114)
March: We Listen to a Prophet's Voice (#22)
April: Saviour, may I learn to love thee (#220)
May: Gently Raise the Sacred Strain (#146)
June: I Need Thee Every Hour (#98) *
July: Onward, Christian Soldiers (#246)
August: Called to Serve (#249)


Rotation 8 (2019-2020 School Year)
September: A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief (#29)
October: Come unto Jesus (#117)
November: From All that Dwell below the Skies (#90)
December: While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks (#211)
January: Come, Ye Disconsolate (#115) * (Beth's favorite hymn in "Little Women")
February: We Are All Enlisted (#250)
March: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God (#68) *
April: Put Your Sholder to the Wheel (#252)
May: The Day Dawn is Breaking (#52)
June: Thy Spirit, Lord, Has Stirred Our Souls (#157)
July: True to the Faith (#254)
August:  Carry On (#255)


Rotation 9 (2020-2021 School Year)
September: Who's on the Lord's Side? (#260)
October: Now Thank We All Our God (#95)
November: Battle Hymn of the Republic (#60)
December: Far, Far Away on Judea's Plains (#212)
January: Come Fallow Me (#116)
February: Hark, All Ye Nations! (#264)
March: Come Listen to a Prophet's Voice (#21)
April: Before Thee, Lord, I Bow My Head (#158)
May: The Time is Far Spent (#266)
June: God of Our Fathers, Whose Almighty Hand (#78) *
July: Oh Say, What is Truth? (#272)
August: O My Father (#292)


Rotation 10 (2021-2022 School Year)
September: Now the Day is Over (#159)
October: For the Strength of the Hills (#35)
November: Be Still, My Soul (#124)
December: I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day (#214)
January: O God, Our Help in Ages Past (#31) *
February: Does the Journey Seem Long (#127)
March: Great is the Lord (#77)
April: Truth Reflects upon Our Senses (#273)
May: I Know That My Redeemer Lives (#135) *
June: Tis Sweet to Sing the Matchless Love (#177)
July: Nearer, My God, to Thee (#99) *
August: More Holiness Give Me (#131)


Rotation 11 (2022-2023 School Year)
September: How Gentle God's Commands (#125)
October: The Iron Rod (#274)
November: Come, Ye Children of the Lord (#58)
December: Angels We Have Heard on High (#203)
January: Thanks for the Sabbath School (#278)
February: From All That Dwell below the Skies (#90)
March: Abide with Me! (#166)
April: Where Can I Turn for Peace (#129)
May: Sweet Hour of Prayer (#142) *
June: Rock of Ages (#111) *
July: I Stand All Amazed (#193)
August: Love at Home (#294)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

You Don't Say?

Zulu, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Yankee, Golf - after swimming

I was thinking the other day, that I should share a few of the cute things my children have said in the past...  of course, once I thought that.... it was hard to think of them!    But here are a few....

Foxtrot:
Driving in the car near a forest, I said "Forest!"
Most of the kids agreed, "Forest!".
Foxtrot (age 3 at the time) said, "I don't see it!"
I point it out - "over there...."
Foxtrot says "All the trees are in the way!"
I had to laugh, as I said.... "So.... You can't see the forest for the trees?"
Echo:
For a long time, Echo (age 2-3ish) called a telephone a "talkaphone".  hey - makes sense to me!  Some of Charlie's friends still call it that because of her....
Echo (about age 2) - would put a backpack on backwards, and call it a "paint smock"
Foxtrot (originally and still), and Golf (and now all the kids)
7-11 is called a "Slurpee-House".....
Delta:
Not something he said exactly, but when he was young, Mike and Delta went to use a public restroom at the park.  Mike came out reporting that while Delta was in the stall, he started humming "The Bridge over the River Kwai" song.....



Zulu
"We've been driving around and around for hours and hours and hours and maybe even 7 minutes!"




 This is a video of Echo when she was 2 calling the backpack a paint smock

Monday, June 4, 2012

Canadianized AO Year 1



There are some ideas on Canadianizing AO here, but for Years 1-3, we just didn't have access to any of the Canadian History books recommended.  I am still not totally satisfied with the history books we have found - but will make use of what is available.

My general plans for all the years, are available here, (there are some changes) - but this post will give much more detailed information for Year 1, including fitting it in the AO Year 1 schedule.  Note that there are changes from the last time we did Year 1 - so there may be changes in the future.

Most of the year will be based on AO's Year 1

There are some changes listed here which are personal changes instead of Canadianizing....

Booklist Change Summary:
  • Remove - Benjamin Franklin
  • Remove - George Washington
  • Remove - Buffalo Bill
  • Add - Hudson - Janice Weaver
  • Add - Laura Secord - Janet Lunn
  • Add - Alexander Graham Bell - Elizabeth MacLeod
  • Add - Canadian Minutes (the Canadian Minute ads from Historica - we watch them online)
  • Remove - Blue Fairy Book (We didn't enjoy many of the Blue Fairy Stories selected by the AO Advisory.)
  • Add - Rainbow Fairy Book (We bought this at a good price - so our Fairy Stories are from here)
  • Add - Selina and the Bear Paw Quilt
  • Add - A Fiddle for Angus
  • Add - Very Last First Time
  • Add - Dragonfly Kites
  • Optional in Free Reads- Pocahontas, Red Fairy Book)
  • Note - we also don't do Trial and Triumph
Note - I generally tried not to add something without removing something, so as not to overburden the year. I was quite careful to balance out the Rainbow Fairy Books, similar to how the Blue Fairy Book stories were scheduled.

Weekly Changes 
(I haven't noted the readings by week that you don't read from the AO schedule for the books that were removed.)

Week 2
  • Selina and the Bear Paw Quilt (Entire Book)
Week 3
  • Rainbow Fairy Book - The Nightingale
Week 6
  • Rainbow Fairy Book - Snow White and Rose Red
Week 8
  • Hudson (1/3+)
Week 9
  • Hudson (1/3+)
Week 10
  • Hudson (finish book)
Week 12
  • Rainbow Fairy Book - Hansel and Gretel
Week 6
  • Rainbow Fairy Book - Master Cat
Week 15
  • Rainbow Fairy Book - Jack and the Beanstalk
Week 17
  • A Fiddle for Angus (Entire Book)
Week 18
  • Rainbow Fairy Book - The Six Swans
Week 19
  • Laura Secord (1/3+)
Week 20
  • Laura Secord (1/3+)
Week 21
  • Laura Secord (finish book)
Week 26
  • Rainbow Fairy Book - Cinderella
Week 27
  • Very Last First Time (entire book)
Week 28
  • Alexander Graham Bell (1/3+)
Week 29
  • Alexander Graham Bell (1/3+)
Week 30
  • Alexander Graham Bell (finish book)
Week 31
  • Rainbow Fairy Book - Rumplestiltzkin
Week 32
  • Dragonfly Kites
Week 36
  • Rainbow Fairy Book - East of the Sun, West of the Moon

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Canadianized AO Year 2


UPDATED HERE

Well, as you have probably heard, we are trying AmblesideOnline again - which means we need to Canadianize it.   There are some ideas on doing this on the AO site here, but for Years 1-3, we just didn't have access to any of the Canadian History books recommended.  I am still not totally satisfied with the history books we have found - but will make use of what is available.

My general plans for all the years, are available here, (there are some changes) - but this post will give much more detailed information for Year 2, including fitting it in the AO Year 2 schedule.  Note that we haven't done Year 2 yet - so there may be changes in the future.

Most of the year will be based on AO's Year 2

Booklist Change Summary:

  • Remove - This Country of Ours.  (Used the D'Aulaire biographies where there is an option.  TCOO is not used at all)
  • Add - The Story of Canada  - Janet Lunn (Note that you could also use My First History of Canada / Great Canadian Lives option - I haven't planned out the weeks for that option)
  • Add - Canadian Minutes from Historica (these are the "Canadian Minute" ads from TV - we watch them online)
  • Add - The Fishing Summer (authors last name is Jam)
  • Add - The Fabulous Song (authors last name is Gillmor)
  • Add - Owls in the Family (Fawley Mowatt)
  • Optional in Free Reads - Abraham Lincoln & Brighty of the Grand Canyon 
  • Note - we also don't do Trial and Triumph
Note - I generally tried not to add something without removing something, so as not to overburden the year. For History, that was generally easy, as we were not doing Trial and Triumph, and also removed the US History.   For Literature, I made 2 books optional in the Free Reads - and 2 of the Canadian additions are fairly "light"   I also looked at the number of readings each week, as well as chronology of the history, to determine where to add in the Canadian content.


Weekly Changes 
(I haven't noted the readings by week that you don't read from the AO schedule for the books that were removed.)

Week 1

  • Watch the Vikings  Canadian moment on Historica
  • Story of Canada - Strangers on the Coast - 1st Section, and "Where was Vinland"
Week 5
  • The Fishing Summer (entire book)
Week 10
  • The Fabulous Song (entire book)
Week 13
  • Owls in the Family Chapter 1
Week 14
  • Owls in the Family Chapter 2
Week 15
  • Owls in the Family Chapter 3
Week 16
  • Owls in the Family Chapter 4
Week 17
  • Owls in the Family Chapter 5
Week 18
  • Owls in the Family Chapter 6
Week 19
  • Owls in the Family Chapter 7
Week 21  (yes, no reading in week 20)
  • Owls in the Family Chapter 8
Week 22
  • Owls in the Family Chapter 9
Week 23
  • Owls in the Family Chapter 10
Week 24
  • Owls in the Family Chapter 11
Week 33
  • Story of Canada - Strangers on the Coast - Explorers Section
Week 34
  • Story of Canada - Strangers on the Coast - St Stadacona Section
Week 35
  • Story of Canada - Strangers on the Coast - Fur Traders and Northern Seas Section
Week 36
  • Story of Canada - Strangers on the Coast - Rats, Weeds, and Viruses Section