Enjoying the Classics

We’ve had an ongoing theme for the year…

Read a classic; watch a movie

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Here are some of our picks that were from our Robinson Curriculum reading list;
others are simply good ole classics we have on hand. 

It takes us about a month per book to read, discuss, and then watch a correlated movie of each one. 

Homeschooling does not have to be difficult to be educational.  We didn’t have to use a study guide or workbook or a complicated scope and sequence to learn from these classic treasures.  Frankly, you don’t even need to own these… simply check your local library (or even with older relatives if you get the privilege of doing that).  I do highly recommend to avoid abridged versions (not.a.fan of the “Great illustrated classic” books).

Benefits I’ve observed from reading classic books with my children:

An increase in vocabulary

Improves their ability to comprehend

Strengthens ethics (good vs bad)

Understands history and culture in context

Recognizes to learn from past mistakes

Creates a natural desire to learn more….
which leads to rabbit trails of self-led interests.

The high quality literary content of these classic books are a treasure to explore!

It’s ingenious to be a homeschooler!

I HATE SCHOOL, and How our First Few Weeks Have Been

That’s how our school year began.
We are going into our 16th year of homeschooling, and my youngest child decides to have an attitude.  Clearly it is a disorder of some sort because just the mention of said word “school” creates a strange reaction of moaning, whining, and flopping down to the ground like a slug.

SCHOOL …

How can the child not like school?  He loves learning, exploring, and frankly, learns easily.
Well, apparently it’s the word… “SCHOOL”

You see, I could of fussed back at him,
got frustrated at his lack of willingness to do school,
disciplined him for poor behavior,
but instead I looked at the pathetic behaving child
and had him cuddle up to me and we talked about the planets,
pondered some outdoor activities, and discussed his feelings.
Then I prayed.

The Answer… don’t call it “school”.
After all, LIFE is the Lesson,
and just about anything we do
is applicable to learning something.
It’s kind of why I picked L.I.F.E. Academy
as the name of our “school”.

I can easily say “hey, let’s go up and lay on my bed and you can read a book to me” and viola, 30 min of reading.  (Reading-check)
I can then say it’s time for Math, and poof he does it (math-check)

Then the real magic comes in the evenings…
tons of fun family time and no one knows it’s still “school”.

We are watching a Math-U-See video for some fun review,
but this child LOVES seeing it and then working with the manipulatives used for the lessons.
We then watch one episode of “What’s in the Bible” which is packed with facts, vocabulary, theology in a fun way.

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Next we pull out these chalkboards to review our penmanship.
It’s been quite the hit.  Write the letter mom says,
then draw a word to compliment the letter, and spell it.
Dad joins in, Sissy joins in (the highschooler).
I will slowly begin doing phonics review,
and eventually spelling games with these boards.
The creativity is endless…
for the letter “i” my youngest came up with “imagination”,
not your typical ice cream or igloo answer, lol.

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We end our evenings by reading our Jesus Freaks Devotional,
finding on the map the country that was the read about,
and pray for that country.

FRIDAYS are also open for some fun.
It’s the one day during the school week that I don’t do childcare,
and I take advantage of that time to spend more intentional with my kids.

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Because we are entering into Medieval Times for History,
I opened the era with the Byzantine period.
We read about Constatine,
while listening to Beethoven in the background,

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then we attempted Byzantine mosaic art,
each of us doing our own masterpiece.

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I also threw in a science project for fun.  Used food coloring (yellow and blue), paper towels to wick the color into the empty center cup, and obviously, we made green.  The cool part was to see the water travel through the paper towels and actually begin to fill the empty cup.

All in all, that was a fun afternoon!

And then there’s my highschooler,
who has been fabulously working at her own pace independently,
while still participating in the things I want her to join us for! 

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Her garden got attacked by moles; it’s a sad affair.
But she still got some harvest.  Those carrots though?

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Oh, and we can’t forget the preschoolers…

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The 3 yr olds are loving preschool time,
and that sweet little photo bomber in the background is just about ready to join the table at almost 15 months of age.  She loves seeing what’s going on with our Discovery Time lessons!!

And That my friends is a random look at how our school year has started so far…

It’s a bit crazy to be a homeschooler.  *smile*

L.I.F.E. Academy~ August Goals 2016

I’ll just be candid here and say that our “first” day of school was a bust.
Mistake #1 was trying to begin school the day after our fabulous 4 day camping trip.
So I put off the first day (Monday) to Tuesday, in which moods were off and we barely got our teacher-student conference cleared (you know, to explain expectations for the year) this day.  Then along comes Wednesday, and I am a huge proponent that Mom’s mood can really set the tone for the house.  Well, my mood was fine (ba ha ha), but my kids were still like in vacation hang over mode.  So, for those that don’t know, I always try to be creative and think of something fun to do on the first day, and this year wasn’t any different.  So, I came up with an Olympic theme since the Summer Olympics is under way.  I thought it was an awesome idea.  I was already to have Family Olympic games right in our backyard.  I even thought up some cool crafts and a snack idea.  However, my youngest child was on a rant.  He was NOT amused at all, thought the whole thing was “stupid”, and grumbled most the day.  Well, there ya go, homeschool reality at its finest.  So do I hang the ungrateful kid in the closet by his toes?  Or maybe just hug the child, rest together, chat about God, nature, and the planets… and ponder a new plan.

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Thursday began with some camoflauge…
and then “boot camp” began!

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Needless to say, moods were improved…

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and Monday, August 8th, our official book work will begin!

August Goals

Bible– Genesis

Literature
Bryson (3rd grade)- Family Under the Bridge
Andrew (5th grade)- Pinocchio (RC)
Katie (Freshman)- Trixie Beldon series, Mildred Elsie series (RC)
Read Aloud- Bambi (classic 1939 version)
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Language Arts
Back to basics- review sentence structure;
Capital beginnings, end marks.!?
Introduce prepositional phrases.
Boys- review penmanship skills/do copywork
Katie- daily essays

Math
The boys- review basic math facts.
focus on +, x (0-6)
Katie- review, all about fractions (+, -, x ,/)

Science
Bryson- All about Crabs
Andrew- All about Ants
Katie- All about the animal kingdom;
introduction to arthropods and crustaceans
*will also begin her seedlings for her fall garden.
Family Read aloud
Burgess Animal Book for Children;
rats, mice, & shrews.

History
The boys- Muhammad and the early years of Islam,
and details of the Arabian days.
Katie- Life of Saint Patrick

Health
Personal safety- stranger danger

American Sign Language/Spanish
family, food, animals

Fine Arts
Composer- Beethoven, Ode to Joy (Olympic march)
Art- Byzantine Mosaics
Poetry- To Laugh Often and Much by Ralph Waldo Emerson

To laugh often and much;

to win the respect of the intelligent people

and the affection of children;

to earn the appreciation of honest critics

and endure the betrayal of false friends;

to appreciate beauty;

to find the best in others; 

to leave the world a bit better

whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch,
or a redeemed social condition;

to know that one life has breathed easier 

because you lived here.

This is to have succeeded.

Our Curriculum 2016-2017

The Robinson Curriculum
We choose the belief that the core foundation of education is to read, write, and do math.
If a student can build up on these 3 skills, learning becomes limitless.

Here’s our outline of what we do…

INDEPENDENT STUDIES:

Math

3rd & 5th graders-
1st semester- to solidify all four basic math facts (+, -, x, /)
2nd semester- begin Saxon 5/4

9th grader-
review Saxon 7/6, begin pre-algebra

Writing

3rd & 5th graders-
improve penmanship via copywork
build and enhance good quality paragraphs.
Daily science summaries.
*end of the year goal: 3 paragraph essay

9th grader-
3 essays per week via Book of Knowledge resource
Daily science summaries
Book reviews as literature books are completed

Language Arts

3rd & 5th graders-
McGuffey 2nd Reader for;
grammar, punctuation, vocabulary.
Prof “K” spelling

9th grader-
will use writing assignments as a tool for punctuation, grammar, spelling, & vocabulary.
RC English grammar -review as necessary

Literature

Will list specific books in our monthly goal posts.
The students will read many classic books from the RC reading list,
as well as other good quality resources.

Science

3rd grader- Christian Liberty 2nd Nature Reader,
Animal Pride series by Dave and Pat Sargent
5th grader- Christian Liberty 3rd Nature Reader
Books from the authors, Arthur Scott Bailey and Thorton Burgess
9th grader- Biology
A Child’s Story of the Animal World
The Motion of the Heart and Blood of Animals (RC)
**continue her agriculture project from the spring, introducing a fall garden to her current crop.

History

3rd & 5th graders-
A Child’s History of the World
9th grader-
Medieval History book resources from;
Robinson Curriculum, G. A. Henty, & the Landmark series

GROUP STUDIES:

Bible– Old Testament (with preschoolers too)
Devotions– Jesus Freaks by Voice of the Martyrs
*we will mark the stories locations on a map for world geography,
as well as pray for that specific country for the day.

Foreign Language

American Sign Language/Spanish-
Preschoolers/3rd & 5th grader-
Signing Time and Flip Flop Spanish (whole family Spanish)
9th grader/mom- Duolingo and Pimsleur Spanish Gold Edition I, II, & III

Fine Arts

Monday- Geography
Tuesday- Composer (of the month)
Wednesday- Artist (of the month)
Thursday- Poetry (of the month)
Friday- Nature walks

Daily read aloud List
(for the year)

The Burgess Animal Book for Children
Song of Roland (poetry)
Ivanhoe
Jungle Book
Robin Hood
Cantebury Tales
Uncle Remus

Woodworking/S.T.E.M. projects

I invested in some hands-on building kits from
Hands4Building; Their products are phenomenal
My kids will be using real (albeit miniature) tools for architectural use;
saws, blue prints, etc… My hope is that after they build the
house, furniture, bridge, windmill, fence, and wagon,
they will continue their interest onto bigger projects!

Let the fun begin….

 

 

Public School guests join Homeschooler’s for a Day!

We had “guest” students in class today!

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Learning about Adjectives

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while learning some phonics and spelling rules;
y = the long e sound
(grammar)

POPCORN

while enjoying a snack!

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Next was history

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Where we read that the Israelites received Manna by morning,
(cooking class for all ages, yumm)

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and Quail by evenings.
(arts and crafts)

We followed up the bird topic by learning all about nest parasites;
the cow birds; Thank you Wild Kratts
(nature science)

while having pizza for lunch.

And finally…

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getting ready for battle;

RECESS at it’s homeschool finest!

*Childcare does not need to be an interference to homeschool
but rather an encouragement to share the FUN!!!

Our guests were a delight,  and I’m pretty sure they enjoyed the day too!

L.I.F.E. Academy~ September wrap up

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In all honesty, we played around with our daily rhythm a bit for September.

With adding a preschool co op to our Monday and Wednesday mornings,
along with having after-school care kids show up mid afternoons,
we’ve had to reestablish our routine.

You may take a look at Our School Day Schedule to get a gist of how are days flow.

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So my kids happen to have free time on Monday and Wednesday mornings,
in which they often find things to do together.
Katie (13) has taken to helping one of her younger brothers write a book, one chapter at a time. 
Andrew (10), who is overcoming dysgraphia (lack of hand coordination) often has endless stories to tell, but rarely could get it all out on paper, thus sister began to encourage his thoughts and creativity by being his hands for him.  I’m pretty proud of them both.

Other activities during this free time is outdoor play, board games, playing battle, and exploring self-led interests.

Fridays have been fun for adding field trips and fine art projects.

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After reading about Baby Moses one week,
we did a color resist project with water colors.

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Another week we explored the 10 plagues.
As I had the kids color and cut out the number (of plagues) for a craft project,
we all got sidetracked playing with the numbers.
My younger boys seem to have a slower time connecting place value in mathematical equations, but after learning how to read really big numbers (to the billions), they enjoy it much more.  I love “ah ha” moments.

History-
We began Exodus late in the month and expect to probably take the whole month of October to finish it.  Moses had quite the journey!

Science-
The changes of Autumn with a bonus early field trip to a local pumpkin patch.

Literature-
Frankly?  to finish up some books that should be done by now.
Getting ready to issue the next book for the month of October.

Language Arts-
We are working on phonetic word families;
Long A sounds such as with the ~ay, ~ey, ~eigh sounds; as in hay, whey, neigh.
The kids quickly recognize that the most common use is the ~ay.
bonus points; learning the i before e rule while learning the long a/”eigh” sound.

We wrapped up our penmanship review and will begin our writing structure for October.

I am excited for October as I see our days falling into a more peaceful (less chaotic) place…

Gotta love homeschooling!

 

 

Week 2 Homeschool wrap up

It was a floating week.  no set schedule, but just treading through our days.

We did some school work while also having extra kids over.
3 kids came in the mornings as a warm up to my home before I begin caring for them afterschool.  A way for them to get to know my family before all the school and sports activities take off.  They are great kids that I look forward to having in the afternoons.  Both boys are around my boys ages; the girl is 9 and full of creativity like my Katie-girl.

One of the days was a bit more busy; just another random day really.

Anyways, my kids did their core work during quiet time (early afternoon), and the extra kids did some projects with us.

HISTORY– Old Testament Ancient history
We read through the story of Jacob;
from trickery, to deceit, to being deceived, to forgiveness…
all great topics to discuss with the kids!

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SCIENCE– (light fun)
For Jacobs Ladder we tried a new puff paint recipe;
1 cup Elmer’s Glue
1/4 cup flour
approx 2 cups shaving cream

We usually just do equal parts glue and shaving cream, which is always soft and spongey when first dried, but eventually flattens.  This new recipe is thicker (not as spongey cool feeling) however it stays puffy.  It would definitely be a winner for puff paint writing!

FINE ARTS
We learned about Mosaic Art of the Renaissance era.
This happened to be perfect timing from doing our “stew” craft with beans (pictured above)

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Reading, Writing, and math are all going well…

I have found our family news report; The Hollinger Highlights,
quite the useful tool in our home.
I list daily reminders, appointments, activities, etc…

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With week 2 under our belts, I am looking forward to a fabulous school year!

What fun things did you get to do?