Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Homeschooling Update

Yes, we are still homeschooling!!  Even though I (we) have been busy with early gardening and milk production the book learning is continuing.   I thought I would give you a run-down of what is going on in the homeschooling arena at Busy Hands Busy Minds.

Together we are studying the War Between the States.  In our group time we begin the day reading a chapter of Proverbs and a chapter from the Psalms.  We review our Latin or Greek root for the week from English from the Roots Up.  I have then been reading through Facts the Historians Leave Out A Confederate Primer by John S. Tilley.  We finish that up today and will begin Walt Whitman's Civil War Poetry and Prose.  We had started Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, but just couldn't stand it.  I decided it was fine if the children just had a small taste of it and knew the history of this fictional story written by Stowe using second and third party sources.  It is said that upon meeting Stowe in 1863, President Lincoln said, " So, this is the woman that wrote the book that caused this war."  We are also reading Two Little Confederates by Thomas Nelson Page and Call of Duty:  The Sterling Nobility of Robert E. Lee by J. Steven Wilkins.  We are using All American History Volume 2 by Celeste W. Rakes as our spine for our history studies and hope to finish up our two year stretch of American history this fall.   The older two boys and I are also studying the rather hefty volume The War Between the States:  America's Uncivil War by John J. Dwyer.  This is a fascinating book and has lots of great quotes that you most likely have not read in any other modern day textbook.  Devin (22) is taking the children through A Young Scholar's Guide to Composers by Melissa E. Craig and Maggie S. Hogan.  She meets with them once a week for this and we are supposed to listen to the music selections throughout the week.

Jordan (18) is studying Biblical Economics by R. C. Sproul, Jr. which he is greatly enjoying.  He has edited several programs for The Homeschool Channel on economics and many of R.C. Sproul's talks as well and finds them very interesting and beneficial.  He is also studying American literature through Learning Language Arts through Literature, doing an algebra review using VideoText and is doing lots of research on homesteading topics.  He is pretty much in charge of our gardening endeavors this year and has started hundreds of plants indoors and out and has built all of our raised beds and some planters by himself.  He is quite the handyman.  In addition to his film editing responsibilities at The Homeschool Channel, he spends a few hours a week taking and editing photos of his own.  He also has a huge stack of homesteading, theology and historical works that he is reading through.

Aaron(14)  is plugging through Apologia's Physical Science.  This has been a stretch for me to prepare and keep up with as most of our science studies have previously been through unit studies as a family.  Aaron feels led to study medicine, so we felt he needed to have a more formal science curriculum.  I am interested in looking at other science curriculum to see if I can find a better fit.  He has recently started VideoText algebra with Jeff and is finishing up Learning Language Arts through Literature (green).  He also using Daily Grams for daily grammar review. He is also using Building Thinking Skills Book 3 and doing some spelling review through Natural Speller.   Typing and Quarter Mile math drills are done on the computer.  He does Spanish independently using PowerGlide.  I hope to move him to Rosetta Stone this next year.  He also greatly enjoys reading through the Ballantyne books of world wide adventure stories and is reading some theological works, historical fiction and biographies.  Practicing piano, drawing, painting, chores,  and editing audio programs for his dad's home business round out his days.

Kaelan (11) is studying plants through Answers in Genesis God's Design for Life series.  Jackson is tagging on this study at times. She started a pressed flower collection and will be doing some identification of plants as well.   She is working through Teaching Textbook 6, typing and Quarter Mile math drills on the computer.  She also likes to email extended family members frequently.  ; )  She keeps up with family members all over the world!  She is studying Learning Language Arts through Literature (purple) with Daily Grams for daily grammar review.  Spelling lists come from Natural Speller and she is also using Building Thinking Skills Book 2.  Kaelan also has a tall stack of books that she is reading from based on our history studies, but usually pulls some old favorites from the bookshelves to read as well.  I think she is now reading Little Women...again!

Jackson(6) is finishing up the primer level of Math U See and will be starting MUS Foundations (the old version) as soon as it comes in.  I decided to put him in the older version because we already have the teacher's edition and I have already gone through it myself, ummm, like three other times and it won't be something that I have to relearn. ; )  We are s l o w l y making our way through Alphaphonics.  Little by little, bit by bit, I am seeing progress.  One of the great advantages of  homeschooling is that we can go as slow or as fast as we need to.  Right now, for this child and his phonics studies it is slow going.  And that is OK!!  He is using the Italic Handwriting Series as have all of my children.  I think I like it much more than any of them do.  Jackson participates in most of our group time and usually enjoys coloring a page from a historical Dover coloring book while he listens in.  I am trying to have some time each week where he is listening to audio books like Charlotte's Web or programs such as Your Story Hour or Jonathan Park.  He is read to daily by either me, Jeff or one or more of his siblings and he "reads" books by himself several times a day.  His favorite right now is  David Macaulay's The Way Things Work.

Two year old Caedmon is now enrolled in Potty Training 101.  He is now 2 1/2 (as of tomorrow) and as the weather is warming and he can now go half dressed without getting too chilled, big sister Devin has declared it TIME!.   We have been putting him on the potty for several months before bath time and he has had some success.  We are now going into full mode with training pants (no pull-ups here).  Diapers are still going on at nap and bedtimes.  Caedmon enjoys books, puzzles and most of the activities in his daily boxes.  Some of my favorite resources for this age come from Lauri and Melissa and Doug.   Some of the activity bags and folders have become too easy for him and I need to reorganize his materials.  He is a genius, I tell you, a genius!

So, that is what is going on in the homeschooling department of Busy Hands Busy Minds.  If things weren't so busy around here I would have linked all these wonderful resources so that you could look at them and purchase from my affiliate links, but my children need more time from me than this blog does.  If you have a question about any resource, please leave me a comment and I will get back to you ASAP.    Thanks so much for stopping by!

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michelleleigh said...

Would love to know the pros and cons of video text. Considering it for algebra for mackenzie. She is starting to struggle some with math u see. Always enjoy reading your blog!

Kimberly @ Raising Olives said...

We're reading a lot of the same books. I just pulled the kids off of Uncle Tom's Cabin so that I could finish it and decide if I wanted them to.

Amber is doing Apologia Physical science as well. She's working through independently with us just checking and talking with her about it.

I'd love to hear what you think, pros/cons of AiG's science program. We're using and enjoying their history, but it's not very user friendly, at least it's not very friendly for this user.


Anita said...

Michelle, Jeff is teaching the VideoText so I can't really give a good review. Jeff had met the author and saw demos at a convention and really like what he saw. I was looking for something very self directed. Teaching Textbooks in the upper levels does not check the work or work out each problem in the answer book so that didn't work for me. I probably would have gone back to MUS, but spending individual time with each one each day is getting difficult. I think Jeff is having to spend more time on the algebra than he anticipated at this point.

We'll seel

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