Sunday, August 10, 2008

Homeschool Wrap-Up

The girls are enjoying our new "semester" (for lack of a better word).

The Ladder of Life books . . . I haven't decided what I think of them yet, I'm going to give them a couple more weeks at least. The girls don't seem to mind them, but I find the stories abit young for them . . . oversimplifying the concepts. There's a short "memory verse" in the teacher's guide that goes with each story and I've been using those as copywork for the girls. They're enjoying that, so much that they were sad when I told them we didn't have time to do it on Friday because of going to chocolate world and all. So, even if we decide to not go through the whole Ladder of Life series, we'll be continuing a daily Bible verse for copywork, whatever else we decide to do for Bible.

The solar system unit is a HIT! I adapted it some from the unit study as written. I didn't see the need for the "super heros" they'd included, and they had some basic "learn a letter" thing where you put the 1st letter of each planet next to it on the "planet wall" which seemed redundant for where we're at. But they're enjoying what we ARE doing. We're putting the planets in order on the wall in the hallway, starting w/ the sun, and going out from there, we'll add one per week. We're also making a planet mobile with the sun in the middle and the planets hanging around it. AND each of the girls is making a lapbook with a minibook for each planet. The lesson plan provides one "fact" about each planet for the minibook, but I think the girls will prefer to learn more. I got a kids book on planets from the library (just picked it up Thurs afternoon so we haven't looked at it yet) and if we don't like that one we'll try others till we find one we like LOL).

We went to the library this past week and got a library card, then I came home and ordered the books we'd need for the first part of our history studies, and we picked them up on Thursday as well so we'll start with the History tomorrow. The county library system (not our local library though) had the History Pockets for Native Americans but for some reason wouldn't let me reserve it, and the woman at the desk was annoying and wouldn't even check on it for me when I was in there on Thurs (it didn't say "no circ" or anything, just gave me a weird error message so i wanted her to try reserving it & at least tell me WHY I couldn't . . . but she just said "well, maybe they don't let it out of their library or something" w/o even looking it up GRRRR) on a positive note, the children's librarian who was there when we got our library card seems really nice, so that will be good :)

I wanted to get the timeline set up last week but when I went to hang the yarn on the wall (my idea was to string yarn & then hang 100 yr markers from it and add other stuff as we did it)I discovered that whatever our walls are made of (plaster?) the thumbtack just bent instead of going in. SO . . . new plan . . . I think I'm just going to hang a big piece of paper (from the paper roll) on the wall (not sure if I'll use nails or just try the sticky stuff I'm using to hang the planets on the wall . . .) and then draw in the line & 100 yr markers, then we can write additional stuff directly ON the paper as we learn about it), but I didn't get that done last week so we'll have to do it tomorrow.

And in other news our caterpillars for the Butterfly pavillion finally came yesterday. So we have a jar full of caterpillars sitting in our house. I haven't seen them move yet, but it seems like some are in different positions then they were originally so hopefully at least a couple are alive and will turn into butterflies like they're supposed to. Butterflies are much lower maintenance than ladybugs LOL. They come in a jar w/ strict instructions not to open the jar for any reason until they've all turned into crystalises, there's food & stuff already in there for them. So all we have to do is watch the jar & when they've gone into their crisalyses (I have no idea how to spell that word & I'm too lazy to look it up) we transfer them to the butterfly pavilion and watch till they turn into butterflies. Then we can either start feeding the butterflies or let them go. I think we'll probably just let them go, but maybe keep the first couple in there until they're all ready to be released.


Sarah said...

We got our jar of caterpillars last week and the first turned into a chrysalid two days ago. The last caterpillar just hung itself today (that sounds bad, but YKWIM). The kids have been fascinated, watching the progression. The one chrysalid has been extremely active today, shaking like crazy!

Ann@His Grace To Me said...

The Native American History Pockets book is lots of fun. We're working on it this month.

Sweetpeas said...

The Native American History Pockets was what the library wouldn't let me reserve :( Since we're doing a VERY abbreviated look at Native Americans (compared to what the curriculum does) I flipped through the book online and pulled out some stuff we could do similarly w/o the book (we'll talk about Head dresses & look at pictures online & then I found online directions to make one, things like that)just couldn't justify spending the money on it for the 4 or 5 things we'd be pulling out of it. I DO want to try the History Pockets series when we get to Colonial stuff though, even if I have to actually buy it LOL.