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I love the Lord as much as a broken person can; love and loved by my husband; blessed by 5 amazing little people who have helped me to learn much about me; grateful to serve even more as God gives them to me; blessed every day to be a home school teacher; college student; I hope to change the world by loving as many people as possible, because there is nothing greater than loving another.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

This Edition: Some Unexpected Additions Really Adding to our Week

Sometimes, you get the pleasure of remembering what you own and grabbing something you know will fit right into your lessons. That happened thrice this week! First with this friendly addition to our history studies. Since we've read a good bit on President Theodore Roosevelt, it was nice to change up the perspective of our reading. The One Bad Thing About Father by F.N. Monjo did just that. Read about the president from the fictional perspective of his two little boys. A perfect fit in our schoolhouse of 4 young boys, but surely enjoyable for any elementary aged child. It was a quick read aloud of 50isg pages. I read fast! This goes great with TOG Year 4, weeks 1&2.

Since the timing of our history schedule has already been adjusted, I have an extra week to focus on geography with the boys because TOG really has a ton of terms to learn. Normally, we'd learn as we go, but since there's time...why not focus?  So, our fly by the seat of our pants extra was a giant vocabulary book. This was inspired from a friend at the WTM board who made lovely, weekly, photo references for TOG's vocab. I loved the idea. We're making a mega-book that we'll regularly use as a reference material. When it's finished, I'll post the entire project in photography, but here is the beginning. Pretty simple. I used fotosearch.com and Swagbucks Images, then a little MS Word to blow up the definitions after using my Quizlet page to pull from. It took me about 10 min. to get everything together. It will be so worth it in the end. I do plan on printing larger sized pictures for the rest of the book. I'd like for the boys to really get visual images of the water based words.

Well, in science, I had planned a two lesson study on Earthquakes to go along with our San Francisco Earthquake studies. I dropped it in the middle of the Flight Unit Study. I already owned one simple book and thought a Bill Nye video would do the trick along with some simple notebooking. Since I have some extra time, I decided to beef up the earthquake study with a quick insert on the parts of the earth. I have owned, Look Inside the Earth, since my eldest (the 10th grader) was in first grade. This made for a great opportunity to throw in some geography/science/history all in one. We drew a diagram of the earth and some dictation from the text to appropriately summarize what we had learned about the layers of the earth, their functions, and components. This is a wonderful visual aid. Check out the book! Christian users may want to skip the first page, especially Young Earth Creationists. It talks about the earth's origin in a way that may be inconsistent with your faith. I have censored the book and since I read it aloud, it poses no problem. (I also find such things easy to explain away).

Now, I want to add, I could not have handled an "on the fly" kind of day many years ago. This was possible because of my extensive personal library and from years of experience. There are some who are born with the ability, confidence, even guts to grab and go daily -- not me. It's taken some real work to get here! I am so glad I'm here, though, because it was a great lesson. The other thing that I have now is confidence to let flexibility operate. Sometimes, we classical home schoolers pack our years with so much work that we lose the ability to be flexible so we can stay on schedule. STAAAAY on Schedule! That's me yelling at myself! We'll be fine with our additions. They made this week exciting, new, enjoyable and just plain educational.

Have you made adjustments in your new year already? Remember, home schoolers, be flexible. It's great advice!

1 comment:

Darla said...

Great suggestions. We are following you in Year 4 and will be a couple weeks behind. I'm looking forward to trying out your suggestions.

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