Friday, July 31, 2015

First week of School Warm Up

 Getting Into a Groove

Slow going but Productive! The kids have settled into a 'light' school review week where they had about 2 hours of work each day. This is a much easier going start to school and I can tell my kids have matured quite a bit.

College kids moving back in!  The mayhem of having your college aged kids move their junk - uh, stuff back in after a year away at Collge takes some getting used to. I'm happy they are back though.



Mishaps this week - the oldest son, Razor Ray, sprung an ankle at his full time internship job, which effects his ability to work at his part-time job at the hospital. Getting him home from his hour and 20 minute train commute from work was interesting this week. Rose, my 'absent minded professor' in training, broke or lost her cellphone - again - this school year. So that is another fun thing we have to replace this week.

This Week in Rewind

Speed Racer, blended Middle Schooler

Speed Racer did most of his work unsupervised. Although, I had to review it and make him redo some of the work he got wrong.

He didn't start til the afternoon - independently, he worked on IXL (Comma's). He also did his C# Programming [Homeschool Programming], Python Programming [Tech Rocket] Teaching Textbooks - [Math 7 for review] he's not liking too much and which he had to redo some of his questions. Spanish with [Middlebury Interactive] TypingWeb.com and Xtramath.org were finished up daily.


Tiger Lilly, blended 9th grader

Tiger Lilly is warming up for her college classes, Landry Courses and online Animation course starting at the end of August.She is doing Psychology (Crash Course Youtube Videos), American History (Crashcourse Youtube Video), Java Programming with [Homeschool Programming and Bucky's Youtube tutorial], Algebra 2 review by doing just the test and going back and reviewing sections in [Teaching Textbooks Algebra 2]. Art Class [Art Class DVD curriculum].And on her own she started doing Unity 3d class using [TechRocket]





She gets her work done without a problem. However, do to a video game challenge with her friends she is making up work over the weekend.


WORKING PARENT's LOG


Meals. I cooked fish and chicken. Hoping to have leftovers each day but the kids didn't want the leftovers. So we went to Chick-fil-A

Cleaning. The house is a wreck I got part of the kids new school area completed. Hoping to get more done with college students come back.

Work & Life Balance. Great flow, but we aren't at our full schedule yet.

Lesson Planning. Easy to do since they are only warming up.

Rest. I now get great sleep since my husband purchased this device for me to help me stop snoring. It also makes my sleep more complete. I'm getting 7 hours of sleep and I feel great.

Marriage Check Up. Our date night got switched out since I went with friends to Happy Hour 2 days this week. However, Hubba didn't mind and we plan to do something this weekend together while our older kids are cleaning up their dumping areas in the house.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Summer of Socialization!

WHAT SUMMER CAMPS DO FOR HOMESCHOOLING!

This year we are going into our 3rd year as homeschoolers. Now we are at a point where we have realized our freedom to do it our way.

I've given my kids a lot of say so in their educational and social experience and they've greatly surprised me and blossomed with the power of having an 'opinion'


DAY CAMPS

This has been a great tool in gaining my kids new and lasting friendships. They see the same kids everyday. Get cellphone numbers and connect on video games in the evening. These friendships have even evolved into weekend play dates.

SLEEP AWAY CAMPS

Both kids participated in 4 weeks of sleep away camps this year. They loved it. It got my shy Tiger Lilly out of her shell and gained her some friends with like interest that she now skypes online with. My little guy was able to run, play and do lots of fun things he can't do at him.


THE DECISION GOING FORWARD IS

To always do summer camps. Trying to do at least 2 months of it will fulfill my kiddos need to socialize. However, we have agreed that starting back at the beginning of August is a good thing and will help them from not losing all they've gained in their learning.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Our 2015 to 2016 Curriculum Plans

A New Year Already!
2015-16 School Year Curriculum

Here's our line-up for our FALL season


Our Method to The Madness

We don't do a typical Middle or High School. We blend our middle school and high school in order to prepare our kiddos for Dual Enrollment Courses or CLEP test which are accepted by our local Community College.

Therefore, you will see many grade levels spread over several subjects for our kids. The focus of subjects outside of Math, English and Science is based on their interest.

Here's the Plan

Three Semesters: Fall/Winter/Spring

Speed Racer - (11yrs) our Blended 7th-9th grader.
 - Block Schedule - some classes are only 1 / 2 or 3 days a week
 - Total Hours Of School a Day - 5 to 7 hours


This was our original schedule - 3 weeks after school started, I re-evaluated and changed it to the one below:

Independent Work:
Scratch (Landry Academy) moved to Winter
Language Practice (IXL.com) moved to Winter

Python (Techrocket.com)
Vocabulary Word Usage (Membean.com)
Typing (TypingWeb.com) moved to Winter

Writing (Time4Writing.com)
Math Review (CTCMath.com)


Work With Parent:
English 7th - Grammar - Spelling (AbekaAcademy.com)
Algebra 1 (AbekaAcademy.com) moving to Winter semester
Spanish (Middlebury Interactive and Mango Languages)
US History (AbekaAcademy.com)
African American History (Movie Based)
American Government (AbekaAcademy.com)
Economics (AbekaAcademy)
Logic (Compass Classroom) Moved to Spring
Biology (Abeka Academy)


His new schedule will be the following:

We are able to get through all of these within 5.5 hours

Does in the morning:
CTCMath (for Math lab): M-F (Independent)
TechRocket (for Python programming):  M-F (Independent)
Membean (for Vocabulary building):  M-F (Independent)
Time4Writing (online): M-F (Independent) 

Do in the evening:
English/Spelling/Reading - (Abeka) :  M-F (with Mom/Dad or Homehelper)
Saxon (Math 7/8): M-F (with Mom/Dad or Homehelper)
Biology (Abeka): M-F (with Mom/Dad or Homehelper)
Economics (Abeka): T-Th (with Mom/Dad or Homehelper)
American Gov't (Abeka): M-W-F (with Mom/Dad or Homehelper)

Tiger Lilly - our Blended 9th-10th grader.

 - Total Hours Of School a Day - 6 to 7 hours  at least 1 day of the weekend for homework





Tiger Lilly's schedule is packed. She asked for the Homeschool Courses as they are her passionate interest in becoming a Video Game Designer. The last 2 years of homeschooling, she was able to succeed with this amount of coursework, so we are giving it a try provided her Dual Enrolled courses don't suffer.

 Homeschool Classes

Japanese (Landry Academy)  - Wed. Only (do homework on that day)
C Programming (Landry Academy) - Tue. Only (do homework on that day)
PC Pro (Landry Academy) - Mon. Only (do homework on that day)
Java (TechRocket.com) - Thu
Unity3D (TechRocket.com) - Wed
Animation 1 - (theanimcourse.com) - Tue 

Community College Dual Course

Psychology (online) - Tue (Fri-Sat for homework)
US History 1 (online) - Wed (Fri-Sat for homework)
Computer Applications for Micro Systems (online) - Thu (Fri-Sat for homework)
College Math (In Person) - Fri (Tue and Thu for homework)

Classes I changed:
Game Programming (DigiPen Academy)  Her Associates Degree Program has classes
SAT Review (Landry Academy)  She wanted to study on her own

Why this Challenging Schedule?

We grew into it. My kids had been used to a 7 hour school day. Each class was about an hour long, they also had homework that they would do in the evenings and weekends.

When we started homeschooling, we started slow, but they didn't have any screentime on the TV, video games or cellphones until after dinner.

So when they finished their assigned work, they started asking for more things 'to do'. That's when I came up with Independent work that were online work that they could do and I could check when I had a chance.

Also, they liked changing things up after a few weeks.


Where's the Fun?

Yep, with their schedules, they love their sports. They do a sport daily which takes 2 hours out of their day, gets them out and chatting up with their friends. The weekend, My Tiger Lilly is in a Girl's Who Code and CyberJitsu girls club where she interacts with other girls. My Speed Racer loves dancing, martial arts, gymnastics and lacrosse.

Working Parent Juggling?

Both my husband and I work. However, my older two kids are living at home this school year.

Dad works from home a few times a week, Mom works a 40 hr work week and the college students are home at various times.

School Schedule:
A.M Schedule - Dad is the Instructor
Afternoon - Rose or Razor Ray will be home with students
Late Afternoon - Mom is the Instructor
Evening -  Dad take Speed Racer and Tiger Lilly to sports - Mom is cooking dinner
Late Evening - Dad is the Instructor

Chores - Kids clean up before bed. All others will be done on Saturdays and Sunday after church
Meal Planning - Prepping of meals will be on Sunday (1) Crockpot (2) Grilled (3) Oven Baked
Marriage Checkup - Friday Nights are date nights for Hubba and Me.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Prepping for the 2015 to 2016 School Year!

This Summer Is Amazing!

Time To Start Thinking About Our Coming School Year.


School Space:

This is shrinking for Speed Racer and Tiger Lilly. My older two kids: Rose and Razor Ray, are moving back home from college. We'd agreed to fund one year of 'campus experience' and that year has ended. Our budgets are happy.

So, the space in the basement will move to the dining room.

The new space will have the following for each student:

Folding Desk
Folding Chair
Dry Erase and Cork Board combo over the desk
Workbox drawers
Bookcase

Schedule:

This is changing to a 3 semester schedule. We will change classes 3 times in the year which models a college schedule that the kids enjoyed last year.

Curriculum:

Tiger Lilly is officially enrolled in her Dual Enrollment Community College and will have a combination of Homeschool Classes and College Classes.

Speed Racer will be doing some online classes with Landry and Currclick to get him used to online classes.

Extra Curricular:

Tiger Lilly will be doing dance, martial arts.

Speed Racer will be dancing, martial arts, lacrosse and a track team if I can find it.