|I made a few Christmas ornaments for our tree plus a made a few to give as teacher gifts this year. before the Christmas break|
|My latest stain glass piece that I completed over the Christmas break|
It is about that time of year when I look back and see where we started and where we are and note if we are behind, or if we need to make any adjustments to our school schedule, routine or curriculum. We are only a few days away from the 100 day mark of our school year.
Firedrake -- 10th grade earning 7.5 credits this year
Psychology class - attended at Public school she earned an A-. This class was a half semester only so she has signed up for a Science Fiction class and it has only been a week but so far she likes it:)
Algebra 1 class - attended at Public school she earned an A- and is continuing with this course, but with a different teacher. Keeping our fingers crossed that the next one is good.
Art - Continuing with lessons at our Homeschooling coop
Japanese- Continuing private lessons with a tutor
Piano - Continuing with private lessons with a tutor
History - We have completed reading the book Guns, Germs and Steel and watched the documentary. We have discussed the book and have now moved on to Crash Course World History online. We are in the middle of the second unit and making nice strides in this area. I do not test in this area but I do have her do projects and papers to make sure she is understanding what we are discussing. I do not see the point of testing for dates, names and times in history as you can always look it up. I am more interested in her knowing the why's of history and be able to understand it.
Literature - We are continuing with Lighting literature World Literature. We are on the last unit of Part one of this course, so a little behind from where I wanted to be. We may be working on this course over the summer for a little bit! Again I do not test in this area. Instead she is required to write papers and do projects a (often piggy backing on to our History lessons). She is an excellent story writer so we are trying to expand her writing skills to other areas. She is also working on Wordly Wise Vocabulary work book and is on target on completing this book.
Geoscience - Firedrake is doing this topic with her Dad and she is doing well and on target in this subject. In this subject Firedrake is tested and her Dad makes very hard tests so she is earning an A-
Firedrake is doing very well in all her subjects and is mostly on target for the school year (except for literature just a tad behind my goal)! Also Firedrake took a practice ACT and PSAT test at the beginning of the school year in high school and she did amazing in the writing and critical reading sections PSAT was 97% and ACT was 30/36. We have a little ways to go on her Math skills but I am very confident we will get those scores up now that she is more confident in her Math class. While it is tough to send her to public school part time I think we made the right decision based on how well she is doing now in Algebra since we struggled with that at home!
MarioFan is in 8th grade
Spanish - Taken at coop and he earned an A for this semester
Piano - private lessons with a tutor
PE - community gym class
Math - We are using Teaching Textbooks pre algebra and are just over a third of the way though the book. He doing much better with this program and seems to be retaining the information. I am not too worried about where we are in this book as we can always do work in the summer and I am more concerned that he understands the math! It was about this time that Firedrake began to despise Math and I pushed to hard, so I am trying to take a more relaxed, there is no hurry approach;)
Literature - We are using Lightening Literature 1 and doing this work with a friend. We ended exactly where we were supposed to according to the program before Christmas break. We have quizzed the boys a few times but no tests. Again we are working more on writing skills and reading skills. We are also trying to teach note writing skills during our lectures.
Art/art History - We are using Meet the Masters as a spine but we are adding much more to the program, again doing this with a friend. We take about two weeks to work on an artist, learn about their life and their art. Then the boys complete two art projects. We have completed 7 out of the 15 artists in the group we bought so on target to get this done
History - We are working on World history and for the first time we are using a text book. We are very slowing working though the book as I find there is so much information that is missing that I need to fill in the gaps. The one thing I do like about this program is the workbook that comes with it encourages note taking and looking at main points for each topic. So I am using this topic to continue to develop note taking skills. We have also been working on a history timeline and so far have managed to keep up with it. I do not test in this topic as I feel it is more important to understand the why's of history then a bunch of names and dates. This is a topic I feel quite passionate about. So far we have covered the Fertile crescent, Mesopotamia, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Indus valley/ ancient India. Since we have covered these topics in depth before we are able to move a little more quickly as MarioFan remembers previous lessons. We have also done so many history projects when he was younger that I am not doing any so far this year. I sort of miss it, not sure MarioFan does. LOL We supplement the text books with other resources that I find such as books, videos and other historical resources that I think are important to discuss and enhance learning.
Science - We have been working on heredity and genetics this past semester. Now we are moving on to Evolution which I plan to spend as much time on it as it interests MarioFan. If necessary I do have a Chemistry book we can delve into before the school year ends. This year I have required MarioFan to take end of Chapter tests which I write up myself. I am doing multiple choice, True or False and short answer questions. We are working on our note taking and test taking skills in this subject. So far he has earned an A-. He does very well with multiple choice and T/F questions but needs some work on short answer questions as he does the bare minimum there;) Despite my best efforts MarioFan is still not happy that aren't doing more experiments. i think he doesn't feel our past science labs have been very exciting, lol.
Grammar - continues to use the work book Growing with Grammar working on book 8-- on target
Spelling - continues to use All about Spelling book 7--on target
Geography - using a workbook looking at the Eastern hemisphere (we did western hemisphere last year)--on target
Wordly Wise Vocabulary - Continuing with the 8th grade book and almost done with it, so I may buy another book to continue as you can never have enough vocabulary skills:) -- on target
Computer - Completed Visual basic class using Compuscholar (we started this in the summer). Looking for another class for computer skills. I am still undecided. I would ideally like to find a in person class for this but just haven't been able to find one locally, so may look for another online program for us to try.
WOW it is always amazing to look back and see what we have accomplished. For the first time in the 9 years we have been homeschooling I feel like we are at a good place at this point in the year. Trust me that is not always the case. The only thing that we are not doing as much of this year is field trips. I kind of miss those but now that both kids are older there isn't much we haven't done and we are really concentrating on academic skills. The kids and I are becoming really selective and choosy about what field trips we have time for, also with my oldest in High school part time it makes attending a field trip quite difficult!
Doing this wrap up helps me put our school year in perspective and start planning for the rest of the year. I got to remind myself that we need to keep going and not slack off:) so we continue to make strides in our school year.