Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Science in September - Kingdoms & Classifications {The Good & The Beautiful}

It's hard to believe we already have a month of school in the books!  I don't have much to show for it since it feels like we have barely started but I thought I would share some of the things we have been doing for Science!   

We have been using The Good & The Beautiful Kingdoms & Classifications unit.  It is recommended for K-6th with extensions for 7th-8th graders.  To be honest, it is a bit over Maggie's head and so I would definitely say this is plenty of science for my Jr High girl.  

We really use the lesson material as a "jumping off point" and take it where we want to go...going deeper for the bigger girl and enjoying picture books for the younger.  

The Good & The Beautiful Science encourages the creation of a "science wall."  It includes definitions, matching, and other handy things.  We love our little science station...

We've already put a lot of miles on our new microscope...!

Kayley has also been raising 2 Polyphemus moths that she acquired at Insect-o-Rama.  They are both still alive.  One has gone into it's cocoon.  Hopefully they both make it through the winter.

Science is a favorite subject around here for sure!  We only have a few more lessons left of Kingdoms & Classifications and are looking forward to our next science study on The Human Body!  

Thanks for swinging by to see what we have been up to!  :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Pioneers & our 2018-2019 Curriculum Choices

Our theme for this school year is "To Be a Pioneer!"

You don’t have to push a handcart,
Leave your fam’ly dear,
Or walk a thousand miles or more
To be a pioneer!

You do need to have great courage,
Faith to conquer fear,
And work with might for a cause that’s right
To be a pioneer!

LDS Children's Songbook, 218

We all share a history of pioneers...whether our ancestors participated in the great western migration or immigrated from other lands, pioneers demonstrated amazing qualities of courage, conviction, faith and sacrifice.

President Monson told us:  “Can we somehow muster the courage and that steadfastness of purpose which characterized the pioneers of a former generation?... Can you and I, in actual fact, be pioneers today? A dictionary defines a pioneer as ‘one who goes before, showing others the way to follow.’ Oh, how the world needs pioneers today!”

We are excited to get started in a new school year!

We will be doing a few things a little differently this year.  We had originally planned to do Heart of Dakota, but after much reflection we decided we didn't need the stress that comes from trying to keep up with a curriculum that is so FULL.   It is a great curriculum but, we wanted to minimize a little this year...  and I have been reflecting often lately on this quote:

“The question is not, – how much does the youth know? when he has finished his education – but how much does he care? and about how many orders of things does he care? In fact, how large is the room in which he finds his feet set? and, therefore, how full is the life he has before him?”-Charlotte Mason

Wow.  I spend each year trying to throw everything at my kids because I want them to be "smart."  But, what good does that do?  I don't need children who can remember what they need for a test, or to show-off.  I need children who CARE.  Children who love others.  Who appreciate God & His creations.  Who recognize His hand in all things.  I want kids who want to read because it's fun.  Who want to learn because it is rewarding.  Who thirst for knowledge.

According to Dr. Perrin of Classical Academic Press, we need to teach our children "to love that which is lovely...and cultivate affection for that with is true, good, and beautiful." 

So, we are seeking simple beauty and virtue in our homeschool this year...and it required some shuffling of curriculum.  After a year apart we opted to use a curriculum that brought us back together.  Oh how I have missed the family style learning!  I'm so excited and I am looking forward to my 8th year homeschooling!

So without further ado, here is our curriculum lineup!

We are excited to do The Good & The Beautiful for both History and Science this year!  We will be doing these 2 subjects as a family.  We will be using History Year 1 & supplementing with some reading from The Story of the World series.  For science we will start the year with Kingdoms & Classifications.  We will decide a bit later what topic to pursue next based on where our interests take us.  The Good & The Beautiful science is geared toward K-6th with extensions for 7-8th graders.  We are really looking forward to using a microscope for the 1st time in our homeschool!  It's on order and should be in soon!

Maggie, Grade 3

Math-U-See Gamma
Discover the Scriptures: Book of Mormon, Gr 1-3
Piano & Cake Decorating

Kayley, Grade 7 

Math-U-See PreAlgebra
Discover the Scriptures: Book of Mormon, Gr 4-7
Sewing & Calligraphy

Our Joy Basket (tentative) rotation this year includes:

Semester 2:   Robert Frost

Semester 2:  Frank Lloyd Wright


Character Studies:
Character Concepts - Profiles of Valor
*includes scripture memory work

50 Things Every Young Lady Should Know
George Washington's Rules of Civility

Nesbit's Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare

Natural Science:
Semester 1:  Astronomy/Star Gazing
Semester 2:  Cave Exploration

Of course, I delight in throwing other random items in our Joy Basket...you just never know what else might end up in there!

You can probably tell that we are trying out many more units from The Good & The Beautiful.  We used TG & TB Language Arts & Science last year.  We purchased the history and took it for a short test-drive over the summer and my girls LOVED it.  So, we are going all in this year and really hoping (fingers crossed) that this is a wonderful, relaxing school year and a lot less stressful than last year.  (Heart of Dakota kept us hopping).  This more laid-back, "teaching from rest" style of curriculum should leave plenty of time for following rabbit trails and interests.  

We have just a couple more weeks of Summer then we begin!  


Monday, July 16, 2018

Independence Day

We had another fun time at our towns annual Independence Day Parade!
It was HOT!

Free Snow Cones?
Yes please!
They turned our tongues weird colors.

Poor Maggie.  
She and the heat do NOT get along...
Her cheeks get so flushed and this was in the shade! 

Really loved how the girls patriotic hair turned out! 

Later that night we enjoyed sparklers and bottle rockets...
(yes those are ear muffs.  it's a long story. LOL)

And then enjoyed our neighbors fireworks from our front yard... 

It was a great day!


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Girls Camp {Summer Fun!}

I absolutely, cannot, nearly refuse, to believe that Kayley is turning 12 this summer.  Of course, with 12, comes a lot of new adventures for this girl as she advances into Young Women's really soon.  She was thrilled to learn that she (barely) made the cut-off to go to Girls Camp.  She had an absolute blast and was so exhausted when she got home but said she can't wait for next year...

Thanks to a wonderful bestie, who happens to be in the Stake YW, who sent me many pictures after drop-off so I could keep up with what everyone was doing... 

Kayley said the camp was all about Being Strong and so they faced many different challenges to test their strength...  Physically and spiritually. 

She got to try out several new things too.   

She made a few new friends from across the stake and got to know some girls better from our own ward.  In this picture she wanted me to be reassured that she did NOT forget to put on sunscreen each day.  LOL.

She was pretty loopy by the time I picked her up.  4 days, 3 nights (really, really late nights) at camp can really make a girl go crazy.  She was glad to be home I think...  I know I was glad to have her home.  The house was really quiet without her constant chit-chat.  


Friday, June 29, 2018

Discover Nature - Fishing {Nature Study}

We had a great opportunity to participate in The Missouri Department of Conservation, Discover Nature Fishing Course for kids.  Even better, it was totally free!  

The classes start with about 45 minutes of lecture (which honestly can be a little boring and a bit over the younger kids heads).  
Each course consists of the following:
  • Lesson one: Equipment, Casting, and Proper Fish Handling
  • Lesson two: How to Tie a Knot and Bait a Hook
  • Lesson three: Five Common Missouri Fish - Their Anatomy, Habitat, and Life Cycle
  • Lesson four: Fishing with Lures and Fishing Regulations 

After completing the lecture portion you then move to the fishing part of the class.  It is a catch and release program and each girl ended up catching at least 2 or 3 fish each time.

The girls have learned how to bait their hook.  (You literally rip the poor worm into about 3 sections since the hooks are so small.)  Kayley goes for it but Maggie is a little disturbed by it, so luckily she has a big sister willing to bait her hook for her.  They also learned how to remove the fish from the hook, which isn't exactly easy.  Fish are sharp!

In the second class Kayley really got the hang of tying her own hooks. 

Thank goodness because she needed to tie her own pretty soon after the lecture due a fish swallowing the hook!  Worm and All!

They also learned how to identify different types of Missouri fish.
And in the next class they are going to learn about fish anatomy!

We have gone twice and even though it has been scorching hot, the girls have had a pretty good time!  This definitely fills a bucket list item for Kayley.  Maggie, not so much...she is a little less into smelly fish and a little more into other pursuits, but she has been a good sport and had a pretty decent time.  

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