Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Trip to Kentucky History Center 3/20/10: Part 1

On March 20th we went to the Kentucky History Center in Frankfort, KY. It is actually a group of three neighboring museums, all run by the Kentucky Historical Society. The museums include the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, the Old State Capitol and the Kentucky Military History Museum. In the next few posts, we are going to share the highlights of our trip through some of the pictures I took while we were there.

This is a picture of Princess before we went into the museum. Doesn't she look excited?!

These three pictures are pictures of Princess posing as some different soldiers in front of the "Military Treasures" exhibit in the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History.

The first exhibit we saw was called "A Kentucky Journey". It is the main exhibit at the museum and if you follow the path of the exhibit from beginning to end, it tells the story of Kentucky's history from prehistoric times until now.

This is a replica of a family in Kentucky who lived in the Prehistoric Age of Kentucky (prior to 1750 AD) before European settlers started to come there and it shows examples of the types of things they would have worn during this time and some of the tools they would have used as they went about the activities of their daily lives. In the near future, we will begin a chronological study of Kentucky history. When we go back to the museum in April, we will study this time period more closely, then we will take a field trip or two to other places in Kentucky that pertain to this time period.

This is a model of a commercial flatboat and a mural of a river port in Limestone, KY (now Maysville) during the Frontier Age (1750 - 1800 AD) of Kentucky.

This is a recreation of a Frontier Age log cabin home, similar to those poor families would have lived in during this time.

Back From a Long Break ...

Hello again, everyone! How long has it been since my last post? A year? Maybe longer? I had taken some time off to focus more on school with my dd, who is now six, and will be seven in June. We are still pursuing a classical model of education, but I have recently decided to relax some and enjoy school more, and take the time to treasure the opportunities we have to be together. I want my dd to have an excellent and challenging education, but at the same time, one of the main reasons I decided to homeschool was to have a close and influential relationship with my dd. That is something that is all too easy to lose sight of in the midst of the pursuit of academic excellence, especially when you combine that with working a full-time job. Therefore, I have been trying to streamline our formal academic time as much as possible and cover the rest in a more natural and relational way. One major change I have made is that I am trying to take more field trips with dd. My goal is to take at least one field trip each week. I made this change about three weeks ago, and so far we have been successful. I am hoping to keep a record of these trips on this blog, but past experience with said blog has taught me not to make any promises. I am going to try to include dd in the creation of these posts as much as possible, to increase her interest in writing and also as another relationship-building activity. We have three trips to post on so far (with pictures!) so we intend to get at least the first one up this week, but we'll see how it goes. Here's hoping for a more blog-filled future.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Weekly Report for 7/27/08 - 8/2/08

Memory Work - This week we are adding new memory verses and a new poem to memorize. As we add new verses and poems throughout the year, we will continue to rehearse the old ones in order to ensure their permanent retention in the children's minds. This week's verses and poem are: Bible Verses - Genesis 1: 27-28
Poem - "Celery" by Ogden Nash

Bible Study - I had been doing my Bible study time separately from Octe and the children, but as I read the lessons I felt like there were lots of things I wanted us to discuss together, so we decided to change the time of day we did Bible study so we could all do it together, and we are starting this off by repeating last week's lessons and discussing them.

Math - RightStart math is proving not to be a good connection with Octe's teaching style, so we have decided to switch MelloYello and Jester's math to Unique Math, which is an individualized online math program that is produced by the same company that provides the Unique Reader program Jester and Princess are using for phonics instruction. All three of the children will be using this program, although Princess will be using it only casually as I will be taking over her math instruction and continuing RightStart math with her. This week the children completed the Diagnostic Online Math Assessment (DOMA), which is a similar assessment to the DORA, and serves essentially the same purpose. Princess completed lessons 8-9 in RightStart A this week.

Thinking Skills - Princess finished p. 13-17 in Developing the Early Learner

Phonics - Jester: Work on Unique Reader lessons as directed by the program.
Princess: Unique Reader: lessons as directed by the program
Ordinary Parent's Guide: lessons 34-37, with some review of older lessons
Family Readers: Set 1, Books 5-6; Set 2, Books 1-2
Explode the Code: Lesson 2

Science - The Bug Book: p. 86-103
Creepy Crawlies: This week we seperated out three individual males into seperate
terraria, and added females after a couple of days in an attempt
to observe courting behavior. No luck so far.
Worksheets: Walkingstick focus. MelloYello continues to work on his field guide.

Literature - MelloYello: Blackthorn Winter, chapters 1-4
Jester: Finished William Bradford: Pilgrim Boy and started an adaptation of
Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped, along with a corresponding
comprehension worksheet for each chapter. He also continues to
participate in the literature read-aloud with Princess.
Princess: Listened to read-aloud of Finding Providence, continues to listen to
readings of poetry and fairy tales.

Writing and Grammar - Princess continues with the Play and Write handwriting program, and MelloYello and Jester are doing copywork assignments I got as free printables off the internet. The copywork pages include, selections from Scripture, poetry and quotes of famous people from history. These will last the boys several weeks.

History - Our topic for the week: Charters, Creeds and the English Civil War. The historical figure who stood out in my mind the most for this week was a man named Roger Williams. He was a Puritan tuned Seperatist who lived in the Puritan colony of Boston in Massachusetts. He caused an uproar among the Puritans in his colony because of several beliefs that he held. Williams believed that no one should be forced to follow a certain religion, as men's hearts could not be changed by force. This flew right in the face of his fellow colonists in Boston because, ironically, although the Puritans themselves had come to America for religious freedom, they did not believe in religious freedom for people outside of their own faith, and had been trying to force the neighboring Native American tribes to convert to Puritanism. Along this same vein, Williams also rejected the idea that the government should be controlled by the Church. He was one of the pioneers in the idea of seperation of church and state. The idea that drove the Puritan leaders in Boston over the edge, however, was Williams' belief that the settlers had no right to forcefully take the Indian's land from them and that the king of England had no right to charter land that didn't belong to him. Because of this, the leaders of Boston called Roger Williams to trial and sentenced him to be sent back to England. Providentially, he escaped capture by the Boston authorities and fled into the wilderness. After several days, he was discovered and rescued by the Narangassetts, whom he had befriended in the past. They gave Williams their protection and a piece of their land which he used to start a colony of his own called Providence Plantation, which became modern-day Rhode Island. Providence Plantation became one of the first colonies in America to truly allow religious freedom, even to those from non-Christian religions and Atheists.

Spelling - MelloYello and Jester finished days 8-10 in Sequential Spelling.

Picture Study - Princess continues to study postcard-sized reproductions of Leonardo da Vinci's paintings.

Famous Kentuckians - This week we completed chapters 4-6 in the biography of Daniel Boone we are reading.

Movies - This week we watched a movie called Keeping the Promise about a family that settles in a colony in Maine.

Weekly Report for 7/20/08 - 7/26/08

(Sorry so late, but I hope to catch my reports up today.)

Memory Work - Bible Verse: Genesis 1:1
Poem: "Ooey Gooey"

Bible Study - Love the Lord Bible Studies:
Genesis Lessons 5-8

Math - Princess: RightStart A, Lessons 4-7
Mello Yello and Jester - Right Start B, Lessons 7-19

Thinking Skills - Princess: Developing the Early Learner p. 7-12

Phonics - This week we added a new computer program to our Phonics curriculum. It is called Unique Reader and it can be found on this website: Princess will be using this program, of course, and Octe and I decided to add Jester into the program as well, to give him some extra support for his reading skills. Both of them completed the Diagnostic Online Reading Assessment (DORA) this week, which will give me a detailed report of their reading level in several different aspects of reading, such as phonics skills, sight words, reading comprehension, vocabulary, etc., as well as place them in the Unique Reader program at their own individualized level in each of four tracks of lessons. I won't post their exact scores, but I will say that in both of them, I found both cause for encouragement and room for improvement. I will also say that I am very proud of the improvement that Jester has made in his reading skills over the last couple of years.

Science - The Bug Book: p. 27-47
Creepy Crawlies: We are continuing with informal cricket observation this week.
Worksheets: Grasshopper focus. MelloYello continues to work on his field giude.

Literature - MelloYello: Finished William Bradford: Pilgrim Boy this week.
Jester: Read chapters 6-9 in William Bradford: Pilgrim Boy and listened in on
Princess's read aloud selection for this week.
Princess: Listened to read aloud of Three Young Pilgrims, continued with fairy tale readings from Andrew Lang's Fairy Books and poetry readings
from A Child's Garden of Verses.

History - This week's topic: Puritans in New England. We learned several things about the Pilgrims this week. Many of the Pilgrims were Seperatists, meaning that they believed in separating themselves from the Church of England to serve God according to the dictates of their conscience. At that time, the Church of England was the only legal religion in England, which meant that the Seperatists were considered criminals in the eyes of the English government. As a result, they were banned from preaching, jailed, beaten and sometimes even killed by the English authorities for their beliefs. Many of them flad to Holland during these times and stayed there about 12 years before they came over to America on the Mayflower. During their voyage, the weather was horrible much of the time, food was inadequate for the number of passengers on board, and almost all of the Pilgrims became seasick and or afflicted with scurvy by the end of the voyage. Those who were less ill had to take care of those who were more ill. During the stormy times, the Pilgrims were forced to stay below deck and had no fresh air or way to dispose of their waste for days at a time. Miraculously, none of the Pilgrims died during the voyage to America, and a healthy baby was born in and survived the horrifically unsanitary conditions the Pilgrims had to endure. When the Pilgrims landed, they soon found a spot of land that had already been cleared by a tribe of Patuxets who had died out from disease and was at that time unclaimed by any groups of natives. The chosen leaders of the Pilgrims in their new colony made a peace treaty with Chief Massasoit and the Wompanoag people which lasted over 40 years. Sadly, by the time of the Pilgrims' first Thanksgiving, half of the colony had died of sickness.

Spelling - MelloYello and Jester: Sequential Spelling - Days 4-7

Picture Study - Princess continues with her study of Leonardo Da Vinci paintings.

Famous Kentuckians - I read aloud the next two chapters of the Daniel Boone biography we are reading.

Movies - We watched a History Channel documentary on the Mayflower Voyage called Desperate Crossing, and Squanto: A Warrior's Tale, a Disney movie about a surviving Patuxet who befriended and aided the Pilgrims in the infancy of their colony.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Weekly Report 7/13/08-7/19/08

Hello, everyone! I am back to blogging again. I was on hiatus for a few weeks to prepare for this school year and now we have begun. July 15th was our first day of school. This year, Octe and I are making a joint effort to teach all 3 of the children who are still in school: MelloYello, Jester, and Princess. I am doing all the planning and Octe and I are each doing two days a week of teaching. I must say that Octe has been a real trooper so far. Due to scheduling considerations, we ended up having to start school sooner than I had planned, which left me with a lot less preparation time. I got most of the planning for the first week done in time for the start of school, but there was still a lot of work to do if I was going to get very far ahead of the kids in my lesson planning. I was majorly stressing, but my sweet hubby did the teaching all four days this week! He was a bit overwhelmed and had a lot of questions, but still he hung right in there. I am working hard to get caught up on the planning so that I can do more of the teaching soon, but I am so glad I can count on him to help. Considering that I work full-time outside the home and therefore my time is really tight, that is a great blessing.
As for the weekly report, I am hoping in the future to be able to include some pictures of us as we go about our various activitues of the school day, but I still need to ge a USB cable for my digital camera right now, so that may be a while in coming about. In the mean time, I will attempt to give a brief narrative of some of the highlights of our studies in the many subjects we are learning about. And without further adieu, here is this week's report:
Memory Work - We will be learning a series of Bible verses and poems this year. Our goal is to learn at least one Bible verse and one stanza of a poem every 2 weeks. We are doing this subject as a group. Our selections for this week are: Bible verse - Genesis 1:1
Poem - "Ooey Gooey" (Author Unknown)
Bible Study - This year, we are using an online Bible study called Love the Lord Bible Studies, which is an extensive study of every chapter of every book of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. We won't even come close to finishing the study this year, so the plan right now is to study selected books while Octe and I decide what would be the best course for Bible Study for next year and all the subsequent years of the children's homeschooling career. This week we covered the first four lessons of the Genesis study (there are 60 lessons total in the Genesis study, so this should keep us busy for a while). We are doing this subject as a group also.
Math - We have started a new math program this year that is highly manipulative-based and concept-focused because I really want the children to understand math - not just the mechanics of how to do math, but the why behind what they are doing. So as to ensure, as much as possible, a strong foundation without any gaps, I have gone back to the basics with the boys. As you can guess, we are moving fairly quickly, and we have covered six lessons this week in their math. Princess is really just starting out in her math studies, so we are moving more slowly with her; she has covered three lessons in her math book this week.
Thinking Skills - This is a subject we are covering with Princess this year, using the Developing the Early Learner series of workbooks. She has covered the first five pages in the first workbook for the series this week.
Phonics - So far, this is also a Princess-only subject. This week we have read the first four books of Set 1 of the Family Readers, Lessons 27-29 in the Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading (her phonics primer), and Lesson 1 in the Explode the Code level 1 workbook.
Science - For at least the first half of the year, we will be studying insects, and we will be reading living books and doing experiments related to insects. We are doing this subject mostly as a group as well. We read pages 10-26 in The Bug Book, which is a fantastic old Childcraft book we got at a yard sale a while back. We read pages 6-7 of DK: Insect, which is also a great book with very interesting and detailed pictures (what else would you expect from DK?). We are using the book Creepy Crawlies and the Scientific Method for the lab component of this class. For the first several weeks, we will be observing and experimenting on crickets. This week, the kids all set up their terraria for a proper habitat for the crickets and went on a field hunt to catch some crickets. Each of the kids has about 9-15 crickets in his/her terrarium and they are enjoying taking care of them and watching their behaviors.
Handwriting - For the first quarter, Princess will be using a really neat program called Play and Write, which teaches all the upper and lower case letters with lots of hands-on activities and only a bit of physical writing at this point. As she also gets some handwriting practice in her Explode the Code workbooks, I felt like this would be a good, gentle start for her.
Literature - MelloYello and Jester are reading William Bradford: Pilgrim Boy as part of our Tapestry of Grace studies this week. MelloYello has gotten to the end of chapter 6 and Jester has reached the end of chapter 5. Jester and Princess have enjoyed a read-aloud of Ingri D'Aulaire's Pocahontas this week. Princess will also be listening to many fairy tales and classical poems this year. We will be reading fairy tales from Andrew Lang's Fairy Books throughout the year and our poetry will come from various sources. For the first couple of months or so, we will be reading from Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses. This week we read "Rumplestiltzkin", "Why the Sea is Salt", and "Toads and Diamonds" from the Fairy Books, and we read the poems "To Alison Cunningham", "Bed in Summer", and "The Whole Duty of Children". Octe and I are loving the poems from A Child's Garden of Verses. They are so sweet and tender.
History - This week we are studying the founding of the Jamestown colony, and the lives of many famous people who were a part of those events. We learned that Pocahontas and John Smith actually didn't have a romantic relationship as myth would have us to believe; they were actually just friends. Pocahontas was only about 11 or 12 during the time when John Smith was in the Jamestown colony, and he was 28. Several years later, she did marry a colonist named John Rolfe, however. Here are the books covered this week by one or the other of the kids:

Read in their entirety -

Sections read -

Writing/Grammar - MelloYello and Jester wrote out the poem we are memorizing for copywork.
Spelling - MelloYello and Jester finished the first three lessons of Sequential Spelling, our spelling text for the year.
Picture Study - Princess studied "Self Portrait" and "The Mona Lisa", both by Leonardo da Vinci, this week using postcard-sized reproductions of the works.
Art - As a group, the kids painted an American flag and a Christian flag onto art canvas for us to use for pledges this year.
Famous Kentuckians - We are studying one famous Kentuckian each quarter for Kentucky history. My goal for each person we study is to read a biography about them, watch a movie about their life (or an event in their life), and go on a field trip related to that person. This quarter we are studying Daniel Boone. We are reading Daniel Boone: Master of the Wilderness by John Bakeless and this week we read chapter 1.
Movies - I am planning for us to watch at least one movie each week related to the period of history we are studying. We have a subscription to Netflix, which has a WIDE selection. This week we watched episodes 3&4 of 500 Nations, which is about the Native Americans' clashes with the Europeans as they settled in this country. We got a whole new perspective of Christopher Columbus through this video, and I'll have to say it is not a good one. He was actually a very greedy, brutal, ruthless and wicked man. Watch the video and you'll see what I mean.

That's all for this week's (well, actually, last week's) report. Hopefully, I'll be able to get the next report up by the end of the week. Thanks to everyone for your interest in our journey. It's nice to be back on the blog again.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Weekly Report : June 2 -6, 2008

Weekly Report for Princess:

The Family Readers -
Fizz Mix (set 2, book 5)
Fizz in the Pit (set 2, book 6)
Max's Box (set 3, book 1)
The Bon-Bon Box (set 3, book 2)
The Box Mix (set 3, book 3)
Mom and Dad Hop-Jig (set 3, book 4)
(I think this may have been a little fast; I think I will use the next 1-2 weeks for review)

Bedtime Bible Story Book -
Fire Rains on Sodom (day 13)
Abraham's Two Sons (day 14)
Ishmael's Desert Journey (day 15)
Abraham Offers Isaac to God (day 16)

Here are the books we read this week -

Memory Work:
Our telephone number

My Very First Mother Goose -
Warm hands, warm ...
Ride a cockhorse to Banbury Cross ...
Hey diddle, diddle ...
Sing a song of sixpence ...
Smiling girls, rosy boys ...
Dickory, dickory, dock ...

In My First Animal Encyclopedia, we studied the following animals -

Alligator and Crocodile

Singapore Earlybird 1B as desired

Weekly Report, May 26-30, 2008

Sorry this post is late. In this post and the next one, I will bring you up to date on what princess has been doing in our homeschool.

Weekly report for Princess:

The Family Readers -
The Kit (set 2, book 2)
The Big Pit (set 2, book 3)
The Tin Lid (set 2, book 4)

Bedtime Bible Story Book -
The Rainbow of God's Promise (day 9)
God Appears to Abraham (day 10)
God Makes a Promise (day 11)
Sarah Laughs at God (day 12)

Here are the books we read this week:

Memory Work:
Our telephone number

My Very First Mother Goose -
To market, to market, to buy a fat pig...
Wash the dishes, wipe the dishes...
Rain on the green grass...