Saturday, December 31, 2011

Saturday Giveaway Linkup

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Apologia Science: Zoology 1

A new year is beginning and with this new year, the girls have decided to shift their focus away from the physical sciences.  They have started to become more interested in nature studies and specifically animal studies.  Now that we've decided on our new topic, we just needed to get a plan together.  

In order to ensure the girls enjoy their learning, I involve them in every aspect of the planning process.  This includes textbook selection, when we use one.  We looked through several books on our bookshelves as well as a few at the local bookstore and decided to use Apologia Science Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day.  We have planned 1 1/2 hour science classes, twice a week. Our plan is to complete this book within 6 months.

After deciding on a text, we began searching for notebooking resources.  We are big on interactive notebooking. We find this approach to be a great way to encourage free thinking and writing.  It's also an excellent way to demonstrate learning.  The following video is one example of how to set up an interactive notebook:



Our notebooks are set up using three ringed binders.  We purchased a membership from Notebooking Pages.  You can view a few sample pages for this study here:
http://notebookingpages.com/dap/a/?a=1224&p=notebookingpages.com/notebookingpages-com-sample-north-american-birds  
http://notebookingpages.com/dap/a/?a=1224&p=notebookingpages.com/notebookingpages-com-sample-a-z-animals  

We will be utilizing the following pages within our notebooks:
Apologia Science: Zoology 1 Notebooking Pages - These are free pages.  The file is large and takes a minute to download. 

Apologia Science Lapbook  






If you are not at all interested in setting up your own notebook, there is an accompanying journal to go along with this textbook at a very reasonable price.

Now that the notebooks are all set up, the last thing we needed to do was investigate available activities to make this a fun and interactive learning experience.  We decided to put together nature exploring packs for the girls.  They were so thrilled when they received them!

 
Nature Pack Contents: Backpack, 1 subject spiral notebook (for field notes), pencils, color pencils, camera, binoculars, flashlight, net, magnifying glass, tweezers, and a few other little tools.We also purchased field guides.
We will utilize our packs and field guides for backyard nature studies, zoo field trips, and botanical garden trips (great for viewing insects).  We are also very fortunate to have the opportunity to attend free environmental classes (found in the rear of the publication) provided by our city parks.  Be sure to check for opportunities near you.
As we go along, we will post additional resources utilized in each lesson as well as pictures of the kids and their activities.  I will leave you with a few other links to resources you may find helpful to use in your studies.

Additional Resources:


Dorcus

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Saturday Giveaway Linkup

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Homeschooling, It's Not All About Academics

Somehow I managed to injure my right pointer finger this weekend.  I tried to take care of it on my own Sunday, but by Monday morning the pain and swelling was excruciating.  A visit to the urgent care was needed.

So I packed my three girls up early yesterday morning and arrived at the urgent care before they opened at eight.  They sat quietly in the waiting room with me.  When it was our turn to see the doctor, they accompanied me back to the room.  The whole while, strangers were commenting about how polite, mannerable, and well behaved they were.  When the doctor or nurses found out they were home schooled, they would reply with "No wonder they're so well behaved.

We concluded our visit with me driving home in more pain than before, however I was supplied with antibiotics and pain meds to take at home.  I was anxious to start both as soon as we arrive home.  I told the girls that I knew it was supposed to be a school day but mommy wouldn't be able to help much today.  I spent the day dozing in and out on the sofa, being cared for by my sweet girls.

The girls prepared a hot lunch for everyone.  They brought food to me and picked up the plates afterwards.  They also made sure I had bottles of water to drink. But what really astonished me was that they even managed to get their studies for the day done on their own.  They worked together and took turns on the computers without arguing.  They were so proud of themselves and they couldn't wait to show me all the things they had checked off of their weekly work list.

I told them how happy I was with the responsibility and care they they each had shown.  I have always talked with the children about the importance of academics and the acquisition of knowledge.  We also stressed life skills and on yesterday, it was the life skills they had learned that carried them in their independent studies and also enabled them to be so helpful to me.  These skills will allow them to be successful and productive members of society.

Proudly speaking,
Dorcus

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Coming Soon- Weekly Blog Hop and Giveaway Hop

Over the past few weeks, I have participated in various blog hops and giveaway  hops.  This was a very new experience for me.  In the past, I wasn't one who read lots of blogs and I never thought I would actually like to have one of my own.  Each hop exposed me to more and more homeschooling blogs and products that were relevant to our style of homeschooling.  I found myself searching daily for other homeschool hops to participate in. On yesterday the idea came to host one of my own.

After hours of researching, I have finally figured out how to host a hop!  I am a not technologically savvy, but in our homeschooling world, we learn by doing.  If I expect my children to explore and learn, then I do the same.  So here we go!

Starting next week we will host a weekly blog hop and giveaway hop. If you are a homeschool blogger, get ready to link your blogs and giveaways with us.  If you are a homeschooler, like myself, who enjoys the wealth of information provided by various bloggers or you enjoy all the wonderful giveaways hosted, be sure to check back this week as we begin our new hopping journey!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Dealing With Interruptions

Interruptions to our homeschool day are inevitable.  Since moving back home, however, these distractions have increased tremendously.  We have tried various things to minimize these interruptions but haven't found an effective solution.  So, my task this morning was to read about how others effectively manage this problem.  I came across several forums, articles, and blogs dealing with this topic.  I felt relieved that I was not the only one dealing with this and that there were several articles with helpful tips we can try in our home.  We will surely be implementing some of these tips starting today!

If daily interruptions are also a problem in your home, here are a few great articles with tips you can read:
http://karrie-emms.suite101.com/dealing-with-distractions-a50746
http://www.thehomeschoolmom.com/teacherslounge/articles/dealing_with_interruptions.php

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

One of Those Days

Have you ever had one of those days when it seems like nothing can go right?  Well today has certainly been one of those days for me.  I awoke later than usual this morning and found the living room in complete disarray.  This is partly do to the leaking air conditioning unit that my hubby had to work on last night, but that's another story! After taking a deep breath, I began the mad dash to tidy up the room while getting the kids up for school and the hubby out of the door for work.

We manage to get it together for class in the morning and I begin thinking that it's going to be okay.  And then it starts.  The children are not particularly feeling the whole school thing today.  One is procrastinating and another is sulking.  The phone is ringing and ringing.  I try to be polite, letting everyone know, "We're in the middle of class."  It doesn't help, they still keep calling.  In the middle of the day, There's a knock at the door and my sweet grandmother has come over for a short visit.  By then, I knew it.  The school day was over.  The reality is it was over before it even started.  Today was one of those days that we should have just taken a break, but I failed to recognize it.

Always learning,
Dorcus



   

Monday, December 5, 2011

Holiday Giveaway

 Zane Education Review and Giveaway!

Several months ago, I had the pleasure of running across Zane Education.  I won a Gold Membership and it has proven to be invaluable for my family. So what is Zane Education? Simply put, Zane Education is an educational company that provides an effective online learning solution using subtitled educational videos, quizzes,  and video study tools.  They even provide lesson plans.  The videos cover 12 subjects for K-12.  We have personally used videos in our home to help with unit studies all four of our children grades 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 7th.     


What makes Zane Education so amazing is that the videos appeal to all of my children's various learning styles.  The subtitled videos can be watched, listened to, and/or read according to their preference.  This provides a learning alternative for children with ADHD, dyslexia, reading difficulties, and other special needs students.  The lengths of the videos is also very appealing to me.  Quality educational content is presented in each video in shorter lengths. They can watch a 15 minute video on whatever topic they are studying and also have time for more reading about what they've learned.  Being the mother of a child with ADHD, I can't tell you how helpful these videos are to us.


What I have come to like most about Zane Education, are the people.  Being the generous people that they are, the folks at Zane Education are providing my readers with the opportunity to win one of three membership prizes!  That's right, three prizes will be given away with this contest thanks to Zane Education. Here are the details:
 
Three Prizes will be awarded!!!
-1st Place will receive a Free 12 month Gold Membership to Zane Education valued at $200!
A Gold Membership provides:

  • Access to ALL 1,529 online education videos (K-12)*
  • Access to 500+ Mathematics videos (K-12)
  • Access to all new educational videos added (another 500+ Physics, Chemistry and Health videos being added in the next 3 months)
  • Access to all 260 online educational quizzes (K12)
  • Free downloadable copy of the ZaneEducation Video Catalogue.
  • Access to all of the K12 educational resources in the More Resources section including the World Factbook, World Leaders Guide, Historical documents and much more.
  • Free Download of Music to Study With (Value $30)
  • Download of The Christian Home Learning Guide (Value $45)
-2nd Place will receive a  Free 12 month Silver Membership to Zane Education valued at $143!
A Silver Membership provides:

  • Access to ALL online education videos (K-12) within your selected Grade Level**
  • Access to 500+ Mathematics videos (K-12)
  • Access to all 260 online educational quizzes (K12)
  • Free downloadable copy of the ZaneEducation Video Catalogue
  • Access to all of the K12 educational resources in the More Resources section including the World Factbook, World Leaders Guide, Historical documents and much more.
  • Free Download of Music to Study With (Value $30)
  • Download of Free sections of The Christian Home Learning Guide
Comment: A Silver Membership provides access to our educational videos (K12) for Art, Music, History, Science, Biology, Literature, Geography, Social Sciences, Library Skills, Health and Religious Studies within the Elementary, Middle School or High School Grade Level that you have chosen.

-3rd Place will receive a Free 12 month Bronze Membership  to Zane Education valued at $100!
A Bronze Membership provides:

  • Access to ALL online education videos (K-12) within your selected SUBJECT***
  • Access to 500+ Mathematics videos (K-12)
  • Access to all 260 online educational quizzes (K12)
  • Free downloadable copy of the ZaneEducation Video Catalogue
  • Access to all of the K12 educational resources in the More Resources section including the World Factbook, World Leaders Guide, Historical documents and much more.
  • Free Download of Music to Study With (Value $30)
  • Download of Free sections of The Christian Home Learning Guide 
Comment: A Bronze Membership provides access to our educational videos (K12) from within the SUBJECT(S) you have chosen. Subjects include Art, Music, History, Science, Biology, Literature, Geography, Social Sciences, Library Skills, Health and Religious Studies.

Here's how you can enter:
Mandatory: 
-Follow my blog via Google Friend Connect or Networked Blogs.

-Leave a comment on this post telling how a subscription to Zane Education would be most useful to your family.  Be sure to include your email address in your comment(s) so that you may be notified.
 

This contest will end on Monday, December 19th.  All entries must be received by 7 pm, December 19th.  The three winners will be randomly chosen and awarded the Gold, Silver, and Bronze memberships accordingly.  Winners will be announced on the blog and notified by email by Tuesday, December 20th.  

~ I am an affiliate of Zane Education.  The opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Weather Unit Study

Weather

 The kids are all practicing being meteorologist!  To aid them in their study on weather, I have provided them with a variety of resources they may utilize as they investigate the various components of weather.  We even found an awesome meteorologist kit to monitor the weather outside and  display readings inside for the kids to interpret, map, and put on their on weather forecast!  They are also using various books, videos, games, lapbooks, notebooking pages, experiments, websites, and online unit studies.  Here are a few of the resources we have chosen for this unit:

(Tip: You may find it helpful to set up a  sitemark account to save your pages in.  It is free.  You can set up subject folders and tabs within each folder to make them easy to access for you and your children.)


Websites:
what is weather
http://urbanext.illinois.edu/treehouse
http://www.eo.ucar.edu/webweather/
http://www.srh.noaa.gov/jetstream/atmos/atmos_intro.htm
http://www.weatherwizkids.com/
http://www.usatoday.com/weather/graphics/tornadoes/flash.htm
http://whyfiles.org/273crystal/
http://www.classzone.com/books/earth_science/terc/navigation/visualization.cfm#ch20
http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/astronomy/activities/label/atmosphere/
http://www.learner.org/interactives/weather/

Online unit studies allow my older children to utilize the web for directed learning.  They even provide experiments, activities, and quizzes for them to complete.  Here are a few my older two children are working through:

http://www.freewebs.com/brandenburgstudies/Weather%20Sample.pdf
http://www.homeschoollearning.com/units/unit_09-17-01.shtml
http://www.mrsoshouse.com/ext/weather.html

Lapbooks:
 http://www.homeschoolshare.com/weather_words_lapbook.php
http://yeeshallknow.com/science/

Suggested reading:
Weather Words  By: Gail Gibbons
How the World Works  By: Christiane Dorion
DK Eyewitness Books Weather  By: Dorling Kindersley
365 Science Projects & Activities   By: Phyllis J. Perry

Other resources:
Green Science Weather Station  By: Kidz Labs
Green Science Solar Science   By: Kidz Labs
Global Warming Experiment Kit   By: Thames & Kosmos



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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Giveaway

Wow!  We have a great Christmas Giveaway coming up!  Be sure to check back for more details on how you can enter and win.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

We have a Facebook page!  Please be sure to like us on Facebook.  You can also follow us on twitter @IntHmschooling!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Light Energy

This year, we have centered our focus to the study of physical sciences.  So far, we have studies electricity, magnetism, and simple machines. Next, we will be studying the different types of energy, beginning with light energy. Here are a few learning objectives, vocabulary terms, notebooking activities, and resources that can be use with the study of light energy:

  •  Understand that light is energy.
  •   Explain the characteristics of light.
  •  Identify sources of light.
  •  Classify light sources as artificial or natural.
  •  Be able to explain how people see.
  •  Explain the speed of light and its formula.
  •  Understand the difference between reflection and refraction.
  •  Be able to explain how shadows are formed.
  •  Identify the types of tools needed to view objects better.
  •  Learn about famous scientists and their contributions to the study of light.
  •  Learn about careers in light and optics.
  •  Be able to explain how lasers work.





Vocabulary:

Visible light
Artificial light
Natural light
Electromagnetic radiation
Spectrum
Radio waves
Gamma rays
Quantum theory
Photons
Bright
Dim
Oscillating
Frequency
Wavelength
Laser
Radiation
Concave
Convex
Microscope
Telescope
Binoculars
Coherent light
Reflection
refraction
Shadow
Silhouette
wave
Lambda
Ultraviolet radiation
Infrared radiation
Color blind
Transparent
Translucent
Opaque
Microwaves
White light
Colors
Illumination
Incandescent
Prism
Primary colors
Lens

Notebooking Activities:
  • Draw and label a diagram of the color spectrum.
  • Draw and label a diagram of Electromagnetic waves spectrum.
  • Classify types of artificial light and natural light in a chart.
  • Create vocabulary flapbooks.
  • Research careers dealing with light and optics:
    • Optician
    •  Audio and video recording technician
    •  Photographer
    • Ophthalmologist
  • Research  famous scientists and tell their contribution to the science of light energy and its uses: 
    •   Albert Einstein
    •  Heinrich Hertz
    •  Christian Huggens
    • Sir Isaac Newton
    • Galileo
    • Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen
    • Anton Van Leeuwenhoek
Below, you will find a list of resources that can be used.  Because of the various ages of my children, you will find a wide range of grade levels.  Simply utilize the resources that are suitable for your child's grade level.  Although most of the resources are free, some are available for a fee or require a membership.  

Resources:
  • Elementary Advantage 2009 or 2010 (The 2011 version does not contain the science modules!)
  • Engineering Interact ( Contains modules, module questions, and applications.)
    • Light sources and light rays
    • Reflection: seeing objects
    • Shadows
    • Reflection: mirrors

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Chronicle of the Earth

Many of you know that we utilize The Story of the World, By: Susan Wise Bauer, for our history lessons.  We  document our learning by creating interactive timelines and notebooks.  We have been able to find many resources on the web, but often times end up creating our own.  Anyone who has ever created lapbooks or notebooking pages knows how time consuming this task can be.  So you can imagine how excited I was to come across a blog full of resources we needed for The Story of the World. 

The Chronicle of the Earth is a blog, By: Alia Macrina Heise, that I had the pleasure of running across while searching for resources to go along with this week's history lessons.  Alia has created a phenomenal lapbook for The Story of the World Volume One as well as a lapbook for The Story of the World Volume Two.  In addition, she has a wonderful list of additional resources for both volumes. 

If you are also using The Story of The World, be sure to visit The Chronicle of the Earth.  If not, this blog is still full of resources that many of you may find helpful.  I know I did.

Peace,
Dorcus

Forces and Motion

Our science studies have been focusing on the study of physic.  The time has come for us to focus on forces an motion.  The next three weeks will be devoted to these topics. Starting this week, we will be completing Roller Coasters, a unit study by Amanda Bennett.  The required reading books for my children are Can You Feel The Force? By: Richard Hammond (pages 20-49) and Forces and Motions: From Push To Shove (Science Answers) By: Christopher Cooper.  Both of these titles were found at my local library.  From Interactive notebook Page, we will utilize the following power point presentations: Forces Parts 1-3, Newton's First Laws of Motion, Gravity, Motion Energy, Potential and Kinetic Energy, and Mechanical Interactions Summary. They will also be completing the modules on forces and motion on Engineering Interact. Other helpful resources:
http://www.squidoo.com/physicslapbook
http://www.physics4kids.com/
http://www.wfu.edu/academics/physics/demolabs/demos/avimov/byalpha/byalpha.htm
http://www.hippocampus.org/Introductory%20Physics%20I;jsessionid=898522C524AE746AE4EE91BC5D30F30A

Keeping it moving,
Dorcus

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Art: Pablo Picasso

This weeks artist is Pablo Picasso.  We will be reading, notebooking, lapbooking, and watching a few videos as we learn about the life and artistic style of Picasso.

Resources:
Another great squidoo lens by Jimmie - Picasso Artist Study
(Scroll down near the end to locate downloadable notebooking pages.)

From Confessions of a Homeschooler -The Worlds Greatest Artists Vol.1
(Scroll down after reading to find the link to download this free unit study.)

http://www.pablopicasso.org/
(Caution: Many of the videos on this site are not appropriate for children. The video links are on the right side of the page.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fNvBJAJw4s

Cubism video



Books we will be reading.

Peace and blessings,
Dorcus

Literature Review: The Watsons go to Birmingham-1963

Reading, reading, reading.  Who likes to read snippets or passages of a story, not I.  I prefer a much more wholesome approach to reading with my children.  Nothing like picking a great book to read and analyze together.  It doesn't matter if it's a book picked by your child or a required reading.  Nothing replaces actually taking the time to really understand the characters and the message the book intended to convey.  This philosophy is what allows us to enjoy literature reviews.

Literature reviews contain activities that help the child critically think through a book.  They introduce them to important vocabulary terms within the book and break down the parts of the story (characters, plot, setting...).  They incorporate lessons of science, history, language arts, and math that can be learned from that book. 

We recently completed units on Bud, not Buddy, by Christopher Curtis, and Island of the Blue Dolphin, by Scott O'Dell.  The children picked those books out themselves.  This weeks required reading is The Watsons go to Birmingham-1963, written by Christopher Curtis. This African-American fiction delves into the African-American family during the civil rights movement. I was even able to find several free resources online to help with this unit.

Videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKh8u1K6gGc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKh8u1K6gGc&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4Yf5yhWN2g&feature=related

Reading guides, reading comprehension, and literature reviews:
http://www.galeschools.com/pdf/guides/WatsonsGotoBirmingham.pdf
http://www.scholastic.com/kids/homework/pdfs/Watsons.pdf
http://www.edhelper.com/books/The_Watsons_Go_to_Birmingham.htm
http://www.nynpa.com/docs/nie/niematerials/BirminghamTeachersguide.pdf

Happy reading,
Dorcus 

Friday, September 30, 2011

Electricity Online Unit Study

I've been meaning to post this for sometime now, but didn't get around to it.  We recently completed a unit study on magnetism and electricity in which we utilized only online and library resources. This proved to be very enjoyable for the children.  The websites were very engaging but they especially liked using their new email addresses to get their assignments!  I simply emailed them daily assignments filled with detailed instructions and links for them to complete. Below, you will find the websites we used for this unit.


Static Electricity:
http://www.sciencemadesimple.com/static.html

Current Electricity: 
http://www.engineeringinteract.org/resources/discovermore/electricity.htm 
http://www.engineeringinteract.org/resources/siliconspies/flash/concepts/electricity.htm
http://www.engineeringinteract.org/resources/siliconspies/flash/tests/questions/electricity.htm
http://www.superteacherworksheets.com/electricity/electricity-mini-book.pdf



Circuits:
http://www.engineeringinteract.org/resources/discovermore/electricity.htm
http://www.engineeringinteract.org/resources/siliconspies/flash/concepts/simplecircuits.htm
http://www.engineeringinteract.org/resources/siliconspies/flash/tests/questions/simplecircuits.htm

Electricity Lapbook and Notebooking Pages:
 Additional Resources:
Whew!!!  All done. 
Dorcus

Jazz Unit Study

I absolutely love listening to the sounds of Jazz music.  My children have taken to it as well, so we will be studying Jazz over the next few weeks.  There are tons of resources online so here are a few of the ones we will be using for this study:

http://www.pbs.org/jazz/

http://pbskids.org/jazz/

http://a-pilgrims-heart.blogspot.com/2011/02/music-appreciation-all-about-jazz-unit.html

Netflix:
Ken Burns: Jazz 
Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers 

Everyone knows we love notebooking, so I have also created All That Jazz Notebooking Pages.  This 50 page notebooking pack is complete with both regular lined and primary lined notebooking pages.  I've tried to cover the famous people, places, and styles of Jazz.  If you have any additional ideas that can be added, please let me know.  I look forward to hearing from you.



Peace and blessings,
Dorcus

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Simple Machines Unit Study

We are nearing the end of our unit study on electricity.  We approached this unit in a whole new way and it proved to be very enjoyable for everyone.  Each lesson was sent to the children via email.  The lessons include online modules, worksheets, and experiments they needed to complete.  Things went so well, that I decided to conduct our next unit the same way.

We will be studying simple machines over the next two weeks.  I have combined resources from home with resources online and the library to complete this unit.  I have compiled the information found into a unit study complete with notebooking pages and lapbooks.  The lesson section is the actual portion that was sent via email to my children but you can use it as a guide for your lessons.  This is my first completed study to print so please share your thoughts and suggestions with me. 

Simple Machines Unit Study 

Peace,
Dorcus

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Homeschool Days at the MOSH!

The Museum of Science and History in Jacksonville, Florida will be offering classes to homeschoolers.  Classes will begin in October.  Check out their homeschool class schedule today!

Magnetism Unit Study

The children have just completed a unit study on magnetism.  We all had a lot of fun with this one.  Instead of using textbooks, we learned by putting our own unit together using various resources.  Here's how we did it.


I Started by reading and creating a list of magnets and magnetism learning objectives.  During our science class, we performed experiments from Wonders of Magnets.  This publication was provided online free of charge through National Energy Education Development.  They read several books on magnets, which they found at our local library.  Our favorite was The Magic School Bus Chapter Book: Amazing Magnetism.  This book was loaded with lots of fun facts about magnets.  The reading level of this book is 570L at Lexile Framework for Reading. We love to use lapbooks to help with reading comprehension.  We were able to find a free Amazing Magnetism Lapbook online at Yee Shall Know.







Well there you have it.  A fun way for children to learn without textbooks and utilizing free resources available to us.  I hope you guys enjoy using them as much as we did.

Peace and blessings,
Dorcus

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Settling In!

It has been six weeks now since we moved and it has been an adventure.  We moved into another state and had to start over with our research to acquire a good list of resources and activities.  The homeschooling laws are also very different so we are making necessary changes for that as well.

We started our homeschooling back up a few weeks ago and things are going o.k.  Took it slowly at first to allow the children and our family members time to adjust to our homeschool schedule.  I will post more information on our plans for the year and curriculum choices soon.  We would love to know what your plans are as well so please share!

Until then, I wish you all the best.

Dorcus

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Free Planners

Here's a gift to my fellow homeschoolers.  I created two planners to use in our home.  One is designed for use by my children each year and one for myself.  They include record keeping, calenders, meal planning, blank lesson plan pages, field trip logs, reading logs, notes pages, and additional resources for my Georgia peeps! They can be printed in black and white instead of the color format that they were created in!  I give them to you with love, but ask that they are not sold, redistributed, or edited in any way.

Planning My Journey - A student planner
Planning Our Journey - A homeschool parent planner

Happy planning,

Dorcus Ethridge

Friday, June 3, 2011

High Museum of Art 2011-2012 Homeschool Days

The 2011 - 2012 Homeschool Days at the High Museum of Art have been posted.  The Program is titled Picasso to Warhol: Twelve Modern Masters at the High Museum of Art. Programs offered from 10 AM - 5 PM.  Students will have the opportunity to explore the museum, go on a scavenger hunt, take an audio-guided tour, and even create their own masterpiece.  Admission is free for members.  For non-members the fee is $6 for students and $15 for adults.  Additional fees for audio-guided tours.  Here's my money saving tip for those who enjoy outings like we do.  As a home educator you can receive the educator perks here at the High.  This includes an Educator Family Membership for only $80.  Even if you don't decide to become a member, take advantage of the Evening for Educators for free. Here you can explore the museum before you bring your students and learn about available teaching resources!

Here is this years schedule:

October 28, 2011 - Picasso
December 9, 2011 - Matisse
January 20, 2012 - Mondrian
February 10, 2012 - Calder
March 23, 2012 - Pollock
April 20, 2012 - Warhol

Funnix Beginning Math- Free Download

Download your free version of Funix Beginning Math June 1- 26, 2011.  Comes with 100computer based lessons and a free workbook for your learner! 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Woodruff Arts Center- Target Family Thursdays

Target has teamed up with the Woodruff Arts Center of Atlanta Georgia to bring to you Target Family Thursdays!  Enjoy family and educational programming for free or at a reduced price.  The upcoming dates are scheduled for September 1, 8, 15, and 22, 2011.  Mark your calenders for this event and be sure to check site for updated information.

Imagine It Children's Museum

Target Free Second Tuesday's at the Imagine It Children's Museum of Atlanta, GA.  Visit the museum on the second Tuesday of each month between 1pm and 7pm absolutely free!  Tickets are given out on a first come first serve basis so plan to arrive early.

Barnes and Nobles Summer Reading Program

Children earn free books with Barnes and Nobles Summer Reading Imagination's Destination.  Complete the reading journal and return it to your local Barnes and Nobles Book Store to receive your free book.  Visit site for full details.

Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge

Sign your students up for the Scholastic Summer Challenge by June 30, 2011.  The Classroom Participation Guide is filled with activities, reading lists, and certificates.  Kids will have the opportunity to earn rewards for their reading.  Visit the site for complete details!

Free Entrance to Over 100 National Parks

There are still a few more days coming up this year to visit some of the national parks for free!  The U.S. National Park Service Free Entrance Days will be Tuesday, June 21st, Saturday, September 24th, and Veterans Day weekend, November 11-13.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Starting the New School Year

Our family is getting ready for another school year.  We are putting together our curriculum and resource choices.  We are also planning outings for the new year.  In a few days we will be sharing our pics for the 2011-2012 school year, but would love to know what you use in your homeschools.  Please leave us comments to share with other homeschoolers as they too prepare for the new year!  Share your curriculum choices, websites, or other great resources that you think could help someone else.

Gratitude and love,

Dorcus

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Summer Break Reading Challenge Sweepstakes

Pizza Hut's Book It program is offering a summer reading challenge. Students who were in grades k-6 during the 2010-2011 school year are eligible to participate.  Students who read at least 5 books between June 15-August 15 will be eligible for the drawing.  Visit the website to read official rules and to print your entry form!

Portfolios

Portfolios are a great way to assess your child's educational growth each year.  In some states they are even required for homeschooling.  If so or if you're unsure, you should check with your local department of education before beginning.  You'll want to do this because some spell out specific documentation needed each year for submission.  Once you are aware of your requirements, if any, you can begin the fun task of creating your child's portfolio!

There are several things that could be displayed in your child's portfolio to demonstrate academic progress.  These include, but are not limited to, tests and grades, sample work, pictures of projects and/or field trips, certificates earned, reading lists, field trip lists, lists of learning objectives, and notes from instructors.  Be sure to include items from each subject.

After compiling what you would like to include you can decide how you want to showcase your portfolio.  You can begin simply with a three-ring binder separated into subjects.  You will want to display each subjects work in chronological order  to show progress.  I personally enjoy scrapbooking, but have very little time to do it.  The portfolio provides me with an opportunity to bring out my creative side and delve a little into scrapbooking.  Keep in mind that in my state, we are not required to maintain portfolios. I still maintain a portfolio just in case we move to an area that requires one and mainly because I enjoy reliving the moments spent with my children!

Here are a few samples from one of our portfolios:

1. Educational field trip photos:



2. Language arts:

3. History:



4. Math:


5. Science:


Here are a few more resources I found online with information on creating portfolios:

http://donnayoung.org/forms/planners/portfolio.htm
http://homeschooling.about.com/od/recportfolios/Records_Portfolios..htm


 I hope you have found this information useful. Let me know what you think.  Also let me know if there are any other topics you would like to discuss.

Peace and blessings,

Dorcus

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