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!

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