Monday, January 04, 2010

Great Day...

I sort of resolved, but didn't really make a resolution because I don't believe in them, to try and blog more often. We had such a great day of homeschooling that I feel the need to describe it for posterity. LOL

I woke up at 7am to pack Newt's lunch and see him off to school. Then I returned to bed to snuggle Haley for a few minutes before getting her and Dylan up and moving. Dylan made them omelets and they ate while I showered.

Haley and Dylan then began working on schoolwork. They quickly worked through Wordly Wise, Reading Detective (Haley finished up her book today), and math with a little input here and there from me. I gave them their spelling lists then practiced violin with Haley. She worked through her review in the music/school room along with her new Dr. Beat metronome while I got dinner ready for the oven. Then I helped her practice her music reading and current pieces while Dylan practiced guitar and showed me the new song he has written. The kids then watched their SWI lesson (writing lesson) on DVD and outlined their story to be written tomorrow.

We ate a nice lunch of grilled cheese and tomato soup then read through The Song of Roland for history discussing epics, epic heroes, and the different qualities epic heroes might be given in different societies. Just as we finished up, our guests arrived. The kids had a playdate with homeschooling friends for a couple hours while I had a nice visit with their mom. When their friends left, they each sat for their daily reading. Haley began Anne of Green Gables. She read the first chapter then she and I picked out 10 vocabulary words and I showed her how to use the dictionary which she did surprisingly well for the first attempt. We also looked up maps of Prince Edwards Island though we couldn't find Avonlea on any of them. Dylan finished up the book he'd been working on.

I finished up dinner while Dylan continued to read and Haley drew pictures. After dinner, I took Newt to wrestling. Haley practiced fiddle on her own using her videos of her teacher, Brian Conway. Dylan found a recipe and baked a delicious cake that we all just finished enjoying.

It was just one of those perfect kind of days!

Friday, January 01, 2010

New Year....

We have had a couple wonderful days at home. A rarity for us so I enjoy them immensely. Last night, the kids and I sat together and figured out how to play Catan together. Newt won. While we played Daddy made us all non-alcoholic pina coladas.

Today, I cleaned some areas of the house I hadn't really organized yet, straightened up a bit, practiced violin and fiddle with Haley, worked through a physics experiment kit on simple machines with Haley and Dylan (building the machines, figuring out mechanical advantage, then changing load distance and effort distance to see the change in MA), and watched the rest of Ann of Green Gables continued with Haley. We then made dinner, baked brownies, scrapbooked a bit, and watched a movie with the kids and their friend Zach who is spending the night.

It is nice to have the time to just spend at home occassionally.

I wanted to type out our plan for school with Haley and Dylan for the rest of the year just to get it all straight in my mind and keep a record for later....

Math-working through Saxon 87 (we had begun Algebra 1 the beginning of the year but he was having difficulty with it and since he plans to go to school next year, I wanted to sure up his basic math skills rather than have him do something he will repeat in 2 years for 8th grade).

Language Arts- I have determined that Dyl needs to work more on writing so we are going to follow the program outlined in "Guiding Readers and Writers" more closely, work on Student Writing Intensive, continue Spelling Power, Wordly Wise, and Reading Detective. Also continuing with MCT language arts for grammar, poetry, and vocabulary.

Rosetta Stone Spanish
History- Middle ages using SOTW 2, History Portfolio, and various readings
Physics- I am combining a number of curriculums for physics since I haven't found the perfect solution yet...RS4K, NOEO, Rainbow Science, and a variety of experiment kits for fun. I recently purchased a higher level text called Conceptual Physics that we may delve into.

Math- Saxon 65 and beginning Hands On Equations for algebra skills.
All other subjects are the same as Dylan, just slightly different levels plus she is doing Rosetta Stone Gaelic.

I think that is everything. School is going very well with them this year. I find myself having a bit more time with Newt in school. He is enjoying school and wrestling season is beginning to get into full swing. Newt won his first tournament of the year, pinning both his opponents easily. Nice start to the season for him.

Music is going well for the kids. Newt put on his new drum heads from Christmas and has been working through his new drum books. Dylan is very interested in guitar repair and has been reading his books and watching his DVDs. He also loves Haley's new mandolin and has learned 6 tunes on it. He took guitar and mandolin to the session Wednesday night and played both.

Haley played in a session Monday night and another Wednesday night. She enjoys playing with other musicians and Wednesday night was the only fiddler. There were so many different instruments plus vocalists so it was an amazing session. Monday night was very nice as well because the instrumentalists were so experienced especially the banjo and accordian players. Some nights while watching the kids at sessions, I get such a warm feeling inside thinking about the memories the kids are building interacting and playing with other wonderful musicians. The experiences they have are just amazing!

Haley is working on polishing the 1st violin part of Bach Double with the other part. She has been working hard on getting the timing perfected...not getting faster as she plays. It has involved lots of work with her new Dr. Beat Metronome. As practice, she has been playing all her review pieces with the metronome to learn to "hear" it. I have to keep reminding her not to tap her toe along with it...fine for the fiddler Haley but looks a little funny on classical violinist Haley. LOL

We have an exciting year to look forward to. Haley was accepting into the SAA Orchestra of the Americas so will perform with them in Minneapolis in May. She has some exciting performances scheduled throughout the first part of this year with her fiddle and the next semester of Temple Prep orchestra begins at the end of the month. We are already looking at planning summer camps for Haley and Dylan as well.