The last two weeks flew by! We didn’t go anywhere. We didn’t do anything crazy. We just hung out at home, swam in the lake, enjoyed the lake, and celebrated life! We started the break off with Sims’s birthday and ended it with a concert! Over all, we had a terrific two weeks. The pictures show it all!
As usual, it has been nuts around here. School is winding down for the holiday break, which means that we are out of our rhythm. No rhythm means increased stress for some in our crew. In addition to the holidays, we also had snow!
Overall, we finished up “Midsummer Night’s Dream” and started a new book called, “Roses and Radicals.” (Personally, I am thinking this book is a must read for those of you with high schoolers doing US History this year. It is pretty awesome.). Sims finished up his first semester of Geometry and is working through the break on note taking and more study skills as he moves into more advanced classes. Sawyer is still working on Physical Science and writing through the break. Parks is working on writing as well.
Sims also had the opportunity to go climbing this week at Rumbling Bald and Stone Mountain with some friends.
We also celebrated our winter spiral with several families and are now getting ready for the holidays!
We are midway through our first business math block. We finished up our read aloud-The Year Money Grew on Trees. We LOVED it! Sawyer and Parks are also still working on the Pet Shop Math. The last two times that we did business math, we used the Striker Jones book. I felt that we needed a change, so I decided to use Whatever Happened to Penny Candy. I heard terrific things about it, but the kids find it very dry. It has been tough to get through, but we are trudging through at least for one more week. Sims and Sawyer are also about a third of the way through Byline which is a writing curriculum that includes US history. It is ALOT of writing each week, but so far they are both enjoying it. In addition to their writing curriculum, the older two are also getting quite a bit of practice with writing lab reports for chemistry and physical science! This week while the older were writing up their labs from last week, Parks learned about water displacement in his science class.
On the fun side of things this week, Sawyer made a sling for her coach’s baby kitty. Everyone cooked up a storm this week (which is funny because cooking was the theme for Spanish class this week too). Sims and I got a paddle in on Wednesday since there wan’t any wind for a sail. Thursday, we gleaned eggplant and peppers. Friday, Sawyer and I were invited by my brother to go see Hamilton! It was an AMAZING show!
Lots of school work this week! And lots more to get through!
I am not sure why, but the output of work seems a lot higher this year. This is neither good nor bad. It just is. More output requires more time inside and at home. That part is not my favorite.
This week we learned about money and its history. We learned about inflation. We are also almost through our first read aloud book, The Year Money Grew on Trees. It is a terrific book to go along with finance, economics and business math. The kids also made topography maps and color wheels in Spanish this week in 4H.
Sims gave me a lesson Wednesday afternoon on rigging and sailing a 420. I had a blast. I can’t wait to go again! I am not sure if that was my favorite part of the week or getting back to the barn after several weeks of not going!
Friday, the younger two worked at home on their Simply Charlotte Mason Pet Shop math and finishing up their workplans while Sims and I headed down to Charlotte to finish up his educational testing.
As always, the weekend was full! Boat cleaning, yard work, parties, concerts, sailing, and some fun time to just hang out.
I am still in denial that we are actually starting school which is why this post is slightly delayed. We started school last Monday as a group. Sims started an online class a few weeks ago. As much as I would love to show you a beautiful back to school picture of the three of them smiling, I have nothing close. I have pictures of the three of them steadily working and looking at their books for the year.
Overall, the week went well. Monday, we spent at home. Tuesday, Parks and I headed out for his writing class while the older two stayed home and worked. Wednesday, we went to the park for the first day of our 4H co-op and pretended that it is still summer by hitting the lake for a swim afterwards. Thursday, we hit the barn. Friday, we finished up any unfinished work from the week. We also celebrated Sawyer’s last allergy shot!! (Five years ago, Sawyer found out that she is allergic to the five bee types that we have here in NC. Over the past five years, she has gone monthly to get two shots-equivalent to getting 18 bee stings at once. She is amazing.) The workload was light this week. My hope was just to get everyone into a rhythm. I think that it worked pretty well.
In addition to celebrating, Sawyer’s last shot, we also watched Sims compete in his first deep water solo rock climbing event at the US National White Water Center. The competition was a lot of fun to watch!
I am finding it tough to sit and plan for long periods of time this summer, thus the plan is coming along slowly. I found out late this summer (like last week) that all three of my kids do not feel “as smart as their friends who go to school.” This statement quite shocked me-not that I want them to be comparing themselves to others, but I do want them to feel confident in themselves. This new knowledge is making me change my plan a bit.
I am also trying to figure out how to develop a transcript for high school that truly shows who my kids are. We have never done formal testing or grades. We go over information and apply it. If the information is not understood, I find that the kids cannot apply it correctly, and we go over it again until it makes sense. I would call this a mastery approach. I have heard some people say that the kids should get an A after that, but I do not feel that a letter grade truly describes the knowledge. I am looking into proficiency-based and mastery transcripts as a model for high school.
Sims Grade 10
- Self-confidence in uncomfortable situations-academic and personal
- Increased ease with note-taking and written communication
- Demonstrate accountability to an outside teacher
- Demonstrate leadership within his community
- Challenge himself to use the knowledge he has to gain deeper knowledge in a subject
During Sims’s tenth grade year, he will be working through US history, writing and US literature, geometry, Latin and Chemistry. I am sure that he will have more that he works on, but this is the plan for now.
Sawyer Grade 8
Theme: Personal Achievement
- Self-confidence in personal and academic knowledge
- Learn to set personal goals and to develop a plan to work towards the goals
- Design, implement and complete an eight grade project.
Sawyer’s eighth grade year has a lot of classes per her request. She will be taking a high school level physical science course, pre-algebra, writing, and latin. She will also have blocks in civics, US history, business math/economics, geometry and woodworking.
Parks Grade 6
- Independence with beginning daily work
- Self-confidence in academic knowledge
- Feeling a part of a community beyond the family
Parks is entering middle school this year! No more elementary children-how did that happen? Parks will continue with math and spelling/copy work. He will also be taking a science class and a writing class outside of the home this year. He will have blocks on Ancient Rome, business math, geometry and woodworking.
We are also starting a 4H group this year that will meet on Wednesdays. We have planned many classes including-geology, PE, geography, Spanish, leadership, entrepreneurship, horsemanship, environmental science, cooking and coding.