Our way of learning

Recently on a Facebook homeschooling support group for my state this question was asked:

I decided to piece together my curriculum because that is what I believed would be best for us as we are on a tight budget and the kids are at different levels than they maybe in public schools.

This is only a part of the post but this was me this last July! I second guessed myself, I didn’t know what I should be teaching him, and worried about what if he went back to public school and would he be left behind.

First thing, if he goes back to public school they will test him and put him where he needs to be. Plus, he is working one on one with me and we are moving at a much faster pace then the public schools. He is not being left behind.

This is how we put together our curriculum.

I bought the books What your Fifth Grader Needs to Know and What your sixth Grader Needs to Know.

I bought teacher planner and I went through and marked the days we would not have school. We don’t go to school on Fridays and we are taking Thanksgiving week off and two weeks at Christmas, Spring Break is two weeks, and what not. I write everything in pencil in case things change

I then opened up the What Your Fifth Grader Needs to Know book and I started with one subject and started filling in the days.

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This is last week’s lessons. I highlight when we did something, that way if we didn’t get to something I can figure it out easier.

I use Khan Academy for math and some science.

I subscribed to Brain Pop to help with other things. Math, Science, History, Health, and Art.

We also found matching Magic School Bus episodes to help with subjects.

I found free spelling lists here.

I bought one of the grade level Comprehensive Curriculum workbooks and use it for math, lang. arts, reading comp, and a bit of science.

I use a site Schoology to make computer tests and as a digital planner.

We use Duolingo for our Spanish, Flashcard Stash for our flashcards, and Timemaps for social studies.

Please let me know if you have questions!

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes

Shannon

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The MesoAmericans

We recently learned about the Incas, Aztecs, and Mayans. IMG_20140923_103751

We watched a Magic School Bus episode on it and several programs from the History Channel about them.

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We learned about the Mayans calendar and how it was not the end of the world, but the end of the calendar for them.

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We learned that each of them had very fierce religions that usually involved someone dying. He thought the whole ripping the beating heart out was cool and a bit disturbing. Remember he is 11 years old.

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We learned that Mexico’s flag is from the Aztecs.

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We also learned that the Mesoamericans gave us CHOCOLATE. The fruit of the Gods, as he would say repeatedly. So, let’s bake us some cupcakes!

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I got the recipe out and he made them all by himself. I stood back and supervised. I was very impressed with his math and culinary skills. Here is the recipe:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 1 egg, at room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup milk with 1 tsp of vinegar in it

Preheat oven to 350 and get your muffin pan with liners ready.

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Sift together dry ingredients.

In a mixer beat the sugars and butter together until light and fluffy.

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Add in the egg and vanilla until combined.

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Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, altering with the water and milk until just combined.

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Mix until smooth.

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We use a large scoop to divide our batter evenly into the liners.

Bake  for 18-20 minute, let cool completely on wire rack when finished.

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Lick the spatula and enjoy being a kid again!

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Last decide that they are far to horrible to have the rest of the family taste them and eat them all! Enjoy!

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes

Shannon

Math makes us cry

I remember as a child learning and memorizing my multiplication tables. It was something you just had to learn and you HAD to memorize. Now in the the public school system they say they don’t have time to make the kids memorize and it is not that important. NOT THAT IMPORTANT? It means the world, I can fly through 5th grade math problems, because I have memorized and retained that information from 4th grade. It drives my son crazy that this is easy for me and hard for him. We have had complete meltdowns at the kitchen table over this subject.

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We work with Khan Academy to help explain the concepts better than I can. We also use a white board to work out the problems. Experience has shown us, it doesn’t matter if you get the problem right you have to show your work. Our oldest son could work the problem in his head but failed to show his work and failed many test in high school for this simple reason.

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Now I can’t explain it, but the child can solve for X or Y like it is nobody’s business. I don’t understand it, it is basically multiplication with letters. This type of math makes me cry. I want math to get over her X and not worry about finding it. But this to him makes sense. My dad said it is because this is the way his mind is wired.

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My husband and I were talking about this last night on the way home from the ER and we both agreed when it comes to math he is very smart. We both agreed, we can see him working in a cubicle making video games or inventing things. English is not his thing and writing is out of the question but Math and Science are right up his alley.

So, while simple math makes us cry we will continue on. We will continue to learn and memorize multiplication tables, Maybe Legos will help?

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes

Shannon

Catch up………

I wish I could keep this blog updated better. I am making a return after a few bumpy weeks.

Let’s see if I can catch you up.

In Reading we finished The Little Prince & Romeo & Juliet. We watched a movie about both. This week  we started The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. He really like The Little Prince, but the movie was a musical and he suffered through it. Romeo and Juliet  was a bit tough but we suffered through it and the movie. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is turning out to be a real page turner for him. He really relates to the characters and likes reading. Listening to a recap of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer……. I never knew that Mark Twain wrote about “this one dude”. We need to break that habit!

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In Language Arts we learned about Onomatopoeia, Alliteration, Symbols, Personification, Dramas, Comedies, Tragedies, Shakespeare, Subjects and Verbs. That is a whole lot going on there. Subjects really need to be taught with verbs for the connection to be made. We also learned what it meant to “have a chip on your shoulder”. We read two poems From Opposites & The Arrow and the Song.

In Math we are covering a lot of ground. We learned all about integers and how to add them. We tried to subtract them but that ended in tears and we said we would revisit it later. We worked on rounding and estimating but we were having trouble with how we would use that in “real life” until we went to the store today. I gave him the shopping list, told him how much money we had, and had him keep track of how much we were spending as we put things into the cart.

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We also learned about square numbers, square roots, and exponents this week.

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While working on exponents today I learned that the school never taught him how to multiple double digits like 24 x 12 =. I guess this is something we will have to go back and work on next week, along with our other work.

In Science we finished up learning about weather, weather patterns, and different types of weather. We moved onto clouds and the different types. This last week we learned all about  the deserts of the world, why they are so dry, what can survive in a desert, and how they form. We even made a desert biome.

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In Social Studies we learned about seasons, salty lakes, rivers, tropical, temperate, and frigid climates. Last we we started a year long process to learn about each of the 50 states. We started with Delaware, since it was first to enter the union. For each state we have a three page worksheet that we fill out to learn all about the state. We have also learned about Pennsylvania and New Jersey (or the cow state as he calls it).

We are also working with our chickens daily. We say this is part of our home economics since it is part of how we live.

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We recently decided to hatch chickens. We built our own incubator and placed our 12 eggs in there are now we are waiting the 18-21 days it takes to hatch.

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Yes this requires fertile eggs and we have no rooster, we went and bought fertile eggs to hatch. We have lost one egg do to a crack. We have candled the eggs and maybe half will hatch.

All in all homeschooling is good and we are settling in to a nice routine. We get along well and I think that helps. Besides it is always a good thing when school includes making BROWNIES!!

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Love, Peace, and Cupcakes!

Shannon

Just keep reading….

This kid loves to read and I think picking The Little Prince as our first book was a great choice. He is loving it and he is engaging me with conversation about the book.

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Today in math we worked on our multiplication tables again. We still need to memorize them, it will make life easier later.  We also worked on reading a thermometer in Celsius and Fahrenheit,  this always counts as part of our science for the day. In math we also worked on number sense and did some research on the number billion.
Did you know it would take about 50 years to count to a billion?
A billion seconds ago was 1983, a billion minutes ago was 113 AD,  and a billion hours ago would put us 114,079 BC.
Do you know what a googol is? How about a googolplex? We do!!!

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He had so much fun learning about similes and metaphors today. He was acting most of the ones he made up out.
The thunder growled like a cat.
The ocean sang like a whale.
The giraffe fell like a brick to the lion.

I think he did pretty good!

Our paper mache is still drying and will work on that tomorrow.

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In social studies we worked on our map skills and I found out he can’t recognize the 7 continents. We will have to work on that.

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We also made a cake and put our math skills to good use as I am a baker and bake in weights and not cups.  Had to figure out how much 20 ounces was in pounds.

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We also did some life skills and made dinner for tonight and did some cleaning.

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