Monday, August 25, 2014

3 weeks down, 33 more to go

So we have officially finished week 3 of this new school year.   Things are going a lot better than last year, mostly in part to me being a lot more organized and definitely more relaxed about this whole homeschooling thing. 

I decided to do a few things the "easier", less stubborn way this year.  Instead of trying to customize a regular planner as my homeschool one, I purchased the Simple Plan by Mardel. 
This planner is a lifesaver! It has enough room for me to plan for all 3 kids, to make notes about things going on that particular week, and a huge calendar at the beginning of the month to keep up with deadlines.  (and yes, I do try to color code for each kid, but some times get all confused; and end up using pink for all 3, or blue, or whatever pen I have on my hand)

 Each of the kids has their own planner to write down their assignment. I found them at Walmart; and while these are working fine for now, I may need to start researching some for next year that make the whole "writing down assignments" a bit more fun.

Have I mentioned how much I love the science curriculum we are using?  I chose REAL Science Odyssey from Pandia Press this year.  I chose the Life Science for the boys; and Biology 2 for the girl.  We love it.  For the boys, in addition to the curriculum material and the labs (two each week, fun!) we have used books from the library; Magic School bus videos; and Study Jams from Scholastic to supplement.  My boys love science; so they will do as much as the day will allow.  What I love most is they remember what they've learned.  

I have a confession to make:  I never liked Biology in high school.  I took one semester, and when I had a choice, switched to Physics.  It just wasn't my thing.  So this year I'm learning as we go through Biology 2.  It is very complete, and my girl does science every day.  I love this curriculum because it includes 2 labs each week (one that uses a microscope); as well as a section on a famous scientist.  Not only is she learning science, there is history also included.

The last two weeks we were working on cells; so the boys assignment was to make an animal cell model; while the oldest had to work on a model for an animal cell.  So we decided we wanted to make our cells edible; because, well, why not?

The boys had to present on their cells as did my girl.  As she was going over  each part of the cell and its function, I remembered why I didn't like biology all those years ago.  The funky names!  Golgi apparatus??  
Anyway the cake was delicious and she even made the buttercream frosting from scratch.  

We obviously did more than just science in the last 3 weeks, but I think science is the most fun of all the subjects, don't you?  I can't wait til we do chemistry! 

I am very pleased with the curriculum I chose for this year.  I think it's working out a lot better; it is a lot easier for me to  keep up with where they are; and what we need to spend more time on. 

I took advantage of the huge sale going on at Great Products and purchased shirts for my crew.  They loved it.  These three have embraced this homeschool adventure so I rewarded them with these shirts.   

And I purchased this sticker for my car.  Because every homeschooler I know has been asked the dreaded question "what about socialization?".  Well, if you know me, you know this is my sense of humor.  

We are doing a year round schedule this year, so we are on week 4 of 6 before we get our first break.  I think we are going to love this new schedule. Who does not like having a week of vacation every 6 weeks?  Our first week off will find us on the beach; as we are taking a much needed vacation.  

Just two more weeks!

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