Weekly Report

It’s funny how every year I start the summer off thinking that the kids should continue doing some academic work. The kids always readily agree to this, and I think the reason is that they know that I never stick with that plan. The kids know that I love summer as much as them! It’s funny, but I think my big speech about how we are going to continue homeschooling through the summer actually signals the start of summer for the kids. So as I give my big talk, the kids just nod and agree, and then they run off and celebrate. One year I think I will surprise them, and actually make them work through the whole summer ( That would show them!).

So what have we been doing? Well Autry is actually still in public school, but it is winding down, so even she feels that she is on break. Her last official day is next Wednesday, and I can’t wait!! It has been a great year for Autry, but I really need a break from getting her up every morning and packing her lunch everyday.

Almost 11

The twins birthday is coming up (they’ll be 11), and I am planning their party for next Saturday. We are having an old-fashioned outdoor party at a park. We are going to have a water-balloon fight, a limbo competition, and other games. It is getting harder to plan their birthdays. Autry wanted a dance party, and Tru wanted a Nintendo DS themed party (not sure how I would have done that). Tru very quickly nixed the dance party, and Autry didn’t want a DS themed party. They couldn’t agree on anything, so I just took it over and planned it myself. Sometimes I think it is a little hard for them to have to share their birthdays, but they are quite close. By the end of their birthday, they are always happy to be twins and to have each other.

The twins at 6

Autry had her end-of-the-year performance for her acting class a few weeks back. She played a turtle in Yertle the Turtle and Sylvester in Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. She was great!

As a turtle

As Sylvester

Decca decided to start his Hideaways in History program early, and he didn’t need anyone’s help. He found a box and made it into a sarcophagus. He decorated the lid with a picture of Prince Decca and added some hieroglyphics that he found in one of his Egyptian books. He then wrapped up in some cloth and also “mummified” his cat. He had so much fun! I am so happy with Hideaways in History already, and we haven’t even started it.

There is a mummy inside....

Mummified prince and mummified cat

I started a summer reading/writing program for the kids (is that school?). It is just my way to get the kids to read and write in the summer. They are working at earning gift cards to Barnes and Noble. My mom and I put together a little bulletin board. It is a summer themed scene. The kids read and write to earn beach balls, and each beach ball they earn equals a dollar from Barnes and Noble. At the end of summer they will get a gift card, and they can use it for new books for the fall. They are all working hard trying to earn their beach balls. Tru seems to be putting the most effort into it, but reading comes easy to him, and I think he already is planning what to do with the money he earns.

I am still working our history program for next year. I have weeks one and two scheduled out, and I have decided on many of the books we will be using. I will post our schedule up in a few weeks for anyone that wants to see it. I am happy with what I got so far, and I think this will turn out to be a great year. You can see my book choices here.

Some of the books for next year

Ancient History – Second Time Through

I originally had planned to use K12 fro Tru next year, but I have decided against it. We are already doing K12 Language Arts (which I love), and I don’t want to be tied to the computer all day, checking little boxes and completing assessments. I am having a hard time finding a program that I want to use for him, so I have decided to just put my own program together. I figure with five years homeschooling experience and all those classes I took in history in college (not to mention all the education classes I have been taking over the last year and a half) that I should be able to put together something.

I have just started the process of putting his history together. I know some of the books we will use, and I have also created an Amazon store to keep a list of our choices. (Check it out if you want to get some ideas). I have begun a very informal schedule, and hopefully it will become more formal before the fall, but honestly , planning is not my strong suit. I am trying to change that though, and I want a schedule for Tru, so that he can see what he needs to do each day.

Anyway, I have decided our two main books that we will use for this program is K12’s The Human Odyssey and A Little History of the World. I am also going to use History: The Definitive Visual Guide as it looks so visually appealing for kids. I am going to add some readers and other non-fiction books to these three to add to Tru’s studies. I want to choose books that add to his learning and understanding. I am not going to have a list of twenty readers though, as my goal for him is not to have him read for hours a day, but instead I want him to dig deeper in history this year and make meaningful connections to all that he has learned so far.

I also want him to learn the skill of outlining, and we are going to work on that all year. I remember outlining as a kid, and I loved to do it. I started around his age, and I outlined throughout high school and college. Outlining is a great way to organize the reading and helps prepare a student for note taking and studying for tests. I am debating whether to get a workbook on outlining or to just teach it myself. I think I will just teach him as it is a very straightforward skill . I am afraid reading a text on how to outline will just make a simple task complicated.

That is all I have so far. I will update as I add more books and get a schedule going. I also hope to link other websites and videos that add to our studies. If you know of any good books or other resources let me know. I am always on the lookout for great resources.