Category Archives: Homeschooling
A friend of mine homeschools with CyberLynx here in Fairbanks. She posted the link for their curriculum fair, September 2 @ Pioneer Park. I want to go, but I know I can’t buy anymore curriculum until I finish unpacking the old stuff, sooooooooo… I wanted to share the link with y’all so you can take advantage of it!
I hope y’all enjoy yourselves!
We are studying The Vikings in World History this week. I am so happy to FINALLY be in the Middle Ages! Anyone have any other resources on Vikings or Middle/Dark Ages?
We are creating a MASSIVE time-line book as our final project. So far we are about to overflow a 3-inch binder. This is not just the line with little icons & dates. Agnes has been doing research on various people and events, creating “profiles”, writing original stories, and adding artistic projects to this book! I imagine we will need a few more binders by the time we get to the modern times… pictures to come!
This is such a cool tool! I think I am going to have to make all Agnes’ vocab lists into crossword puzzles! Ok, maybe not all her vocab lists will become crosswords, but some of them will! What a cool way to test spelling, etc.!
Can you name the four major oceans in order from largest to smallest in area?
Answers are coming up!
Here they are.
1. Pacific Ocean
2. Atlantic Ocean
3. Indian Ocean
4. Arctic Ocean
Can you name the seven continents in order from largest to smallest?
Answers are coming up!
Here they are.
3. North America
4. South America
Well, here it is: The first official day of our school year. I am so ready to get some normalcy back into our lives. I feel like I have slacked off everything this summer, but I am ready to take on the challenge of teaching World History, 9th Grade Science and English, and Sewing I and II. Saxon CDs and text will be teaching Algebra II for me, so the pressure for remembering how to do all those equations is gone. I just have to re-learn parts of it. (Thank you, Babs Utley and Coach Cunningham! Y’all would be surprised at what I remember from your classes!)
I have been asked about curriculum by a couple of other homeschoolers, so I am going to share with you what we are using, and why we chose these specific books.
I feel it is worth mentioning here that we homeschool with IDEA, here in Alaska. It is technically public schooling at home, since we have to follow the state guidelines, and participate in annual testing, but since we get an allotment to help pay for our books and some supplies (such as lab equipment that is turned in when you either graduate or withdraw from the program) I really do appreciate the support. We have the best teacher/counselor, Kathleen Kinney. She is so patient as she reminds me that I am really in charge of how to teach Agnes, not the state. I am so blessed to have been placed under her guidance, and I think that both Agnes and I have grown and learned a lot because of her.
Anyway, here we go.
For Sewing I and II we are going to be using curriculum called Sew Teach Me by Blue Flamingo Designs. I was very impressed with their booth at the curriculum fair, and since they had a flamingo in their name, I had to get it. No… I am kidding, really! They had displays of each level of learning, and Agnes keeps talking about sewing her own clothes, so we jumped on it. They offered a program that allows you to type in your measurements and design choices, print the pattern up on regular computer paper, tape it together, and then use it like a regular pattern. Both Agnes and I thought this was incredibly cool, and a useful skill at that, so we found our elective for the year. Our friend, Miss Teri, is also an accomplishes sewer, and has offered to tutor us, in her home, once a week. I hope this works out. I love doing things with my friend, and if our daughters can learn this skill together with the quality time we will all be spending together, I will be very blessed.
For World History we have chosen to use The Human Record: Sources of Global History. It is really a Sociology textbook for college, but it is our guide line because it uses primary sources, things actually found in archeological sites and written records. We are supplementing this with a lot of historic programs on DVD, black line maps for Agnes to fill out, and a timeline, which Agnes will be creating in Microsoft Excel. The maps and ideas of what to put on our personal time line are coming from two sources.” The Ultimate Geography and Timeline Guide: A complete Geography Resource for Grades K-12,” by Maggie Hogan and Cindy Wiggers, is just what it says. We will be using this with US History next year as well as the maps and worksheets from “Maps of the World: A Reproducible Workbook and Curriculum Guide” published by The Emerald Book Company. We will be combining this with our English readings and our writing assignments.
For English, I discovered that Agnes needs to become familiar with a lot of different writing styles and create a writing portfolio. We will be using our Social Studies as a guide to studying the literature and poetry from the different cultures and time periods, as well as doing both a Social Studies and a Science research paper.
Did you know that they actually have “note cards” as something I am supposed to teach Agnes how to use for her research? No wonder all the teachers made us use them! In this digital age, I am not sure we will use actual “note cards” for taking notes. We may use a word processing program (which is another thing Agnes is supposed to be “taught” in English this year) to learn how to organize notes from books from the library. We are still waiting to receive out copy of “Write On Research” to see if it will be that helpful, but we do finally have “All Through the Ages: History through Literature Guide” to choose some classic books.
I am interrupting myself here to give this book a plug. “All Through the Ages: History through Literature Guide”, by Christine Miller, was recommended to me at the IDEA Curriculum Fair. I got to glance at it briefly, ant thought it might be helpful. Now that I have been able to really read and digest it, I am so glad I got it. This book would be useful to anyone interested in Classical Education for their child. I wish I had it when I started homeschooling! I do think I did a good job of teaching through unit studies in fifth through eight grade, but I didn’t teach a lot of History other than US History because I am not a fan of the subject. But this approach, reading books on the subject and then discussing them, writing about them, or doing a small project on them, is very attractive to me, and also to Agnes. “All through the Ages” also has a section on ‘History of Science and Mathematics’’ and ‘History of the Visual Arts and Music’ as well as ‘ Great Books of Western Civilization and the Christian Tradition’ which make it a great resource for almost any Christian homeschool.
Ok… plug is done. Agnes is going to be reading books related to the culture we are studying, as well as one personal book every two weeks. There will be a report or project for each book. In addition, Agnes will have to write on her blog weekly, create a poetry portfolio, and do the dreaded Current Event Article! Du-du-duuuuun! That is because I am supposed to “teach” her how to read a newspaper this year, a skill that she learned in 4th grade, I believe.
Now, on to my FAVORITE, Science! This is a stellar, scientific year for both me and my daughter! We are going to be running the Homeschool room for PWOC again this year, and I am going to be doing Biblical Science with them once a week! Yeah! We are using “Science and the Bible” as our main resource, but I have a plethora (I love that word!) of other Science resources that I will be using to convey Scripture to the kids. I will probably use “Signs and Seasons” from www.classicalastronomy.com because I have now met, through Facebook, the author. I used the multi-age level curriculum two years age, and supplemented it for Alaska skies without even thinking about it.It is designed for students 13 and up, but can be used with younger children with supervision. So I am going to make notes and send them to the author this Spring, when I can’t see the stars anymore. It will also allow me to relay some feedback from the kids and their moms, too.
At home, we are using some of a lot of resources to cover EVERYTHING a 9th grader should know. We will be doing no less than 3 experiments a week, starting this October. That is when we should finish up the LifePac books we ordered last Christmas. They are the second half of the 8th grade Science year, but we ran out of year since we started them at Christmas. Agnes likes the LifePac series because she can read, work independently, fill in the answers, and have me correct and do an occasional experiment.
This year however, I want to have my own lab at the house, commonly known as the dining room table. We are going to be using part of the Physical Science and part of the Earth Science Lab kits from www.qualitysciencelabs.com . They have lab books for each student, and almost everything you need in each kit. The kits have been designed to work with a variety of popular homeschool Science curriculum, and I would suggest looking into them as a single resource for your lab supplies. I love Science so I am not using traditional texts. The kit is packed in a plastic shoe box bin, and each kit can be a complete high school (or middle school, in some cases) class. I chose them over the other Science suppliers at the IDEA Curriculum Fair because I loved the lab booklet that comes in each kit. Agnes and I love to do experiments, and since she is learning to write different types of styles, I figured the lab report that you write from the documentation of an experiment would be a great way to strengthen that skill. Now I am not going to have her write up a report from each experiment. If we do more than five a week, she wouldn’t have time to do anything else. I am thinking about maybe one a month, as long as she keeps an accurate lab book, and takes notes on each experiment. Most of our studies will be through these main resources this year. If we like the Quality Science Lab Kits this year, we are planning to try out their Biology, AP Micro-Chemistry, and Physics for the next 3 years.
Wow, that looks like a lot of work, but when you spread it out over the course of the year, it really isn’t. I will keep everyone updated on the progress, as well as any points about the curriculum I think need to be made. I hope this was helpful!
I am thinking about using this to make access to the science experiments & corresponding worksheets accessible to all the Moms from the PWOC homeschool room. It will also be a great example of what I can do if I decide to teach Science again.
Has anyone else used any of the on-line Office programs? What did you think? Please, let me know!
I get this great subscription e-mail every week. This company/family has a site where they make available PDFs, MP3’s, and other digital resources for homeschool. This is my subscriber e-mail… if you like itit please subscribe, too!
Hey there — We are back! Did ya miss us?
We sure hope so, because we are all rested up and ready to bring you a TON of great homeschool and family resources the rest of this year, starting with this week’s very special spotlight on…
It is the supreme law of the United States, and provides the framework for the organization of the United States Government. It is the most foundational document in American History, upon which has been built the greatest nation on earth.
So – do your kids know what is in it… what it’s all about… and what it means to them?
This week we are featuring a terrific collection of audio readings, dramatizations and resources to help your students will come to know and appreciate the importance and significance of this cornerstone of American democracy and freedom. Collect them all, and you’ll have a wonderful ready made Unit Study to go through this fall with your kids!
FINAL NOTICE! Our King-Sized Resource Archive Collections are onsale through MONDAY NIGHT! Save a bundle if you get yours NOW, and catch up on hundreds of our past resources, all archived on these great CD collections! See the huge list of stuff on these at:
Okay, here’s the rundown for this week:
Monday, July 19th
THE ORIGIN OF THE CONSTITUTION (Audiobook & PDF ebook)
James Baldwin’s wonderful retelling of the events and problems that faced the fledgling United States of America, and how they were resolved in the creation of the United States Constitution. Both the MP3 audiobook as well as the PDF ebook version are available today.
Tuesday, July 20th
OUR MAGNIFICENT POSSESSION (MP3 Audio)
Why is the Constitution so important? And how does it differ from the laws of other nations? Find out in this excellent and amusing program on why the Constitution was needed to frame a government in which all the states could function together, which allowed the United States to become a great nation.
Wednesday, July 21st
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA & Amendments
(MP3 Audio Reading + PDF ebook)
An excellent word-for-word reading of the Constitution and Amendments, plus a complete transcription of the Constitution in PDF format. Let your kids actually see and hear the exact words that make up this foundational document in our nation’s history!
Thursday, July 22nd
EASY LESSONS ON THE CONSTITUTION (PDF ebook)
A classic teacher’s guide that presents 25 excellent lesson plans to study the US Constitution, perfect for homeschool use! A complete and very well done vintage curriculum – Highly Recommended!
Friday, July 23rd
WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS (MP3 Audio)
One of the most famous radio programs of the WW2 era,
by Norman Corwin – On the 150th anniversary of the Constitution, this program relates the meaning of the Constitution through history as well as through the eyes of average Americans… and how it affects us all. Stirring, thought-provoking audio, especially good for older students who care about history – excellent!
You’ll find each of these resources on their respective days at:
NOTE: If you ever have any trouble accessing the site with that link, try
…it works too!
And finally, here is this week’s “Subscriber Exclusive” Resource for you…
THE SECRET POWERS OF TIME
Take 10 minutes to watch this EXCELLENT video as Professor Philip Zimbardo conveys how our individual perspectives of time affect our work, health and well-being. Time influences who we, our kids and our families view relationships and how we act in the world. One of the most interesting takeaways is:
Be careful how much time you allow your BOYS play video games. See why in the video. This video also explains how and why our kids’ brains are getting “digitally rewired”, messing up their perception of time and achievement. It is TOTALLY different than what we grew up with, and you need to be aware of these changes.
Highly, HIGHLY Recommended – but PG rated, due to some references to modern society. Parents watch first before deciding whether or not to share with kids.
And that’s it for this week! We are really looking forward to bringing you some great resources in the weeks to come…
THANKS for your support and for being along for the ride!
The Erskine Family
Well, this is my craft project for the summer.
I know my mother had macrame EVERYTHING when I was at camp… because I made EVERYTHING I could out of either Macrame or that plastic cord (we called it gimp, but I don’t think that’s the real name). I even tried to learn how to make my own sailor’s knot bracelet.
Well, I want to hang between 6 and 8 plants inside, and a few more outside. The price for the hanging baskets are ridiculous! They are not even what I want, so why should I pay $15-20 for them?
This is my answer…
Agnes and I will make our own plant hangers, and if we get good enough, maybe we can even sell a few of them at a craft store or give them to people for gifts.
Hope you enjoy this post… it is the best instructions I have found, so far.
Activities will be held weekdays 1:30 to 2:30 pm at the Youth Center.
There is no cost for these activities. Pre-registration is not required.