Monday, December 2, 2013

Our Current Math Curriculum

I'm really not fond of math, which is interesting considering my love of science. Consequently, my math skills are not as strong as they could be. For this reason, I wanted to make sure that Sam didn't end up with the same problem.

I ended up actually going a bit overboard. Sam is now doing math that is actually a few grades beyond what she should be doing. She's supposed to be in first grade, and she's actually doing third to fourth grade level work.

For example, today she did this:

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Chasing Dragonflies for Science Class

At the beginning of this year, I took up photography when I bought a new camera. I decided that as a blogger, I needed a better camera. I just couldn't get the close-ups I wanted with the camera we had.

This lead to an obsession with macrophotography, specifically dragonflies. Consequently, Sam became obsessed with dragonflies as well, so I turned it into a learning experience and began teaching her everything I was learning about the insects. She thorughly enjoyed learning about them, and goes out with me anytime I "chase dragonflies" (as she calls it).

A male Golden Winged Skimmer


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Netflix Movies for Kids on Thanksgiving

If your like my husband, you're still cooking dinner and have been since early this morning. If you need something to keep the kids busy while you put the finishing details on dinner before the company arrives, here are a few movies and shows that you can stream on Netflix that should keep the kids out of your hair for a few minutes.

I've listed the times of each movie so you know how much time you have to get those finishing touches done!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Homeschooling Isn't Just For Kids

I absolutely LOVE to learn new things. It keeps my mind active and life enjoyable. To me, learning is the meaning of life. There is so much to learn about in this life that we couldn't possibly learn it all.

But I'm damn sure gonna try!

As a writer, learning new things is imperative. In order for me to think of new ideas, I'm constantly reading, and studying. My coworkers call me a nerd, and I'm okay with that. Because I am. I admit it.

But we all need to continually learn. Our brains are hard-wired for learning. The more we learn, the more synapses we create, even as adults. This helps to fight neurological diseases such as Alzheimers. The saying really is true, if you don't use it, you lose it.

My latest thing is taking online classes, or MOOCs as they are called. Massively Open Online Courses. There are several websites that allow you to take courses from big name universities such as Stanford, Harvard and Duke, all for free!

I've taken a number of different courses including:
  • Human Physiology - Duke University
  • The Upper Limb - Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
  • ADHD Through the Lifespan - Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
  • Medical Neuroscience - Duke University
  • Virology - Columbia University
I'm currently finishing The Upper Limb course, and I'm retaking the Medical Neuroscience course simply because it was so fascinating. Plus, they're going to dissect a real human brain and I just can't miss that!

You also get a statement of achievement if you get over a certain percentage in the class. So far, I've gotten two, and one of which I am particularly proud!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Reading - Inspired by Penelope Trunk

My husband hates to read, and unfortunately, that apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Sam doesn't like reading much either. I'm the only weird one of the family, I love to read, but as a writer, that's kind of an occupational hazard!

So how do you get a kid who despises reading to actually read a book? 

This is one of the main reasons I let my daughter take my college level courses with me on Coursera because she loved to read all the quiz questions. At least she was reading, right?

One of my favorite bloggers, Penelope Trunk, also homeschools, more specifically, she unschools. She's not afraid to let her kids play video games all day and let them guide their own learning. Because of this, her kids are brilliant.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Combination Curriculum: Unschooling and Classical

Although I haven't been posting on this blog like I should be, we've still been homeschooling. We probably haven't made as much progress as I would have liked, but we've also been doing a combination of unschooling and our current curriculum.

I've recently been taking a number of different classes online at Coursera such as Human Physiology, and a course on the Upper Limb. Sam has become fascinated by my classes, which lead me to try a course of unschooling with her and let her take the class with me. She even started her own notebook.

Sam's notebook for our class "The Upper Limb"

Friday, July 19, 2013

Homeschooling Lesson Planners

I love to plan. Although, admittedly, I'm horrible at it. I find it to be one of the most calming things I can do when my anxiety is high, mainly because it gives me a sense of control, even if that sense is an illusion. But I still love to plan. I have a blog planner, a Home Management Binder, a Financial Binder and of course a homeschooling binder that keeps all of Sam's worksheets (both to do and finished) all in one place - on her "homeschooling shelf" on the book case next to my "office."

I, now, have a lesson planner!! Here's the thing about me and planners: the have to be pretty or I won't use them. They have to have some sort of aesthetic appeal or it will just sit and collect dust. I found several lesson planners online, and even made one of my own, which is the one I used the most:

I actually really liked this one. It had plenty of room for me to write stuff, but there was something just not right about it.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Our New Curriculum

As I said in my last post, I started reading a new book called The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise, and it discusses... well... a classical education curriculum.

It's an awesome book, and reminds me quite a bit of my Catholic school education, which isn't necessarily a good thing.  But, it was definitely classical!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Creating a Homeschool Notebook

Since we live in Florida, our unschooling has to have a bit of structure. The state requires that any homeschooling parent keep a record of the child's progress throughout the year. Although the records may never be checked, you have to be able to produce said records within a few days of being notified that the superintendent wants to see them.

I won't lie, I've been worried that the superintendent is going to pound on my door and say with a menacing voice "SHOW ME YOUR RECORDS!" 


So, instead of staying in a constant state of anxiety, I decided to create what I call a "Homeschooling Notebook."

Monday, January 14, 2013

Family Household Rules

I'm really not a rules person. I've never set rules for my family and I've never really had a problem.

But things are getting a bit out of control!


2013 hasn't started out the way I intended. We have an inspection of our home coming up and since we're hoarders clutterbugs, we've got a lot of cleaning to do. Unfortunately, my husband is still out of work due to his hernia, and I'm the only one bringing in any money, which means I don't have time to clean. But I have a list a mile long of things we need to do to get the house ready for the inspection.