So, I thought I’d share something from our homeschooling life with you today. I already mentioned in this post that I not only homeschool my boys (fourth and sixth grades), but I also homeschool one of my older-grade nieces, temporarily, and I shared some of our other changes in this video update.
Because I only have one text book for what we are doing in science and being frugal-me, who doesn’t like following a preplanned curriculum 100%, we are mixing things up with using our various curriculum pieces and a mix of methods. I’ll break them down for you below.
Our science materials:
- Classical Conversations (CC) weekly memory work from Foundations planner
- Master Books textbook and parent-planner with worksheets for The Wonderful World of Animals
- Youtube videos
- free printables found online
- science dvds
My educational methods:
- notebooks for answering text questions, etc
- homemade study cards for CC memory work
- my homemade homeschool planner for my prep (as I feel I need it)
- dry erase board
- reading aloud (we all take turns)
- all three kids work together to find and answer text questions
I know this may sound like a train wreck to some of you mamas but doing it this way keeps me interested and science is not my favorite subject (nor is math). Oh, and another thing. I prefer to spend large chunks of time on a subject versus a little everyday when it comes to stuff like science and history. This week we are nailing science. My niece is with us three days a week so this week we are spending three days focusing on science.
Here’s what our science is looking like this week:
Our topic this week is on things like hydroids, sea anemones, corals, coral reefs, and jellyfish. I’m SO SO GLAD that this year’s CC cycle (cycle 1) lines up right now with our zoology studies from Master Books World of Animals.
Intensive Subject Focus
Okay, so I made that up somewhat. When I was in college I would, at one time or another, take an “intensive”. That’s where I’d spend maybe eight hours a day for a week or more taking one class so I could finish college sooner.
I don’t always teach like this at home, but if I feel we are neglecting a subject due to whatever is going on in life we will from time to time devote a large chunk of time to that subject. I truly think this is an awesome way, even a better way at times, to learn. It makes sense to me anyways. This week we have been “intensifyin’ ” with our science 😉 .
I love laminated flash cards
I had the kids make their own study cards by copying the weekly memory work from CC onto index cards which I then laminated, hole punched and put on a key-ring (for those who wanted that). I assign them homework to memorize however many weeks I want them to know at a time. We also go over the memory work aloud together over and over to help them memorize it. This is a CC method. When I tutored at our local CC campus we were instructed to repeat each subject seven times.
Repetition is the key to learning afterall.
Reading from ONE textbook
I read or they take turns reading the text aloud and I write questions (from my Master Books planner) onto a dry erase board for them to copy into their notebooks. One day I had them all work together to find the answers and copy them into their notebooks, but today we were running out of time so I assigned my niece to research on the internet over the weekend to answer as many as she could and the boys will work on this tomorrow here at home with our textbook.
I love Youtube educational videos!
I just love having this option, I’m such a visual learner. I do believe the more senses we use when learning can work wonders for us. We have watched several short video clips of jellyfish, sea anemones, and what bioluminescence looks like.
I just love how useful Youtube is for teaching! I even use it for my psychology class at our co-op. In fact, I have a playlist for my psychology students and a playlist for my kids at home. I also have my own Youtube channel where I share lots of my own videos. You can follow me there at this link if you’d like.
We also watched a science dvd this week.
I love 17 cent notebooks – my sanity saver this year!
I stocked up this year when the back-to-school sales were happening. I decided we were going to use lots of notebooks vs. lots of loose-leaf papers that needed to be saved, sorted, and filed in a binder before assessment time.
Now I very little to go through, we do still have loose worksheets to keep track of, but having separate notebooks assigned for specific subjects keeps everything pretty organized. I love it, love it, love it!
I keep some of our books and notebooks in these red organizer bins I found at a thrift store. Don’t let the picture fool ya. I took this photo shortly after I got my desk cleaned up and organized some time ago. Right now all this neat-and-tidiness is buried under an avalanche of papers and miscellaneous.
So that’s how I’m pulling off science with multiple ages/grades using minimal resources. It can be done. What special homeschooling feats are you pulling off in your home?