Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Homeschooling Day One

As I mentioned in previous posts I've decided to follow a basic unit division for my daughter's homeschooling. I've recently read Surprised by Joy, by C.S. Lewis, and loved his descriptions about creating elaborate imaginary worlds with his brother so much, that I thought this would be a great year long project for the kids to work on.
But because creating a world can be so potentially challenging, I've divided the year up into four courses based on the four ancient elements:

I created a basic rubric for every day that consists of at least one "activity," math or science experiment, day trip, craft, special books to read, that fits each theme, which she can do on top of her online schooling. I'm hoping this will help build her education, while still giving her most of the day to just play or read or whatever.

We're starting with Water, and today was a very rainy day, which seemed almost too good to be true. Here's the rundown of our day:

-My daughter got online and did three reading lesson on her K12 school.
-We took a break to watch Bill Nye: Water Cycle
It's not letting me put the video in here so here's the link: Water Cycle
- Bill Nye brought up the word "hydrological," so we went over the root word "hydro." We thought about some common words that she's heard before (although didn't necessary know), like hydroponics, hydroelectric, carbohydrates, and hydrated. Here's a great website with many more of these words: hydro and hydra
-She then went back online to do 2 math lessons.
-We had to go to the grocery store so while we were in the car we turned up the heat and exhaled out of our mouth to make the car foggy. There was supposed to be something about condensation there but it was mostly just fun to doodle on the windows. And we sang a bit of the evaporation, condensation, precipitation song. Ok, we sang it a lot.
-She watched this video on Khan University about Caillebotte's Rainy Day. It was a bit advanced for her, but she knows about impressionism, and I asked her to write how Caillebotte was different from other impressionists ("He drew more serious" was her answer) and a sentence saying who the artist was and the title of the piece. She said she didn't care for it because it was in the city and too gray, not a "pretty rain."
-We ended our day with April Rain Song by Langston Hughes
Here is the link to a video and recording of the poem.

We have two more nighttime activities that we haven't done yet
-Taking a cursory look at the night sky. Tonight Venus should be out.
-Bedtime Math.

And one ongoing activity:
-We put two cups of water out, one in a shady area, and one in the sun. We're keeping track of how long it takes for the water to evaporate.

Today was a rainy day and so we spent a lot more time on the computer and inside than we probably normally would. So far I'm pretty satisfied with the K12 program. She is able to do most of it herself, meaning I can do other things and just help when needed, and while it's easy, repetitive, and a bit boring, it's pretty much an interactive version of the worksheets she's constantly doing at school. And she really loves that kind of stuff. To be honest, so do I. I just like filling out forms and filling in spaces and things. I guess she gets that from me. She has been so excited about coming up with her own ideas about what we should do, I had to curb her from working further ahead on K12 and to stop the experiments and crafts and kick her out the door to go play. And best of all, her brother gets to join in and interact with her learning too. He's been calling rain precipitation now, and she counts aloud with him while she's doing her math.

We're really happy to have her home :)

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