Saturday, October 11, 2008

home school highlights

Week one of quarter two is now behind us. There's always something fun about starting a new quarter. While we always try to keep things fun and interesting and relevant, at least as much as possible while still "following the rules," there are definitely times when we're just ready to move on to something new.

For example, under the heading of literature, our focus has moved from poetry to short stories. (I knew before we started the year that quarter two was to be set aside for short stories, because that's when Halloween falls. Not only do both Annie and I simply love dark, eerie, spooky type stories, but I also ran across a pre-planned unit using the short stories of Stephen King. It looked great, and anything to save me a little work is a definite plus.) Anyway, we spent this week reviewing the elements of short stories. And Annie is reading "The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs this weekend. That's one of those short stories that has vividly stuck with me since the first time I read it back in my school days.

As far as English goes this quarter, Annie will be in her Advanced Composition class through the end. Good for me because I don't have to do all the work. But really great for her...she's loving this class. And it's definitely keeping her challenged! And of course, we're still handling vocabulary in the same way, with weekly lists, our vocabulary klatches, our weekly games, and FreeRice.

Math...still plugging our way through algebra. And in "real world math" this week, Annie worked with input/output tables.

Our new unit in science is "the history of science". We're using The Scientists by John Gribbin as our "sort of" textbook, and going off on tangents from there. (By the way, so far at least, we're both enjoying the book.)

The original plan was to finish up with The Civil War last quarter, but Annie has been so fascinated with it that we've gone in a lot more depth than originally planned. (One of those home school perks!) This week we spent mostly comparing/contrasting Lincoln and Davis, now that we've had a chance to really "get to know them". We also watched a biography about each of them.

In geography, we've switched to world geography, and our starting our journey around the world with Africa. To this point, we've focused mostly on Africa's physical geography and climate.

We've set the U.S. Constitution aside (seems to be a popular thing to do these days) for the time being, and are focusing on elections for a while. Would be a shame to pass up this timely opportunity. This past week we learned about primaries and caucuses, and spent some time "meeting the candidates".

In addition to regular reading/listening/watching of the news, we're still focusing on the issues of poverty under the heading of "current events".

For phys ed, swimming lessons have started again (one night a week). And Annie continues jogging with Rich, as well as spending a lot of time bike riding with her friends.

Annie is still adjusting to her braces when it comes to the flute, but she thinks she's about back to par. She's been practicing away for a mini-recital she's giving us tomorrow.

For visual arts, Annie started taking classes with a friend at a local art studio (one night a week).

In health we've begun a unit on HIV/AIDS.

And if we did anything else this week, well, it's just not popping to mind right now.


Jean said...

Ooh, the Constitution! Maybe I should send a Christmas present of a coffee mug put out by the Unemployed Philosophers Guild. It lists the Bill of Rights, but when you pour in a hot liquid, those parts that the current administration have effectively ignored or subverted disappear. It's quite the revealing exercise, reverse pun intended.

bluesky said...

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