Thursday, August 16, 2007

Further Progress

I have sinus headache today plus am tired as I got woken up by some neighbours just before 5 (I don't know what they were doing outside at that time, but they were loud enough to come through our open window and have part of my sleeping brain go, "Hey, there's somebody talking!"). Ds has been up for a while but I have no desire to try to do any type of school stuff with him. HE's tired, too, and has holed himself up with a book on the sofa--having covered himself in pillows. It's really cute.

In any case, I'm working on dd's ed plan right now. I found some Montessori elementary sites with a bit of science topic information on them and have plugged those in for now. One school had the kids in upper elementary (grades 4-6) focus on experiments and the scientific method. Sounds great! Even if I can't have a specific theme, having the focus of learning the scientific method and writing up proper reports is great. We also have a chemistry kit--13yo has the same one and wants to do that for science this year. While the kit says not for kids under 12 and dd's only turning 10, it's designed for home use and she's super careful and responsible so I think she'd be fine. That'll be used a lot for sure. I also plugged in some extra topics:

Sept: weather (will be tied in with social studies topic of world geography--includes study of the oceans/seas, which can lead to studying hurricanes and tsunamis and all that)

Oct: electricity

Nov./Dec.: zoology (classification)

Jan./Feb.: vital functions of vertebrates

Mar./Apr.: vital functions of invertebrates

May/Jun.: botany

THIS I feel comfortable with. I'm going to have to do a lot of learning in these areas myself, but I think they are great areas to be studying. I have no clue if I'll be bringing ds in on these or not.

I've also got social studies worked out. I'm glad I did this now because I was going to put Canada as one of our social studies topics but it seems that in planning things out, I'm more comfortable with doing something more global (pun not intended) than focus on Canadian history right now. Here's my social studies plan (at least for dd):

Sept.: world geography--continents, oceans and seas (including life in them), explorers; general approach will be notebooking each continent (not a notebook each, just sections of a notebook called Les continents) with different images and information she digs up. We have a TON of National Geographics so that shouldn't be a problem!

Oct.: North America--countries and capitals, major bodies of water, major topographic features (deserts, mountains), plants and animals, Belize (why Belize? because the girl I used to homeschool will be moving there in Oct. :) ). For our study of Belize, I think we'll focus more on the Belize of today--the people, customs, food, etc.--rather than history, although we could touch on that, too, I suppose.

Nov.: South America--like the above with countries, capitals, etc. May or may not focus on one country. Definitely look at some of the explorers.

Dec.: Oceania and Antarctica

Jan.: Europe

Feb.: Africa

March: Asia

April-June: large study of a country of choice after having had the 'big picture' view of the world. Can look at the country's present and its different facets (how humans meet their needs) or a historical study.

I've been thinking I'll tie the 13yo's social studies in with dd's. The Alberta grade 8 curriculum has some great topics (Renaissance and the Spanish vs. the Aztecs which could be tied into our studies a bit) but part of me is really leaning to him having good geographical knowledge of the world before delving into its history without a sense of the world. At the same time, he is in grade 8, so I might have to think about how to 'up' certain things here and there or perhaps just have him follow a different plan entirely.

Those are my plans so far. I need to get off the computer and eat and be ready for my niece and nephew (shoot, I haven't thought about activities for today--my sinus issues this week have really done a number on me!). I'll leave you with a funny photo of our cat, Sunny:

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