Sunday, January 30, 2011

Week 4 Update

Under Construction!  Really, that is all I have to say about homeschooling this week.  It was totally under construction.  Moved subjects around, when we do what, introduced the last of the subjects and gearing up for this week which is the start of full-on homeschooling.  All the subjects are in place.  Cody will be covering Grammar, Spelling, Math, Memory, Nature Studies, Drawing, Art, Literature, Science, History, Geography, Poetry, Reading, and Computers. 
I'll let you know how we fair this week next Sunday. 
All I have to say is thank goodness for flexibility!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Week 3 Update

This week was jacked up.  Oh my!  Cody spent most of Monday with his dad since he has MLK day off.  Tuesday my youngest son had the day off of school too - total distraction!  I had two rounds of interviews for a job that fell smack dab in the middle of both of the days. 
All of this chaos made me rethink the spreading multiple subjects out over the day to accomplish the end goal by Friday.  I'm thinking that we may experiment with dedicating days to subjects (like Monday will be Spelling, History and Grammar, Tuesday will be Poetry, Drawing and Memory, etc...).
So this week Cody completed the his History Unit, Grammar and Memory (which resulted in a fictional story being written on Friday incorporating all 20 Grammar words and the Memory verse), we touched very briefly on Poetry, he continued to improve his 3D drawing, Dave did Algebra with him, he is still reading The Hunger Games and working on chapter comprehension questions...I'm sure I'm forgetting something - whatever.
Cody also launched his blog Fuzzy Purple Bananas which is modeled after this blog and this blog.  I'm a big fan of The Frugal Girl and turned to her 365 photo blogs (and her sons) for ideas to help Cody create his.
So this week in homeschooling terms was shot!  Didn't complete nearly all that I wanted to with Cody.  Starting new this upcoming week and I will let you know how the day specific work pans out.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Week 2 Update

Week 2 -
Here is what we covered:

Algebra - Dave is teaching this to him.  They hit a few bumps this week with this subject and Cody not fully following directions which in turn resulted in him not receiving 1 hour of video games at the end of the week.  He also had to start the three week accruing for a fun outing over.  That starts new next week.  I think that this is more of him doing the minimum amount to get by, which was his MO in school.  We are trying to break him of this bad habit.

Grammar - Cody will have 20 vocabulary words weekly that he has four days to cover (last post detailed what he needed to do).   Then on Friday he needs to write a fictional or non-fictional story using all 20 words correctly and in the proper tense (as in if the word is abandon, not using abandoned).   His story this week was improved upon from last week’s story.  There is growth, and I am happy.
Memory – We cover a verse that he needs to memorize and use in its proper context.  This week it was “All for one and one for all”.  He then needs to incorporate that into Friday’s Grammar story as a quote used by one of his characters. 
      Reading - He is currently reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, which is the first book of a trilogy.  We have started the multi week unit study.  He reads two chapters per day and then answers study questions for those two chapters to demonstrate an understanding.  This has proven to be difficult as he has prided himself on reading chapter heavy books in a short amount of time.  Understanding of things like theme, irony, character interaction has been lost on him because of this.  He has also not been taught how to use a book to find the answers (more on that when I talk about History).

      Drawing - He continues to practice drawing for 10 minutes per day.  We are working on mastering 3-D shapes.  
      History -  We started World History this week.  Again, the reading fast thing was at play.  Dave gave me a really good resource called QAR4.  It’s a color coded breakdown that explains what type of question a question is:
Right There - The answer is in the text and is usually easy to find. The information is found in one place.
Think & Search - The answer is in the selection, but you need to put together different pieces of information. Information comes from different places in the text.
Author & You - The answer is not explicitly stated in the story. You need to think about what you already know, what the author tells you in the text, and how it fits together.
On My Own - The answer is not text-based. You can even answer the question without reading the selection. You need to use your own experience and background knowledge.
By Tuesday it became obvious that he needed additional help in this area.  So I had him read the summary questions first so he knew what he was looking for and then when it came time to answer the questions he had to color code them with a colored pencil (just put a dot at the beginning of the sentence) so he knew what kind of question it was. 
This slowed him down dramatically and he was able to do much better on the assignment. 
      He started basketball with a Homeschool League in Crestwood (which is about 15 minutes from where we live).  It was very cool and he is really excited!

We viewed an art installation to prep him for the start of Picture Study (Art) this upcoming week.  And we took advantage of the snow storm that hit us and went sledding after he completed all of his work one day this week. 
No incentive was earned this past week.  We will start this upcoming week fresh with the hopes that he will complete three consecutive weeks in order to earn an outing.
This upcoming week we will start Poetry and Picture Study (Art).

Sunday, January 9, 2011

In The Beginning ...

... or more specifically, week one.  Here is what we covered.
Algebra - Dave is teaching this to him and he is progressing very nicely
Grammar - Cody will have 20 vocabulary words weekly that he 4 days to do the following with:
1.       Write the word
2.       Part of speech (noun, verb or adjective)
3.       Number of consonants
4.       Number of vowels
5.       Number of syllables
6.       Definition
7.       Prefix
8.       Suffix
9.       Illustration 
            10.   Meaningful sentence
      Then on Friday he needs to write a fictional or non-fictional story using all 20 words correctly and in the proper tense (as in if the word is abandon, not using abandoned). 
     He is currently reading Bringing Down The House by Ben Mezrich, which is "the inside story of six M.I.T. students who took Vegas for millions".  This is until we get Catching Fire which is the second book of the Hunger Games series.  We will start a multi-week unit stoudy on it.  Anyway, he is reading for 30 minutes per day.
      He also practices drawing for 10 minutes per day.  We are working on mastering 3-D shapes.  
      This upcoming week History and Memory will be introduced.  He will also start basketball with a Homeschool League in Crestwood (which is about 15 minutes from where we live).  He's pretty excited about this. 
      We have also instituted an incentive program.  If he completes all the requirements we have laid out for the week it's logged on his calendar.  This earns him one hour of video game time at the end of the week.  When
      he completes three consecutive weeks in a row we take a day off and go on a fun outing either by ourselves or with a local homeschool group. 
     Things are going very well!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

And Here We Go!

Starting Wednesday we will officially start homeschooling Cody.  For the month of January we are "de-schooling" and I plan on introducing his schedule slowly on a weekly basis until February when we will go full force.  I'm very excited about all of this.  Thank goodness for the internet!  I've found tons of resources and feel quite confident moving forward.