Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Day 2


We had a busy day today.  I let Chloe sleep in because she's eating a ton, and I can only assume it's because she is growing.  Our day started at 9:30.

9:30 to 10:00 am  Breakfast.

10:00 to 10:30 am Chloe did an interactive online class via Elluminate.  She is taking a writing class with a teacher and about 100 + kids.

10:30 to 11:00 am Study island.  Please refer to yesterday's post about what this is.

11:00 to 11:30 am French.

11:30 to 12:30 pm Math.  We did more multiplication today using 2 digits.  She breezed right through it.  I didn't make her do two lessons because I was concerned about the amount of work we had to do.

12:30 to 1:00 pm Lunch.  Today we had some pasta with tomato sauce and some crusty bread.

1:00 to 1:30 pm Strategies for success.  This is actually another test prep thing.  She has to read and underline tips that will help become a better test taker.  Today's lesson was centered around reading the questions first before looking at the answers.

1:30 to 2:30 pm Science.  This is actually the course that I will be focusing on today.  Chloe's keywords for this lesson were fluid, pascal, and pressure; you guessed it we did  air pressure today.  It was a really fun lesson and Chloe really liked the experiment.  I tried to take pics of the can, but couldn't get a picture that showed the before and after very well.  Today's assessment was actually doing the experiment and having Chloe answer the following questions.  Her answers to these are also included.

1. Which has greater pressure- gas molecules or liquid molecules?  Liquid molecules have more pressure.
2. Which takes up more space - gas molecules or liquid molecules?  Gas molecules take up more space.
3. When you heated the can, into what state of matter did the water change?  The water changed into gas.
4. When you turned the can upside down in the water, could air get into the can?  Air could not get into the can.
5. When you place the can in the cold water, it cooled.  What state of matter did the water change into then?  The water changes into a liquid.

I like the lessons in Science because each has an experiment that helps make the lesson tangible.  

2:30 to 3:00 pm break.  Chloe wanted to take a shower so that she was ready for choir tonight.

3:00 to 3:30 pm composition.  Chloe focused on writing a summary of the book and evaluating plot, characters, and setting for a book report.  I will actually focus on composition once she has finished her book report.

3:30 to 3:45 spelling.

3:45 to 4:45 Literature.  More Robinson Crusoe today.  Will read the actual book tonight before bed.

Join us tomorrow for Math, spelling, Literature, vocabulary, composition, state history, history, art, study island, and French.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Day 1

Well today was a crazy as it started not so well.  Chloe spent the night with my folks and my dad didn't bring her back till around 10:30 am and we just finished school at 6:00 pm.  Needless to say, it was a grueling day.  I thought the best way to do this was to let you know what we accomplished and show examples of one subject a day, so it may take longer than a week.  I will do a better job documenting actual time spent on each subject beginning tomorrow.  I was so focused today and getting what we needed to get done, that I didn't log times.  I apologize.

Our morning started with Study Island which is a place where kids go to get ready for the state exams.  Today Chloe did a less in organizing writing in which she scored a 90.9 % and also a lesson in 3-dimensional solids in which she scored 76.9%.  As I have stated earlier, Math is not her strong suit, however, the beauty of study island is that they'll give her puzzles and lessons in the areas she needs help with in order to get her "up to speed" sort of speak.  Chloe is responsible of making sure that she does Study Island and that her efforts get progressively better as part of her student's responsibility.

Study Island was followed by her online French class.  Chloe wanted to do this on her own, and she will not pass to a new lesson unless she pronounces things correctly and passes a daily quiz.  She's doing well, but not sure what she's doing as she won't share.  I only know that she passes daily when I log her in and see that she has moved onto the next lesson.

Literature followed with a lesson in Robinson Crusoe, a kid friendly version not the actual book.  She had to read the sections and answer questions.  She has to use complete sentences, etc, and I will show an example on the Literature day.  As part of Literature she has to read out loud to me and I decided to have her read Robinson Crusoe, the actual book.  We read it together, so it makes it special and fun.

Math was next with 2 lessons in multiplication.  I like to double up on the easy Math lessons so that we can take as much time as needed on the harder lessons.  She passed her assessments with flying colors, although she needs to take more time to read directions.  At times Math takes twice as long as it should because she doesn't follow directions, and I make her erase her work and have her start from the beginning if needed.  Luckily, that didn't happen today.

Language Arts was next with lessons in spelling, grammar, and vocabulary.  I will share her spelling list and exercises on Friday because it takes all week to get through spelling.  In grammar we focused on apostrophes that show possession as well as contractions.  In vocabulary she is doing a review of units 1 - 4, and had to do some work showing that she understood their meanings and could use them correctly.

History's lesson today highlighted George Washington's Farewell Address.  We've been following the French Revolution up to and including the beheading of Louis XVI, the terror, and Napoleon Bonaparte.  Chloe learned how the Americans at the time wanted to help, but how Washington felt that staying out of European wars was more prudent.  I will be highlighting History on Wednesday as it has her doing some research in which she has to compare Napoleon to Julius Caesar, so it should be fun.

Lastly, we did Art.  The picture at the beginning of this post is Chloe's interpretation of a haystack.  She's studying impressionism starting with Monet.  I personally don't like this genre of art, but she seems to be enjoying the unit. Her assessment questions were T and F and are as follows:

Which of the following is true about Claude Monet's paintings?
1. Some are part of a series.
2. They never show the same subject.
3. Some show the same subject.
4. Claude Monet showed the same subject at different times of the day or during different seasons.
      Answers: T, F, T, T

Join us tomorrow for Math, spelling, Literature, composition, Science, strategies for success, study island, and French.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A week with a Home Schooler

I have been wanting to write this post but haven't really had the time.  My intent is both to inform about our family's commitment, and to dispel myths commonly associated with homeschooling.

Our decision to pursue this educational alternative was prompted by Chloe's underachievement in Math, at a private school.  We thought we were doing the best for our daughter, namely by throwing money towards what we believed was a good education.  We saw great progress in all subjects but Math.  When your child comes home saying that she "sucks" at it and just isn't smart enough to understand it, then it's time to intervene.  It became apparent that regardless of a school's reputation or a teacher's most genuine effort, no teacher has the time to sit one on one with each student to address individual obstacles.  It was equally apparent that as involved as we already were, we weren't involved enough.  

The homeschooling that we do is actually a state sanctioned and accredited virtual charter school.  The state provides us with customized lesson plans in core subjects as well as lessons in Art History and Music Theory or Foreign Language (our choice).  As parents we implement those lessons via books and the world wide web.  Chloe is thriving and we love the challenging curriculum.  Ryan mentioned that when people ask me about how it's going my tendency is to give unnecessary and very specific lesson examples we've done and it makes me sound insecure.  Leave it to Ryan, right?  Having heard what he has said I will be standardizing my answer to: Chloe is happy, we love the curriculum, and we feel we have a  responsibility to, as well as, fortunate enough to have the opportunity to be so involved in our daughter's education.  If anyone wants specifics they can read this and subsequent posts, and/ or join us for a day.

Contrary to a popular argument made against homeschooling, we could not, even if we wanted to, finish a year's worth of curriculum in a week.  Although this and other comments have never been made directly to us, they have been made about us.  I've personally heard this particular comment and have witnessed the roll of the eyes when our choice in schooling is discussed.  These passive aggressive jabs have been made by persons that are teachers, and therefore have a vested interest in perpetuating the status quo.  Perhaps they don't deal much with the rabble and are fortunate enough to teach the gifted AP kids (which by the way I am lucky enough to do).  Perhaps they just don't realized the general public's disgust and embarrassment of the current educational system.  When the system they defend produces High School graduates that are illiterate and/or incapable of writing in complete sentences, then what exactly are they proud of?

Enough of the ranting and back to the purpose of this post.  I will be blogging daily about our schooling for a week, beginning November 16, 2009 and ending November 20, 2009.  Our subjects include Math, Literature, Science, Language Skills, World History, State History, French, Spelling, Art History, and a supplemental course called Study Island, which helps her prep for the state exams.  I thought I would highlight 2 to 3 subjects a day with pictures, my observations, and examples of Chloe's work.  I will also be including a literal time line of our day so you get an idea of what my life really is like at Casa Clark.  Hope you'll join us.