Lessons from the Thirteenth Week

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The title could also be changed to “How to Homeschool While Your Entire Family Has the Flu.” Yes, we had the flu all of last week. It started the weekend before that, but we had no clue. We thought it was just a sore throat due to seasonal allergies.

Orchestra portrait

Every year, they take official portraits for the youth symphony.

Then our son started coughing badly on the way to orchestra. He stayed for the photo session, happening only that day, but not for the rehearsal. The next day, he was running a fever. A visit to the doctor confirmed he had the flu. By now it was too late for anything other than rest and lots of fluids. I made tea and heated up soup several times a day. Continue reading »

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Lessons from the Eleventh Week

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One thing I forgot to mention last week: the Science Olympiad coaches invited my children to try out for the Write It, Do It (WIDI) event, to represent their team. Each team has 14-16 members and they all participate in 2-4 events each. There are 35 or so events. Each event has two team members. Since my children only signed up for 2 and 3 events respectively, the coaches wondered if they would be interested in WIDI.

Black bear in our yard

Black bear in our yard

Science Olympiad organizers set up the schedule of events. So, our coaches look at the schedule and decide which kids could fit the slot for this or that event. This happens after every child has suggested them 5-10 events they would like to participate in. Continue reading »

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Fourth Grade Curriculum Choices

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One of my readers wanted to know our curriculum choices. As I browsed through my blog, I realized I have not actually spelled out much for 4th grade. Before I give you the list, let me just say this is what I am using this year with my 4th grader. It is slightly different from what I used with my son, who was in 4th grade two years ago. Here we go.

Reading – Mensa for Kids, 4-6 book list Also, the National Spelling Bee Bookshelf titles. They change from year to year. User discretion is advised. We have had to skip some titles because of their political or occult content.

 

Spelling and grammar – Logic Of English Essentials – Level A

Story of the World Volume 2

Story of the World Volume 2

 

Writing – Writing with Ease, Level 1 – if your child is not yet writing well, do some more copywork. Alternatively, you can make your own sheets online. I had a book for cursive copywork with nature facts and Bible verses, titled Cursive Copywork. Continue reading »

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Lessons from the Tenth Week

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Time flies when you are having fun. Indeed, it applies to us this school year. Some days fun eludes us, but, overall, we can say with certainty this year has turned out better than the last.

Kids on a trail

Ijams trails

Just last week, my son exclaimed, “I love this new way of doing math!” He was referring to how we skip around the page, not doing every single problem in the chapter. I observe him solve the first few exercises to make sure he got the concept, and then I assign certain problems or exercises as I see fit. Continue reading »

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Lessons from the Fourth Week

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The fourth week went by smoothly. The children had auditions for Knoxville Youth Symphony Orchestras on Monday. The results came in on Wednesday and, sure enough, they reached their goals. Our daughter wanted to stay in the same orchestra, but move from Second Violin to the First Violin section. She did. She instinctively knew the next orchestra would be too hard. Well, not just instinctively. She also knew from experience.

Mom and Kids at Clingmans Dome

Clingmans Dome, Observation Tower

Last summer, during string camp, she tried the next orchestra level up. She kept up, but barely. She prefers a more relaxed environment and we respect that. In fact, her violin teacher said this shows a rare form of insight for a nine-year-old, and also recommended we let our daughter go at her own pace. Continue reading »

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Lessons from the Third Week

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Last week was nothing short of revolutionary. Have you heard of The Wild and Free community? We joined a local group. Also, we had our first outing with them – at the Knoxville Botanical Garden. I have been praying and hoping for more time outside.

Outdoor exploration classroom

Botanical Garden, Knoxville

The answer came in the form of this group. Another homeschooling mom introduced me to them. This means that I will only get four days of instruction at home with the children. We spend the fifth day exploring nature in our area, at local gardens, hiking trails, zoos, and parks. Continue reading »

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Lessons from the First Week

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We started on August 5 this year because we needed to have 150 school days before their nationally standardized test in March 2020. That is how I know when to start. I give myself 150 days of instruction not because I have to, but because I want to.

Why send them to this test unprepared? It would only demoralize them. As I have written here before, we do not think the standardized test represents the benchmark of our success in homeschooling. However, it is a strong indicator of our level right now. Continue reading »

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Our Son’s Second Book

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Our son continued writing after he published The Knight of Asper. He came up with a second book in the series: Battle with Herobrine. The series title is “The Adventures of Stickgamer135” and it is an unofficial Minecraft novel series for children age 9 and older. You can purchase it on Amazon in either paperback or Kindle format.

Unofficial Minecraft Novel

Batle with Herobine, our son’s second book, another unofficial Minecraft novel

So many things have happened in the last two months, I have not had a chance to even blog about his second book. For your information, my children do not play Minecraft with other players, and we limit their time on the computer drastically.

Continue reading »

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101 Tips for Second Grade Homeschooling

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It’s finally here, the book I wrote about homeschooling second grade: 101 Tips for Second Grade Homeschooling. I dedicate it to my husband and children, without whom this book would have been published 15 months ago. Yes, I got this funny saying from The Language Nerds.

 

There are two formats available, paperback and Kindle. This is volume 4 in my series titled How to Homeschool. After writing books about Preschool, Kindergarten, and First Grade, I took some time to put on paper 101 ideas or tips for how to teach second grade.

101 Tips for Second Grade Homeschooling

101 Tips for Second Grade Homeschooling is now available.

The format is the same: 10 chapters with 10 ideas or tips in each, followed by chapter 11, with Tip #101. I have a son and a daughter, 28 months apart from each other. They are very different learners. They have taught me a thing or two about second grade. Continue reading »

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Third Grade Curriculum

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You have asked, so I will answer. Which curriculum did we have actually use in third grade? Without further ado, here it is:

 

Reading – Mensa for Kids, K-3 book list Also, the National Spelling Bee Bookshelf titles. They change from year to year. User discretion is advised. We have had to skip some titles because of their political or occult content.

 

Spelling and grammar – Logic of English Foundations, C and D; once finished, we started LOE Essentials – Level A

Story of the World Volume 2

Story of the World Volume 2

 

Writing – Writing with Ease, Level 1 – if your child is not yet writing well, do some more copywork. Alternatively, you can make your own sheets online. I had a book for cursive copywork with nature facts and Bible verses, titled Cursive Copywork. Continue reading »

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