Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Our Plans for January and February

I love planning our educational journey. It doesn't always pan out the way I plan it, but it feels good to have a structure to fall back on. This week, I am preparing for our lessons in January and February. I am glad to have this done before Christmas break. So here are some of the highlights.

British Literature ~ Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (for both students)
We will be reading the book as a family and drawing from two unit studies, one by Progeny Press and the other from Lighting, Lit and Comp. This is one of my favorite books from one of my favorite authors. We will be taking a full eight weeks to complete this book and study.

Earth Science ~ (Dean)
Earth Science was carried over from last year for Dean, and it is proving difficult to complete or even get to most weeks. I realize that part of the issue is neither student nor teacher really cares for the topic and that Dean already has a working knowledge of the basics from his elementary/middle school years and doesn't have a desire to know more. So we will be moving to an experiment and field trip rich study of earth science, with only a tiny smattering of workbook pages presented. We will be concentrating on weather, environment, alternative energy and botany. We will be conducting nature studies of the greenhouses at Biltmore Estate. Here are our experiment plans for the first week back to school, taken from the book, Try This Extreme.
  • Drippy Stalactites
  • Freezing In Time
  • Orange Oil Lamp
  • That Sinking Feeling
  • Instant Slush

Biology ~ (both students)
Biology got a bit derailed with the changes created by our homeschool friend who was taking the course with us. She has completely dropped out of biology now, so we can move on at our own pace, using our own choices and materials. We are weeks behind and need to do some real catching up.  For the next two months, I am switching over to an anatomy course with Guest Hollow. We will be concentrating on the human body and organs with lots of hands-on experiments. We will also be doing dissections of a sheep's brain and kidney. I then plan to move into dissection of other planned specimens from the beginning of  the year that we did not get to do. I am very comfortable with this subject, so I am not at all concerned about catching up.

History ~ Anne will be starting a long study of Queen Elizabeth II which with be completed with a five to eight page research paper. She will be watching most of the episodes of season I and II of The Crown on Netflix. She will not be watching one of the episodes, however, because its portrayals of physical intimacy in group settings is inappropriate for her age (in my view) and not necessary to her study. She will also be reading a variety of books about Queen Elizabeth II.

Dean will continue with his Early American studies. He will be adding in another book, American History Vol. I Art History Disguised as Fun. I like the way this book will incorporate Dean's love of art into his history lessons.

Health ~ (both students)
The kids will be using TED Talks videos and the Scholastic Choices Magazine to continue their health lessons. I am also looking into CPR classes, but think I may wait until spring to have them take these.
If you are interested in the Scholastic Magazines, ask for the Homeschool Special. 
They give you the Teacher's Edition and it is much more affordable.

Career and Technology Education ~ Dean is earning credit by interning at an art gallery, and Anne is earning credit as a teacher's assistant for a ballet class of younger students.

Math ~ They are both in a pretty good place right now, considering that they both dislike math. Dean will continue with hands-on math through Scholastic Math Magazine, Life of Fred, and real world math for math that we experience in daily life. Anne will continue with her math book, Everything You Need To Ace Math In One Big Fat Notebook, and complete workbook pages to reinforce any concepts that need more practice.

We will be adding the board game, CashFlow for Kids. The teens will be learning about investing and financial literacy through this game as well as a small list of books. I will be sharing more on how we use games to increase math skills in a later post.

I am not making any changes to Physical Education, Performing Arts, Visual Arts II, or English. They will continue unchanged into the next semester.

Blessings, Dawn


  1. Wow! What a great couple of months ahead you have to look forward to!!!

  2. Sounds like fun plans. We love Guest Hollow! Our botany was based on theirs before it was recently updated. And we might be using chemistry and/or physics next year. Hope you all enjoy this next couple of months.

  3. Hello again!! Your plans look wonderful. I have to find some earth science experiments for Courtnee. She is way behind on her studies of earth science adn I think that this is part of the reason. She would like to do more experiments.