Monday, October 28, 2013

Instilling A Sense Of Selfishness

After getting sick of hearing from the girls that they do things "to make someone else smile" or "to make someone else happy", I'm reworking this whole self-image concept. Trying to instill a sense of selfishness. Yes, I said it. I want to girls to be MORE selfish. Not in the traditional sense though. I'm trying to get it through to them that doing stuff "to make someone else feel good" makes them feel good. And that feeling that they get (self-accomplishment and pride) is positive energy they should feed into. There's too much negativity in this world, they need to learn that they have the opportunity to create their own positive energy within their own world, despite what is going on around them or what the rest of the world thinks/feels. They need to be able to acknowledge those selfish feelings of pride as something they are worthy of feeling, and let it blossom into something they can cherish and use to accomplish even greater things. They need to learn that that urge to do something that is right "because it makes them feel good" outweighs the urge to not do it just because someone else might tease them or not agree with their solution. They need to understand that the most important thing they are capable of is changing their own world for the better because that allows their world to touch and influence everyone else's in a more positive way. And that's something worthy of selfishness... Peace.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

B's Progress Report (as of 10-12-13)

B is my third grader. Her main focal point over the last three weeks has been working on reinforcing grammar and basic math skills, as well as working on her accuracy levels pertaining to direct copywork.

List of textbooks and reading books B used in the last three weeks:
          Exploring God's World (ABeka)
          How And Why Wonder Book Of Birds (Robert F Mathewson)
          Whales And Other Sea Mammals (Anita Ganeri)
          Bilby's Burrow (Steve Parish)
          Nature's Children: Polar Bears & Skunks
          Nature's Children: Red Foxes & River Otters
          Nature's Children: Wolves & Whales
          Nature's Children: Walruses & Hawks
          Arithmetic 3 (ABeka)
          Our American Heritage (ABeka)
          This Country Of Ours (H E Marshall)
     Language Arts:
          Language 3 (ABeka)
          Worlds Of Wonder (ABeka)
          Cursive Writing (ABeka)
          Health, Safety, And Manners 3 (ABeka)
          The Bible
     Classic Literature Reading:
          Dr Dolittle's Puddleby Adventure (Hugh Lofting)
          Tailor Of Gloucester (Beatrix Potter)
          Tale Of Brownie Beaver (Arthur Scott Bailey)
          Wind In The Willows (Kenneth Grahame)
          Tale Of Nimble Deer (Arthur Scott Bailey)
     Independent Reading:
          Sable (Karen Hess)
          Princess Ellie's Secret (Diana Kimpton)
B's hours log update:
     Annual hours completed 253.75/1000 hours
     Total hours completed so far this year:
               science (22.25)
               math (67.75)
               history (49.75)
               language arts (35.50)
               reading (29.00)
               art/pe/health (45.50)
               home ec (4.00)
     Total hours left this year: 746.25 hours in 261 days/37 weeks
               Hours left averaging 20.25 hours/week or 3.00 hours/day

ZoKo's Progress Report (as of 10-12-13)

ZoKo is my sixth grader. Her main focal point has been reading, as always. I have to make sure to remind her constantly to do textbooks or she'll do nothing but reading all day. It can make for a long day, but there are lots of worse things she could be addicted to than books.

List of textbooks and reading books ZoKo used in the last three weeks:
          Observing God's World (ABeka)
          Animals You Will Never Forget (Reader's Digest)
          Arithmetic 6 (ABeka)
          New World History (ABeka)
          Riddle Of The Prairie Bride (Kathryn Reiss)
          Land Of The Buffalo Bones (Marion Dane Bauer)
     Language Arts:
          God's Gift Of Language C (ABeka)
          Expeditions (Houghton Mifflin)
          Creative Writing (ABeka)
          Choosing Good Health (ABeka)
          The Bible
          Spirits, Ghosts, And Guardians (Ted Andrews)
     Classic Literature Reading:
          Moving Picture Girls: Snowbound (Laura Lee Hope)
          Moving Picture Girls: Under The Palms (Laura Lee Hope)
          Tale Of Tommy Fox (Arthur Scott Bailey)
          Tale Of Fatty Coon (Arthur Scott Bailey)
     Independent Reading:
          Dead To The World (Charlaine Harris)
          Dead As A Doornail (Charlaine Harris)
          Second Summer Of The Sisterhood (Ann Brashares)
          Dark Visions (L J Smith)

ZoKo's hours log update:
     Annual hours completed 369.75/1000 hours
     Total hours completed so far this year:
               science (38.50)
               math (53.25)
               history (81.75)
               language arts (49.00)
               reading (115.75)
               art/pe/health (22.50)
               home ec (9.00)
     Total hours left this year: 630.25 hours in 261 days/37 weeks
               Hours left averaging 17.25 hours/week or 2.50 hours/day

KiKi's progress report (as of 10-12-13)

Kiki is my "unschooler". His main focal point over the last three weeks has been legos. Which means lots and lots of math hours. Math includes logic, thinking skills, problem solving, deductive reasoning, etc. And because of the extreme scrutiny he puts in to building his lego towers exactly how he wants them, he tones almost all of those skills while "playing" with legos... He also has gotten in a lot of p.e., between hand thumping, banging, and jumping. As of right now, they've replaced about 85% of his head banging out of excitement. He still head bangs a lot out of frustration and anger, but I'll take what I can get at the moment.

Kiki's hours log update:
     Annual hours completed 436.75/1000 hours
     Total hours completed so far this year:
               science (91.00)
               math (158.00)
               history (24.75)
               language arts (22.25)
               reading (49.75)
               art/pe/health (91.00)
               home ec (0.00)
     Total hours left this year: 563.25 hours in 261 days/37 weeks
               Hours left averaging 15.25 hours/week or 2.25 hours/day

Homeschooling Progress Report (field trips)

I'm planning on resuming the progress reports on here. I tried weekly ones and it got too bothersome. I tried monthly ones, and it was too awkward because that's not how I file my paperwork. So, I'm going to try posting progress reports every 3 weeks instead. Why every three weeks? Because that's how my book-keeping is set up, in three weeks intervals. It's an hours log I created, and three weeks of info was what would nicely fit on one page. Go figure... Anyway, I plan on (hopefully) posting updates which include total hours accomplished/left for each child, as well as what their main focal points, fun field trips, etc were for the week. Probably won't be many (if any) pictures involved, because I tend to not take very many in the first place. I thought about scanning their hours log sheets to post, but that may be a pipedream; we'll see...

Let's start with field trips over the last three weeks...

1) The NRA gun museum and archery museum in Springfield, Missouri. Visit time: 45 minutes, would have been longer but we only had that long before they closed. The kids learned about early gun styles, various marksmanship medal winners, and that past Miss America winners have used archery as their talent. They were most impressed by the Texas Rangers display in the gun section and Geronimo's handmade bow and quiver in the archery section.

2) The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas. Visit time: 2 hours. The kids learned a lot about the forming of early missions, and the start of the Texas Revolution. They were most impressed by the giant tree in the middle of the gardens, and the artifacts from Davy Crockett.

3) San Jacinto Monument in San Jacinto/La Porte, Texas. Visit time: 2 hours. The kids learned more about the Texas Revolution, as well as the role Texan military forces have played in other battles throughout U.S. history. We did pay for a ride up the elevator to the observation deck, which also has about a 15 minute video playing about the history of the monument itself. Well worth the extra money. The kids were very impressed by the view from the observation deck, and how impressive the USS Texas was from the observation deck of the San Jacinto Monument. Which brings me to the next destination.

4) USS Texas Battleship in La Porte, Texas. Visit time: 3 hours, it would have been longer but parts of the ship are currently roped off for maintenance/repairs. We went down two levels and up three or four levels from the main deck. Got to see where the crew slept, ate, showered, got their mail, and saw the doctor. The kids watched a 12 minute video on the engine room and how everything working inside to get the ship moving. The girls got to climb into the beds and see what it would have been like to try to sleep in them. As for what they learned, I wouldn't even know where to begin. There's so much history and information packed into that ship that it's unreal. The girls were most impressed by the information on the plaques throughout the ship and the big guns on the main deck, where they could actually sit and aim the guns at things.

5) Miscellaneous park play dates. This one isn't technically a field trip since, in Missouri, field trip hours are only counted for core subjects (science, math, history, language arts, reading). We managed to make it out to several parks over the last three weeks. Sometimes to meet people we already new, and sometimes to meet new people. We've started carrying a plastic tub of stuffed animals with us and leaving it out during our visit for other kids to take home a new friend. In the last three weeks, we've managed to give out 13 animals this way. Also, I've been keeping Kiki off the swings due to his refusal to part with them on graceful terms. He's been doing pretty well at taking a "no" from me most of the time, and I'm considering seeing if he's ready to try swinging again soon, hoping maybe he can handle the transition a little better now. We'll see.

6) Shooting range. Again, not technically field trips. These are p.e., although one could argue that they're life skills, but that's still not core. Not that I'm concerned about the core hours when it comes to any of the kids. We managed to get out target shooting three times in the last three weeks, between the shooting range and one trip to a friend's house. ZoKo got a new scope on her AR, and it has improved her accuracy because she can see the markers easier. B finally tried the AR, but is sticking to the .22 for now.

I had the progress reports typed and ready to put in here as well, but then decided that separate entries for each child might be prudent, if for no other reason than to make it easier to look back and follow how each kid has been doing over the past however long. So, this post ends here and the actual progress reports for each individual child shall be listed shortly. :)