Friday, June 29, 2007

And School is back in session...

At least it is here at our house!
This year, I decided to go for a more fully, Latin Centered flavour... and although I do not yet have all the books I plan to use this year, I have most.
I have the Greek Myths and the Christian studies packages from Memoria Press. I bought them as a guide for me to follow with Rebel... and I can honestly say that, 1. there is no need to buy the student book for the kids... and 2. if you are inventive you can figure most of it out yourself. That being said, they do provide a great reading program, some good vocab and questions and some related readings and memory verses (Christian Studies). If you are interested, only buy the teacher's guide ;)

Latin will be continuing the Latina Christiana we've already started. I did take a look at Lively Latin, which looks wonderful, but we are just a little further along than that!

We will also add in Greek this year, and the progymnasmata... or creative writing course.
I hope it goes well... so far, Rebel has rather enjoyed the Greek Myths we've been reading... both the D'Aulaire's and Hawthorne's Wonder Book.

In fact, both M'Lady and Rebel LOVED the tale of the Gorgon's head... bloodthirsty kids that they are... and M'Lady tells me she wants to be a cyclopes for hallowe'en. How's that for a 3 year old? Initially she was very taken with the idea of being Medusa with all her snakey locks, but decided she wants to be the One-Eyed Cyclopes instead. Oh well...

Science this year consists of our library's science section. This is actually good because we get to do a lot more interest directed stuff. So far we have studied the birds (fascinating... now both can identify most of our common feeder birds), and worked on our garden. Now Rebel is working on a space lapbook.

I chose space right now because the weather is warm at night (downright hot a lot of the time in fact), and because for Father's Day, Jacobite bought the first series of Star-Trek on DVD. We also saw a show about a comet... and, well, call me an optimist or even an exploiter, but sometimes homeschooling is all about catching the right wave! Unfortunately, our best book The Reader's Digest Children's Atlas of the Universe, was accidentally left outside in a summer storm. About an inch and a half of rain later, it was noticed. Needless to say, neither Jacobite or I were pleased with Rebel! Luckily it was NOT a library book!
So now Rebel is doing his lapbook and telling me that the sun needs a new name, and that Saturn has nice rings... well at least he is reading ;)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Computers, Evaluations and the rest

I finally got up to speed this week... with high speed internet and a reformatted computer. Unfortunately, it looks like I might have managed to lose some of my pictures while I was at it, which sucks, but I think most are intact!

But that brings me to something new. We got evaluated the other day. So what does that mean?
In our state, in order to comply with state laws, we are required to 'prove' that we have taught our kids properly during the year. Some people do it with standardized tests, others with evaluations. Last year we tried out both and this year opted just for the evaluation.

So how do evaluations work? A qualified teacher comes out and looks at a portfolio of work produced by the children, asks them some questions, requires them to read a few pieces to her, and to write their name (first and surname) to prove their handwriting. I provide her with a list of books and curriculum we have used and allow the kids to tell her all about their things :)

And what is a portfolio? I heard you ask. Well, if you are smart, during the year you have collected and collated all the work produced, and organised it either by subject or by project. Last year I put it all in a large 3" ring binder with page separators. This year I have been using the filing cabinet to file each subject away in it's appropriate place. When evaluation time came around, I stuck everything into clear page protectors and put them in a ring binder separated according to subject.
The evaluator wants to see work from the beginning and end of each year. She likes to flip through each subject and ask questions. Projects such as lapbooks and notebooks, daytrips (with photos) and extra-curricular activities are duly noted.

We are highly blessed by our evaluator, because she is very much pro-homeschool. But I thought you might like a quick glimpse into the 'behind the scenes' with evaluations!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Sorry I was away so long...

but my internet was soooooooooo slow I couldn't log on... never mind, I'll be up and running soon :)