Saturday, January 31, 2009

A New Year on the Homeschool Front.

Monday we start back up.

Refreshed from our summer break,

A clean fresh year with lots of promise,

New schedules printing,

Lots of hope.

I'm both looking forward to this year and anxious at the same time. Looking forward because their have been many changes in attitude over summer. Anxious because the change of heart is untested.

This summer has seen lots of thinking through what we need to do, how we can best do it, how to find the balance that we need, and how to go forward.

There are a couple of posts in the works from this thinking. They should appear soonish.
I'm also playing with the idea of a planning blog where I can collect my thoughts, and focus our purposes before we dive into the new year.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Swimming creatures of the Fifth Day - Unit One

With 13 Chapters to this book I'm aiming for 1 - 2 chapters in each of our five week blocks. Unlike last year I want to focus our efforts away from the read narrate and thin look at the activities approach we have been using to something more focused and less writing oriented.

So for Chapter one - I don't yet know whether my boys are using two separate Apologia books or if we are working together. It would be easier to do this once for both, but in doing this I feel much more positive about this year and where we are heading.


1. To gain an overview of the structure of the ocean. Including a scientific understanding of currents, tides and the geography of an ocean.

2. Introduction of general terms for analyzing life in the ocean - according to mobility, and to animal type.

Notebook activities
  • Aquatic Mobility page, using drawings of each type of animal and a summary sentence to describe the three classification of swimming creature mobility.
  • Animal categorization, definitions of mammal, reptile, amphibian, fish and invertebrates. Make lift up laps for each category of creature and write the distinctive characteristics under the flap.
  • On a map of the world show the surface currents or gyres. On the same map label the oceans of the world.
  • On a separate diagram show the relationship between the continental shelf, continental slope, continental rise and the abyssal plain. What else might be found in the abyssal plain?
  • Written exercise, describe what a tide is both scientifically in terms of the moons pull on the earth and from your experiences at the beach over summer.

Other activities:

  • Begin to put together an Ocean Box to show what you are learning in your studies of swimming creatures.
  • Explore the websites listed on the Apologia site of book extras.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Taking a Break

It's that time of year again, time to rest on the beach, walk in the bush, and slow down. We start our school year in a few weeks time, and in the meantime its time to relax and have fun.

Catch you all later.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A New Year

Culture suggests that New Year's resolutions are one of those things we do becasue we should, we feel guilty about and ultimately fail at.

But I love the freedom to stop and think through what works and what doesn't. Summer break and New Years combine into a wonderful time to rest and reflect - and it is the true upside to juggling Christmas in summertime. For me it is a pleasure to set goals, to plan, to draw aside and ask God what his plans for the year are. Sometimes I even listen. This year I want to. I want to focus on God's plans for the year because left to myself I will set the goals to high and we will all suffer to reach them.

On the agenda

The realization that I need to be patient with myself, the kids, and our goals.

The realization - thanks Dale for the Sermon last week, that God truly does want the best for us, and is not waiting to tell us we have failed, but trying to show us his unfailing, unconditional love - yes my image of God is warped, and I need to allow God to reshape my understanding of who He is.

So from growing gentler with those around me, and accepting God's love - I need to rest more in God's peace and joy, somewhere, we let go, and these feelings are strangely new. I've started to enjoy reading God's word again, so I'm looking forward to working through a one year reading plan.

Flowing from all of this, yep the tired, overweight, person in the photo before Christmas needs to shed some pounds and enjoy some fresh air. The Goal 5 - 10 kg's down. The plan - not keeping up with the kids eating requirements and getting out for walks, bike rides and gardening. There is more to it than that, but the stricter I make it the less likely aI am to keep to it.

So its official ...and the New Year has begun.