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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Minecraft Homeschool, Sploder and Mardis Gras History

I am always looking for ways to make school more enjoyable, yet still educational.  I also like to let the kids pick some of their interests to learn about.  I would prefer they do them together, but they really have different interests now.  So, I asked them each to pick three things they would like to learn about.  DJ picked:  training the dogs, space and game making.  I kind of knew he would pick game making, lol.  So, I introduced him to Sploder, and he began making a game.  Sploder is free, but if he really loves it, I will look at other options for next year.  Once his game is live, he can play other games to earn power ups for his game, and updating it.  Kind of cool if you ask me.  Most likely both kids will get this free time on Tuesdays. 

I found on Educents, a Minecraft set on sale, for Writing and Math.  The math is all angles and Geometry, which makes sense considering the game.  She actually gets to play the game, then complete the assignments.  At only 5 dollars, I would say it is a great deal.  Educents also has a mod game for Minecraft, which if I understand correctly allows them to learn coding.  Not really sure about it, but might check into it for next year.  I have no affiliate with Educents, so I don't earn a thing for telling you about this. 

On Wednesdays, we usually do Art.  But, since I could not decided what I wanted us to do, I skipped it.  I have decided for next week though, lol.  DJ is reading about the Trail of Tears, a book I read first.  So, I think we will do some Native American Art.  Next on his list is 12 Years A Slave.  I also read that book.  We will watch the movie after, and maybe even dabble in some Art for that topic.   Not sure. 

Since Mardi Gras was this month, our first Geography lesson was a history of Mardi Gras in New Orleans.  We used the materials below, with some entertaining discussions.  For dinner we made some French Toast.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Would I Want To Be A Woman in Colonial Times?

The kids both did a writing assignment on being children during Colonial Times, and whether they would want to live that way again.  They both had some very different, and interesting perspectives.  Since my 5th grader's writing is focused on improvement of sentence structure, staying on topic, and adding details, she mostly concentrated on the homes they lived in.  DJ on the other hand, who is a biracial child, reflected on the fact that he would have been a slave during these times.  I was surprised neither one of them reflected on the fact that there were really no schools during this time.  Maybe they don't dislike school as much as they say, lol.  So, they both asked me if I would want to be a woman during these times.  After some reflection, and research, my answer would have to be no.  Here is why.

First let me say, I have a great respect for women of this time period.  They were tough, strong, determined, faithful, and feminine.  They lived a hard life, tending to children and home without the luxuries of today, such as running water, and electricity.  Yet they survived, and persevered.  However, I can't get past the fact that they were content in being considered property of their husbands.  Yes, once a woman was married, they became property of their husbands.  Kind of like his horse, or cows.  Really?  No, this would not work for me.  Even if the husbands respected their wives, and treated them that way, no I would not go along with being considered someone's property.  Second, they wore way too many clothes.  I am all for dressing modestly, but long dresses, with long sleeves, and a bonnet, with bloomers underneath, is just a bit much.  Hats make my head sweat, gross, and itch too, even more gross.  I can't imagine dressing like this in the Summer months, here in the South, or anywhere.  I am aware they didn't have many other choices of clothing, but when clothing did begin to change, women were called nasty names when they decided to dress a little less.  Third there was a law called the Bastard Law.  I actually did not know about this.  They definitely didn't teach it in school, but it fits the mindset of the time.  If a child was born out of wedlock, for whatever reason, even rape, the child was considered a bastard.  Bastards had no place in society and were immediately at birth, of no use to society.  Um, OK punish the child for the sins of their parents.  I would so be bothered by this.  I could go on, and on, but I assume you get the picture.  My independence, free will, and determination would probably brand me a witch, and I would be burned at the stake. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

American History Art: Week Two Log Cabin Drawings

For week 2 of our American History Art class, we drew log cabins. The kids were not told how to draw their art. The only directions was to draw a log cabin like the Colonial Americans would have had. So, I was glad to see they both drew their cabins in the woods, as did I. They both wanted to leave them as pencil drawings, so I said OK. I think they would look nicer with color, but hey whatever. Mine is not finished yet. I still have to add the outhouse somewhere, and mine will be painted. Speaking of unfinished, I have not finished my Mayflower painting yet. Good grief! Probably Monday, and Tuesday I will catch them all up. For Wednesdays Art class, next week, I decided to do some Mardi Gras Art, and some French cooking. I decided to add some Geography into our Wednesday fun day lessons. We now will do experiments, writing, Art, test day, and Geography on Wednesdays. Nothing major, just some fun stuff. I will try to do the Geography around holidays, or celebrations. Madis Gras will be both for French history, and New Orleans.

We had to cancel our trip to the springs, yesterday, due to it being so cold. I am hoping to reschedule it for a few weeks from now. Have an awesome weekend!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Rainforest Journey, 2nd Quarter Report Cards and Colonial Log Cabin Art

I have not had much time to blog.  I am behind on a few things.  Both kids did their writing assignment, about whether they would want to be a child during Colonial Times.  I too was supposed to do on, one being a woman in Colonial Times.  I did a bunch of research, and am leaning towards no, but I still have to write it out. 

Both kids finished their Mayflower art, I did not.  Today, we are moving onto log cabin art.  The purpose is to draw a simple log cabin, like the colonists would have built.  They were not fancy homes, just simple shelters to keep warm, and dry.  Today, will also be test day, only Math today.

Over the weekend, with all the other craziness going on, I finished up our second quarter report cards.  Both kids did awesome!  DJ even got an A in Math, which he has been trying so hard for.  Homework assignments, with review work, helped him a lot, and keeps up  with older skills.  Nothing will change for him this quarter.  He likes the Hands on Algebra app, though he doesn't get to use it much.  Caitlin also is doing well.  She had a huge jump in her Science score, mainly due to improved test taking skills.  Her Math stayed the same, but I can already see improvement using CK12, even though it is harder, due to Common Core Standards, so far she is getting the hang of it.  History, she really has no interest in, even though she is doing fun History.  I don't push the issue that much.  Writing has improved 100 percent since the first quarter, but she is no where near where I want her to be.  Third and Fourth quarter for her, will concentrate on Math and Writing, with other subjects after to fill the day.  She is now doing Rainforest Journey, a homeschool curriculum that was offered to us for free.  This is not a long curriculum, and she should have no problem finishing it.  However, I would like her to slow down, and take notes to improve test scores. 

I am researching Dual Enrollment, and some FLVS for DJ.  I think FLVS is a given, for next year, not all courses, but maybe Language Arts and History.  I also want him to do the 5 hour driving on FLVS.  I won't look to dual enroll until the 11th grade.  I don't think he will be quite ready for that by 10th grade. 

Friday, we are going to one of the local springs for some outdoor fun with friends.  They will have a special writing assignment to do that day.  Hopefully Caitlin will be able to find some animal tracks too, to take pictures of for her 4H book. 

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