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Wednesday, August 5, 2020

African American History: Grade 11 0.5 Credit Elective

As I mentioned in my previous post, Caitlin has decided to take an African American History course as an elective in grade 11.  This will be a half a year course, and worth 0.5 credit.  Most of it will be reading, videos, and conversation topics.  I will most likely throw in a few writing topics.  I would really like to be able to visit the African American Museum in Washington, DC over the Christmas break, but with Covid I am not sure that will be feasible.  Below are the curriculum choices I have made.  Since it is a half-year course, I don't want to overload it.  I can always add more if I need to.  Feel free to follow what I have chosen, or add and subtract as you see fit.  Some of these are timelines, so you can pick as you want.  You will find images and advertisements about African Americans.  These are great writing topics or conversations to have, and why they are racist.  








We will be watching three film options.  Roots is also a good choice and if we get time I will probably throw that one in too.  Underground is a TV series from WGN.  It is also available on Hulu.  There are two seasons, with a third on the way.  13 is a movie on Netflix about the 13th Amendment.  This amendment alone can encompass a lot of discussion and class time.  Uncle Tom's Cabin is a movie from 1987.  The Youtube version below is not the greatest quality but it does bring the book to life.  We will definitely try to squeeze in the book, The New Jim Crow.  






Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Grade 11 Homeschool for Caitlin 2020-2021 School Year

As always our new school year will begin the day after Labor Day.  For the Summer Caitlin continues to work through Algebra 1. 

For the 11th grade school year, these are the classes Caitlin has chosen.

1-  Language Arts 3.  This year she will be doing Language Arts on FLVS.  She does much better with writing when I am not prompting and teaching it to her.

2-  Algebra 2.  We are sticking with ALEKS.  It works for both of us.

3-  PE:  PE for this year will be in preparation for the Physical Fitness Test required to be a Cop.  I will be posting what our routine will be probably next week.

4-  African American History.  This is a 1/2 credit elective option.  I will be posting our curriculum choices soon.

5-  Nutrition.  This is also a 1/2 credit elective course.  I will be putting this class together for her as I want her to focus on other Nutrition info than just a basic course.  This course will be completed after she finishes the History course.  So in the second half of the school year.

6-  Criminal Justice.  This is a FLVS course and a full credit elective course.


Tuesday, July 14, 2020

What I Have Learned About Maintaining a Pool in Florida!

I am not from Florida.  I grew up in upstate NY where you might use your AC three weeks out of the whole year.  When we moved to FL in 2005 one of the first things we noticed was that we needed a pool.  Now, in 2020 I have noticed with Coronavirus and all that goes with that, lots of people who never wanted or needed a pool now do.  I read an article in The NY Times from a woman who was opining about how expensive and difficult it was to maintain the newly bought pool she got.  I will give you my best tips, and no they don't have to be expensive.  Obviously, you will have to spend some money, but it doesn't have to be a money guzzler.

First off the writer purchased one of the large blow-up pools.   You know the ones with the top is filled with air.  We owned one of these for many years, and it was extremely hard to keep clean and the water clear.  Why?  1- the pump sucks, literally.  It is small and not very powerful.  It is only meant to run a few hours a day, and most pools need at least 8 hours of filtering per day in the hottest weather.  The filters for these little pumps are often out of stock and they are not cheap either.  It is recommended that you replace them every time they are dirty, consider that money slug.  So, what can you do if you purchase one of these pools and that is what you can afford?  We actually finally invested in a larger more powerful sand filter pump.  This ended up paying for itself after only a few years.  We didn't need the cartridge filters anymore and it could run for more than just a couple of hours per day.  If you absolutely can not purchase a larger pump, don't worry I have more tips.  Make sure you skim it every day with a large net.  At least once a week, vacuum the pool and at the very least after each time you put shock or algae control in it, more about that in the next paragraph.  At least once a week, more if it needs it, wipe the sides of the inside walls with an old cloth.  Before you set up your pool put the side with the pump to the least amount of sun.  If your pool is already set up when you read this, only run your pump at night, it will save you on your electric bill too.  I run my pump only at night unless it has a lot of junk on the surface when I get in, then I run it for an hour when I get in and then turn it off.  Also if you absolutely must use the cartridges in the smaller pump, rinse them or spray with bleach.  I cleaned and reused mine all the time.  I hardly ever bought those stupid cartridge filters. 

Those tips all apply to any above ground pool, not just the blow-up ones.  But, chemicals are also extremely important.  I have owned a pool now for 15 years.  It took me 14 of those years to finally figure out how to keep the pool clear.  It would be clean, and free of algae but it always had this cloudy appearance.   Oh, there are tons of chemicals you can put in the pool that are supposed to help, but most of them are useless.  So, now I will give you tips on what I have learned about pool chemicals.  Do not buy your pool chemicals at Walmart or even Amazon.  These chemicals are simply not strong enough or fresh enough to do the job.  Just trust me!  I am sure you have seen the brands sold in these stores, so I will not name them here.  You need to find an actual pool supply store to get what you need.  When I started actually going to the pool supply store to get my chemicals is when my pool became crystal clear and easy to maintain.  I do not really pay any more, and probably less, because I am not wasting useless chemicals.  I do have to travel about 20 miles farther but it is so worth it.  Some pool supply stores may have online ordering, this one does not, but still, I am willing to go.  Ask the pool experts to be sure you purchase the correct product.  I will share the images of the two products I buy every time now.  These are the only two products I buy besides chlorine tablets.  Speaking of which I have two floaters with one tablet in each.   This seems to help maintain the proper balance.  I also throw a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser in my skimmer.  If you don't have a skimmer it can just float around your pool.  You would be amazed by the invisible algae it catches.  I shock my pool and use the powder algaecide once a week.  If it rains, which will wash out your chemicals I do it twice a week.  Don't put your chemicals in the pool in the day time.  Do it in the evening close to sunset.  The sun deteriorates your chemicals.   

If I forgot anything, or you have any questions, please leave them in the comments, and I will answer them the best I can.






Sunday, July 12, 2020

World History: Armenia

Before I start the bit on Armenia, I would like to mention a few blogposts coming up within the next week. 

1-  What I have learned about maintaining a swimming pool.  I read an article about a woman who was very frustrated after buying a pool that she thought would be easy to maintain, and affordable.  I will give my top tips on how it is easy and while not really affordable, it can be manageable.

2-  Our vacation.  This one is a trip, LOL pun intended.

3-  Updates to the grade 10 portfolio for Caitlin.

4-  There will be posts mixed in as I start to research African American History.  As I stated this will probably be her 11th-grade History, topic, probably a 1/2 credit, and then she will do the World History in 12 grade as that one is taking much more time to prepare.  In Florida, a student only needs 3 credits in History, but it is an easy way to get in interesting electives.  Which reminds me I have to really take a look at what she has done so far and what she needs for electives.

5-  I also need to start creating a PE year-long credit course for her to prepare for the physical fitness test to be a cop.  She will repeat it in grade 12 as well. 

So, now to Armenia.  As I stated before I really need to pick up the pace of the number of countries I get ready in a week.  Right now I am only averaging one, as we are crazy busy this Summer with wedding preparations and a 3 week-long vacation.  I hope to get back to a more regular blogging pace. 

Of course, there is always the virus to worry about, and it is exploding in Florida.  With 15,000 new cases yesterday, ugh!  Anyway, back to Armenia.  For now, I am posting just videos, and reading material.  As I decide what other activities we will do I will update each country.  Right now cooking a traditional dish, is what I have decided on. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenia

This video titled The Land of Noah is a full documentary on Armenia.






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