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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

12 Years A Slave for American History Reading

I read 12 Years A Slave last year, but have waited to watch the movie. As far as books go, this was a good book, but I was very disappointed by the ending. I will not give it away, but you should read it. It will be part of my son's American History reading. He will begin it Monday. Then we will watch the movie. He just finished Trail of Tears.

The second book, The Secrets of Heavenly, is a book that I am currently reading, and have not decided if I will have him read it. It is quite a bit more graphic than 12 Years A Slave, but a very good book. Apparently this is the first book in a series. I await the next book to be released. If you have Kindle Unlimited this book is offered for free reading right now.

I also have Uncle Tom's Cabin, on the list, but I have tried to read that one several times and just can not get into it. So, I am not sure I will use that one.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Buffalo Tangle Doodle Art and Growing Broccoli From A Stem

Have you ever tried to grow Broccoli from just the stem? I tried this several times, and it just didn't work. It would start, and then nothing. I tried again, recently, and as you can see in the picture, it is quite tall. Tall as a small tree, with big beautiful yellow flowers. I can see some broccoli heads also starting to form. What I am wondering is, is this normal? It seems like it won't be able to support broccoli heads so far off the ground. I guess I will find out eventually, lol.

Last night, I got an urge to draw, so I sat down and drew out my Native American Art picture. You can see the kids in the previous post.  I found some Native American symbols to use to complete the tangle doodle part. Native Americans revered the buffalo, and my kids are always amazed at the fact that Native Americans wasted no part of the animals they killed.  Nothing, no waste at all.    I still have to paint mine, and as you can see I drew one side darker than the other. But, that won't matter once it is painted in. One of the hardest things, for me, with drawing animals is symmetry. I think I got this one pretty good. The finished product will be on my Jewelry and Gems blog.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Native American Art

We are not studying Native American Art, per say, but we are doing American History and I am trying to correspond our art lessons with that in mind. Both of the kids completed their art project, but I did not. I am currently drawing out a Spring garden picture, and it is not complete yet. Once I finish that, I will do my Native American art piece. DJ did the Indian wearing the bear head/hat/mask. I really love how it came out. Caitlin chose to do a wolf, which is one of her most favorite animals. Mine will have to do with the Buffalo, but that is all I will say. We did not get to start watching the Irish video yet, or do the Geography. Maybe this next week.  Next up I think will be either something with the flag, or The Statue of Liberty.  Maybe I will combine the two in one lesson.  That might be pretty cool.

Monday, March 16, 2015

100 Words Every High School Graduate Should Know

Ha, I don't even know what some of these words mean, and I have been to college, and will be returning again this year.  My 9th grader will start working his way through this list tomorrow.  He will have to look up the definitions, then put them all in a sentence.  He will then study, and memorize them, with a weekly test.  Here is the list. 

Rather than continue with new spelling words each week, my 5th grader will revisit previous lists and do definitions, sentence writing, find the nouns and verbs, and alphabetical order.  This serves many purposes all centered around one group of words each week.  She too will be tested weekly on these words.

DJ will also be doing the ACT Question of the Day, and the SAT Question of the Day, each day.  This is a great way to practice and prepare for these tests.  There is also an app that I love it is shown below. The first one is free, and the one we use.  The second is not free, and I have never used it.  I have Android phones, so any apps I share should work on Android phones, but be sure and check first.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The History of Irish Americans

We did not get to our Native American art, like I had hoped. But, I will definitely get it in this next week. For Geography I want to watch the documentary below about the history of Irish Americans. It is a long documentary, so we might have to split it up into two days. I am hoping to get to the springs within the next two weeks as well. I will have to see how it goes.This weekend I am catching up on grading, planning, and more research for me to go back to school.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Earn College Credits with CLEP Exams at A Fraction of the Price

I will be using CLEP exams for some of my nursing requirements, and I am hoping can use some of them too. You just have to pass the test to earn college credits.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A More Normal Week and Standardized Testing

I am so glad we homeschool.  The last 11 days would have been worse, if I had to worry about making up school work for the kids, and all that nonsense that goes with public school.  Homeschooling afforded me the flexibility at a trying time, when I needed it to be flexible.  You can not get that from public school.  So far, this week has been more normal, and we have achieved a lot.  I even got the laundry room all painted, and looking beautiful.  We will continue with home repairs, and updates through this year.  The major work that needed to be done, was completed three weeks ago, and that is a huge burden off my list.  Usually by now, I have started thinking about opening the pool.  I probably will not be doing that until April or May, this year.  We had planned on getting a state park pass, for the year, but now with all the rain and snow, up North I am afraid the springs are all going to be flooded for some time to come.  There are already flood advisories up for the Santa Fe River.  So, for now that will be placed on the back burner.  Of course there are other things than just the springs at the state parks, but that is one of the best things to do. 

I have decided to give both of the kids the CAT, California Achievement Test, at the end of this year.  It is affordable, and will give me a clear indication of where they are. It can be taken online, or you can have it delivered to your home.  Then I return it for grading. You also do not have to be a certified teacher, or have a bachelors degree to administer it.  It will be included in our school portfolios, for our annual evaluation.  It will be accompanied by our standard portfolio.So, yes I will do both.  DJ will take the PSAT in 10th grade, then the SAT in 11th grade.  We have already started preparing for those tests.  I will share some great resources for preparing for those tests, in the coming weeks.  Have I ever said I hate the Common Core?  Well, I hate the Common Core.  I know homeschoolers in Florida do not have to follow the Common Core standards, but as the past 11 days has shown me, if I ever needed to put my kids in public school, I want them to be somewhat prepared at least academically.  My 5th grader is no where near where the standards would like her to be, but she is improving every day.  My 9th grader is good, with the exception of Math, which is getting closer every day too.    My biggest complaint with it, is that it is not fair.  What do I mean?  If they want these harder standards, fine.  But, start them with the incoming kindergarteners, not kids who are already half way, or more done with their schooling.  I also think it is  harder for parents to help their kids with homework, because they were not taught that way, and I am hearing from public school teachers even, who are having a hard time teaching it.  I just think it is completely dumb the way it was done, and that is my opinion. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

We Survived A Difficult Week

It has been a crazy week.  We did only two full days of school, and one half day.  We did not get to do our Art, or Geography, and no tests this week.  Next week, the kids, and my husband have all kinds of things that they have already made commitments to, so we will have to play catch up during our school hours for sure.  I want to do our Native American Art, and Irish in America with Geography project.  I am trying to keep our Geography within the US, but covering various nationalities in that general idea.  Since March is St Patrick's Day, we will do the history of Irish in America, traditional Irish food, and a Lucky Charms graphing data assignment.  We didn't get our experiments done either.  I hate to get behind, but sometimes life just takes over, and things happen. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Estate Planning In Plain English

We had a family emergency this week, that even though it could be anticipated, many people do not anticipate or plan for it to happen. I am talking about a disastrous car accident, that resulted in severe injuries. Now we are dealing with the after math of that, and all that comes with not being prepared. It isn't that we weren't prepared, but the family member involved was not. To make matters worse, care was refused, and now there is no income to pay for things needed. So, we are stuck with stress, grief, and a lot of uncertainty. Take my advice. Don't wait for a tragedy to happen. Talk to your loved ones, and if you can, I say if, because some are so stubborn there really isn't a thing you can do, convince them to prepare. Prepare doesn't mean you have to spend a ton of money. But, there are some basics that should be thought out, and planned for. A DNR, a legal one, or Living Will with Health Care Proxy should be one of them. If you have specific wishes, you need to make them known, no matter how uncomfortable. These are things, my husband, and I ourselves will now be tackling. It is a very real lesson learned, in a very difficult way. Don't think it can't happen to you, it certainly can. Estate planning, end of life care, emergency care, care of minor children, etc are all things that should be dealt with well in advance. Pets, don't forget pets. To say the least, our school week has been jumbled, but we are getting through it.We will also be looking into Aflac type policies.  They are affordable and a wonderful thing to have in a state like FL, that doesn't offer workers disability insurance.  At least the employers I have known do not. 

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