So … now that we’re homeschooling, under SC option #3, we’re supposed to chronicle the kids’ progress every 90 days in case we’re called upon to give an accounting … and b/c, of course, it’s a good thing to do.
Originally, I set up a homeschooling blog for that purpose, but Jack wanted a Pirate Train blog, based on his long-term homeschool project (the kid has planned out seven books, ya’ll), so I’m having to consolidate for sanity’s-sake. Thus, every 90 days (or so), I’ll write a homeschooling update on this site and file it under “Homeschooling, Fisk Family Style.”
Last semester was our first “true” home-schooling semester, and we got a bit of a late start, since we started the Fall with Connections Academy (an online public school option). This was still public school curriculum, though, and became super-unwieldy fast with both a kindergartener and a sixth grader working from home and having a set number of (very different) lessons to complete for the day. It’s been much easier to go at our own pace and incorporate age-appropriate learning activities for.the.same.lessons when we can (e.g., the same history lesson / story for both, in a version Jack can understand + an activity that challenges Arina; or, you know, studying turtles — science! — we find at Nana&Pop’s lake house).
Here’s our plan, along with A&J’s “grades” so far. We’re using the BrainQuest books and some accompanying activities to divide up the kids’ 5K and 6th grade school year … and, when I say year, I mean year. We’ve planned out fall; spring; and summer terms, b/c this allows us a more flexible schedule year-round.
Arina: Spelling&Vocabulary; Literature Comprehension; Multiplication&Division Fluency; Ratios and Proportions
Jack: ABCs; 123s; Shapes&Colors
I’m happy to say they both “passed”
… sometimes after much complaining from A., who hates re-dos with a passion.
Arina: Research&Analysis; Writing; The Number System; Expressions&Equations;
Jack: Phonics; Spelling&Vocabulary; Patterns
In progress …
Arina: Pronouns&Punctuation; Metaphor&Meaning; Geometry; Statistics&Probability; Science
Jack: Matching&Sorting; Time&Money; Community; Science
Coming soon …
^That’s just a guide of course … to give us something on which to focus … we have other stuff going on too, based on what interests the kids at the moment.
Here’s a highlights-reel of the unplanned stuff:
Books Arina and I “read” via audiobook on our commutes to Columbia: Helen MacDonald’s H is for Hawk; Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See; Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s The Language of Flowers; and Suzanne Collins’s The Underland Chronicles (a five-book series). Jack listened to some of these too (especially the Collins-series, but he doesn’t get to count them, b/c he also napped part of the time, whereas A. and I stayed rapt through all and discussed afterward).
However, Jack DID get his very first library card last semester, which is a really big deal in our family … and quite possibly the cutest first library card in the history of the world.
Arina and Jack have become fans of the Life of Fred math book series, which they enjoy with Scott — cause Mom doesn’t do math, even when those wily mathematicians write a story around it to make it more interesting to bookish-people. It’s still math, albeit sneaky math. There’s also this fraction-formula game that they love. My Dad even got in on the fun this week. I don’t play that one either, but — you know — I’m glad they’re learning math with their Dad and Pop, despite my aversion to it.
Fall 2015 field trips, with our fabulous homeschooling group (Carolina Homeschoolers) included: an overnight in Conestoga wagons; an overnight on the USS Yorktown; and a trip to the Body Worlds exhibit, where we got to see plasticized human cadavers (shudder). The photos, below, are from everything except the Body Worlds exhibit, which the kids&I kinda hurried through. Scott, as usual, read everything and filled us in afterward. I did read the poem displayed at the opening of the exhibit — about the importance of donated bodies (and the respect we should have for them) — aloud and in full. Yep. Leave it to me to make the primary lesson in the math&science exhibit an arts&humanities one.
The science I was able to get behind last semester? Biology. Introducing our new pets / objects-of-study: Twitchtip & Goldshard (or Twitch and Goldie, for short) … named after characters from The Underland Chronicles, of course!
My other favorite science? The science of cooking, courtesy of Scott, Arina, and the brilliant book Cookwise, that explains what happens, chemically, in our favorite dishes.
And, finally, the ongoing homeschool projects that will no doubt last ad infinitum:
Jack’s The Pirate Train series. See this site. Apologies if we’ve been annoying with updates, but Jack is learning all about marketing.
Arina’s book review site: Arina Reads. Last semester, she “collected” the books she’s read on her Pinterest site … I’d catch her looking lovingly at them, on-screen, like I used to spread-out-and-look at my Nancy Drew collection, pre-Internet. The book review site is a just-hatched idea, which I think is brilliant. Jack and I know, from the emails we’ve sent&received from book reviewers re: The Pirate Train, that the demand for good reviewers — especially of indie titles — is going nowhere but up. And what better way to get free books / review copies?
That’s all for now, ya’ll. Till the next 90 days (or so) …