Archive for January, 2008

This week’s AAR, I am going to do a little differently. Suffice it to say that we are behind in ALL subjects; however, we did have a good week – – and we did complete one thing (in its entirety).


History – Read Chapter 3: “The Romans Come Again” from An Island Story.

History – Christopher Columbus Worksheet (Extra Credit)

Literature – “The Elephant’s Child” from Just So Stories.

Science – Read Information about Elephants.

Science – Elephant Quiz

Poetry – “Windy Nights” from A Child’s Garden of Verses.

Silent Reading – Finished Reading Junie B. Jones: First Grader: Boo…and I Really Mean It.

Reading – Quiz on www.BookAdventure.com on Junie B. Jones: First Grader: Boo…and I Really Mean It.

Literature – Chapters 7 and 8 from Alice in Wonderland.

Music Appreciation – Read about Keyboard Instruments

Music Appreciation – Lapbook: Keyboards



Field Trip – County Courthouse



Art Appreciation – Read Pg. 73 – “Outline and Contour Line” from A World of Art.

Art Appreciation – Introduced “Mount Sainte-Victoire” by Paul Cezanne by Index Card.

Geography – Learn where Peraseinajoki, Finland (Card Received) is.

Geography – Learn where Vaasa, Finland (Card Sent) is.

History – Read “The Story of Regulus” from Fifty Famous Stories Retold.

Literature – Read “The Fox and the Stork” from Aesop’s Fables.

Language Arts – Copy work from “The Fox and the Stork” (Aesop’s Fables).

Language Arts – Copy Work: Copy paragraph onto postcard to Finland.

Literature – Read Chapter 9 and 10 from Alice in Wonderland.

Silent Reading – Finished reading Junie B. Jones: First Grader: Toothless Wonder.

Reading – Quiz on www.BookAdventure.com on Junie B. Jones: First Grader: Toothless Wonder.

Poetry – “Travel” from A Child’s Garden of Verses.

Science – Worksheet on The Cactus Wren



Field Trip – Extended Lessons on County Courthouse



Literature – Read Chapters 11 and 12 from Alice in Wonderland.

Literature – Watched Movie: Alice in Wonderland.

Reading – Quiz on www.BookAdventure.com on Alice in Wonderland.

Science – Field Trip: Grandma Hoerner’s Food and Factory

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On one of my last posts, I had a comment from someone at Science with Me.  I figured I could put a plug in for them, too.  So, go check ’em out.

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The Heart of the Matter weekly Meme

This Week: Tips and Tricks  

I thought I would do a “Top 5” list of tips with the reason we choose to use them.   

Number 5:  Have occasional “Review Days.”  This tip actually presented itself yesterday.  This week has been an absolute nightmare for homeschooling, so little got done.  I seriously felt like our week was a total wash – – and in the midst of my own personal pity party, I had this moment of inspiration: Let’s Do Review.  At the very least, it will keep her mind fresh and maybe having some review time will make this week not feel so wasted.  We were in the car for a total of 4 hours on Friday – – the last two hours were spent reviewing what we learned in the previous three weeks.  (We also had a brief break – – for an unplanned field trip).  I was absolutely astounded at how much she retained!!!   

Number 4: Take those moments for unplanned Field Trips and/or use seemingly wasted errands as Field Trips.  Yet another tip that presented itself this week.  On Monday (1/14), I had two appointments on my calendar (Tuesday and Friday).  By Tuesday morning at 8:00am, the number of appointments increased to 6 – – 5 of which were on Tuesday.  By Tuesday afternoon, the appointment count was up, by two, again (one on Wednesday and one on Thursday).  We used MANY of those appointments as “Field Trips.”  Also, after Friday’s appointment, we were pleasantly surprised when we made an unplanned ‘Field Trip’ at a “Food Store and Factory.”  Boo spent nearly an hour watching the production in the factory, through the viewing window.   

Number 3:  Take some time to make a basic plan.  When I homeschooled my oldest, we did a LOT of ‘winging it,’ as I did not have (or take) the time to put together a basic plan/curriculum.  When we finally decided to pull Boo from school, I had a couple months to prepare.  At this point, I had some concrete experience as a home educator, several cyber-friends who introduced many wonderful resources and I had long term plans/ideas.  Since we are on a fairly strict budget, I wanted the biggest bang for my buck – – which I found with Ambleside Online.  I am currently using ‘Year 1’ as a rough guide – – see My 20-week Schedule.  I printed a copy of the schedule – – and highlight the items as they are completed.  I use the 20-week schedule as a foundation for my daily assignments – – which is tip Number 2. 

Number 2:  My specific plans are done day-by-day.  I use the 20-week schedule as a GUIDE when I decide what to do each day.  Because my schedule is constantly changing, making specific plans farther out than a day would be insanity on my part.  Not only would it make me crazy, I would also start to feel very overwhelmed by all of the things I need to ‘fix.’  It also allows me to work things in that are not specifically on the 20-week schedule.  For example:  The days when we read “Just So Stories,” instead of using the specified science for the day, we did more in-depth studies on the spotlighted animal.  Also, since Boo was invited to spend the week with my sister, we decided to speed up the “Alice in Wonderland” reading schedule so that she would not have to wait until she got back to finish up the book.

Number 1: Homeschool Tracker (the FREE version).  I used HSTracker with my oldest daughter and absolutely loved it!!  I learned that for us, the best way for me to plan is day-by-day.  Each evening, I look at the 20-week schedule and decide what we need to accomplish for that particular week.  I also take into account any appointments or errands that are scheduled for the day (and rest of the week).  Then, I make a mental checklist of the items I would like to study and gather books and other materials for them.  Once I have a workable plan, mentally, I input the plan into HSTracker.  I review again prior to printing it out.  Finally, I take all the materials and the printed assignment list and put them on the dining room table, where Boo can review them in the morning when she wakes up.    

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My Girls…..
Boo (Left) and
Sassy Sissy (Right)

Boo (Left) and Sassy Sissy (Right)

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My on-line homeschool buddie, Christine, blogged about this fantabulous site that allows you to download and watch FREE documentaries.  ENJOY!!


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Boo loves the idea of only having four days of school – – does that mean the SAME four days? Well, for me it did – – until Monday. I had oral surgery on Monday, in a city about an hour and a half away. The last time I was there (to remove stitches), school had been canceled and my husband was home early – – early enough to take me to the appointment – – so both my hubby and Boo were witness to the ‘Grand-Mal Seizure’ and subsequent trip to the hospital via an ambulance. They were both completely freaked out – – so, my husband after the defensive driving course {on Monday}, took the rest of the day off to escort me to the dental appointment.

Since the trip takes so long, I planned on doing ‘school’ in the car on the way up and back – – and while I was having surgery, she could read to her Dad (or silently). I had this nice, calm, day planned (in my head) – – amazingly, it isn’t what actually happened. Hmmmm. So, after several attempts, we decided to just call it a day – – and we would school on Friday. I love the flexibility – – I just need to remember to use it. LOL!! 😉

So here is how we did this week:
**  NOTE:  Many of the resources are linked in other blogs – – particularly the first AAR.  I will only add a small precentage this week.

History – On Schedule

We read Chapter 2, “The Coming of the Romans” from An Island Story on Tuesday. Wednesday through Friday, we read one story each day from Fifty Famous Stories Retold: “The Brave Three Hundred,” “Alexander and Bucephelas,” and “Diogenes The Wise Man.” We are still enjoying all of the stories. (For sure, I look forward to reading them each day…LOL!)

Literature – On Schedule

On Tuesday and Wednesday, we read Aesop’s Fables: “The Lion and the Four Bulls” and The Goatherd and the She-Goat.” Boo talked with me about the expectations for the copywork page and we decided to revise it to what she thought I meant, in the first place. (She is to copy the title and the moral and then she WAS suppose to tell the story in her own words – – but, she wanted to express her feelings about the story, so we decided to go with expressing herself.) On Thursday and Friday, we listened to two stories  (“How the Leopard got his Spots” and “The Beginning of the Armadillos”) from Just So Stories on Wired for Books. Finally, both last week and this week, we listened up to Chapter 7 in “Alice in Wonderland” with Natasha on Storynory. We are attempting to finish the book by next week on Wednesday, watch the movie on Thursday, as Boo will be spending the following week with my sister.

Poetry – On Schedule

We read four poems from “A child’s Garden of Verses.” I must admit that they are growing on us, both. Part of the charm seems to be the change in HOW we are reading them.  Last week, we read the poem and moved on.  I made a couple changes this week: after reading it through once, we spend a fair amount of time breaking each line down and understanding what he meant. Then, we read it {fully} again, for appreciation.

Geography – On Schedule

On Tuesday, we sent one of her Cezanne postcards to a Postcrossing user in The Netherlands. We read a bit about the country and found it on the map. We did not get to Geography on Wednesday – – but, we did manage to read Chapters 4 and 5 in “Around the World in Eighty Days” on Thursday and Friday, respectively. Since there is still no map work for ATW, so we are still on schedule!! 😉

Science – A Little Off Schedule

On Tuesday and Wednesday, we read two sections from Unit 1 in “Science for Modern Living.” On Thursday and Friday, instead of doing Burgess Bird Book and our Nature Book, we did additional studies on the animals we read about in Just So Stories. She did worksheets everyday on the different animals we learned about (Mon – Squirrels; Tues – Ptarmigan; Wed – Leopard; Thurs – Armadillo) – – plus, we did some on-line research on the animals. I am okay with this trek off the beaten path. I am also considering a change in the time I have ‘alloted’ for the Burgess Bird Book. One day is just not enough for each bird. Since it IS winter, and we are just starting, I may just forgo the Nature Study until Spring – – this will give me more leeway in the schedule. Still pondering it, we shall see.

Art and Music Appreciation

I introduced both this week. Art was on Tuesday and Thursday – – and Music the other two days. I am using the postcard replicas of Paul Cezanne from Dover Publications for the basis of our Artist Study for this term (it may end up being the entire half of the year, as I am gathering more and more resources. Check it out: Netflix has THREE Cezanne movies….Can you believe that? Three??? Wow. Oh, I am also using one of my Art Appreciation books from college to discuss the ‘basics’ – – the first thing it delves into is ‘line’ and the first artist it discusses is Cezanne. Cool, huh? I read the first section in the book and then presented the print. Since she has not had a lot of exposure to art nor is she versed in the terminology, it did not go as well as I had hoped. So, on Thursday, I tried another technique – – which I tweeked slightly from what I read about in “One Child Policy Homeschool” blog. This time, we read the next section in the book – – we discussed it for a bit – – then, I presented the new print to her. I asked her to study it really carefully because I was going to ask her to tell me what was in the print. After a couple minutes, I gave her a lined index card and asked her to write everything that she remembered from the print. (She did very well – – only missing one item). Then I asked her to copy the print on the unlined side of the index card. She did a darn good job!! I liked how that worked out – – so, as long as it works, I will use it!! : )

In Music, we started an Orchestra Lapbook. Much of the information is from this site. I am also adding some of my own – – which I am putting together and will post when we are done with the unit. We talked about what an orchestra is – – the history of the orchestra – – the conductor – – and what those funny arm movements are – – and finally, we talked about the different instruments in an orchestra. Today, we watched several orchestra’s at work on YouTube! I played Beethoven’s 5th – – and she commented that it was the same song as in her Barbie movie – – which she was able to describe with perfect accuracy, what was going on in the movie while we were listening to the song on YouTube.

I still haven’t gotten a math curriculum yet – – I really want Math-U-See; however, for just the ‘basics’ – – I am looking at close to a hundred dollars. YIKES!! I was planning on ordering it with this pay check – – but, several other things have come up. I also have not added any foreign language into the mix – – as I had hoped to – – our days just go by so fast – – there just doesn’t seem to be enough time. I like that our days are very relaxed, with lots of breaks….it makes for less stress for both of us.

Well, there it is….the Southpaugh AAR for this week. Below are some pics from the week…..Enjoy!! 🙂

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 The Heart of the Matter has started a weekly Meme, with different topics, each week.

This weeks topic is: “A Day in the Life of a Homeschooler.”

This is the first time homeschooling my youngest daughter – – I had homeschooled my oldest daughter. I am noticing how similar our days run, as it is currently Mom lead. I would like school to eventually become child-led – – which will have a whole different schedule, I am sure.

So, for now, this is what a ‘typical’ school day looks like (mind you, this does NOT include days that we are away from home for any reason.):

9:30 am – Boo gets up, gets dressed, goes through the bathroom and eats cereal.

10:00am – We begin school. Our schedule changes daily (as far as the order in which we approach subjects) – – but, we have been pretty good about having the following in every day: History, Literature, Poetry, Geography, Science and either Art or Music Appreciation. (I still need to order the Math Curriculum – – it is a little much for our budget, so I might wait until the taxes come in….)

12:00pm to 1:00pm – During the noon hour, we will break for lunch.

1:00pm – 3:00pm – We will work on whatever wasn’t finished from the morning. We are usually done with school by 3pm.  

I have listed specifics about our weeks with the “AAR’s” – – check those out for a much better (and more complete) view of what we do!!  🙂 

Our day is pretty relaxed. We have MANY breaks throughout the day, as she is still acclimating to homeschool. We school four days per week – – with the fifth day as optional, IF all of the work for the week is complete. The ‘written’ plan is to have Friday’s off; however, this week, I had oral surgery on Monday, so we took that day off, instead.) The ability to be flexible is SO great!!! As a matter of fact, she was invited to spend a week with my sister – – with the wondrous flexibility afforded with homeschool, I can send her for a week and know we won’t be behind. 😛

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