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Sunday, September 5, 2010

School-Week One

I am confident all homeschoolers go through phases...and for me, this year had been a "freak out" one. It's unsettling, because for most of my friends, they were unusually decisive in what this school year would hold, and I was TOTALLY freaked out.

For the first time, I have four students "at the table". And I have a teenager. How did THAT happen? A teenager whose math skills are more like a 2nd grader...and that goes for many of his other subjects too. Every day is a struggle for him and WITH him. And I ponder whether he won't be saying, "Do you want fries with that?" for the rest of his life, but I know his life is in WAY bigger hands than mine, and God knows the plans He has for Scott... I just keep plugging along with him. I feel such pressure this year to catch him up as much as the semi-functional neurons in his brain will allow. Oh, and then I have three more kids who should probably learn something too...

Anyway, here are some pictures from this week. We really did work hard, even if we didn't begin to cover every subject every day. I have no pictures of Sari's work, and she did two exceedingly cute mini-lapbooks I found HERE.

I have been trying to get the kids to do more intentional creative writing. We got these animal puzzles in a Chick-Fil-A meal a while ago, so I told TJ to make a few creatures and write about the critters he created. He put these three cards together and was struck by how much they look like an animal Mona Lisa, so he made me take these pictures.

The "books" (Mimi and TJ, as opposed to the "book-ends" Scott and Sari) are studying Botany, and they had two activities this week. One was about how non-vascular plants move water (they absorb it), and so they did the above experiment with a paper towel. We were meant to use water, but I used window cleaner so that they could see the wicking action better. Below is their taxonomy project. They had to take shoes and classify them by choosing traits to categorize them into phyla, class, order, family, genus, and species. It was tedious, but they did it. I don't think I have any future taxonomers ;-).

Below is Scott's model of Mercury. We made a salt dough, and he used rocks and a pencil eraser to make craters. The picture below shows it all painted. He left an orange strip because the composite pictures of Mercury aren't complete, and the picture in his book had an orange strip where these was no actual image captured.

Then he moved on to Venus, which has over 1000 volcanoes. We did this project with melted butter and flour to simulate rocks melting into lava and carving out "streams" as it flows down the side of the volcano. Then it cools and solidifies again. Can I tell you how much I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Apologia science????

Today, TJ found this damselfly. It's gorgeous, and SO different. I've never seen one like this before, and I could not find a picture anywhere on the internet of it. If anyone can help with the identification, I'd appreciate it. I know it's hard to see, but the legs are VERY furry...and white. It's just beautiful. We might just have to freeze it and mount it for posterity.
There you go- the fun parts of our week in a nut shell. Then add in chores until 10:30 each morning, spelling, reading, devotionals, and handwriting, oh, and math and a few products we are reviewing for the TOS Crew, and grammar and SOS history for Scott, and it was a busy week. I HAVE to do more lesson planning today for the whole week, because getting up at the crack of dawn to do it is NOT an option. I serve a loving God who wants some time with me too!!!
Lord, I thank you for the privilege of homeschooling my kids, and I pray that you remind me daily that it is just that, a privilege. I ask for patience, wisdom, and stick-to-it-iveness to for me every day as I seek to train my kids to turn their hearts to You first and also try to equip them to function in the world in which they live and will live until you come back on the clouds or call them home.
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Mrs. Taffy said...

Lovely post! You had a great week! Don't worry, God IS in control and He's so very much on your side!

Blessings on another great week!

much love,
Mrs. Taffy

Wonder Mom said...

I think you are doing BEAUTIFULLY!

Here's an encouraging post I think fits your situation right now:


April said...

Inspiring and comforting post. Enjoyed seeing your projects from the week.
I found myself in the Four Kids at the Table situation this year too--and there is something SCARY about thinking of high school looming for my oldest. . .
Looks like you're doing WELL.
Cheering you on from the same trenches!

Melissa said...

Great science fun!

SisterTipster said...

Thank you for your transparency and letting me know that I am not alone. I've not hit my groove-thang either...somethings awry...your prayer inspires me.
Have a great week~coming by on the blogwalk~can you say, better late than NEVER...LOL! See you on deck! ;-))