I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:4


Monday, November 14, 2016

Time well spent

Daily assignment sheets = time well spent

I thought I should post about them, as it would have helped me when I first started homeschooling.  My days flow much more smoothly since adopting this routine a few years ago when I had one child in high school, one in middle school, and one in elementary school.  Since our children's ages are widespread, I haven't had groups that I've lumped together using the same curriculum and subjects. This system has helped me keep up with very diverse learning styles and needs.

It is simple things like this, routine, and organization which helps keep our days and weeks flowing smoothly.  We all are clear on what needs to be done, so there is little confusion at the end of the week, when I collect all the work that wasn't checked daily, like math.  I spot check their work somewhat randomly during the week as well, which keeps everyone on their toes!  I do not advocate un-schooling by any means, it just isn't part of our worldview.  Everyone is happy when they have a set of assignments, no guessing involved, and a known stopping point.

I always keep a lesson plan book with about three weeks of plans into the future.  These daily assignment lists are pulled from my more structured and detailed lesson plan books every morning.  I add comments and additional work, tweaking what is in my plan book, based on how the previous days' work was done, fine tuning assignments to work on weaknesses or subjects of more interest.

There have been times when I have needed a more structured plan like this one, but after a couple of years, they got used to pacing themselves, and I was able to relax the assignment list, letting them chose which subjects to do first. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

What I do with Fix it!

I love Fix it!  At first sight, it looks like a simplistic curriculum, but it is actually very in depth.  I like the flexibility that a cumulative repetition gives in grammar, and this program lends itself well to an individualized approach, where the assignment can be tailored

The approach with Fix it! is that if your child is getting most things right, you are not on the right level for that child.  Learning from mistakes is the method.  So, each week there is a set of assignments for four days of the week in which the student becomes the editor of a story which lasts the entire year.  He or she slowly makes the corrections on a couple of sentences each day.    On the fifth day, it is copywork of corrected sentences for that week.  
One week's work
 I use different colored pens/highlighters to indicate different mistakes for that day, then I write a question or an additional assignment related to that grammatical error, color-coordinated on the left page.

In the beginning, I used to check and correct each day's assignment, but I've found that correcting at the end of the week gives a larger picture, where my children can see how that mistake would change the meaning of the story.

So, that's the scoop.  Fix it! has been a great addition to our English curriculum.  My college aged student is acing his essays.  He is a history major, so his classes are writing intensive.  

Thanks IEW!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Florida Natural History Museum

Last weekend, we took a trip up to Gainesville and visited the Florida natural History Museum at the University of Florida.  They had several interesting exhibits there, but what we really liked the most was the butterfly garden and immense collection of butterflies from around the world.

Not only was the size and diversity of the butterflies in the garden impressive, but so were all the beautiful plants.  This could also be called an enclosed botanical garden...  

We all enjoyed this part of the museum very much.

Another reason for the trip was Michael's interest in UF graduate school.  He went to an orientation type lecture, got to speak with current students and admissions advisors, and got a tour of the campus.

One of the many cases on display, beautiful!
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