Monday, March 30, 2009

NOW AVAILABLE!!! Chemistry for the Grammar Stage

Chemistry for the Grammar Stage is a complete 36 week set of plans for chemistry. It is designed to be used with 3rd and 4th graders, but the plans include ideas to adjust the plans for use with your younger students. The plans lay out a study through the periodic table using Fizz, Bubble, Flash as your guide followed by an adventure in experimentation using Adventures in Atoms and Molecules Book 1. They inculde vocabulary, experiments, narrations(summary sheets), ongoing projects and additional readings from the Usborne Science Encyclopedia. I have also created a student workbook to go along with the plans. The workbook includes all the pages you need for the ongoing projects, definitions, summary sheets and experiment sheets that are planned. The workbook also includes over 100 pictures for you to use with those pages. I have put in the hard work so that you don't have to! You can see samples here at my yahoo group.

This program is the same quality that you have come to know and expect from Elemental Science. Even though this program took quite a bit more work to put together, I am offering it for the same price as my other programs. The teacher's guide is $6, the student workbook $7 and the combo is $13 for download only.

Our website is currently under construction due to having multiple problems with those using Firefox as a browser. So for right now the only place the program is available is on the sidebar of this blog. We hope to have the website updated and moved by the end of the week. Thanks for your patience! Feel free to email me with questions at

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Weekly Report-Week 23

We had a productive week here. I was able to finish the pictures for chemistry and I am almost finished with the remaining editing issues. It's my hopes that Chemistry for the Grammar Stage will be available for purchase later this weekend! In between all that, we did manage to get some school done. Here's the rundown...

Language Arts: We spent the week taking a break from what we are currently doing to try out a few of our options for next year. I think that we have settled on sticking with Sonlight readers. As for the rest, it looks like I'm going to put together my own materials to go with our Core 2 studies. Hopefully, I'll post more on that later.

Math: This week we wrapped up times 3 facts and had a test on her times 2 and 3 facts. She passed it with flying colors. For some reason multiplication clicks better than the rest of the operations for her. I'm not sure why that is.

Science: We studied muscles this week and tested our own muscle strength. It was a good week and princess is enjoying studying the human body.

History: We started studying ancient China and the Great Wall. Princess loved doin her own chinese calligraphy. Here's what she did...
Others: We used oil pastels to make impressionist style drawings and listened to Tchiakovsky. We also looked at another painting by John James Audubon. Here's princess's notebook page from that...
I hope you all had a good week, thanks for reading about ours.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thoughts on Next Year (revisiting SOTW & Sonlight)...

If you've followed this blog for long, you know that I'm constantly planning. It's a disease that I can't shake! The thing is my time is very short these days and I'm realizing that I will not be able to plan out every subject next year. I was very seriously considering using Story of the World 2 next year and planning out my own reading, read-aloud and language arts program along with arranging history and math. Plus I would still have to plan out the extras. The reality is that I don't have access to a library and I don't have the time to pull together all those plans (you know I wouldn't be happy with mear schedules for reading). The biggest problem is that I would want my plans to have what Sonlight's plans have.

I'm realizing that Sonlight is what I really want and need at this time. They have pre-read the books, organized them and adding questions, vocabulary and so much more. It's much easier for me to tweak Sonlight by adding maps and a few hands on activities than for me to write everything from scratch. So we will be using Core 2 next year, which is a good thing because I already have the guide!

I'm very glad that we did the Story of the World and Sonlight combo this year because it helped me to see what is important to me and what I want to have as a part of our day. I love Story of the World and the activity guide, but I love all that Sonlight has to offer. It's the good books and the whole package that keeps me going back. I'm probably going to end up writing my own language arts to go with Core 2 using the Aesop fables they have planned. And I will continue to plan out our extras, but that doesn't take too long. You didn't think I'd give up all planning, did you?

When I get everything set, I'll do a what we are doing next year post for those that are interested!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Weekly Report

This was a typical week at our house as far as school goes. Except for me, there are just not enough hours in the day to get done all that I want to. I need a few 28 hour days to put the final touches on Chemistry for the Grammar Stage! Maybe next week will be better. Anyways here's a look at what princess did this week...

Language Arts: Princess read "Teach Us, Amelia Bedelia" this week and she did a great job. I also caught her reading one of our previous books to her animals at bedtime! I was really encouraged as I was beginning to wonder how I was going to transition her from oral reading to independent reading. Now I'm thinking that time will do the trick for me!

Math: We talked about our multiplication 3 facts this week. I'm realizing that all that time working on skip counting was really worth it as it is making mulitlication a breeze to teach. I also stumbled upon this scene the other day...
Daddy and daughter working on algebra problems. She actually got what he was doing and did a few problems herself, which is very scary to me. Eventually having to teach calculus is a very strong possibility!

History: We spent the week with Alexander the Great. Princess was far more interested in his horse Buchephalus, though. I really like SOTW and the Activity guide, but the projects are getting harder to do because I don't have access to the same supplies that I did in the States. None the less we are still enjoying history!

Science: We studied the skeletal system this week. Princess was very excited to find out that bones keep her from looking like a pile of jelly (her words, not mine). Here's a look at her notebook page from this week...Other: We watched part 1 and 2 of the BBC animated version of the Tempest on you tube. We really enjoyed these. Princess spent some more time working on her cross-stitch butterfly which is now two-thirds of the way done. I'm really proud of the job she is doing on it. We also did our nature study this week which you can read about in the post below.
Hope you had a wonderful week, thanks for reading about ours....

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Education of Me

Ok, so I haven't done a post on this in quite awhile, but that's because I haven't done much self-education. I've been mostly on survival mode as moving overseas takes alittle out of you. So I plan to try to get back on track this week and I'm writing it here for accountability.

Over the last two months I have...
  1. Read the Tempest. It was a great play by Shakespeare and I read it in preparation for our own Shakespeare study. We read Lamb's tales, but I wanted to become familiar with the story.
  2. Read absolutely nothing from my history list, but I did read Five Little Peppers and how they grew, that counts, right?
What I plan to do next week...
  1. Begin to read A Winter's Tale. This is our next Shakespeare play and I have the next three weeks to read it.
  2. Read 60 pages in the Saying of Confucius. I still need to download this book from Google, but once I get that worked out I can begin reading.

Hopefully my goals aren't too lofty seeing that I still need time to work on learning a whole new language. I guess we will see how things go.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Outdoor Hour Challenge #45 Squirrels

We began this challenge by watching the videos that Barb had linked the the callenge, which we enjoyed immensely! It was so much fun to watch the squirrels. We then read about squirrels in our animal encyclopedia and headed out for our walk.

I would love to show you a picture of the squirrel we found, but it appears that none live in our city. So we decided that we would just have to go on memory. Before we moved, we used to sit and watch a squirrel try everything it possibly could to get into our bird feeder. It never suceeded, but it was fun to watch!

Anyways, we listened to Chapter 5 of the Burgess Animal Book from Librovox while filling out a page for our journals. Princess enjoyed the story and here's a look at her journal.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Weekly Report-March 13, 2009

We finished up week 20 this week, only three more weeks left in our term. Which means I need to get going on planning next terms artist/composer studies and our character study. I have an idea of what we will be doing, it's just a matter finding time to write it all out. Which is a problem, because between trying to learn a new language, dealing with computer frustrations(I can't get my Adobe to work right) and putting together the last bit of my chemistry program time is nearly non-exsistant here. Deep breath, this to shall pass!! Sorry about the slight vent, now on to the weekly run-down.

Language Arts: Princess finished up another Amelia Bedelia book this week. We completed the review lesson in Explode the Code. We also read some poetry about spring, which is slowly trying to arrive here.
Math: We wrapped up our two facts for multiplication quicker than I had planned, so we spent the rest of the week playing math games and working on mental math. We also did a few pages in the Miquon blue book on odd and even numbers.
Science: We began our look at the human body this week! I was ready for a change of pace. We talked about cells, hair and skin this week. We also did an experiment that looked at the ridges on our fingers and why they were important to us. Here's a look at her sheet from that...
History: We hung out with the Greeks this week, mainly in Athens and Sparta. Nothing much to report here except that princess is really enjoying our timeline and starting to make some good connections about the flow of history from it.

Others: We did our nature study, which you can read about below. We also started to read The Winter's Tale from Lamb's Tales of Shakespeare this week. It's a new one for me, so I'm looking forward to it. Finally, we finished our three week mural project, framed it and hung it up in the school area. I'm so proud of the job princess did (I only helped on the tree-she did the rest)! Here's how it looks...

I hope you had a great week also, now I'm off to get some more studying in!

Outdoor Hour Challenge #44-Rabbits

We are back with the outdoor hour challenges and today's went well. I never really thought I would have to do nature study in an urban environment. We have always lived in the country or very near to it. Now living in the big city overseas I'm starting to understand that urban nature study requires that you take advantage of all the reasources availble! So we began our study by going over some facts from the Handbook of Nature Study. We then watched these two videos on you-tube to observe rabbits in the wild and baby rabbits.
Finally princess drew rabbit tracks in her nature journal and colored a picture of a rabbit to go with it. We talked about what she had learned and put some of that in her journal. Here's a picture of the page we made.
Not exactly a walk in the woods looking for nature, but we did walk to lunch afterwards. Seriously, although our nature study is taking on a new form, she is still learning about nature and that's the whole point anyways.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009