Sunday, May 31, 2015

Hymn Study: Oh God Our Help in Ages Past

The church I attend does primarily contemporary music. Periodically, though, they slip in a hymn. usually contemporized.

I guess I'm getting ornery and/or crotchety in my "old" age, but I almost always find the offering too fast or too slow, contemporary, abbreviated, or in some other way annoyed by the arrangement. In an effort to stop complaining about this, but still feed my soul and worship freely, I have decided, when this happens, to just find a different arrangement that I can find on YouTube, that meets the needs/wants of my heart.

So this week's offering is "Oh God, Our Help in Ages Past". I found this lovely arrangement -- I hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Menu Monday for 5/25/15

Here is my vegan/carnivore blended menu Monday for this week. Because of the holiday, I forgot to post it yesterday. ::sigh:: I took my holiday seriously. I was doing other stuff.

Sunday (5/24): Barbecue chicken, corn on cob, asparagus (Vegan skipped the chicken)

Monday (5/25): Chicken Caesar Salad, rolls (Skip chicken)

Tuesday (5/26): Tarrazan Soup (P 84 P&RHD CB), salad, rolls

Wednesday (5/27): Beef brisket, potatoes, carrots, onions, green beans, rolls (skip beef)

Thursday (5/28)(CAP): Spinach pie, salad, muffins (vegan leftovers)

Friday (5/29): Pizza (out/in)(veggie pizza)

Saturday (5/30): Boy Scout event - serving quinnoa vegan chili!

Planning for High School, Part 2

In today's blog entry I thought I would focus on the decisions you must make about which courses your students will take in high school.

When do you begin thinking about college? When do you begin thinking about what course of study your student should follow in high school? ...As early as you can.   
When my older two students were in high school (starting in 1999), I was just hanging on by the seat of my pants just to get them through high school at all. I never took Biology myself, and now it is mandatory for graduation. My oldest studied Latin, my second studied Spanish, but I was not prepared to teach either. I was blessed to find situations for them to study various subject matter under teachers who knew the material.
 When your student begins to show an interest or a strength that you believe to be the direction his education will go/should go, that is the time to pursue it and brainstorm about high school courses and college majors. 
One of my students wanted to major in something we could not manage financially. One of my students majored in something that has not panned out into a career in a field supported by her degree. These are serious issues to work through.

Student #3 is interested in a career in a direction that requires heavy math and science in his high school years. When #1 and #2 were in high school, their curriculum was very classical, leaning towards Bachelor of Arts type degrees. Their courses were heavy in literature and writing assignments and history. Science and Math were the minimum we could get away with -- they didn't seem very interested, and at the time I wasn't very able to do more. #3 is very heavy into Math and Science, and at a time when I am able to focus on it, teach it, and accommodate him. As a result of his interests, we are focusing on Science and Math more, and History and Literature less. (We're not neglecting it, but you have no idea how much we did with #1 and #2!)
So, what I am saying in all this is that to plan for college, to plan for high school, you and your student(s) need to determine his/her direction: humanities, or science/math/technology. From there you determine probable/possible college major(s). You need to look at the college admissions requirements (or talk to a counselor) to determine what high school courses the college wants the student to have taken. Then you launch from there and create your plan for the four year course study I mentioned in the first High School Planning post.
Once you determine whether your focus is humanities of sciences, you build your plan around that, never forgetting state graduation requirements and courses the college will be looking for. Season that with courses of personal interest to your student, as they come up, and call these courses "electives".

For my son, the high school course plan centers around science and math. The other subjects will fall into line around the spine we are setting in science and math: Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, pre-Calculus; Biology, Marine Biology, Chemistry and Physics. In history and literature we like to stay in the same era. 9th grade was Middle Ages, Rennaisance, Reformation, Early America. Literature assignments were largely in the same time period. 10th grade will be 1800's, 11th grade will be 1900's to present and 12th grade will be Ancient Civilizations. Did I mention we'll be using IEW for Grammar and Composition?

So, what's your plan?

Insect Classification - Apologia Biology Experiment 12.2

My son is working his way through Apologia Biology. He has now reached Experiment 12.2, and I located this video in the hopes that it will help him write up the "experiment" on insect classification:

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Home School Planning, Part 2

Yesterday I explained how I set up my 36-Week Daily Lesson Planner each year -- the empty template, that is. Today I will discuss how I decide what I will teach each day. 

Why do I do it? Why do I want a DAILY lesson plan? Each home school is different, but in my home I have found that if I don't write it down, I forget it. Suddenly it is March and I realize I haven't taught Health (required by my state each year), or PE, or Music, or Art. Or there was that Science curriculum I bought... where did it get off to... Sad, I know... Plus there is the student looking for a "To Do" list, and if it is not on the list, HE doesn't want to do it...

Okay, so now we're planning. My 36-Week Daily Lesson Plan is set up with dates, holidays, and my son's grade (10th). I have determined that this year's courses will be:
  • Bible;
  • Algebra 2;
  • 10th Grade English (English 2); I broke out a row for
  • Literature;
  • Marine Biology;
  • Spanish I;
  • History; and I left in
  • Arts (optional elective) and
  • Phys Ed/Health (he needs 1/2 credit of each sometime in high school)
You need to use my document to alter it as you wish to indicate the courses your student(s) will be doing. Here's the 36-Week Daily Lesson Planner template for my son, that you can alter.



My next step of planning is to take the courses that I have purchased in book form and spread out the assignments throughout the year. I haven't done it yet, so I'll explain how it worked last year in Algebra 1. We were using Horizon's Algebra I, sold by Alpha Omega. There are 160 lessons in the curriculum, with a test every tenth lesson. There are also quarterly exams, as well as optional worksheets to use when your student needs the extra practice.

Lesson Plans for Term:                    Week:              .

       Beginning:                                          Student:                                                         .


M O N D AY (9/7)
T U E S D A Y (9/8)
W E D N E S D A Y (9/9)











Page 2


T H U R S D A Y (9/10)

F R I D A Y (9/11)


If I were plotting this out this year, this is how I might do it. I know a few things:
  • My first week is not a five-day-week;
  • I don't want my son taking his Algebra tests on Mondays;
  • I don't want multiple tests to hit on the same day;
  • I have "wiggle room", because there are 20 school days more than lessons in the curriculum.
In addition, I know that I can call the subject done when we have completed 75% of the material, if I need to.

Week 1 I decide to use the first two days to ease into the new school year, set up notebooks, familiarize ourselves with the material, etc. If there are comprehension tests or placement tests, he has to take them here. We start Lesson 1 on Thursday, maybe, knowing that it should be review for him anyway. (Some books start with two months of review!)

From that day forward, I can schedule a lesson a day, with tests falling on Wednesday, from now until the end of the year, if I want. I don't, though. I start with about 20-40 lessons, knowing that tests in other subjects might conflict. I might want to change schedules and don't want to change the entire year.

So Math is scheduled for 40 lessons. I note the tests as well, and the optional worksheets (which I don't assign if I don't need to). I switch to the next "box" subject. I perform similar magic with Marine Biology and Spanish I. If all looks well, with 40 lessons in three subjects, I keep going. If changes are needed, I make adjustments first.

My history and literature materials are of a similar nature, but do not need to be written in daily. I can either indicate (spread over Monday-Tuesday) that pages 1-59 of My Antonia needs to be read in week 1, or I can assign 12 pages per day. Same with history - I can list all the books and page assignments for the week, or spread it out through the week with daily assignments.

My English II this year will be IEW (Institutes for Excellence in Writing), which combines video, writing assignments, and Fix It Grammar assignments. I will probably write these assignments in as we get them done as the days go by.

For Physical Education, my son needs to keep a chart this year where he writes down how much time he worked out. He needs 75 hours to count 1/2 credit; 150 hours counts as a full credit. I'll give him credit for whatever he accomplishes. Health is similar. He will get some studies done through Civil Air Patrol, some through Boy Scouts. We'll need to supplement and he needs to document or we won't count that half credit.

We don't need the Arts, but we usually do them, so if we do them we will write them down as we get them done. Bible we fill in as we read.

Whenever you are ready, feel free to plot out the rest of the year on all your subjects. It is wise to schedule a "catch up" day every two weeks. It will use up those 20 extra days, and will make it easier to adjust the schedule when changes occur. If you don't need to catch up, you can schedule a subject related field trip to the zoo, the capital, the Natural History museum, a local historical park... whatever!

Drop me a note if you have any questions. Enjoy! You have the whole summer to work on this!