28 November 2011


Shhhh.....we're semi playing hookey today.  I very rarely call a day off from school.  Even if I don't have their schedules done (like today) I can get them started on "the next thing" in several subjects and get their assignments written up pretty quickly.  After traveling and eating away the weekend, I just didn't feel like doing writing up assignments last night.  Today I have several things that have to get done, a few of which are out of the house.  Not really a big deal, but this teacher needed a teacher work day. 

The girls are doing their math ("the next lesson") and they're also doing their online class.  We're going to work on picking up some of the clutter so we can pull the Christmas decorations out and get started on making the house look festive and pretty.  A little bit of "life learning" today.  Maybe we'll even start the Christmas unit study by watching a movie.

17 November 2011

Unit studies

First a definition, unit studies are usually short studies on one topic.  They can encompass a range of academic subjects but stick to one topic.  For example, I've seen a unit study on chocolate.  With this one you would probably learn the history of chocolate, where it's grown (geography), learn how to use it and make one or more recipes with it (math and science).  Depending on the study, they'll use living books, maps, field trips, videos, and/or music.  In general, I don't use unit studies in my school but I have recently found two that I'm going to be making use of in the next couple of months.

The first is from Connect the Thoughts on Christmas.  It specifically says that it's a creative writing and history course.  I downloaded this one from CurrClick a month or so ago when it was free.  I'm just now taking a look at it since I want to start it the week after Thanksgiving.  At the beginning it's got a list of recommended books, movies, and music (some of my favorites are included).  The first lesson looks to be on the history of Christmas.  I can't wait to delve deeper and see what's in store!  I think it will be a fun study and maybe we can take a break from some of the other work we're doing.

The other one I got today from Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett.  I'm on her email list and got a notice this morning that they've come out with the newest in her Passport Geography series, France. Coming up soon is Germany, Italy, and Spain; Great Britain is also available.  This study is only a week long, but takes a look at the culture, language, food, and lots of other aspects of the country.  Granted, it's a brief look but looks to be a good introduction.  I thought I'd add this in for Sweet Pea in January as an addition to her French class that she's taking.  I think her teacher is giving them some insight into the culture of different French speaking countries, but this will give her a bit more depth into France.  When the Germany study comes out I'll probably get that for Rosie Jane to add to her German class.

13 November 2011

Back to it

We thoroughly enjoyed our vacation to Disney but now it's time to get back to it.  Sweet Pea studied hard yesterday for her French test, got it done today and I scanned and emailed it to her teacher.  Rosie Jane said she studied German and thought her test was due on Wednesday.  I asked the teacher when I sent Sweet Pea's test in to make sure.  If it's due tomorrow, I'll be printing and she'll be getting it done quick before class.

I spent the evening writing up assignments for the girls.  Not much fun today.  I had to figure out what was done and what wasn't before we went to Disney and try to remember where we were in different subjects.  I'm still not sure about a few things, but I'll get that all cleared up in the morning.  Sweet Pea has a neat history project to finish up and some cool stuff coming up in science.  Rosie Jane will be finishing The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe this week and starting The Horse and His Boy.  I'm not sure this Narnia study was what she was expecting, but I think she's finally enjoying it; it just took us a while to get here.

Sweet Pea has Girl Scouts tomorrow.  It's been an interesting road with her and her troop.  At this point, it's her and two friends.  Small, but they all really want to be here and I think they all have the goal of earning their Gold Award.  Right now we're finishing up their Silver Award.  That's really been a learning experience!  They built the new website for our Service Unit and just have a couple of things left to finish it up.  They'll maintain it for the rest of the year then train another troop next fall to turn it over to.  They do enjoy getting together.

Rosie Jane hasn't be able to really get involved with her troop this year.  It's based at the local middle school and this year they're meeting after school.  Unfortunately it conflicts with her science labs.  The good news is that I can usually reschedule her labs if there's a meeting she really needs to go to.  I need to get her thinking about her Silver Award so she can start working on it.

11 November 2011


We've been on vacation, another trip to Disney, which means that school hasn't happened in a week.  The girls did manage to log into their French/German classes in the car on Friday last week.  Having a smart phone is a wonderful thing!  Sweet Pea told me that she wanted to use my phone and log in on Monday and Wednesday as well.  I was rather skeptical about it but if she wanted to, more power to her.  I asked on Monday but she said no; I don't remember what we were doing, but it wasn't really a good time.  On Wednesday, we had just finished lunch at noon so she logged in then was listening in as we were walking around Hollywood Studios.  Worked out ok.  Now they just need to catch up on their homework which they didn't do and study since they both have tests that are due on Monday.