Tag Archives: Homeschool

Singapore Math CA

25. Life After Singapore Math 6B

I am planning for our 2015-2016 school year and am facing a new challenge.  I have loved using Singapore Math (CA Standards edition) with my kids.  Ashby has used the 1A-6B editions.

Singapore Math CA

Singapore Math 6

Ryan has used K-3B so far.  I appreciate the alignment with the (now defunct) CA state standards, which were among the most rigorous in the nation.  Now that Common Core has replaced the state standards, however, I am less concerned about keeping our math curriculum aligned.  In fact, I have already purchased the 4A-5B Singapore Math Standards Edition materials I’ll need for Ryan (before they disappear).  I skipped 6A and 6B, because I have found a new resource that I plan to use when he reaches 6th grade.  (As for Sadie, she’s several years away from any math curriculum.  I imagine our homeschooling will look different by then…significantly more heavy on technology.  In any event, the gap in ages means that little miss Sadie will probably have all new curricula.

So, what resource will we be using?  Ashby will start Art of Problem Solving- Prealgebra
in 6th grade.  I know that it covers much of the same material as Singapore Math 6.  But, the teaching style is different and requires more writing on Ashby’s part than she is used to with Singapore.  So, my plan is to start it as usual and let Ashby set the pace.  If she knows something already, we can skip it and, possibly, get started on Algebra 1 before the year is done.  But, I didn’t want to jump right into Algebra 1 with a new math program.  I figure it’s better to move fast through repeat material than to jump too far ahead and overwhelm her to the point of hating math.

AoPS Prealgebra

Art of Problem Solving- Prealgebra

Ashby has done a few lessons already, as we (meaning I) decided it would be best to do some math over our summer break to prevent the dreaded “summer brain drain.”  So far, she likes it.  The AoPs website offers short videos on many of the topics, and Ashby enjoys watching them in between reading the lesson and doing the exercises.  I’ll report back after the year is under way to compare Singapore 6 and AoPS Prealgebra.  For now, on to scheduling 6th grade grammar!

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24. …and then everything changed

When I last posted, we were in the midst of some big life changes. We had decided to downsize, to move to the city to minimize Mike’s commute, and to otherwise simplify life.  I’m happy to say that we did it!  Well, mostly…

Meet Sadie!

Meet Sadie!

What better way to simplify than to have a baby?  We found out that I was pregnant the same day  we signed the contract on our new, downsized home.  Ironic, right?  Sadie was most definitely a surprise; but of all the curve balls life could have thrown at us, a healthy, strong baby is a blessing. Through all the change, though, we have continued to homeschool.  More to come soon on that topic.  Right now, I hear someone waking from her nap.

16. Curriculum

School starts in a week.  So, I’m in the home stretch of preparations.  I’ve added the Curriculum Page to my GGP Teacher Manual.  This page details the curriculum I use for each subject.  It’s a combination of purchased and self-made curricula.

Making Health Books

Making Health Books

You’ll find PDF copies of the curricula I’ve made and links to the ones I purchase.

SOTW 2 Booklet

SOTW 2 Booklet

Enjoy!

 

15. Always Learning

20130806-154443.jpgWe’ve been vacationing in Lake Tahoe before we start the next school year. Yesterday, we took a gondola ride up Heavenly Mountain and saw some spectacular views.

20130806-135609.jpgWe stopped mid-hike for a mini physics lesson. We watched the waves travel in the boundary rope, noting that they were taller when we tugged harder and that they quickly flattened out as they traveled back and forth between the poles.

20130806-121840.jpgThis reminded me of one of my favorite reasons to homeschool. The world is our classroom. And, in this case, the classroom is a beautiful place to be!

20130806-154552.jpgI learned something, too. I’ve been coming to Tahoe every winter since I was a kid, and we all know what a great ski destination it is. But this is my first summer visit. FYI: summer is way better!

14. Fun Food Friday

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I’ve decided to share some of my favorite things with you, even though they’re not necessarily related to homeschooling. Well, in my life, it ALL relates to homeschooling one way or another.

In this case, we’re talking food. I love to cook and bake, and I’m making sure the kids can do both. More on that in another post. For now, let’s focus on what matters…pizza! Probably my all-time favorite food. This is one I made this week with my homemade sourdough crust.

Since I live in the San Francisco area I figured I better make some sourdough, right? I do bread, English muffins, pancakes, and waffles. But, pizza dough is by far my favorite use for my starter.

I try to make the pizza as homemade as possible. This one had jalapeños (nowhere near hot enough yet), basil, and parsley from my garden. Later in the summer, I’ll add tomatoes to that list.

20130802-083138.jpg
I tried to make the mozzarella once, but it flopped. It ended up being a waste of many gallons of local, organic, grass-fed milk (a.k.a. $), so I have yet to attempt it again. But, I feel the need to perfect it coming on lately. We’ll see…

13. School Year Calendar

I’ve added the Calendar page to my GGP Teacher Manual.

Calendar

GGP 2013-2014 Calendar

You can download and customize the calendar for your school.

I usually print out several grayscale copies to mark up as I figure out our school year and number the weeks.

CalendarMarked

Marked Calendar JPG (click to enlarge)

Here are what all my markings mean:

CalendarMarked

My Calendar Explained (click to enlarge)

The calendar helps me get a visual idea of how many weeks we really need to accomplish all of our goals and how many weeks we can use for breaks.  I’ll add my final calendar to the Calendar page of my GGP Teacher Manual when it’s done.

12. Reality

Sometimes I get overwhelmed looking at other homeschoolers’ blogs, because they seem to have everything so much more under control than I do.  Their classrooms are set up with everything you could possibly want; we do school at the dining room table and have one bookshelf for all of our homeschool materials.  Their website photos are magazine-ready; I tend to use snapshots from my iPhone.  (I have a nice Canon DSLR but would rather not deal with the extra step of transferring photos from the memory card to the computer.  My iPhone is just too easy in comparison).  Their kids seem so studious and exceptional at everything they do.  Ashby and Ryan do love to read and give me no trouble with lessons.  I, of course, think they are exceptional.  But, I also know they’re normal kids…they want to play, and self-restraint isn’t tops on their agenda.  They would watch TV and eat snacks all day long if I allowed it (I don’t). But, they’re curious, respectful, resourceful, and imaginative.   That’s what matters to me.

So, I remind myself not to believe everything I see online.  Look at this:

IMG_7347

This was Saturday morning.  The kids and I took a nice walk to a local coffee shop for breakfast, and they ran around and played outside when we were done.  What joyful and loving siblings, right?  A perfect morning…sunshine, a cup of coffee, happy kids.

Well, here we are about 2 minutes later:

IMG_7348

Ashby comes over to tell me that Ryan is mad, because she isn’t playing the game according to his rules (which he has a tendency to keep adding as his games go along).  Now, Ashby is mad at me, because I’m not reprimanding Ryan right this second (I never do, she tells me).   And do you see Ryan pouting in the background?

This is my perfect Saturday morning.  This is reality.  But, it’s quite easy for me to just post the first pic and tell the world how wonderful our life is.  Not only will you think I’ve got it all together, but I might believe it myself.   So, why not?

Well, just in case I’ve given you the impression up until now that everything is roses and cotton candy in our homeschool experience, I want to set the record straight.  I can’t promise that every post I make will inspire you with its beauty or demonstrate how easy and natural it is to homeschool.  But I can assure you that I’ll be honest.  I can offer you resources that I find useful and lessons I’ve learned (and continue to learn) in my years homeschooling.  I’ll post about some of our fun homeschool days, but I’ll address the flops, too (with the hope that our challenge could lead to someone else’s success).

The reality is that some days are amazing, and I impress even myself. More often, though, homeschooling (and parenting, in general) is an exercise in patience and humility.  I don’t have all the answers, contrary to what I could easily project here on my blog.  But, every day is a new opportunity to learn and teach, and for that I am thankful.

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