Sunday, October 23, 2011

Weekly Review

If I don't start posting more often I'll have to start calling this the "monthly review". So, what have we all been up to? Well, the big kids have just been working and going to school. Once you hit that big 18 and beyond, life just isn't as fun :( The world expects you to be productive- so work and school it is! The little kids have been busy too. They spent a day at Astro Camp learning about physics. They had a great time. Nate has been to several of these (including the 3-day camp) before. We also went on a field trip to the fire station and police station in Roy. Hardly anyone showed up so it was really fun for the kids to have the extra attention and see things really up close. They were excited to see what Lexii is going to do when she graduates. What little boys don't like police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks! I think the highlight of the month so far has been our trip to SLC. We rode the train to SLC and then met up with our science club at the new Leonardo museum. We then went to the SLC library. Mason declared it "The best day of his life!" Yes, my kids would rather go to a library than most anywhere else. He even begged for us to move to SLC just for the library, LOL. We then had lunch and spent some time at Temple Square. We were going to stop at the Planetarium, but Mase wasn't feeling well so we went home. We'll hit the Planetarium another day. We've been on a lot of field trips this month, but we've also got a lot of school work done. We've also been to science club (where I taught the physics class this month) and to swim group. Mason has been taking swimming lessons this month. We got the "homeschool discount" so it is really cheap at Marshall White rec center. it also turned out that Mason is the only one in his class. You can't beat private lessons! Both boys are still playing the piano everyday and Nate is loving violin lessons. I'm a little tired of Jingle Bells and Joy to the World, but their Christmas recital is going to sound great :)

Waiting to go into the Leonardo

Outside the library

At the Leonardo

Waiting for the train

Temple Square

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Curriculum- Math

My original plan was to review all the curriculum we use and LOVE in a timely manner- at least 1 a week so you could see what we do every day. As you can see, I haven't been that quick. Well, you know what they say about good intentions...

We use Saxon math and love it! Here is a review from "Saxon math is one of the most popular among homeschoolers. It uses an "incremental approach". This means concepts are divided into smaller, more easily grasped pieces called increments. A new increment is presented each day and students work only a few problems involving the new material. The remaining homework consists of practice problems involving concepts previously introduced. Thus, every assignment (and every test) is a cumulative review of all material covered up to that point."

Some people might find it really repetitive and boring, but we really like the constant review. I remember taking math when I was younger and learning a new concept and then moving on to something new. By the time the test rolled around I had forgotten what I had learned. I feel really strongly that our children need a really strong background in math. They really need it for science and if they plan on going to college- every major requires at least 1 class of college level math.

Saxon is also fairly inexpensive. You can find used copies on ebay and amazon. I have also found some at the DI and on Saxon also has placement tests on their website so you know what level you should start with. This is very helpful if you are coming from another program. I also tested Mason at kindergarten age and he placed in Math 1 instead of the kindergarten level. It was nice to not have wasted money on a level that would have been too easy for him.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Weekly Review

Oh my gosh! I can't believe it's October already. I had planned on being diligent and posting on here at least weekly. Yeah, like that was going to happen :) Things have just been a little crazy around here the past month. We took a couple of weeks off from school so I could get some canning done. There was not a protest to be heard. I think the boys kept themselves scarce in hopes I would forget they needed to be doing more than just playing. It was a good break and I got a lot done. Canning spilled over into the rest of the month and I just barely finished peaches on Saturday. So far this year I have canned: 37 quarts of green beans, 18 pints of dilly beans, 8 quarts of apricots, 20 quarts of spaghetti sauce, 30 pints of salsa, 4 quarts of zucchini pickles, 6 pints of zucchini pickles, 15 quarts of peaches, 15 quarts of vegetable soup, 21 half-pints of strawberry jam, 14 half-pints of cinnamon apricot jam, and 28 half-pints of cinnamon peach jam. I'm hoping to do some more vegetable soup, chicken soup, and potatoes.
This month swimming group started as well as science club. It's been really nice to see old friends and get into a routine. We also went on a field trip to the Bingham Copper Mine. It was really interesting and we learned a lot. They have a great visitors center with a movie and many hand-on displays. Sadly, I left the camera home on the counter. The big kids have settled nicely into college life and between work and school, we hardly see them. We were able to get everyone home on the same night last Thursday and we went bowling and had pizza. We had a great time. OK October- bring it on! We have lot's of fun planned for the month :)