Monarch Room Summer School 2013 - Week 1-2

Monday, June 17, 2013

Hello again! We took about a month off of school, and have now started a very light summer school for about 6 weeks. I would love to take a full 3 months off without all hades breaking loose, but apparently that's the case around here without anything resembling a routine. I usually work through math and reading in the summer, but this time I decided to add science. I've been collecting Apologia science books like a cat lady collects cats, so I thought summer might be a nice place to squeeze them in. I love the idea of schooling year round, but for us taking a significant break from our full schedule is necessary (at least for me.) I love accomplishing our full program during the traditional school year, and adding in review that doesn't necessarily have to be done if I'd rather be at the pool. We will spend maybe an hour and a half per day in summer school.

I had always overlooked Apologia's science books. They looked too much like boring textbooks to me. Aedan is doing HOD's Creation to Christ, and Apologia's Land Animals of the 6th Day is scheduled. As I was reading through it I realized how conversational the writing was, and knew my kids would love these books. I found a few here and there at used sales for 15 bucks. I couldn't pass them up. My in-laws very generously bought us a pass to the local aquarium, so I thought the swimming creatures book would make the perfect summer study.

 I've decided to give Christian Light Math a try this year. Aedan really needs a more spiral math program with lots of review. I'm still bringing him up to level in math after bringing him home from PS. I think by the end of next year we should be up to speed. We'll work through a few light units this summer.

 Our first experiment in Apologia had to do with air pressure, and what happens to our bodies when we dive deep into the water. The balloon was supposed to get smaller as we stepped on it representing what happens to our lungs when all that ocean water piles on top of us. I think the balloon was supposed to be bigger before we started, but I couldn't for the life of me get it to inflate bigger. Either way the boys enjoyed smashing the bottle ha!

 Our next experiment was to discover if hot or cold water was heavier.

 We filled the large bowl with hot water, and the cup with ice water.

We punctured the cup, so that the ice water flowed like a cold current into the hot water.

 The cold water sunk to the bottom, and so it is heavier.

We did the reverse with the hot water being in the cup this time, and the cold being in the cup. 

 We learned about how whales use echolocation to "see" what is around them.

 We did the old fashioned cup and string experiment to discover how whales communicate.

My boys loved this experiment :)

We learned about how salt water is less likely to freeze than water without salt.

The boys guessed correctly.

 After 2 hours the water with the salt on the left was left unfrozen.

Normally I'm not a glutton for punishment, and would run the other direction at the mention of a lapbook. I kept thinking of how I would implement our Apologia study without the use of notebooking, and all those other things that we do the rest of the year. Uh....lapbook. I don't know what possessed me, but I purchased this lapbook file. My husband took the boys camping, and I set out to cut out all of the items for 2 lapbooks by myself.

This is the second lapbook. I know most people would let their kids cut all this out, and assemble it. I thought would be so much easier to just do it myself. This one is far too involved, and I wanted summer school to be fun. This way instead of worksheets they can add what we learn each day to each of the little booklets.

Here's a closer look.

The boys took turn filling out the booklets.

We all really loved learning about whales this week!

This was the before shot of one of the lapbooks.

Here are the sheets cutout.

And this is why I probably won't do another lapbook for at least a year :) I do thing the end result will be lovely, and such a nice thing to see what we learned all in once place. See you next week!

My HOD Bigger Hearts Schedule

Monday, June 3, 2013

I just got a question on one of my old posts about our daily schedule. Our schedule was pretty bare bones. I did enter things in Homeschool Skedtrack (for record purposes), but mostly I followed an order of the day. This was the order that worked for us. Some days I switched things around, but this order seemed to work best for our family. We started out the year with math being one of our first subjects, but quickly found that dawdling was ruining our morning. I found that by moving it to the end of the day there was much less wasted time. It was do your math, or waste your free time.

Our days started our mornings at 8 am, and ended by or before 12. Sometimes Aedan might have a little extra extension reading or science to finish up after lunch, but we mostly were able to accomplish all of this before lunch. By the end of the year the boys were beginning to do their math before 8 on their own, so they would have more time at the end of the school day. Diligence at work. You gotta love that! We completed most of our written work by 10 (up to HOD science on the list), and then we took a snack time break. During snack I read our storytime book. After that we completed everything else. Typing and AAS fell by the wayside by the end of the year. I will pick them both up again next year.

I've already done most of my schedule for next year. The schedule I made for next year is detailed daily schedule on a weekly grid. I've been working on it until my eyes were bleeding ha! Both boys are going to be in their own guides, so I wanted something more detailed next year. I hope to post our final plans for next year in the next week. All of our boxes have arrived. I'm excited about all the boys will be learning next year.
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