Monday, August 30, 2010

Week 2 - I need a Staples button...

Started week 2 of our new school year and I think I want one of those Staples' 'That was Easy' buttons. I wonder if I haven't made things more difficult than they should be. School got done - math and spelling and grammar went quickly - science for the middle and youngest and we watched a DVD about Jamestown as an intro to our American history unit. No one fussed or balked or refused to do any work.


I have three reviews due in the next week and have made good progress on all but one of them. Tonight I have two meetings at church and then a meeting at SSI in the morning. Praying that one goes well. It would have been easier if they had told me what they needed to begin with.

My grandmother gifted me with her collection of family pictures and the letters sent to the family during one of my great uncle's tours of duty in World War II. I want to scan the photos and transcribe the letters. They are a window into a time that is very important.

Trying to force myself to blog more frequently and not just when I need to review something. Thrilled to see that the Temple Grandin movie did well at the Emmy's. This HBO movie is not to be missed. It was excellent on so many levels.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Our first day of the 2010-2011 year

We had a good first day - Math U See for the older two - Saxon for the younger. Shurley Grammar for all three. Apologia Zoo III for the younger two, Apologia General for the oldest. Tapestry of Grace Year I Unit 1 for two days a week and TOG Yr 2 Unit 3 for two days a week and catch up on Fridays. The older two will start with Institute for Excellence in Writing next week. Plus we will be adding all the great stuff I'm reviewing for TOS.

Today went well - started at 10 am (my boys are at their best later in the morning) and we were done by 1 pm. Only the youngest grumbled and then stopped when he realized it wasn't that hard after all.

Day 1 done - 179 more (approximately) to go. :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Review: Download N Go - Rollercoasters

When I heard that Download N Go was looking for people to review their product I jumped at the chance. Amanda Bennett is well known for her Unit Studies and I had a Download n' Go unit that the boys really loved.

Since Download N Go studies are meant to be covered in a week it was perfect for the gap week we had before starting our regular school year.

The entire Download N Go series is available in The Old Schoolhouse Store. Roller Coasters is available in e-book format for $7.95.

There is an introduction to the topic by Amanda then you find the daily objectives, book suggestions - our library didn't have these but I found others that worked just as well - then a short intro to lapbooking. We've been lapbooking or lap n' noting for awhile now but it was still interesting to read.

Day 1 was about defining a roller coaster. My kids have only seen them on TV. (In my 43 years I never found the need to ride a roller coaster but then I'm the one who is scared of the Ferris Wheel). They loved the videos. All of mine are 'special learners' and hands on and visuals help them retain so much more than just plain text.

Day 2 covered The History of Roller Coasters which I found interesting - my boys are not really history buffs. They did like learning how they came to be and are clamoring to go on one. I think it might be time for Mom to call in her brother aka The Brave.

Day 3 talked of People and Places of Roller Coasters. I really loved the way that physics is worked into the lesson and my boys learned without realizing it. This was also covered more in Day 4 - Science Secrets of Roller Coasters & Rides. We learned about laws of motion and played with slinkies - a bit hit as the youngest in particular - loves any excuse to try one out. The boys wanted to know what a Ferris Wheel was and I can see a trip to the county fair in our future this fall. Hopefully Dad will brave the scary rides or maybe Uncle The Brave.

Due to family illness we didn't get to cover Day 5 - Goodies & Gadgets of Roller Coasters in much depth. We also didn't get to the lap n' note I wanted to do or take pictures.

This was my second use of Download N Go in our homeschool and I can say that it was VERY enjoyable. I will certainly reuse this study in the future and I will be using other units. We run on a 9 week - one week off schedule and these are great for any gaps we might encounter. The variety of activities really helped my boys gain a better understanding of the topic.

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this Download n' Go Unit Study for the purpose of review in exchange for my honest opinion. I received no other compensation. All families are different and your results may vary.