Her dad and I are so proud we could burst. So blessed are we to be her parents.
I am the hostess, once again for this month’s High School Homeschool Blog Carnival. The theme for this month is “Day in the life” or “typical day” of a homeschooled high-schooler.
I find this a little ironic considering that I am graduating my high-schooler this month and his typical day looks a lot less like Shakespeare and statistics and a lot more like job applications and auto repair. Yes, “senioritis” is alive and well in the homeschool high school! Add to that a pretty intense spring fever (will it EVER come???) and you might as well throw in the towel as far as getting anything academic done!LOL!
my slacker graduate
I have a sneaking suspicion that this may be the case for a lot of high-schoolers right now as entries for this carnival have been few and far between!
Luckily for us, a brave few are still plugging along and have offered up lovely descriptions of how high school plays out in their homes with their young ladies and gentlemen. Enjoy!
First up, the ever-inspiring Willa at Take Up and Read shares how her high schoolers’ homeschool day breaks down and how they use their time.
Next, Mary at Winecup Christian Academy shares recap of her son’s week full of diverse studies. I want to know where she found a fabulous Russian course for her son as my Sam has been wanting to learn Russian for a while now.
And then there is Erin at Seven Little Australians , who is definitely NOT suffering from spring fever because it is autumn in Australia. Erin shares a ‘typical’ day in the life of her teens, and adds, ” But is it really a standard day? In one sense it is as it reflects the ebbs and flows of our life”
Finally, meet Nancy of Family on Bikes, who (after taking a world-record breaking three year bike ride with her husband and twin boys from Alaska to Argentina!!!), has collaborated with her boys to assemble a unique combination of school and activities to meet their educational needs and feed their passions. As Nancy says, “Consider all options!”
And that’s it! Short and sweet! Just enough to get your wheels turning and perhaps inspire a few ideas for next year.
If your high-schooler is resisting the siren song of spring and you have any relevant blog posts you’d like to share, please link in the comments!
I think we are beginning to come out of our winter doldrums. Spring seems so very close now and though the ground is still covered in snow, the warmer temps and longer days are lifting our spirits tremendously (14 hours of sunlight today!).
And so we have fallen into a very pleasant and productive rhythm lately which feels pretty good and will hopefully carry us smoothly into summer.
We have designated Mondays as “curl up and read day” because, well, who really like Mondays anyway, right? We figured it is a good day to devour as many books as we can with absolutely NO GUILT. So JBug has plowed headlong through the Charlie Bone series, Sam has finished the first two books of Veronica Roth’s Divergent series (and awaiting the release of the third book in October) and I am working through my overflowing TBR stack.
We’ve also revived Tuesday teatime with poetry (BraveWriter style), which we have not done in a long time but used to very much enjoy. It was just as nice as we remember:
We also did a fun freewrite that day with the prompt of: Describe each day of the week as if it were a person.We set the timer for 15 minutes, but all of us were still writing when the time ran out so we just kept going…
On wednesday we watched some interesting documentaries, one on speed-riding and one called Ape to Man on human evolution.
On thursday we did some science. Sam is working on making a pinhole camera, and JBug did this fun Pringles can Pinhole viewer, which actually works quite well!
You get a very clear upside-down image of whatever you are looking at. We all thought it was cool. (Lots of fun science projects at that site, btw.)
And friday was all about art–all day long. JBug is finishing up her marionette Rumpelstiltskin:
And Sam was inspired by some posters in an Etsy shop to make his own set of Walking Dead posters. Here are his first two:
And he has several more planned. I love them!
So it has been a busy, happy, productive week at the LaPaz home. How has your week been?
After successfully finishing Rapunzel, the next Grimm’s Fairy Tale we are bringing to life is Rumpelstiltskin. After reading the tale, we decided this funny little dancing madman would be a perfect subject for a marionette. (We have no idea how to make a marionette, but that has never stopped us from doing things before. We learn as we go, right?)
Time to break out our old standby: papier mache! Yippee!
We used our usual newspaper and wallpaper paste method for building the basic shape, but we wanted more detail. So we decided to try adding something new, Blick’s Mix, which is a moldable pulp-based instant papier mache mix. With a little help from me figuring out how to work with it, JBug was able to sculpt it right onto the base to get some really nice details. It’s still in the early stages, but you can see her vision for Rumpelstiltskin beginning to take shape.
I can’t wait to see him come to life over the next few days!
Oh, and Sam is getting in on the marionette-making party, too! His is a caricature of one of his favorite musicians. It should be a hoot! I’ll post pics of his as soon as it is a little further along.
I have to admit, this stuff has been just what we needed to get rid of the late-winter blahs. So much fun! I highly recommend it!
This first Fairy Tale Theater project has been a lot of work for JBug, from designing and making the puppets and the set, to adapting the story, to memorizing lines and performing the show. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her work so hard on a project before. And for her efforts she has a product she can be proud of.
btw, iMovie is a dream to work with. Sam did all of the filming and editing and it was a snap.
The theme this month is science–my favorite subject!
I shared my vision for science education here: High School Science: a slightly different vision, in which I encourage getting out and exploring the world as the most memorable and meaningful kind of science education.
And now that you know what I think, I will hush up and just supply some pretty pictures while you hear from some other wonderful ladies as they tell us about their vision for science in their homeschools.
First up is Willa at Take Up and Read, who shares how “messing about” and of course a lot of good books can help set the tone for a college prep high school science curriculum.
Next is Erin from Seven Little Australians and Counting . Erin is investigating a whole new world as one son travels towards a science career and she shares it with us here: Supporting Our Scientist.
Sue at Stories of an Unschooling Family deftly answers the question, “Is it possible to unschool High School Science?” as she shares her chemistry-loving daughter’s experiences,some resources, and a plan which might prepare an unschooling child for tertiary study. Check it out at An Unschooling Way of High School Science.
Kerry at Let’s Homeschool High School shares some very practical tips and resources for each year of study in her Homeschooler’s Guide to Teaching High School Science.
When Barb at Handbook of Nature Study is asked if nature study can be part of a rigorous high school biology course, she always answer with a resounding, “Yes! This is biology study at its best and oh so meaningful to the students”. Check out her post Nature Study as part of High School Biology.
Chareen at Every Bed of Roses shares insight for those who may be intimidated by high school science,encouraging parents to become fellow learners with their children. Check it out here: Science in High School.
So there you have it! Seven different homes, seven different women, with seven different visions for science in high school. I hope you can find something here that will encourage you in your journey through high school science.
(And if you have a post about high school science to share, please feel free to link up in the comments!)
Ah,the dreaded high school science. Just the thought is enough to strike fear into the heart of many a homeschooling mama. I think this is because of the vision of high school science that many of us hold. Perhaps it is a vision left over from our own high school days? A vision of complicated experiments, tedious procedures in labs full of expensive equipment that we could never replicate at home. Ponderous, deadly-dull textbooks. It’s an intimidating prospect, to be sure.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. As my contribution to this month’s Homeschool High School Carnival(which will be hosted right here on Monday!), I want to share with you a different vision for high school science. One that coincides more closely with what science really is–inquiry, exploration, and discovery.
Take a look at the next 4 photos. This is probably close to what many envision high school science (and science in general) to be about. Chemicals, lab equipment, model-building.
Don’t get me wrong, these things have their place. We can and do learn this way sometimes. But I want to encourage you to think outside that scientific “box” of a laboratory setting and see how enjoyable and full of life science can be. Because that, my friends is what has, for centuries, driven science. It’s why Newton and Einstein and Darwin did what they did– simply the desire to know more about the world we live in. Science at it’s core is an insatiable curiosity about everything we see. It’s the need, deep inside to answer the burning questions, such as…
What secrets are buried here?
What happens if I do this?
What is under this rock?
What happened here?
Who came here before me?
Science is curiosity fulfilled; it’s questions answered that lead to more and more questions and more to explore. Endless possibilities!
Children are natural scientists. It’s us adults who sometimes forget. Who take a field rich with possibilities and turn it into something to be checked off a list. I’m begging you, please don’t do that! Be a child! Dive right in with them and explore the beautiful, fascinating, amazing world we have around us!
There is so much to see and it all has a lesson for us if we only open our eyes! From the large …
And everything in between.
The world is your classroom, your lab, your textbook. Go explore it!
I will be hosting the Homeschool High School Carnival this month, with the theme of High School Science. I hope you will stop by Monday and see what a lot of other fine ladies have envisioned for science in their homeschools.
One TV show that JBug and I love watching together is Once Upon a Time. It’s our weekly mommy-daughter bonding time. Have you seen it? It really is quite clever. But I noticed as we watched that sometimes JBug was unfamiliar with the original fairy-tale storylines behind the characters. For instance, she had no clue who Rumpelstiltskin was, or the story of Hansel and Gretel. Apparently I had failed to read enough Grimm’s to this child! TRAGIC!!!! How could I have missed this? (oh, yeah, 5th child. That’s how)
Anyhow, I decided I needed to remedy this error post haste!
And thus was born “Fairy Tale Theater” an in-depth study covering as many Grimm’s fairy tales as we can stand. We will read, narrate, discuss, scrapbook, and do activities (cooking, science, art, whatever) based on a new tale each week or so. As a fun twist I decided to add a theater component to each tale we study. There will be sock puppets, finger puppets, marionettes, shadow puppets, iMovies and iMotion stop-action animation– whatever we can think of to creatively re-tell the tales.
So, though this study is only in it’s infancy, I wanted to share our beginnings and update as we go. (This way posts won’t be overwhelmingly long.)
Our first tale is Rapunzel and she is doing a sock-puppet show.
Braiding Rapunzel’s hair.( For this she had to learn to braid.)
Making a Venn diagram comparing the original Rapunzel to the Disney movie Tangled.
Puppet assembly line. Faces and hair done. Now they just need clothes.
The prince in all his royal glory.
The evil enchantress.
Painting the puppet theater (a tri-fold display board).
Now she just needs to finish painting the theater, make the background, practice her lines and perform the show! We will film it with my iPad and for that we have to learn how to operate the iMovie app. Wish us luck! Hopefully next week we will have a movie to share! I hope you will join us!
We got an iPad a while back and have been trying out various apps–educational and otherwise– recommended from various sources.There are a TON of them out there and it can be overwhelming to sort through them all. Some proved more useful than others to us, and so I wanted to share our favorite educational apps with you. Most of these are either free or very inexpensive (like 1.99) though I did pay a bit more for one or two.
(I apologize for the lack of links. I will try to get to that as I have time, but I wanted to get this posted in time for the Homeschool Highschool Carnival))
iTunes U: we think this is hands-down the best, most useful app for high school level and beyond. So many free courses from colleges and universities worldwide, as well as offerings from non-university sources like TED, American Public Media, the Aspen Ideas Festival, and Khan Academy(to name only a few). Many museums and libraries have collections here as well including courses and podcasts (ex: Library of Congress National Books Festival Podcasts). In addition there are thousands of audiobooks available. We’ve listened to Poe short stories, Alice in Wonderland, and The Scarlet Letter among others. And it’s all free. Truly the future of education.
Star Walk: Oh, my goodnessssss!!!! Point your iPad at the sky and get an interactive star map that tells you exactly what you are seeing, including names of stars and other objects, and beautiful ghost-like images of constellations. You can also track satellites (is that the International Space Station that just went by??? ) Want to find Saturn? How about the M9 globular cluster? Just type it into the search feature follow the arrows that point the way. And there is so much more! Love this app!
POMT: (Stands for Powers of Minus Ten.) this nifty app lets you zoom in on a human hand to see the cells, cells structures, and even molecular structures that make us who we are. Check out cells undergoing mitosis, take a quiz on cells structures and functions, watch DNA being replicated and proteins being synthesized. If you have a middle-high school student studying cells, this app is a fantastic addition and beats dry textbook illustrations by a mile!
Barefoot Atlas: this is one of the few apps on which I spent more than a buck or two, and it was well worth it. It’s a beautifully (if you are familiar with Barefoot Books you know it would be gorgeous) illustrated, interactive world atlas. Spin it around and see what you can find! Tappable and highly interactive, with photos, music, and lots of links to find out more. It is geared more towards grade school age (JBug loves it) but even Sam has been sucked into it’s playful interface and wealth of interesting info. Love this one.
Tap Quiz Maps: Simple but effective. Choose your region and you get a quick quiz on identifying states/countries. Has been very useful for JBug to practice learning her states. Sam has had fun testing himself on his knowledge of other countries (now which one was Slovenia again?).
Stack the States: This one is a little tougher than Tap Quiz maps because it asks questions about cities and capitals and such, but it adds an element of fun because you have to drop and stack states to reach a goal to move on. There is a Stack the Countries, too, but we don’t have that one yet.
Fotopedia: there are several free Fotopedia apps focused on specific countries or regions of the world (China, France) as well as National Parks and Worldwide Heritage sites. Gorgeous photos and interesting articles make for a pleasant way to travel and see the sights for those of us who can’t spring for the actual thing. (We also like the Fotopedia Wild Friends app, which has great photos of animals.)
PUZZLES AND MATH:
Tinkerbox: Get the ball to roll into the cup. Sounds easy, and it is…at first! Fun spatial reasoning/problem solving challenges. We all like this game.
Escape: another puzzle game to flex the brain. Little guy has to hop along all of the dots in a maze-like pattern without back-tracking. Easier said than done!
Monster Physics: for the middle-upper elementary crowd. Another problem solving challenge game, with fun physics elements (such as magnetism) thrown in for a neat twist. Build contraptions and watch them work, go on missions. Who wouldn’t have fun learning with this?
Marble Math Jr (and Marble Math):If you have kids from pre-K to middle school, get these games! Roll your marble around the maze to collect the correct answer to simple math problems. Fun way to review those facts without drill! JBug will happily play this game for hours.
Rocket Math: another alternative to drill and kill. Solve math problems to earn parts for your rocket. Build, launch, and go! JBug likes this, but not as much as marble math.
Sketchbook Pro: Make beautiful digital art with this amazing app. I have not even begun to explore all of the many features available. Like “Paint” on steroids.
123D sculpt: Now this is cool! Choose a basic shape (from blocks to human figures to animals to cars, and more) and use the tools to sculpt and decorate to your heart’s content. It’s virtual modeling clay!
Falling Stars: incredibly simple and yet somehow utterly captivating. Make pretty music as stars fall on leaves and vines you have planted. Mesmerizing.
Presidents vs Aliens: sounds silly, but it is actually a really tough game. Answer questions about presidents and then use their heads to smash aliens! If you know your presidents you will do well. If you are like me and somehow missed that in school, this game is a real stumper. But hey, I can learn as I play, right? And those president Fandex cards I’ve had lying around forever? Very helpful for cheating.
JUST FOR MOM:
Evernote: I haven’t even begun to use this to it’s full potential, but it is very handy to be able to make my shopping lists on my computer or iPad, and then retrieve them on my iPhone while I am at the store.
Whole Foods Market Recipes: we don’t have a whole Foods here, but I love to use this app to look up recipes based on what I have on hand. Great tool.
I hope this has been helpful to you. Please leave recommendations for your favorite apps in the comments. Lets share!
And visit the other fascinating posts in the Homeschool High School carnival!