Sunday, May 26, 2013

Home schooling update: May, 2013

Our "classical education" continues--with an emphasis on systematic content, core knowledge, sentence construction, summarizing/outlining, straight-up algebra, French, and music.

Some things she's just recently begun: D'Aulare's Book of Greek Myths, The Story of the World Book 4, outlining chapters rather than summarizing them, and factoring polynomials.

Some things are still in progress: the Diary of Ann Frank, the Adventures of Dr. Doolittle, Sentencecraft, mom's syntactic paraphrase exercises, McDougal Littell's Earth Science (the best earth science book I've been able to get) and, for French, French in Action; ALM French Level II, and the Lu Lu Series. She also had a week of French immersion during a visit from some friends from France.

Some things are coming to an end. She's reading the last two tales in our collection of Arabian Nights--"Abou Hassan" and "Cadadad and His Brothers"--and the last few fables of Aesop. She's finished Pinocchio and the Story of Dr. Doolittle. And she's finished reading and copying maps (with the major cities and rivers) from the Scholastic Atlas of the World.

While she'll be able to continue horseback riding, violin, piano, and duo and trio practice on into the summer and beyond, and add theater camp to the mix for the summer, other extracurriculars may be coming to an end. She does cartooning, creative writing, and pottery at our local arts center, which currently only serves children up through age 12. She could theoretically do extracurriculars at the local public school that I pulled her out of 2 years ago, but it offers very little--particularly in art. Finding cartooning classes for middle school kids is going to be as difficult as it is desirable.

Especially in terms of non-academics, the middle school years are tricky. They're tricky if you go to regular school, and, I'm learning, they're also tricky if you don't.


Deirdre Mundy said...

Try Public Libraries-- ask the YA Librarians....

Many have cartooning (or at least Manga) clubs and other arts programs for teens that run all year.

Also, at age 12, museums may be an option-- they sometimes have classes for older kids.

Also at 12, she may be old enough to self-teach some of this stuff, if you can find good books/videos/etc.

Hainish said...

I'm really interested in what you're doing in terms of science. Have you gotten into taxonomy and classification yet? I love what berkely has online for evolution:

As for drawing...maybe a good instructional books and quality materials will give her enough room to develop?

Katharine Beals said...

Great suggestions, Deirdre Mundy and Hainish! I'll look into these and report back!
Hainish, science has been frustrating; nothing written at a 6th/7th grade level that I've found seems particularly engaging. Taxonomy and classification is something I would like to do; I'll check out the Berkeley link.

Hainish said...

Katharine, exploringnature has some drawing activities and seems to be a good animal resource. The page below is an example. They also have member-only content, but membership is cheap.

Hainish said...

Katharine, maybe we can help each other out. I'm going to have to put together some units for my master's program...maybe you and your daughter could try them out in a homeschool context? Let me know how to contact you if you're interested.

TerriW said...

Katharine, you may be interested in Ellen McHenry's science units:

I have only briefly perused them so far since my kids are only just now growing into their age range, but they keep getting recommended to me over and over. (Her curricula are located under the "store" tab on the page. I will be looking hard at The Elements next year for my daughter.)

Also, Coursera has a conceptual physics course that would be okay for 6/7:

And many people I know use the Holt text which is helpfully completely available online to preview:

Also, Life of Fred Elementary (before Algebra) Physics, sample here (he also has a biology/algebra text, if I recall):

TerriW said...

Actually, I just checked and the LOF biology text pairs with pre-algebra 1 (Pre-algebra 2 pairs with economics, natch.), so probably in her current wheelhouse:

Life of Fred is ... weird. But your daughter may like it (as a supplement to something more traditional, most likely)!

Katharine Beals said...

Thanks Hainish and TerriW! Will take a look. Hainish, your proposal sounds interesting: you can reach me at katharine dot p dot beals at gmail dot com.