Blog, She Wrote http://blogshewrote.org Homeschooling mom to 4 Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:00:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Finishing Strong- Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years Week 25http://blogshewrote.org/2014/08/20/finishing-strong-homeschooling-middle-high-school-years-week-25/ http://blogshewrote.org/2014/08/20/finishing-strong-homeschooling-middle-high-school-years-week-25/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:00:24 +0000 http://blogshewrote.org/?p=15683 Welcome to Finishing Strong! Today we’re featuring a few of the best posts about homeschooling high school that you have shared with us over the summer. Homeschooling high school can be a daunting thought for many families. But as you’ll … Continue reading

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Welcome to Finishing Strong!

Finishing Strong ~ Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years #25

Today we’re featuring a few of the best posts about homeschooling high school that you have shared with us over the summer.

Homeschooling high school can be a daunting thought for many families. But as you’ll see from these posts, it isn’t as scary as you may think. In fact, it can be quite fun! We’re always grateful for the ideas and inspiration that you share with us every week relating to schooling our teens at home. It reminds us that none of us is alone in this journey.

We would love to hear about your high school, so if you have any posts related to homeschooling the older grades, please share them below, as well as any of your favorite middle school posts.

Homeschooling High School

Our Steps to College – What about Curriculum? from BJ’s Homeschool

Senior Year: It’s Time to Panic! from Classically Homeschooling

High School Homeschool Curriculum Choices from Hodgepodge

10 Things I Wish Someone Told Me About Parenting a Teenager from Middle Way Mom

Why Take a CLEP Exam? from Starts at Eight

Discussion is Key to Success in High School from Sweetness & Light

Next week we’re going to feature some of our favorite posts about the non-core subjects – electives.

Don’t forget to check out all of the co-hostsAspired Living, Blog She Wrote, Education Possible, EvaVarga, Milk and Cookies, Starts at Eight, and Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus.

Bloggers, by linking up, you may be featured on our co-hosts’ social media pages or our Pinterest board. We may even select you to be featured in a future post!

Guidelines for the hop:

  1. Link up to 3 posts from your blog. Make sure you use the exact URL to the post, not to your home page. You can add any post related to homeschooling middle and high school students. Posts unrelated to that will be removed.
  2. Please no advertising, individual Pinterest pins, Facebook, Twitter, or other link-up links!
  3. Grab our button to add to your post after you link it up. Each week we will be choosing our favorite posts to highlight on all 7 sites. If you were featured, make sure you add an “I was featured” button.
  4. The linky will go live on each co-host’s blog each Wednesday at 6am EST, and will be live until Tuesday at 11:55 pm.

Share the love.

Add our button to your post.

Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

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Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

We love people who SHARE WITH US!

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]]> http://blogshewrote.org/2014/08/20/finishing-strong-homeschooling-middle-high-school-years-week-25/feed/ 0 Portraits of Our Students 2014-2015http://blogshewrote.org/2014/08/18/portraits-students-2014-2015/ http://blogshewrote.org/2014/08/18/portraits-students-2014-2015/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 04:00:12 +0000 http://blogshewrote.org/?p=15716 August is rolling right along and as you read this, we are off to our big summer camping trip- a last hurrah for the summer season. You can see our Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2014-2015 to see what each of our … Continue reading

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Blog, She Wrote: Portraits of Our Students 2014-2015August is rolling right along and as you read this, we are off to our big summer camping trip- a last hurrah for the summer season. You can see our Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2014-2015 to see what each of our students will be up to academically in the coming year. Read on below to see how each one is suited for the studies which they’ve helped to choose.

Portrait of an Eleventh Grader

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Ethan is entering 11th grade- the big junior year. How are things shaping up for this college bound young man?

  • Still passionate about Star Wars & LEGOS- He’s still making custom LEGO minifigs. Mainly clones from the Clone Wars and they are really good! He designs the decals and adheres them to custom minifig parts.
  • He’s a writer- I mean he loves to write and spends at least an hour a day creating story worlds and adding to his novel and other works. He’s working on a novel and some pieces for an anthology at present.
  • Loves Literature & Book Discussion- In any form and with anyone. Right now he’s reading The Screwtape Letters to me.
  • Adores His Online Community at One Year Adventure Novel- He’s got a lot of buds over there and they talk books and other worlds.
  • He’s a computation king- Able to count back change like no other and is poised to begin Calculus. Calculus!
  • Has as part time job- In April, Ethan got a job at the local grocery store in order to earn money for his trip to the One Year Adventure Novel summer workshop. He met his goal and has started saving for next summer. The job is going strong and means changes to his routine.
  • Blogs at Of Bows and Arrows, Swords and Spears, Briksmith Customs, and Geography Crusades- He’s on again off again, but he’ll be trying to add to these spaces in the coming year. I saw him with a post in his draft on BrikSmith which he had pretty much abandoned!
  • Loves to Play Video Games- What 15yo boy does not?
  • Has a Knack for Languages- But really does not enjoy studying them. Too bad!
  • Started Looking at Colleges- Other than Virginia Tech, his dad’s alma mater and the only place to go because he wants to go to a football game!

Portrait of a Ninth Grader

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Some days I can hardly believe I have two high schoolers! How did Rebecca get to be in 9th grade? She is the kindest teenage girl I’ve ever known and I can hardly wait to see what this year brings.

  • Creative Pursuits- Are her passion and she spends a great deal of time creating.
  • Loves to Play- This girl still knows how to have just plain fun. No time for angst for her! She remains young at heart. Which makes her especially good at engaging younger kids.
  • Sweet Soul- She is growing up so gracefully and most of the time has a kind word no matter what.
  • Always Carries Yarn- She never goes anywhere without her yarn and a crochet hook. She crochets during sermons (and remembers it better than anyone) and any time there is listening time or down time.
  • Designs & Makes Her Own Patterns- She loves to draft patterns on her own and create from them. Have you seen her Steampunk gown? It’s been invited to the NY State Fair!
  • Keeps a Portfolio Online- But her creative soul doesn’t really enjoy keeping it up to date. Now that she is in high school, the plan is to step it up on posting and blog design.
  • Has the Best Spatial Skills- They are to be envied. She can follow any instruction any time and everything goes together just right.
  • Reptile Lover- Ever the eclectic, she’s owned four snakes over the past year. Right now she is down to one wild caught garter with a great temperament. Next up is a gecko.

Portrait of a Seventh Grader

portrait 2-1

Isaac is in the thick of middle school and is one of the sweetest middle school boys I’ve ever known- and as a former middle school science teacher, I’ve known many.

  • An Expert on Planes- If you ever need to know anything about flight, he’s your man.
  • Loves to Fly- His radio controlled airplane and he’s in hot pursuit of his own larger scale model. For now he flies two electric models- a yellow Champ and a WWII Spitfire.
  • Keeps Track of the Weather- Better than anyone because he is always on the look out for good flying weather.
  • Rocketeer- He loves model rockets too and is considering a career in rocket science. The real kind! He’s read front and back and over again several times The Handbook of Model Rocketry.
  • Still a Reader- He reads both fiction and nonfiction, but always has something going.
  • Boy Adventurer- But always the cautious kind. I never have to worry he will get into anything he should not. Adventure on!

Portrait of a Fourth Grader

portrait 5-1

Our youngest, Joshua, is now in 4th grade. Just one last student in elementary school! Wow. From the day he was born this boy has been busy. Let’s see how things are going for him.

  • Fiercely Independent- He wears this characteristic proudly. Probably too much so, but apples don’t fall far from the tree friends. I love to steer him in a direction that uses his skills for good!
  • Engineering- This still sums him up. He likes to take a look at something and see how it works and announce that he can do better. That is the definition of an engineer. There’s less talk of the triple threat- chemical, electrical, and mechanical engineering and more talk of computer engineering.
  • Loves the Periodic Table- Who among us does not? So, I’m holding out hope for a double threat- chemical and computer engineering! Either that or he’ll have a home lab like Tom Edison.
  • Entomologist- Still pinning away and having the best time at Friday night entomology lectures. You can see the results of his toil here.
  • Loves All Things Science- All of it.
  • Independent Learner- Bucking all the paths his siblings have chosen he presents a challenge daily. He could learn anything on his own. This is the most fun and the most vexing at the same time!
  • Computer Programming- He’s taught himself C++ and the basics of Java. He is making his own minecraft mods and loves to pour through programming manuals.

As I wrote this, I enjoyed looking back at last year’s portraits. Yes, our children are growing and being molded into the young adults God wants them to be, but they are staying true to their interests and refining them. Very exciting to watch and we are looking forward to a new homeschool year!

Other iHN bloggers are sharing their student portraits today. Have a look!

nbtsbloghopcalendar2014

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Creating Other Worlds- Writing Fantasy & Science Fictionhttp://blogshewrote.org/2014/08/16/creating-worlds-writing-fantasy-science-fiction/ http://blogshewrote.org/2014/08/16/creating-worlds-writing-fantasy-science-fiction/#comments Sat, 16 Aug 2014 23:01:23 +0000 http://blogshewrote.org/?p=15688 Ethan, our 11th grader, is a writer. He loves to create worlds and activity within them. When he was younger, his stories told a tale, but they often didn’t end concisely. Or they simply ended. A bit too concisely. Now … Continue reading

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Blog, She Wrote: Creating Other Worlds- Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction

Ethan, our 11th grader, is a writer. He loves to create worlds and activity within them. When he was younger, his stories told a tale, but they often didn’t end concisely. Or they simply ended. A bit too concisely. Now that he is half way through high school, we’ve been honing in on his interests and his course work reflects this. Enter novel writing courses. For the past two years, he has immersed himself in the many worlds of his novel settings. Do you have a student who loves to write science fiction and fantasy?

Creating Other Worlds- Science Fiction & Fantasy Writing

If you are unfamiliar with the genres, suffice it to say the world in which the story takes place helps to set these stories apart from just any adventure tale. In some way, the author of a fantasy and science fiction novel will build a world. Sometimes the author creates a whole new fantastical world and sometimes it is a world within our world.

The basic story structure is carried over into “other worlds”. In both fantasy & sci fi literature one main thing is the game changer.

  • Science Fiction- You’ll find one main scientific breakthrough or advance which changes how the story will play out or it can be a single change in history that gives the story its twist.
  • Fantasy- There will be something else magical about the world. For example, in Narnia the animals talk.

Resources for World Building

Does your student like to write and immerse himself in new worlds? Here are a few links from the website Go Teen Writers to help students think about their world building.

Worldbuilding is a lot of work! That’s why learning to write an adventure first is a good idea because it takes place in our world and you can concentrate on the story itself rather than building a world at the same time. If you have a student working on writing herself a world, these posts will be very insightful.

Blog, She Wrote: Creating Other Worlds- Writing Fantasy & Science FictionUsing Other Worlds Curriculum to Teach Fantasy & Science Fiction Writing

Other Worlds is the science fiction and fantasy expansion module from One Year Adventure Novel by Daniel Schwabauer. Ethan, our 11th grader, has been working with the curriculum for a year. I asked him for his take on the program and here’s what he said:

  • One Year Adventure Novel (OYAN)- has to be completed first. The Other Worlds curriculum is based on the original OYAN and referencing the original lessons is helpful as you go along.
  • The Tools Are There to Be a Finisher- You still need to bang out twelve chapters, but the OYAN model is helpful in finishing your storytelling.
  • There’s a Basic Story Structure- Which is carried over from OYAN. Three acts with four defining scenes. The outlining of the events in your novel is important for the story.
  • History of the Genres- You’ll learn how science fiction and fantasy got their start and who the major players were.
  • What Makes Science Fiction & Fantasy?- There are 10 to 12 lessons devoted to what defines these genres.
  • Collision Course Anthology- Is a collection of stories and excerpts from fantasy and science fiction which help to illustrate Daniel’s lessons.
  • Community Forum- For students of OYAN & Other Worlds. This is a community of writers where you can get advice on developing characters, general writing tips, get help with story ideas, engage in novel critiques, contribute to a collective novel, etc.
  • Summer Workshops- Every summer OYAN students gather from all over to listen to seminars and work in critique groups to improve their writing and learn writer’s craft.

As the teacher and a mom I’ll add a few more tidibits I like about the curriculum:

  • Video Lessons- They are thorough and so well done. I enjoyed watching them with my student and I’m looking forward to seeing them again with Rebecca this year.
  • Great Talking Points- As you progress through the curriculum, there will be a lot of opportunity for discussion. This has been invaluable in our homeschool. We’ve talked about books- classics and modern and read even more. It’s been fun to talk about books and about life with our teens based on the lessons.
  • Engagement- Whether it’s the online community of teens or the regularly scheduled evening webinars and summer workshops, the author and his wife interact with and encourage your student as do the other students.

Science Fiction Writing Sample

Blog, She Wrote: Creating Other Worlds- Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction

Having completed the outline over the last school year as an elective, Ethan has been working on the novel. I’m not sure it has a name yet, but the first chapter is complete. He said I could share it with you all as long as I let you know it’s a work in progress! This is the first three paragraphs of the first chapter. Currently, he’s working on a prologue.

I woke with a start at the crack of lightning overhead, drowning the room in a flash of light. The whole house shook when the thunder came a moment later. The rain pelted down, making little ‘ting’ sounds as it hit the roof and gutters. A dull roar built up in my head; each raindrop seemed to increase the pressure inside. With a sigh I pulled the blankets up a little farther up and rolled over. A moment later I pushed them back down and rolled the other way. Another crack lit up the sky.

I looked at the clock. 11:43. It was still early. And the storms were as bad as they ever had been. There were no good explanations. No explanations at all, in fact. Except one.… Whispers, rumors moving through the populace. Tales of a people who- No, I thought. But there was no doubt that the storms were getting worse. And there was nothing the government could do this time.

I slipped my feet from underneath the covers and onto the hard wood floor. The old boards creaked as I put my weight on them. I tip-toed down the hall to the old study. My exhaustion vanished in there, I was able to sleep. Why can I sleep in here? But I didn’t really care why, I just came to rest. I closed the heavy door behind me and sat in my father’s armchair to wait out the night.

His writing has really matured over the last few years since he initially started OYAN in 8th grade. It’s been enjoyable to watch the process. These days he writes (even in the summer) about an hour a day on average, but he said it should be more. I’m excited to see how his writing schedule takes shape this fall as he enters into a variety of writing courses.

Other Resources for Teaching Science Fiction & Fantasy Genres

Given that Ethan has such a profound interest in writing and literature, we’ve been taking advantage of opportunities as they come along.

  • Speculative Fiction Writing Workshop- At our local library. A local author is teaching “other world” writing through twice weekly gatherings for teens. At the end, their writing will be included in an anthology which is published.
  • Dystopian Literature Class- As part of our two hour, ten week co-op, Ethan is taking a dystopian literature class in which they will read and compare Fahrenheit 451 with The Hunger Games- a classic sci fi novel with a modern tale.
  • World of Imagination: Fantasy & Science Fiction Literature- Taught through The Potter’s School, these are two one semester courses. They will make the bulk of his English course for the year.

Do you have a student who loves to write stories? Do you have a big fantasy and science fiction fan in your home? Enjoy the journey with your student and engage in their world with them!

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Finishing Strong- Homeschooling the Middle & High School Yearshttp://blogshewrote.org/2014/08/13/finishing-strong-homeschooling-middle-high-school-years/ http://blogshewrote.org/2014/08/13/finishing-strong-homeschooling-middle-high-school-years/#comments Wed, 13 Aug 2014 10:00:39 +0000 http://blogshewrote.org/?p=15678 Happy Wednesday and Welcome to Finishing Strong! Today we’re featuring a few of the best posts about homeschooling middle school that have been shared with us over the past few weeks. Middle School is such a fun season for homeschooling. … Continue reading

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Happy Wednesday and Welcome to Finishing Strong!

Finishing Strong ~ Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years #24

Today we’re featuring a few of the best posts about homeschooling middle school that have been shared with us over the past few weeks.

Middle School is such a fun season for homeschooling. Your kids can think more abstractly, allowing them to discuss subjects at a deeper level than before. Plus, their passions and personalities are really starting to shine through, giving you opportunity to tailor their education, which can be a ton of fun!

Families are always looking for inspiration and ideas related to homeschooling middle school, so if you have any posts related to these middle grades, please share them below, as well as your favorite high school posts.

Homeschooling Middle School

Homeschooling Average Middle Schoolers: High School Can Wait! from 7 Sisters Homeschool

I Can’t Homeschool Because My Kids are in Middle School from Education Possible

Our Curriculum Choices for Middle School from Eva Varga

Middle School Homeschool Curriculum Choices from Hodgepodge

Use a Homeschool Student Planner for Organizing Middle Schoolfrom Starts at Eight

Homeschooling Middle School Doesn’t Always Mean Middle Way from Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus

Next week we’re going to feature some of our favorite high school posts.

Don’t forget to check out all of the co-hostsAspired Living, Blog She Wrote, Education Possible, EvaVarga, Milk and Cookies, Starts at Eight, and Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus.

Bloggers, by linking up, you may be featured on our co-hosts’ social media pages or our Pinterest board. We may even select you to be featured in a future post!

Guidelines for the hop:

  1. Link up to 3 posts from your blog. Make sure you use the exact URL to the post, not to your home page. You can add any post related to homeschooling middle and high school students. Posts unrelated to that will be removed.
  2. Please no advertising, individual Pinterest pins, Facebook, Twitter, or other link-up links!
  3. Grab our button to add to your post after you link it up. Each week we will be choosing our favorite posts to highlight on all 7 sites. If you were featured, make sure you add an “I was featured” button.
  4. The linky will go live on each co-host’s blog each Wednesday at 6am EST, and will be live until Tuesday at 11:55 pm.

Share the love.

Add our button to your post.

Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

Was your post featured?

Grab an “I was featured” button!

Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

We love people who SHARE WITH US!

*By linking up, you agree for us to share your images, always with credit!

So tell us, what have you been up to?

Add your best posts that focus on homeschooling middle & high school students. Share your ideas, unique learning approaches, encouragement, and more.

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]]> http://blogshewrote.org/2014/08/13/finishing-strong-homeschooling-middle-high-school-years/feed/ 1 Essential Elements of a Home Learning Environmenthttp://blogshewrote.org/2014/08/11/our-learning-environment/ http://blogshewrote.org/2014/08/11/our-learning-environment/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2014 04:00:15 +0000 http://blogshewrote.org/?p=10688 It’s time to share our learning spaces with everyone! We’ve been homeschooling for eight and a half years and our learning environment has changed a lot over that time. When Ethan, our 11th grader, first started homeschooling half way through … Continue reading

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Blog, She Wrote: Essential Elements of a Home Learning EnvironmentIt’s time to share our learning spaces with everyone! We’ve been homeschooling for eight and a half years and our learning environment has changed a lot over that time. When Ethan, our 11th grader, first started homeschooling half way through first grade, we had just one small table in our living room and a bookshelf for his school things. As we added more children to the official homeschool roster, we added books, larger tables and we dedicated part of our playroom to homeschooling. Two years ago,when we began looking for a new home, we knew we were looking for some place special. It had to have space for our learning materials, our homeschool library, and our project spaces.

Essential Elements for Our Home Learning Environment

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Our focus is not to recreate a school classroom in our home. However, with four kids immersed in learning throughout the day, it’s hard to miss that we homeschool. Here are a few “must haves” for our learning spaces.

  • Bookshelves for our homeschool library- while we do use the public library extensively, it’s important to have a variety of print material in our home. Bookshelves are essential.
  • Media Area- for the computers the kids use for school and projects. We keep them in the media room.
  • Slate Chalkboard- I adore slate and we had a smaller chalkboard in our last house, but this lovely piece of slate is a recent addition to our home learning environment and as you can see it has seen a lot of use in the few weeks it’s been up. We do a lot of math on the slate!
  • White Boards-  I often use it for explaining things along with a chalkboard. Or to write down assignments and reminders for the day. And sometimes the kids work problems and their own explanations on the board. I keep portable white boards on hand too for working math problems and playing games.
  • Large Table- for school work and projects. Though the kids can go to any area to do their work, they often work there together. We put it right in the large window so there would be plenty of natural light.
  • Storage Cabinet- or closet for homeschool materials that are not books. We have one large wooden cabinet which was a very special gift from specials friends and we have bookcases in our basement which hold everything else.
  • Project  Work Space- We wanted to provide a place where each of our kids could work on their own and plan and work on projects. This is an essential for us because a place for diving into and leaving out their work is important.

Using Walls for a Homeschool Learning Environment

school 9

While it would be homier to not use posters and maps on our walls, the extra immersion is great for growing minds! The only thing I’d change? I’d put wooden frames around each one if I could!

  • Maps- both US and World. I’d love a large physical map of the world too. We have a laminated set I bought at Staples many years ago.
  • Periodic Table of the Elements- I went for the one that has pictures of the actual element by Theodore Grey.
  • Calendar- a regular wall calendar is all you need, but I was compelled to buy a pocket calendar. I do not have calendar time! Conversation about the calendar has successfully taught all of my children the nuances of the calendar year. However, I keep a large calendar there for reference.
  • Bulletin Board- for student work and other displays
  • White Board/Chalkboard- previously mentioned.
  • Student Work- on display this could be work hard earned, work done well, and art work. Love to display art work.

Homeschool Technology

Blog, She Wrote: Essential Elements of a Home Learning Environment

 

We make ample use of technology in our homeschool. Here are a some examples:

  • Computers- two desk tops and two laps top for student use.
  • Open DNS- is the filter we use for content at our house. It’s not perfect, but it works well.
  • LEGO NXT- we’ve had NXT for many years. Our kids are active on FIRST LEGO League Teams and Dan coaches. We are eager to be able to purchase the upgrade EV3.
  • Project Time- can include programming the NXT, Scratch, Alice, and other programming software for kids. Other software applications for word processing and presentations are encouraged.
  • Digital Microscope- We have the Intel Qx3 which is a nice video scope and can take stills and video of the object.
  • How to Homeschool with a Kindle- Tips on how to use Kindles and Kindle apps in your homeschooling.

Blog, She Wrote: How to Homeschool with a KindleManaging the Internet in Your Home

How do you handle internet access in your home? This important question is surely a part of a homeschool learning environment. Dan wrote a series of blog posts on Internet Filtering & Access Control. He answers questions like:

  • How do you control when your kids are on the internet with your router?
  • How do you filter content once they are there?
  • Using OpenDNS as your content filter

Blog, She Wrote: Managing the Internet in Your HomeTips on Using a Homeschool Library

We have books in almost every room of our home. Here are a few tips on handling homeschool books and making sure they get noticed and read:

Blog, She Wrote: Essential Elements of a Home Learning Environement

  • Rotate books- especially if you don’t have room for all the books to be out or on a shelf
  • Reference Books- should be easy to find and use. We have a magazine rack that is our reference shelf.
  • Library Shelf- to shelve books we have borrowed from the library.
  • Display Area- this is the top of the library shelf for us, but I use it to put out books I want the kids to notice and leaving the book open is very inviting!
  • Coffee Table- is a great place to leave books you want kids to notice. Both the coffee table and the display area never fail to promote interest in a book. Try it!
  • Organizing Your Homeschool Library- Helpful tips on storing and using books in your home library. You don’t want to miss this!
  • The Ultimate Guide to Establishing a Reading Culture in Your Home- Ideas for how to make your home encouraging to readers regardless of age!

Other Learning Environment Links from Blog, She Wrote

Blog, She Wrote: Essential Elements of a Home Learning Environment

Take a look at these other posts on our learning spaces- they are all still in use today.

  • Our Supply Cabinet- this is where we store our paper and art supplies for school. This post gives a list of what we have on hand in there.
  • Learning Spaces Full Tour- from last 2012. Things look nearly the same though we’ve upgraded some bookshelves and added more books!
  • Displaying Art- a post on how we use student work all over our home.

Thank you for joining us today at Blog, She Wrote for a look at our learning environment. Please sign up to receive updates in your inbox so you don’t miss the rest of the Not-Back-to-School Hop and Geography Quests here at Blog, She Wrote!

Visit other homeschool bloggers to see their learning spaces this week.

nbtsbloghopcalendar2014

Big Book of Homeschooling

 

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Geography Quest: Shark Editionhttp://blogshewrote.org/2014/08/07/geography-quest-shark-edition/ http://blogshewrote.org/2014/08/07/geography-quest-shark-edition/#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 17:43:35 +0000 http://blogshewrote.org/?p=15599 National Shark Week begins on August 10, 2014. Are you studying the ocean or its creatures? Need a topic of focus because the summer is getting long? There are many resources available for Shark Week and I thought it would … Continue reading

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Blog, She Wrote: Geography Quest- Shark Edition

National Shark Week begins on August 10, 2014. Are you studying the ocean or its creatures? Need a topic of focus because the summer is getting long? There are many resources available for Shark Week and I thought it would be a great opportunity to give you a new Geography Quest. Geography Quest: Shark Edition.

Species of Shark & Their Distribution

Ever wonder where various shark species are found around the world? A simple web search revealed some great sites for answering this question. Do some research and choose information to represent on a map.

  • Shark Foundation Shark Database- This site contains shark classification and distribution information. It has an interactive map to visually see the range. You can click on an area in the world and see a long list of shark species found there. Use this information to map several species of shark around the world.
  • Shark Trust- Traveling around this website will lead you to a Shark Sighting Database where you can see where people have sighted sharks. This is a great site to learn more about shark morphology and sharks in the news. Take a look!
  • Habitat & Distribution of Sharks- Learn about where sharks are found in the ocean. Are they surface dwellers? Deep swimmers? What conditions are best for sharks?
  • Shark Attack Map- From surfertoday.com shows where shark attacks have happened. Would your student like to make a shark attack map of his own?
  • Choose Some Information from Your Research to Make Your Own Map- Choose one species or several or choose an area of the world to map all the shark species found there.

Blog, She Wrote: Geography Quest- Shark Edition

Map Shark Migration

Do sharks remain in the same areas of the ocean at all times? Do they travel based on the weather? Time of year? Food needs? Read about shark migration and make a map. A lot of shark tracking is going on, but it is by species. I will list a few sites here for you.

Blog, She Wrote: Geography Quest: Shark Edition

Shark Week Resources

There is no shortage of hype around shark week! Here are some of my favorite picks from my searches.

Shark Art with Chalk Pastels

Tricia at Hodgepodge is releasing a new chalk pastels eBook for National Shark Week. Check the links below for a shark art video tutorial along with the new book.

Blog, She Wrote: Geography Quest- Shark EditionHow to Draw a Shark with Chalk Pastels- Nana does a nice little Great White Shark video tutorial with her chalks. We enjoyed this!

You’ll find 10 shark tutorials with instructions for how to draw them in chalks along with information about the shark species. There’s a paragraph or two with general facts at the start of each lesson and embedded in the art directions are more tidbits about the shark! I loved this!

Shark Art Tutorials

Through August 10, 2014, the new shark eBook is available for $5.99. Once shark week begins, the price will increase to it’s regular price of $7.99.

 

Gear up for National Shark Week by gathering your art supplies and making sure you check out the Discovery Channel’s programming. Trim up some mapping skills by having your kids do some shark research and map out the distribution and migration of sharks. Have fun!

Big Book of Homeschooling

Shark Art Tutorials

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Finishing Strong- Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years Week 24http://blogshewrote.org/2014/08/06/finishing-strong-homeschooling-middle-high-school-years-week-24/ http://blogshewrote.org/2014/08/06/finishing-strong-homeschooling-middle-high-school-years-week-24/#comments Wed, 06 Aug 2014 10:00:42 +0000 http://blogshewrote.org/?p=15588 Welcome to Finishing Strong Today we’re highlighting some of our favorite posts related to middle & high school science. Although they cover different topics, one thing they have in common is a focus on interactive, experiential learning. What a great … Continue reading

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Welcome to Finishing Strong

Finishing Strong ~ Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years #23

Today we’re highlighting some of our favorite posts related to middle & high school science. Although they cover different topics, one thing they have in common is a focus on interactive, experiential learning. What a great way to get kids excited about science!

Do you have any posts about homeschooling older students (any subjects)? Add them below.

Hands-on Science Fun

Chemistry: Lesson 1 Matter from All Things Beautiful

Project Based Learning: Microbes – Fungus from Angelicscalliwag

Entomology- The Science of Insects from Blog She Wrote

The Ins & Outs of Science Fairs from Eva Varga

Homeschool Middle School Adventures from Homeschool Creations

Nature Study: Fossil Walk and Follow Up Fun from Our Journey Westward

How to Approach Science in High School from Sweetness & Light

Next week we’re going to feature some of our favorite middle school posts.

Don’t forget to check out all of the co-hostsAspired Living, Blog She Wrote, Education Possible, EvaVarga, Milk and Cookies, Starts at Eight, and Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus.

Bloggers, by linking up, you may be featured on our co-hosts’ social media pages or our Pinterest board. We may even select you to be featured in a future post!

Guidelines for the hop:

  1. Link up to 3 posts from your blog. Make sure you use the exact URL to the post, not to your home page. You can add any post related to homeschooling middle and high school students. Posts unrelated to that will be removed.
  2. Please no advertising, individual Pinterest pins, Facebook, Twitter, or other link-up links!
  3. Grab our button to add to your post after you link it up. Each week we will be choosing our favorite posts to highlight on all 7 sites. If you were featured, make sure you add an “I was featured” button.
  4. The linky will go live on each co-host’s blog each Wednesday at 6am EST, and will be live until Tuesday at 11:55 pm.

Share the love.

Add our button to your post.

Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

Was your post featured?

Grab an “I was featured” button!

Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

We love people who SHARE WITH US!

*By linking up, you agree for us to share your images, always with credit!

So tell us, what have you been up to?

Add your best posts that focus on homeschooling middle & high school students. Share your ideas, unique learning approaches, encouragement, and more.

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]]> http://blogshewrote.org/2014/08/06/finishing-strong-homeschooling-middle-high-school-years-week-24/feed/ 0 Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2014-2015http://blogshewrote.org/2014/08/04/homeschool-curriculum-choices-2014-2015/ http://blogshewrote.org/2014/08/04/homeschool-curriculum-choices-2014-2015/#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 09:00:00 +0000 http://blogshewrote.org/?p=15547 We are gearing up for another homeschool year here at Blog, She Wrote. This post comes just in time to write out the Individualized Home Instruction Plan I’m required to write for all my students for New York State. Here’s … Continue reading

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Blog, She Wrote: Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2014-2015

We are gearing up for another homeschool year here at Blog, She Wrote. This post comes just in time to write out the Individualized Home Instruction Plan I’m required to write for all my students for New York State. Here’s a look at our Homeschool Curriculum Choices for 2014-2015:

11th Grade Curriculum

Blog, She Wrote: Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2014-2015

This is the big junior year for our oldest, Ethan. He has a heavy academic schedule in addition to preparing for college bound tests. For the first time, he is enrolled in an online class. We’ve chosen to outsource one class for the sole purpose of having someone else give a grade. I know it will challenge him to meet deadline not given to him by us and a good grade in an online class will give validity to the ones we give him on his transcript. College admissions officers like this!

  • Modern US History- We are using All American History from Bright Ideas Press for a look at modern history in the US.
  • Geography- NorthStar Geography from Bright Ideas Press
  • Worlds of Imagination Fantasy Literature- First semester he will take a Potter’s School class on Fantasy Literature.
  • Worlds of Imagination Science Fiction Literature- Second semester is focused on the world of science fiction.
  • Other Worlds- The science fiction & fantasy module of One Year Adventure Novel. Ethan has been writing his dystopian novel since the spring. It’s coming along well and so far, his writing far surpasses that of his adventure novel.
  • Trigonometry & Calculus- He is in the last quarter of Life of Fred Trigonometry and will begin Life of Fred Calculus this year.
  • Earth Science- We are using CK-12 Earth Science for High School. He is completing credits in chemistry and biology now and will do earth science before he takes physics in his senior year.
  • Spanish- With Rosetta Stone. He is working on 3 credits of a foreign language as required by one of the universities he wants to apply to.
  • Phys Ed- Ethan does a half credit of PE each year and it is mainly comprised of large group games at our homeschool co-op and at youth group. He also mows grass and does yard work for others.
  • Fine Art- He must have one credit of fine art for high school and he does one quarter credit each year by doing computer graphics and other projects for his content area work.
  • Homeschool Co-op- We participate in a ten week, two hour co-op in the spring and fall. This fall he is taking dystopian literature class along with an outdoor games class.
  • Test Prep- We’ll be working with Ethan to study for the PSAT in the fall and the SAT/ACT in the spring. It is time!
  • FLL Mentor- Having aged out of FIRST LEGO League, Ethan is transitioning to team mentor. He’s pretty excited about helping the teams this year as a mentor.
  • Part Time Job- Ethan took on his first part time job last April at a local grocery store. He works as a cashier anywhere from 12-17 hours a week.

This is a heavy academic load fairly typical of a college bound high school junior. Over the last year his energies have focused on writing. Ethan loves to write and would like to explore the possibilities in technical writing and editing. He’s excited to have narrowed his interests down and to have an answer for all those well-meaning inquiries that come his way!

9th Grade Curriculum

Blog, She Wrote: Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2014-2015

Rebecca is our new high schooler! Her four year plan has been laid out with the basics plus a strong emphasis in her areas of interest.

  • Earth Science- She’ll be working with her brother through CK-12 Earth Science for High Schoolers
  • Geography- NorthStar Geography from Bright Ideas Press
  • Cover Story- Finish up this program
  • US History- All American History Volume II, modern history
  • One Year Adventure Novel- She is excited to start her own novel. This curriculum has been a part of our homeschool for over three years now.
  • Pre-Algebra & Beginning Algebra- With Life of Fred. She will continue to work through Algebra skills this year
  • Spanish- Rosetta Stone
  • Art- Rebecca will have a yearly art course with goals listed and a framework laid out. She’s already started with a Craftsy class in pen, ink, and watercolor
  • Sewing & Design II- More design elements and coursework for her pattern drafting and sewing with an emphasis on portfolio work.
  • Health- one quarter credit is required and is accomplished through family discussion and focus on current issues.
  • Homeschool Co-op- Usually sewing and craft classes when they are available.
  • Phys Ed- a half credit per year which is done through regular weekly activities such as large group games and seasonal activities.

 7th Grade Curriculum

Blog, She Wrote: Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2014-2015

Our 7th grader, is a huge fan of planes, rockets, and anything flight. Using Adventures in the Sea & Sky from WinterPromise seemed like a great fit for him and a nice transition from unit studies to more traditional approaches to learning.

  • Adventures in the Sea & Sky- This is a fantastic look at the history of sailing and flight throughout time- explorers, scientists, sailors, inventors, pilots. Anyone and anything that shaped the way we live today by their pioneering in these areas.
  • Cover Story- He will be finishing his magazine with Cover Story by the creator of One Year Adventure Novel.
  • Physics & PreAlgebra- with Life of Fred Physics and Pre-Algebra texts.
  • Earth Science- Primarily within the studies of sea and sky which will include oceanography & space sciences.
  • Phys Ed- Large group games weekly, bike riding
  • Homeschool Co-op- Which includes FLL and games this fall
  • FLL- He will be on a FIRST LEGO League team for the first time this year.

4th Grade Curriculum

We have one last elementary school student and he is sharp. Here are our plans for him:

  • Adventures in the Sea & Sky- He will be working with Isaac on this study and it will be interesting to see how they work together and how they will follow their interests.
  • Math with Life of Fred- He will begin the intermediate series and we’ll shore up skills in preparation for Fractions in 5th grade.
  • Language Arts- Focus on paragraph writing and short reports on our own and with WriteShop Junior D.
  • Homeschool Co-op- He loves to take whatever science classes are offered and this year will be in the FLL class as well.
  • FLL- He is a new member of our FLL team this year!
  • Engineering- Always an elective for him, he will have project time. It might be building or exploring or computer programming or solving a problem/making something better. But, he cannot be stopped!

Work Together with Multiple Ages

I always like to include time when all four of our children will learn together. Having been a unit study family only for a long time, our kids come from a homeschool background of working together and learning alongside one another. Though, we prefer to let each of our students work in their niche, we like to come together on some things. This year it’ll happen in a few areas.

  • Reading Aloud- I like to begin our day with this or use it as a tool to refocus on the work at hand.
  • Earth Science- The high schoolers will be working on the CK-12 course while the younger two boys will be doing oceanography and space science (both considered pieces of earth science) as part of Sea & Sky.
  • Geography- Once again, the high schoolers will be studying NorthStar Geography and the younger boys will tag along. I want to see how the course pans out for younger students- particularly late elementary.
  • Art- We do lots of art projects together which I love to use to adorn our walls!
  • Discussion/Collaboration- One of the things we are good at in our homeschool is collaborating with each other even now that our kids are not all working on the same level or curriculum. Asking for opinions and advice, starting discussions and review, and seeking expertise from others is something we encourage our kids to do daily.

How to Enhance Any Curriculum

Blog, She Wrote: How to Homeschool with a KindleWe have had huge success with using a Kindle in our homeschool. Both the eReader and the Fire have been assets to our learning for over a year, but especially after our three youngest kids all got Kindle Fires for Christmas last year. Learn all the ways we use Kindles in our homeschool.

We are looking forward to a new start. It’s exciting to think about what a new year brings!

Other bloggers from the iHN are sharing their curriculum choices for this year. Have a look around and be encouraged!

nbtsbloghopcalendar2014Don’t forget to drop in and enter the Geography Learning Tools Basket Giveaway through August 7, 2014.

Big Book of Homeschooling

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Geography Learning Tools Baskethttp://blogshewrote.org/2014/08/01/geography-basket/ http://blogshewrote.org/2014/08/01/geography-basket/#comments Fri, 01 Aug 2014 08:00:29 +0000 http://blogshewrote.org/?p=15292 This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support! I’m excited to participate in the big Back to Homeschool Gift Basket Giveaway brought to you by the iHomeschool Network. I’m giving away a Geography Learning Tools Basket from Bright Ideas … Continue reading

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Blog, She Wrote: Geography Learning Tools Basket Giveaway

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support!

I’m excited to participate in the big Back to Homeschool Gift Basket Giveaway brought to you by the iHomeschool Network. I’m giving away a Geography Learning Tools Basket from Bright Ideas Press. One Blog, She Wrote reader will win the new NorthStar Geography & WonderMaps Bundle from Bright Ideas Press! These will be the digital versions of both products and devices are not included.

The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas

Big Book of Homeschool Ideas

Why a Basket of Geography Tools? To celebrate the launch of a brand new ebook – The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas. This book includes 103 topics written about by 55 homeschooling moms- including me! You’ll find three chapters which I authored in the book.

Geography Learning Tools Basket

Many thanks to Bright Ideas Press for sponsoring today’s Geography Learning Tools Basket. NorthStar Geography is the new one credit high school geography curriculum written by Tyler Hogan at Bright Ideas Press. I’m giving away digital copies of both NorthStar Geography and WonderMaps to one lucky homeschooler (devices not included)! Subscribe to Blog, She Wrote via email and get ten entries. The drawing ends at midnight on August 8, 2014 and the winner will be drawn later on Friday the 8th.

August-2014-gift-baskets-NEW

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Once you’ve entered the giveaway, hop on over and check out the Big Book of Homeschool Ideas! I can hardly wait to dig in as we head toward the start of a new homeschool year.

Big-Book-promo-3

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Finishing Strong- Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years Week 23http://blogshewrote.org/2014/07/30/finishing-strong-homeschooling-middle-high-school-years-week-23/ http://blogshewrote.org/2014/07/30/finishing-strong-homeschooling-middle-high-school-years-week-23/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 10:00:30 +0000 http://blogshewrote.org/?p=15495 Welcome to Finishing Strong! Today is all about history, so we’re highlighting some of the best history posts that have been shared with us over the past few weeks. There are plenty of unique ideas to get you thinking as … Continue reading

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Welcome to Finishing Strong!

Today is all about history, so we’re highlighting some of the best history posts that have been shared with us over the past few weeks. There are plenty of unique ideas to get you thinking as you consider how you’ll be studying this important subject during the coming year.

History can be a boring subject for some students, especially if they think it’s all about memorizing dates. Hopefully you’ll take some of these hands-on ideas and strive to bring history to life in your home school.

Finishing Strong ~ Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years #22

Let’s Have Fun with History

Teaching About Independence Day in Your Homeschool from 7Sisters Homeschool

The Angelicscalliwag Homeschool : Why History? from Angelicscalliwag

Project: Middle Ages History & Fashion from Blog She Wrote

History of the Ancient World and Tapestry of Grace Year 1 from Classically Homeschooling

The Liberty Bell: Timeline & Trivia – FREE Printable from Education Possible

How To Help Your Kids Love History and Save Money on History Curriculum from Family, Home, Health

3 Homeschool Co-op History Resources Worth Exploring from Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus

Next week we’re going to look at some exciting ideas for learning about science. Hopefully you’ll join us!

Don’t forget to check out all of the co-hostsAspired Living, Blog She Wrote, Education Possible, EvaVarga, Milk and Cookies, Starts at Eight, and Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus.

Bloggers, by linking up, you may be featured on our co-hosts’ social media pages or our Pinterest board. We may even select you to be featured in a future post!

Guidelines for the hop:

  1. Link up to 3 posts from your blog. Make sure you use the exact URL to the post, not to your home page. You can add any post related to homeschooling middle and high school students. Posts unrelated to that will be removed.
  2. Please no advertising, individual Pinterest pins, Facebook, Twitter, or other link-up links!
  3. Grab our button to add to your post after you link it up. Each week we will be choosing our favorite posts to highlight on all 7 sites. If you were featured, make sure you add an “I was featured” button.
  4. The linky will go live on each co-host’s blog each Wednesday at 6am EST, and will be live until Tuesday at 11:55 pm.

Share the love.

Add our button to your post.

Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

Was your post featured?

Grab an “I was featured” button!

Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

We love people who SHARE WITH US!

*By linking up, you agree for us to share your images, always with credit!

So tell us, what have you been up to?

Add your best posts that focus on homeschooling middle & high school students. Share your ideas, unique learning approaches, encouragement, and more.

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