Sunday, November 27, 2011

Neglecting this blog...

I've been neglecting this blog lately, because my other blog keeps me SO busy, and I apologize. Here's what's been going on in our lives...

The new medicine is working, though I still think it could work better. We've been back at homeschooling for a while now, and things are going great! She also has a new doctor prescribing her medicine, and he's great. Some things we've been working on in homeschool include some introductions to geometry (Math is her best subject, so advancing here is much easier for her) and we spent a good deal of time learning about the history of our great country, and the first Thanksgiving meal. We made some Thanksgiving crafts for art, and have continued working on states and capitals.

In science, (her favorite subject, but not one of her best) we've been working on the elements and reading the Periodic Table. We'be gone over the makeup of elements and atoms. And in language, we've been covering the parts of speech, and labeling these parts in sentences. I'm going a bit slower with this, as I want it to stick, but also because this wasn't MY best subject, so I'm getting a refresher on it as well.

In the coming weeks, we will spend a lot of time focusing on the holidays. She already knows about Christmas, and how it all started, so I could go into a little more detail with her on that, but I also want her to understand the other celebrations that happen in December, even though we don't celebrate them. I think exposing her to other cultures and celebrations is important. I believe the only way to stop hate is to educate. I hope we're not the only ones who feel this way, and hopefully the next generation will be nicer!

I will make more of an effort to update this blog more regularly. Thanks for sticking with me! And check out my other blog, too! I've got LOTS of stuff happening over there! Product reviews and giveaways!!! http://tigereyes2001reviews.blogspot.com/

Monday, October 10, 2011

Back to School!!!

After a rather long hiatus from homeschool to let her new medicine get into her system, we're finally able to start back. She's able to concentrate more now. I know today is Columbus Day, but we didn't realize that when we decided that we would start back today, so we're doing a study on Columbus and his journey to America. My daughter already knows who discovered America, and that the Native Americans were already here, but now we'll go into detail about the voyage and why it was so important. Anyway, we're ready to get back to work, and learn a lot more! I'm going to ease her back in by doing a bit of a refresher on the subject material we've already covered. You know, a quick refresh on the math and science and stuff. :)

So glad that her new medication is working out so well, and I love the fact that it isn't a stimulant! Those made me nervous, but I have seen NO side effects from this medicine at all. And it seems to work a little better each day! So glad we switched :) And I'm thrilled that we were able to switch. Public school wouldn't have been understanding about this at all, and she would've been in a LOT of trouble during the transition period. Almost certainly suspended, and quite possibly expelled. This wouldn't have been possible in public school! :) Yay for homeschool!!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

ADHD and Homeschool

Okay, my daughter has ADHD, and I knew this going in... I knew that there were times she'd be completely unable to focus long enough to complete an assignment. I didn't realize that we'd have to change her medicine one month in... and THAT has been an experience.

My daughter is getting older, and starting to undergo some changes, and her medicine simply wasn't working as well anymore. I don't want to get into the whole "to medicate or not to medicate" debate, but basically, her medicine wasn't helping focus well enough to get through school... I do NOT want a zombie child, I fully expect her to be herself. I just need her to be able to sit still long enough to do her school work... Anyway, the doctor decided that, instead of simply increasing the dose of the medication she was already on, he would put her on a new one. She was on Concerta 54mg in the morning and Ritalin 10mg in the afternoon... He put her on Vyvanse 30mg for a week, and then 40mg after. Both of these medications are stimulants. When she took the Vyvanse, she had a bad reaction to it (not an extremely bad reaction, just not one we liked) and so the dr took her back off of that one. He put her on Strattera, which I'm totally fine with. I've heard great things about it... I've also heard that it can take 4-6 weeks to see the full effect of the medication.

If your child has ADHD (emphasis on the H), then you know what my immediate reaction was. LOL I WILL get through this... I may need nerve pills, but I WILL get through this! Anyway, we're kind of taking a break from school right now while her body adjusts to the new medication and it gets into her system. I'm really glad this one isn't a stimulant. When your dr tells you that children have died on that medication because they had underlying heart conditions, there's always a question in the back of your mind about your child's heart... even after they check.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Changing it up!

Okay, after a discussion with a much more experienced homeschooling parent, I realized I'm doing it backwards! Her way is MUCH better. I was using my big binder to hold all of the work she's already done, and using smaller binders for the individual subjects... I never really thought that through, but that left us tied to the Rubbermaid storage tub we're keeping all of this stuff in... Well, I've now divided the work she's completed into the smaller binders, and she now only has to work out of one. MAKES SO MUCH SENSE! LOL It's a learning process for us both :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

iServe

Wow, I just found out that our cover school sponsors a program for homeschoolers in our area to serve their local community! They organize these opportunities for homeschoolers of all ages to volunteer in the area! How awesome is that?! If you're interested in Homeschooling your child(ren), check with your local cover schools to see if anyone offers this type of opportunity. Our cover school awards high school credits and certificates of participation (good for those college applications!) for kids who volunteer. And you get access to some really cool things you may not otherwise get access to! One of the volunteer opportunities may be at the zoo this year! FUN!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Win $50 Paypal!!!

You could win $50 via Paypal! Just click the link and follow the simple directions. Giveaway ends on 9/15, and so far, she has very few entries! Check it out!!!

http://courteneybrianne.blogspot.com/2011/09/50-paypal-giveaway.html

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Keeping everything organized!

Wow. I've got to be honest... the biggest struggle I've faced (so far) in homeschooling my daughter is keeping everything organized! With this being our first year out of public school, and knowing the kind of person her former principal is, I'm honestly expecting some legal issues. Well, I know we're doing everything completely legally, so I want to make sure I can prove that! Which means I have to be SUPER organized (not exactly my specialty) and keep everything together and in a place that's easy to get to!

In our state (Alabama), we aren't required to keep anything, or prove that we're working, but I'm keeping EVERYTHING. I've got a binder that I store all of her work in, separated into categories. This blog will be all about the binder, and what's in it. :)

In the first section, we have music... The first page details all of the things we've worked on so far, and then the pages behind that are the proof of said work. Each category has the same layout, so the front page will always tell what's behind it. So far in music, we've learned about: Instrument Families; the Staff; Treble and Bass Clefs; Ledger Lines... We're going to work on Rhythm and Note Lengths later on. This section contains 9 pages of work she's done on music in the last 2 weeks.

The next section is science... We're kind of all over the place in science, studying some physical science, earth science and life science. We've studied plant and animal cells, Anatomy of the Ear Nose and Throat, layers of earth, layers of the sun, layers of a tree, the periodic table of elements, the scientific method, the states of matter, and chemical vs physical reactions. This section has 18 pages of work she's done since August 3rd.

In the next section, we have art... We have worked on Cubism, Impressionism and Pointillism over the last 2 weeks. 10 pages in this one...

Geography is next. I want her to be able to identify the states on a map, the continents, and know some specific geography of our wonderful state. She should be able to identify the abbreviations for each state and know the capitals, too. There are 14 pages in this section.

Ah, History... We're studying the discovery and foundation of the United States and North America. We're also working on the 13 colonies. 14 pages of work, here.

Language Arts is the next one, and it's divided into a few sub-categories... Spelling and Vocabulary first. I'll detail the spelling words in another blog, but she's had 40 words so far. 10 for each week. She has to look up the definitions in the dictionary, write them all down, look up 2-3 synonyms for each word and write those down, copy each word 10 times, and write a grammatically correct sentence for each word using the word correctly. It sounds like a lot, but I want her to be able to pass her test at the end of the week! She does the spelling portion in American Sign Language (a little extra practice for that) and then tell me (roughly) what each word means. I don't expect her to memorize the definitions. If she can explain it to me, good enough. 25 pages in the Spelling and Vocabulary sub-section.

Grammar is the next sub-section under Language Arts. We've been studying the different parts of speech. 22 pages in this sub-section.

Creative Writing and Handwriting are together in the last sub-section. 8 pages and a notebook for journal entries here.

Math... By far the largest section... We've covered: Converting Mixed Numbers to Improper Fractions; Reducing Fractions; Addition and Subtraction up to 4-digits plus/minus 4-digits; Division up to 2-digits into 4-digits. We're starting to reduce Improper Fractions and Multiply Fractions now. 37 pages. We've needed a LOT of work and practice on some things.

The last section covers our American Sign Language work. I write down what we're working on, and what we need to work on. So far, we've covered the alphabet and numbers 1-10. This week we're working on the following words:
Deaf, Hearing (culturally), Learn, Like, Meaning, Meet, Name, Nice, No, Sign, Slow, Student, Teacher, Thank You, Understand, What, Where, Who, Why, and Yes.

As you can see, we've been quite busy! But, I enjoy it, and she seems to, as well. One day I'll take pics of this binder, and you can see just how thick it is! I'm not really sure what "style" of homeschooling we're doing... We don't do each topic each day. More like 3-4 (depending on how much work each topic needs or requires that day) each day, and I try to mix it up. She's also doing some math on khanacademy.org and reading "Winne: The Horse Gentler" on the computer. I was able to snag it while it was free from Kindle. I have a list of books I want her to read this year, and maybe I'll do another post about that soon. I also intend to do a post about where I get my materials (All free) and maybe a post about my planning book. I plan out the week during the weekend, and that way I know what we need to cover, and what we're going to be doing.

Our state requires 160 days of education each year. There is no law about how many hours equal one day, and honestly, there's no real system in place to make sure people are educating their children. I really don't like that. But, it's not for me to decide... I will educate my child to the best of my ability, because I want her to be successful. She wants to go to medical school! And who am I to stand in her way? As a matter of fact, I've actually made it my personal duty to see that her education exceeds what she was receiving in public school! That's just my decision. I don't expect anyone else to do that, and I would never suggest it... This is just my way, and I have seen that everyone has a different way of homeschooling. You do what you want. That's the beauty of homeschool!