Archive for the ‘civil war’ category

lincoln- same as always

October 4, 2007

I can’t believe it’s already Thursday!  And I really can’t believe it’s been so long since I wrote anything! 

A week of vacation was a wonderful thing!  A week of recovering vacation has not been as wonderful!  I knew it would be a little rough at times- getting back into the groove.  But, not this rough!

Monday morning I gave my son the list of things to do for each subject.  Actually, it’s written on the dry erase board in the schoolroom (Yay for an excuse to visit the office supply store a few weeks ago!).  Then, I went off to do my things for the day.  That was my first mistake- thinking it was ok to leave and assume he would accomplish his tasks.  I came home to pick him up for work a couple hours later- thinking he had done 2 of his subjects.  (that’s our agreement- he can keep his job working 2 hours a day if he has 2 subjects done before he goes and finishes the rest when he gets home)  Then I brought him back home to do his chores and school stuff.  I had a meeting and then made a trip to do go grocery shopping (yuk!)  When I came home, he and my husband were watching something on the computer so I figured all was right with the world and he had completed everything.  That was mistake #2!  Being exhausted at this point, I made dinner and then collapsed for the evening without checking his stuff.  You guessed it!  Mistake #3!

Imagine my surprise when I found only two subjects in the spot I told him to put things for me to check.  I went to the first book- wordly wise- to check his vocabulary.  I found 3 out of the 10- 15 questions that he just hadn’t bothered to do.  I was not happy since he has a really easy time with this so it was obvious it was pure laziness and not something he didn’t understand.  So, I handed it back to him and told him to finish while I went on to check his history.  Since we are using History of Us and there are not questions in the book, I have a list of things he has to write in a notebook for each chapter- vocabulary, famous people, important events, culture, art and literature.  So, since we are studying the civil war, he was on a chapter about Abraham Lincoln.  Here is what he wrote- the only thing on the entire page for the chapter.  Are you ready?  Are you sitting down?  I wish I had been.  Ok.  Here it is!

lincoln- same as always

That’s it!  That’s all he had to say.  What is that supposed to mean?  So, that is what he had spent an entire Monday doing! 

As you may have guessed, Tuesday morning was not quite what you would call fun around my house!  I proceeded to load him down with the work he should have done Monday and the work for Tuesday.  The last thing I wanted was to let him think he would get away with that!

Unfortunately, bombarding him with more work when he was having a hard time handling getting into the routine of a regular day made for a really fun time for all.  It was so much fun that we rolled it into a fun day Wednesday!  This was the day I finally told him to go t bed.  I know, a normal parent thing to do.  But, not at 4:30 in the afternoon!  He was obviously so tired I could tell I wasn’t getting any work out of him until he had some sleep!  The evening was better after his nap.

Today has been pretty good.  He even got caught up on some things and now has the privilege of watching Smallville- one of those father/ son bonding things.

A statement my husband made yesterday got me thinking.  He seemed surprised when i told him a homeschooling friend I work with has these kinds of days too.  “You mean we’re not the only ones?”  I have a wonderful support group that helps me vent.  As a homeschooling father, he doesn’t have that luxury.  Most of the dad’s work alot so the mom’s can stay home.  So, they don’t get together like the mom’s.  So, he had never had the opportunity to hear other horror stories. 

This is where you come in!  Share your moments of stress and chaos- your homeschool horrors!  Vent- just as I have just done (thanks!  I feel better!)!  Give me some stories to share to tell my husband that we are not the only ones with days like these. 


Free Homeschool Resources

September 19, 2007

I just got this link from my homeschooling support group.  I haven’t done anything more than browse through the first few posts.  I can tell already this is going to be a great resource for me!  Not only has she done the searching for me, but everything on there looks like free resources!  Those are my favorite kind!

The most recent post is a bunch of links to Civil War sites.  That is just perfect for me right now.  It seems I am now finding Civil War info everywhere.  We could probably take a whole year to study everything in depth.  But, we probably won’t.

Now, if only I could find some great sites for algebra.  That is my next quest since I need to work on making practicing algebra properties more enjoyable for everyone involved.  Like that’s possible!

Anyway, check out this site.  I’m sure you’ll find something worthwhile. 

Civil War Unit Study

September 16, 2007

I found this post at the homeschool carnival.  We are studying the civil war right now and this looks like a great resource.

Also, here are a few ideas we are using.   My son just finished a book called Captured!  A Boy Trapped in the Civil War, by Mary Blair Immel.  It’s about a 14 year old boy who was caught and help prisoner in a Civil War Camp.  I liked the idea of having him rear something about someone his age in order to make it seem more real to him. 

The other thing we are doing is watching the mini series North and South.  I am way ahead of him because I have become addicted to it!  It started out as something for us to do together- which is a great idea.  But, I just kept watchng it after he went to bed because I had to know what was happening.  But, we are still watching it together.  I’m just watching it twice!  I actually wanted to watch it a little ahead so that I could make sure it was all appropriate for him.  Even though it was on tv, that doesn’t mean a whole lot these days.  What I like about the series is that it highlights the terrible things the war did to families and friends on both sides- dividing families and friendships because they were on opposing sides.  This is something I hadn’t thought a whole lot about before.  Also, it gives both aspects of the war, rather than viewing it only from the North or South perspective.

US History

September 10, 2007

     I have been searching for some ways to make history more hands- on.  My son really gets into history if it’s something that attracts his attention.  So, here are the plans I have so far. 

     I am using the History of Us curriculum.  It makes history more interesting than just a textbook.  I also like that the chapters are very short and therefore don’t seem overwhelming.  But, I haven’t gotten the teacher’s edition and there are no questions in the student edition.  So, I have to come up with the things I want him to focus on and remember- and cool ways to help him do that.

     The first thing I found out was that PBS has created a series using some of these books as a base.  They have a website that has the webisodes and other fun things, as well as quizes for each segment.

     The next idea I had was to have him create a timeline bordering his schoolroom.  Instead of just writing dates and events, I decided he would much rather use his artistic ability.   So, he puts the date and then a picture to help him remember the event.  The room is not huge so I have him use half of a sheet per year. 

     Then, of course, I will be using movies to show different events, time periods, culture, etc.  I had heard of someone who showed movies about an event in history and then had the student write about the discrepencies between the movie and the actual facts.  While this is an interesting concept and would undoubtedly be quite educational, I am not sure whether I will incorporate that into my plan. 

     So, I am hoping this will keep him interested in history enough to retain what he is learning.  I would love to hear your ideas, comments, feedback. 


Calling All Homeschoolers- Cool Homeschool Ideas Wanted!

September 4, 2007

I was so excited when my son came up with the geography project.  (see previous post)  Now, I have been searching everywhere, racking my brain to come up with some cool projects for his other subjects.  He is so hands on that it really sinks in if he has projects as well as regular stuff to do.  So, after a couple of weeks of trying to figure out some projects, I am looking to you, my readers, to share your cool homeschool ideas!

Here are the things I could come up with. 

Each month, I plan on having him pick a subject.  Rather than doing the reading and questions, he will prepare a lesson and teach the chapter to someone else.  It’s been said that teaching is the best way to learn things.  (I have experienced this many times since I started homeschooling!)  The other bonus to this is getting him to feel comfortable in different situations- presenting information and answering questions.  We did this once last year- I didn’t think of it until the end of the year.   But, it was really great.  He really knew his material.  And, the few things he wasn’t sure about, they discussed together and figured it out together.  But, had he not been teaching, the areas of confusion wouldn’t have come up.  So, it was a great experience.  He started out nervous, but by the end, he was feeling very confident.  SO, I figure that by doing it monthly, he will be a pro in no time!

For history, I have 2 thoughts.  The first is to use our Sunday night movie time- or another time- to watch a movie set in the time period we are studying.  I’m sure they won’t all be factual.  But, they would at least give him an idea of life- how people lived, what they ate, how they talked, etc- during that time period.  We are starting with the civil war.  I wonder if he would watch Gone With the Wind with me… 

The second history idea is to find recipes from the time period and let him cook a meal or part of a meal.  He really enjoys cooking so this might be fun for him.  Maybe not for the rest of us- depending on what strange things they ate!

So, those definitely don’t seem too exciting or earth shattering compared to the geography project.  Nor do they seem as encompassing of material and facts as the geography project.  But, I do realize we don’t have time to do major things in every subject. 

All of that aside, I am anxious to hear what things you have done, heard about, or are planning to try this year.  So, send me your comments and we can all learn from each other!