Tuesday, November 14, 2017


Math Lesson 49 (Perimeter)
Bible Heroes Lesson 10 (Story Sequence - problem)
Handwriting - review print-to-cursive
AWANA section 2.4
Science - finished Astronomy "Moon"
Encyclopedia - "Christopher Gadsden"
CC Memory Work - reviewed Week 7

Friday, November 10, 2017


Math: Lesson 48 (division by 10 and by 1 - 3 ways to write division)
AWANA: T&T 2.4
IEW: Bible Heroes lesson 9 (Story Sequence Chart, part 1)
Encyclopedia: Gadolinium (element)
Handwriting: Freeze Tag game (review practice)
Science: Apologia Astronomy "Moon" continued
CC Memory Work: reviewed Week 6

Thursday, November 9, 2017


Math: Saxon 3rd grade Lesson 47
IEW: Bible Heroes Lesson 8
AWANA: T&T 2.4
Handwriting: cursive f
Science: Apologia Astronomy, read 2 pages Moon
Encyclopedia: Gabriel, slave revolt 1800
Reviewed CC Memory Work Week 9

Thursday, September 14, 2017


Today, the 8yo accomplished:

  • Lesson 15 in Saxon Math 3

  • A whole week of writing lessons in the IEW Bible Heroes book!

  • A section of Apologia Astronomy Lesson 2 (read to her and discussed)

  • Encyclopedia: G Gabon, Africa

  • AWANA memory work and workbook 1.1

  • CC memory work - reviewing weeks 1 & 2

In Astronomy, we've been discussing how we revolve around the sun (a year), spin (a day/night), and tilt (seasons). Yesterday, we watched a "They Might Be Giants" video about the gas/atomic composition of the sun, and it repeated the info in our textbook nicely (93,000,000 miles away, how we need it to survive, etc.).  Today, more info was added about revolving and rotating, adding the moon's path to our orbit.

We took turns reading Gabon from G Encyclopedia aloud.  We talked about forestry, why the people speak French, the government party system, how President Bongo converted to Islam, and how he was president for a really long time.

We watched a video about how hurricanes form off of the West coast of Africa (dry, hot air mixes with cold, wet air and creates storms that are carried across the ocean).

Friday, August 4, 2017

Career Exploration

Carol Topp spoke about Career Exploration for High School Students at the Cincinnati Homeschool Convention.  I personally found her to be an energetic speaker, and her enthusiasm was contagious.  I attended two of her sessions and found myself feeling uplifted, encouraged and energized!

Finding a career is not like shooting an arrow into a bullseye.  Life isn't like that.  It's a process of exploration.  You don't need to decide what you're going to be by age 17; you just need to decide the next step.  Kids feel like God's will is one thing or the other; however, the person is more important than the job.  She reminded us that -


She used the example of Joseph in the Bible, who had many careers - shepherd, slave, accountant for Potiphar, prisoner, manager of prisoners, and then after interpreting Pharaoh's troubling dreams, he became 2nd in command in the country!  All of the past jobs helped Joseph in his next job.  Every job or opportunity gives the person more information to go into the next job.  Hence, Career Exploration is a Process.

She recommended this timeframe in college -

8th/9th grade: get a general idea.  Do you like to work with people? numbers? etc.

Repeat process in jr. year - help pick major, get idea for the "next step".

Women - think about what you might want to do when you have children.  Will your career fit your kids?

Kids should make a long list of careers and take several tests.  Do you see the same things popping up again and again?  Brainstorm, but don't eliminate.  Research the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov) Consider these questions -

  • What does it take to be a ____?

  • What do they make?

  • What kind of college is needed?

Also consider, Employment or Self-Employment?  Not all careers lead to self-employment (example: nurse)

Give teens lots of experience.  Is your teen interested in the medical field? Have them work in a retirement home.  Give teens opportunities to interview with people and job shadow.  After a job shadowing experience, ask - What do you like about it? What don't you like about it?  Look at college catalogs - if your teen finds certain classes interesting, such as classes all in one subject, that might be what they want to do for their major.

Prepare -

  • High school plan: what are your graduation requirements? Make high school plan of credits needed for graduation based upon where they are going and what is needed. (example: don't bother with Physics if the student will be obtaining a Music degree)

  • College entrance requirements?

  • Find answers at Collegeboard.org

  • Visit College Fairs to help select a college

  • Look at online reviews of colleges - collegedirt.com (but read with a grain of salt)

  • Go for a college visit.  Read the student newspaper. Eat in the cafeteria.  Stay overnight in the dorm, if able.  The dorm will have more influence than the professors!

She recommended the book What Do I Do with a Degree in English?

Job Shadowing - put the word out that your interested in job shadowing for a particular field.  Send email to church, homeschool network.  Use your connections.  Most people WANT to talk about themselves and encourage others into that career.  Some organizations have job shadowing days.  Dayton Airforce Base offers this - from dental hygienist to bomb disposal expert.  Boy Scouts Explorers also does career exploration, and this opportunity is also available for girls.

Here is a link to her handout with good info and links: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_mIAvc8Q0JMMFktNW5hcjhPdVE/view?usp=sharing


Friday, May 26, 2017

Challenge Class of One

Our school year has come to an end.  It was a beautiful year, in which I was the Challenge tutor of one student.  That 0ne student was my daughter, and I set out to prove that CC is do-able in any situation, even when no other students join the class.

We have a full campus that grew to max capacity in just 4 years.  We're out in the country, where you wouldn't think to find a campus this size.  I joined it when it began and we were a tiny campus of just a few families meeting together each Monday.  I loved those intimate days, getting to know each family on a deeper level.  I love seeing so many families fill a church now; and I'm thankful to have been a part of it's growth.  Our campus has been everything we needed for my middle and youngest child; however, my oldest child was just a little outside of the age range for everything happening here.

We had to wait an extra year to find a Challenge A closer to us than 1.5 hours away.  If I'd known how much Challenge would complete my oldest's education, maybe I would have driven those 1.5-2 hours each week.  Eventually, we were able to find either a close enough Challenge, or find another person driving that route, that could drive my daughter.  Last year, my daughter was worn out from the extra long days and wanted to be local.  Every year, I had made an attempt to start a Challenge level for her at our own campus, but despite my prayers and best efforts, no level could be created for her that would include other students.

This year, however, we decided to make it work, even if only one student, my daughter, made up our class. We set up space at our CC campus's church, and created a Challenge II class of one.  We hoped that another student might join, so I endeavored to make the class as complete as if it were a class of 10.  Other students did not join our class, but we had a fantastic year just the two of us.  Often, I felt like I was the secret second student!  I learned a few things that made it work:

Tailor the class to the student
I think this is true whether you have 12 students or 1 student.  I began the year trying to make my Challenge II class look like any Challenge II class, at any campus.  I tried making generic plans for a class of imaginary students.  What I found is that class was better when I made the class fit my daughter.  Each week, I asked myself, "What does my daughter need? What would bless her in her studies?"  I wrote up my plans based on that.  Sometimes, we'd get to class, and she had something else to discuss or work on for that subject, and it wasn't on my plan.  I soon learned to ditch the plan and go with my daughter's needs.  I believe, now, that this is the key to tutoring any Challenge class, whether small or large.  Next year, I will tutor a class of 8 students, and I will ask myself the same question - "how can I bless them? what do they need?"  I will make plans that can fill a class, or drop the plans if something else speaks to my students' hearts.

Discussion sometimes happens twice
I found that we'd discuss things at home as mother and daughter, and then again in class. Literature often had two discussions.  It was fun to read and discuss at home, but also fun to continue that conversation in class.

I had to find substitute students, sometimes
Some subjects just need another student.  You cannot have a debate team of 1.  We tweaked debate.  For the first debate, my daughter wrote up a note sheet about debate, and we invited everyone from age 12+ to an Information Meeting about Team Policy Debate. My daughter led the meeting and shared her notes.  We drummed up interest for the next debate scheduled in the guide.  Our next two debates had students.  Often, we'd have to meet outside of CC to hold our debate.  Sometimes it felt like we were putting in more work than the tutor of a class of 2 or more!  But we had an awesome debate experience, and were able to get other students on fire for debate, too.

We teamed up with other Challenge classes
We were able to benefit from having Challenge A and B classes on campus.  If my daughter had a presentation scheduled, we would ask the Challenge A or B tutor if we could present to them.  We were also able to get the students' feedback.  It was nice for those other levels to see what is on the horizon for them, and learn about Challenge II.  If our guide scheduled a full hour for debate, but our debate was scheduled for another day, we'd ask Challenge A or B if they had any presentations.  We enjoyed watching Challenge A present LTW papers and Challenge B present Science Fair projects.  My daughter skipped Challenge B, and she was able to fill in on Mock Trial for one student that was unable to be there.  This was an amazing experience for her, and she did her role well.

All students have weaknesses and strengths. Go with it!
My daughter is not a lover of Biology.  She gets squeamish if someone says the word "eyeball", thus the dissections of Challenge II were a "no deal".  For her, I printed out the most cartoony sheets of creatures I could find, and we brought our science journals and coloring pencils.  We sat on the floor and sketched for that hour.  My daughter said this was extremely helpful.  She did well on her Biology tests because she sketched diagrams.  If we had dissected an animal, she would have missed this opportunity to quietly sketch and soak in the details.  I would love to incorporate the sketching of science diagrams into a future Challenge class, at least to model it as a study technique.

Sometimes, the class falls silent
Sometimes, with a class of 1, there just isn't anything else to say.  With discussion often getting double duty at home and in Community day, sometimes a topic was discussed as fully as we both felt it could be.  It is very different to lead a class of 1 into discussion, instead of a chatty class of many.  Sometimes, we simply opened the book on the schedule and read aloud.  Sometimes we re-read last week's reading, but often we'd look ahead into next week's reading.  When something inspired thought, we'd stop to discuss it.  Many rich hours were filled this way, and I believe it brought new meaning and life into a subject during that week.

Add in movement!
As a class of 1, we were often on the move!  On nice days, we'd walk the parking lot, books in hand.  Sometimes, we'd move locations, out into the halls of the church (as long as it didn't bother other classes).  When our big, happy campus gathered, just outside our little room, sometimes we'd swap places and borrow their space for awhile.  We moved and it helped us learn (and not fall asleep!)  It was not unusual for my pedometer to reach 8,000-10,000 steps by the end of Community day.  I loved this aspect of our tiny class.

A tiny class can fit almost anywhere
We met in the Mothers' Nursing Room at our church, and sat in two big rocking chairs.  Sometimes we felt like we were grannies in rockers, and needed a pair of knitting needles and yarn to make the picture complete.  It was a small space that fit two people comfortably, but three was a little more of a stretch.  We have great memories of our rocking chair discussions!  And if we'd had a bigger class, we might not have had space at the church for us.  We were blessed to be small in number.

If you are considering tutoring a Challenge class of 1, I say "do it!"  It is do-able.  Make it work for you and your student.  A Challenge class is meant to be full of rich discussion, and that will look different for any class.  Don't be afraid to lead a discussion with 1 student (or have that student lead a discussion with you!). Don't be afraid to simply read from the text, and pause to discuss when thought-provoking material is revealed.  Don't be afraid to tweak your class to bless Your student.  And don't be afraid to make your classroom anywhere - or everywhere!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Service Hours

For A's transcripts:

27 weeks of AWANA 2013-14
27 weeks of AWANA 2014-15

1.5 hours of community service each of those weeks =
40.5 + 40.5 = 81 hours of community service through AWANA

2016-17 Leaf Rake = 6 hours
2015-16 Leaf Rake = 6 hours

93 hours total, so far...

need to find American Heritage Girls' hours and so forth

...must keep digging...