2019-2020 School Year

2016 SOS disks

This is our 13th year of homeschool.  Aprendemos Academy already has one graduate, and only has about three years left until all of our students have graduated.

Diva has started 11th grade this year, Lt has started 10th. They are both taking Geometry, Art, Physics, and Typing, but are taking separate, grade-level courses for Language and History.

Homeschooling though high school is both easier, and so much harder at the same time. It’s easier because the kids can now teach themselves for the most part. I’m just here to help them if they need it.  The hardest part is trying to guide them into the next phase of their lives.  But I know we’ll get through it, with God’s help.

Closing out the 2016-2017 School Year

So, another school year has come to a close. I don’t blog as much as I used to, for many reasons. Here on the school blog, it’s mostly because I’m not trying to make my own lessons anymore. With everyone doing most of their classes in Switched on Schoolhouse, the kids have been primarily teaching themselves. They log in, do their lessons, and only need me when they are struggling with a concept. Even with Math-U-See, the oldest watched the lessons and ran with it all on his own. He essentially taught himself Algebra II. There were a few times when a concept was hard to grasp that I had to help out. My real job in this whole process now is just to be available to help when needed, and keep track of the grades and paperwork.

All in all, it was a successful year. Everyone passed their classes with flying colors. So now that they’ve started their vacation, it’s time for me to plan the next school year.

Number of Families Homeschooling Has Doubled Since 1999

As reported by the HSLDA:

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) recently released the final executive summary of its fourth quadrennial survey on homeschooling, conducted in 2012.

Notable facts from the survey show that:

  • Homeschool students made up 3.4% of the school-age population in 2012.
  • There were an estimated 1.8 million students being homeschooled in 2012.
  • Concern about the public school environment was reported to be a major factor in nine out of ten parents’ decisions to homeschool their children.
  • Homeschooling has doubled nationwide since the first DOE survey in 1999

Read the full story here.

High School Art – Space

** My oldest has started high school courses! For art, we’ve chosen ARTistic Pursuits. The first lesson is on the use of space in art. Here are some resources I’ve found online to supplement the course.  Enjoy. **

The passive space in a piece of art is important.  Without it, the eye would have no where to rest from all the activity in the piece.  But space is just as important in webdesign and everything else.  So the information I’ve complied deals with all sorts of different types of design, but it will all be useful to understanding space as an artistic element better.

ABCs Of Art Space

From The ABCs of Art by M.C.Gillis over at Awesome Artists

There is an interesting article about the use of space in typography and printing over at Treehouse BlogVanseoDesign has a great article on the use of space in web design, and really activating the whitespace within your site.  Follow that up with a neat article about the use of whitespace in web and advertising design over at A List Apart.  I really liked the way he demonstrated how just a little judicious use of whitespace/passive space in advertising material can change the entire feel of the ad from cheap to upscale.

Joey over at the Daily Digi has a nice article about using whitespace in scrapbook layout design. This is right up my alley considering my background in digital scrapbook design.

Over at Sophia.org, Lucy Lamp has a very well done, comprehensive article that includes the different types of space found in artwork.  I almost feel like the article has more relevance to perspective than space, but it gave me alot to think about.

There are a few good articles about using space in photography, at Digital Photo Secrets and PictureCorrect. In fact, if you Google “Space in photography” you will find several good articles and tips about the use of active vs dead space and the Rule of Thirds.

And of course, no discussion of space in art would be complete without talking about negative space and optical illusions.  There is a good list of 25 over at Creative Bloq.  Word of warning, once you’ve seen the arrow in the FedEx logo, it cannot be unseen!

Do you see the arrow?

Do you see the arrow?

 

 

New School Year, New State, New Regulations.

I know it’s early, but we usually homeschool during the hot summer months to allow us to take more time off during the holidays and spring.  But here’s the catch.  We’ve moved -which is why the lesson plans stopped being posted in February.  We’ve moved from a state that had fairly lax rules and an area that was pretty friendly to homeschoolers, to a state that is pretty strict and an area that is anything but friendly to homeschoolers.

By: Chris

In Maryland, you have to submit to portfolio reviews, which are done by the school board.  In the county we live, the board is notorious for being hard on homeschoolers. As such, we’ve opted for the Umbrella School option.  Thankfully I found an umbrella school that will allow us to use whatever curriculum we want. Another thing about Maryland, is that we have to show proof of progress in not just Math & Language – which is all that was required to show progress in Virginia – but also in Science, History, Music, & Art.  I’ll be honest, we were doing Language, Math, & History with the younger two, threw in science as well for the oldest, & unschooling everything else.  Now that I need something more concrete to prove the work *is* being done, I’ve got to add something with a bit more structure in each subject.

Then there’s the oldest.  He’s doing high school level work this year, despite being an 8th grader.  In Virginia, I was letting him take the CAT (California Achievement Test) for his grade level according to the state, so that if we hit a rough patch, we’d have room to slow down & really dig in.  But in Maryland, you only get to claim high school credit for 3 courses, and he’s taking 4 high school courses – Math, Science, History, and Language.  So, it makes more sense to promote him to 9th grade and make him officially in high school.

So this year, everyone will be using Math-U-See, and I’m counting this summer’s swimming lessons & pool time as PE for everyone.  The younger two are using Easy Grammar, and BJU’s American Heritage Studies.  They’ve decided on Apologia’s Land Animals for their science, and we will be using SQUILT for Music Appreciation.  Besides Math-U-See’s Algebra 1, the oldest will be using Switched On Schoolhouse for Grammar, History, and Bible.  For science he will be using Apologia’s Physical Science, Typingweb.com for typing, and for art, we’ll be using a combination of sources found online, primarily Khan Academy & TICE 1010.

So… Aprendemos Academy officially starts it’s 2014-2015 school year tomorrow morning.  I am so not ready for this.

Two Weeks In…

Here we are two weeks into our current school year, so what have I learned?

— My Diva wants to learn cursive.  This will be hard considering I HATE cursive and haven’t used it in years.  Guess I’d better remember quick. Good thing I’ve got the internet.  There are plenty of resources, freely available, including fonts.  The best resource, however, is likely Donna Young’s Cursive Handwriting.  Lots of worksheets, animations, and more.

— Diva hates our current history curriculum because there aren’t enough females taught about in the text.  So, Google to rescue again! I’ve been supplementing the book with research about females from the era.  Luckily we are headed into the Exploration/Frontier life era.  I just happen to own all the Little House on the Prairie books.  Thank you Laura Ingalls Wilder!

— After a week of spelling, I’ve learned that while my youngest boy is doing a decent job learning to read, his spelling is atrocious. Then I found (via a friend on facebook) this article about good readers who spell horribly, and realized…  I need to take my boy back to phonemes.  We need to try to intervene in these neural pathways and make sure they being formed properly.

— After the above breakthrough, I had another breakthrough with my youngest.  It seems that his vision is all sorts of wonky again.  He’s seeing everything, but it’s off to the right and down from where it’s actually printed. IE:

Vv111-vision

So apparently spelling is the least of his worries.  We’ve got to get those eyes back on track.  Sigh.  Guess it’s time to visit Dr. Wescott again.

— Capt 740 is doing well, and learning how to do all this stuff on his own.  It’s kind of a relief to finally have one old enough to work on his own primarily.

 

One week down.

So, yea.  We officially started “school” last week.  Really, since the learning never ends here in Casa Del Yuriar, all it means is that we cracked open the math books again, and tried to get our “school” routine started again.  The first week or so is always a bit rough as we settle into a routine that works for us.  They may have argued and moaned, PinkDiva may have done her Poltergeist impression a few times (you know, head lifting up, spinning 360 before settling back down again), but in the end they loved it, and even learned something.


PinkDiva talks Photosynthesis.

Book Arts Bash Winners

Via Shez over at Homeschooled twins:

I want to dedicate this post to homeschool parents. You are giving your children the most incredible gift. The gift of having the time to follow their passions. The entries in the Book Arts Bash were “knock your socks off” good. I doubt that children who are rushed to within an inch of their lives could have written novels of this calibre. It makes me so proud to be part of this creative and incredible community.

Kindergarten and First Grade:

Winner:
A Big Problem by Brianna T.
Runners up:
Adventures of Big D and BMC by Emma W.
Zoo With A Strange Zookeeper by Vivian L.

Second and Third Grade:

Winner:
The Adventures of Blue Flame the Heroic Giant Squid-Fighting Hero by Sage M.
Runners Up:
Ruby, A Twisting Tale by Emilie M.
Mittens the Cat by Melea von T.

Fourth and Fifth Grade:

Winner:
1 by Nicci M.
Runners up:
One Girl Revolution by Sadie Z.
Blaze by Alexandra S.

Sixth Grade:

Winner:
The Princess by Lena G.
Runners up:
Becoming Callie by Lena G.
Trixie by Lydia A.

Seventh Grade:

Winner:
Happy Ending is a Place by Mandy H.
Runners up:
Violet Fire by Bryn B.
Kite by Hannah S.

Eighth Grade:

Winner:
Hollin by Garrett R.
Runners up:
Common Animals by Thomas B.
Little Angel by Adayla S.

Ninth Grade:

Winner:
Why I Missed the Second Set by Rose C.
Runners up:
Untitled by Larissa S.
Tales of the Humbats: The Seventh Piece by Raven M.

Tenth Grade:

Winner:
Children of the Stars by Holden M.
Runners up:
Shattering Darkness by Vienna H.
The Scouser Cap by Emily V.

Eleventh Grade:

Winner:
Cadence by Scout G.
Runners up:
Vengeance: 25 cents by Kathleen M.
Don’t Look Down by Tanya S

Twelfth Grade:

Winner:
If Pearls Could Sing by Pamela C.
Runners up:
Broken Things by Emily D.
Falling Night by Anna W.

Big thank you to our generous sponsors:

Dreambox: Visit Dreambox for an incredible interactive math curriculum for kids from preschool through third grade. For kindergarten math, Dreambox is unparalleled in fun and pedagogical value. Check out the free trial and see what you think!

Shurley Grammar: A grammar curriculum that takes your child from first through seventh grade, using drills and jingles to teach writing skills (and also reading skills!) along the way. A trusted name in home education, Shurley will not steer you wrong.

Classical Academic Press: If you’re contemplating teaching Latin or Greek in your homeschool, you definitely need this system. With audio, video, fun activities, and online Latin games, as well as standard workbooks and quizzes, anyone can teach Latin.

Prufrock Press: Parents of gifted children often have difficulty finding work that will challenge their kids’ abilities while still being fun. Prufrock’s gifted education materials are a godsend. Kids see them as a treat!

Explode the Code: Many of us have used Explode the Code workbooks with our kids and enjoyed the progressive phonics curriculum. Now Explode the Code has launched an online version, taking their reading education to a whole new level.

Doin’ a Favor

I know. It’s been a while. I’m working on that, trust me. Meanwhile, a couple of local homeschool moms have gotten together for the second year and put on an awesome Science Fair. As a big thank you to all the companies who sponsored a bunch of homeschoolers and their scientific pursuits, I’ve copied (with permission) the sponsor information from Lydia. Please support these homeschool-friendly businesses.

Thank you to the following homeschool-friendly businesses for supporting the GUESS Homeschool Science Fair and the young scientists of Hampton Roads!

Green Olive Tree is an internet company based in Portsmouth, Virginia and owned and operated by a homeschooling family. They offer a broad range of internet services, from reliable web hosting to corporate infrastructure solutions and server administration.

SKS Science supplies homeschoolers and other educators with all the science supplies you need to turn your dining room table into a proper laboratory. Browse their site for test tubes, bottles, face masks and other lab supplies and books.

Book Exchange is the largest used bookstore in Eastern Virginia. Unlike most musty and confusing used stores, this one is clean, bright, inviting, and has a huge selection of used homeschool books. There’s always an interesting curriculum find on these shelves!

Folkmanis Puppets makes the most delightful animal puppets available outside Santa’s workshop. Meet their most unusual creations like llamas, Chinese dragons, ostriches, flying squirrels. Unusual materials create realistic textures, and they all move in very realistic ways. Irresistible.

The Happy Scientist, Robert Krampf, hosts an online wonderland for budding scientists. With online science lessons, experiments to try at home, a science photo of the day, and new content added all the time, you’ll love setting your kids loose on this site.

Mad Science is Hampton Roads’ premier provider of science enrichment classes for children. Summer classes include “Crazy Chemistry” and a space camp developed with NASA! New homeschool science classes are being offered in Norfolk and VA Beach, with more planned for fall. (**I can totally vouch for the good folks at Mad Science.  My son took a Mad Science class a few years back. The teacher was awesome, and even let the little two join in.  Plus my kids learned a few German phrases from her. Bonus!)

Moore Expressions is a homeschool bookstore in Virginia Beach, VA. They sell used and new homeschooling curriculum, host a support group, and publish a newsletter called the Bayith Educator. They are the premier source for homeschooling books in the Hampton Roads area. (** Again, this is a great store! Dangerous for me to go into as I always wind up spending more than I planned! But they have soooo much good stuff, and you can trade in your old, didn’t-work-for-us curriculum for store credit. Awesome.)

Norfolk Karate Academy offers classes in Tang Soo Do (Korean karate) and Gracie Jiu Jitsu (Brazilian grappling and self-defense). With classes for children, teens, and adults, it’s a great way for anyone to get in shape and kick things in a socially acceptable way!

Brooks Systems offers standalone software and web applications that check legal compliance in all municipalities in all fifty states, and create truth-in-lending documents for residential lenders. Using Brooks for your automated mortgage compliance, you can be sure your loans are safe.

eScienceLabs creates boxes of joy for science loving homeschoolers. In each kit is a complete science experience — from individual lessons to full years of high school labs. Hands-on science kits are the answer to your laboratory woes. Everything is in there: test tubes, goggles, and fun.

Mariner’s Museum has amazing programs for homeschoolers learning about maritime science, history, and even pirates! Their spring homeschool series features lessons about the Civil War. Visit Mariner’s Museum for historical exhibits and educational programming. (**This is a fun place.)

Virginia Air and Space Center was host to the homeschool science fair this year, and delivered awesome science classes for homeschoolers from their education department. The VASC is the educator resource center for the NASA Langley Research Center.(**Another really fun place. We’ve been many times.  They also have Free Admission for Military Families Days. Rawkin’)

via Little Blue School: Steal This Post.