Posted in Homeschooling

Looking forward to next year…

I was too busy, or maybe too overwhelmed, the last few months to keep updating here. I have a tendency to make projects for myself. If I don’t have enough to do I get restless, I get ideas, I start all the ideas, and the next thing you know I have too much!

And that’s why it’s almost August and I’m just now starting to seriously look at planning homeschool for grade 7. I looked at the curriculum a few months back and took some notes and searched up some links to add to those notes. And then I kept saying “I need to do that sometime” until I realized it was almost August and panicked a little bit.

We decided back in March or April that we would continue to homeschool for another year. Public school is, predictably, still a bit uncertain. Most people are vaccinated now, and covid numbers are down, but that doesn’t mean they won’t go back up. Vaccinated people can still get it and transmit it, there are new strains that the vaccine wasn’t designed for, and at the moment only people 12 and up can be vaccinated. As usual, though, we left it up to Steven. He decided that he doesn’t feel safe going to public places until he’s vaccinated. His birthday is in September, so he will probably be able to get his first vaccine in October. But if we’re homeschooling first semester, there’s no point in sending him back for the 2nd. There’s no way to know what would be covered in each semester, so he would end up missing some things and covering other things twice (and that would really frustrate him – he already hates having to review things each year).

We’re doing things a bit differently this year. I’m (hopefully) going to have everything planned out ahead of time, instead of doing it last minute most weekends. There will be a folder for each week, with instructions and worksheets and QR codes he can scan with his various devices to get to resources on the internet. He’ll be able to choose which one to work on each week, and it will be up to him to get it done throughout the week. If he doesn’t, we’ll get it done on the weekend. But the idea is to not get frustrated trying to convince him to do work every day and to have him take some responsibility.

I don’t know how much I’ll be posting here. But I’m going to try and share what’s in the folders in the new grade 7 page.

Stay safe!
~Lauren

Posted in Book Report, Homeschooling, Language Arts, Reading

Flying Lessons & Other Stories

Mental Health

I’ve missed posting here for a few weeks. I’ve been struggling with some mental health stuff. It’s just that time of year for me really. But dragging myself through work has been all I’ve mustered most days.

I took the opportunity to cover the mental health part of the curriculum with Steven. We had already covered mindfulness and ANTs. I wanted to make sure we also covered the stigma associated with mental health issues, the different ways people manage them, and resources for when you or someone you know is struggling. It was really just one big discussion, so I don’t have a lot of information to share, but here is a list of resources available to people who need them in Ontario.

I’m starting to feel more like my regular depressed self instead of whatever I’ve been dealing with the last few weeks. I always kind of drop all my self care routines in January or February and pick them back up in March or April, which always makes for a rough month or two. And it’s frustrating because I know exactly how to help myself, I just… don’t.

But writing has always helped, so this is a step in the right direction.

Flying Lessons & Other Stories

I picked up this book back in October when we figured out the problem Steven has with novels. He apparently gets bored with them after a few days. There are so many books I want to introduce him to, and so many I found at the beginning of the year when I was making a suggested reading list for his grade that I honestly just wanted him to choose to read so I could also read them. I suspect quite a few of them will still make it onto my e-reader. But I guess he’s just not a book worm like his parents.

He loves stories, but he likes being able to read them in one sitting, and getting him to read for more than an hour, even when he’s fascinated by the subject matter, is difficult.

So I went looking for a book of short stories that promised to introduce him to a variety of cultures and walks of life. Not just because it’s in the curriculum, but because that is why literature is important to me. It’s a way to learn about and connect with people who live lives much different than mine. Sure, most of the books I’ve read are fiction, but the humanity in them is real.

I honestly haven’t read much of the book yet, but the reviews are all overwhelmingly positive and the authors all look promising. I also found this PDF file that has a lot of good discussion questions. I’m going to get Steven to read a story a week, I think, and have him fill out something like these short story analysis worksheets.

The rest of the week is just going to be grammar review, nothing too exciting. I’ve just come to the realization that my child has no idea how to use a period. How do you get to grade 6 without that knowledge? I’ll share whatever I find for that next week, hopefully.

Stay safe out there!

Posted in Flight, Homeschooling, Life, Memes, Politics, Science

Flight

Homeschooling

We started on the flight unit this week. My work schedule right now isn’t very good time-wise for in-person teaching, so I assigned Steven some independent work this week.

I started the week with a Bill Nye video and a worksheet to complete while watching it. Fun fact: Flight is Season 1, Episode 1 of “Bill Nye: The Science Guy”. Another fact: I can’t read “Bill Nye: The Science Guy” in any voice other than the one in the intro to the show.

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Posted in Homeschooling, Politics, Social Studies

Unprecedented

Trump’s second impeachment

I don’t think there’s really anything else to say there. Trump is now the first president to be impeached twice. His trial can’t happen until inauguration day because the Senate is out until then, and a lot of people seem to be wondering why anyone even bothered. But if he is convicted this time, it will stop him from being able to run for president again. Which would make a lot of people feel a lot safer.

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Posted in Health, Homeschooling, Politics

Mindfulness, Growth Mindset and ANTs

Homeschooling

I talked about this in last week’s post when I was planning this week, but I wanted to go over what we actually used.

Steven liked the idea of the monthly tracker that I made. I think it’s going to take a bit to get in the habit of using it every day, but at least he’s thinking about his emotions and his goals. We aren’t being super strict about it because I don’t want it to be a source of stress, but I remind him about it a couple times a day and he’s been making an effort.

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Posted in Art, Covid-19, Grade 6, Health, Homeschooling

Photography Challenge, Growth Mindset and Lockdown

Photography

I had my camera out the other day and Steven was suddenly very interested in it. He has lots of devices he could take photos with, but the actual camera really caught his attention. So we’ve decided to take on a weekly photography challenge!

The list of weekly prompts is at the top of this post. You can download and print the colour version or the black and white version if you want to post it on your wall or something. Week 1 is this week, ending January 9. I made a facebook group for sharing the photos. Feel free to join us!

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Posted in Christmas, Covid-19, Financial Literacy, Holiday, Homeschooling, Language Arts, Life, Math, Writing

December

Sometime last month we got so focused on NaNoWriMo that I stopped posting here. And this month it’s been a struggle to get back into the school routine with all the Christmas excitement going on. Binky, our elf on the shelf, is back, and shopping is a whole different hassle this year (we are not going to any malls or even most stores – we’re in a red zone now), and my work is busy, and I’m trying so hard to get some school work done with Steven before his chosen Christmas Break starts December 21. I might do a couple more short posts for Yule and Christmas but I mostly won’t be posting until the new year.

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Posted in Covid-19, Homeschooling, Language Arts, Life, Memes, Politics, Writing

NaNoWriMo and U.S. Election

Homeschooling

In my eagerness to start writing a novel last weekend, I kind of completely forgot to post on the blog! But honestly, I didn’t have much to say. We finished our NaNo prep and we’re on to writing!

Steven ended up setting the bar high. The “default” NaNoWriMo goal is 50000 words, and Steven’s goal is 67860 words. And here I was thinking it would be easier to write to his goal this year! We’re both a little behind, but we’re planning on catching up this weekend.

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Posted in Homeschooling, Language Arts, Science, Space, Writing

NaNoWriMo prep – Week 8

This week we finished up our science unit and learned how to write a 5 paragraph essay. I had Steven research the contributions Canadians have made to the study and exploration of space. Then he filled out the writing map I found here and used it to write an essay. Some of the essay writing concepts didn’t quite sink in, so we’ll be writing more essays later in the year. But we didn’t spend too much time on it this time around because we were both excited to start our NaNoWriMo prep!

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Posted in Homeschooling, Language Arts, Reading, Science, Space

Week 7

This week was pretty uneventful, really. It was a short week because of Thanksgiving. Steven spent most of it preparing a slide show presentation on life in space, which he presented to us yesterday. I kept it simple, just asked him to pick 5 everyday tasks (like eating and sleeping) and research how they are done in space. After his presentation, we watched some of Chris Hadfield’s YouTube videos from his time on the space station to cover some other everyday tasks.

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