"Behold, children are a gift of the LORD; the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them..." Psm 127

Monday, August 22, 2011

Six Arrows Homeschool Week 2; Day 1

Ryan, 10 years old, 6th grade


Ryan began his day learning Ephesians 6: 13-14 and reviewed last week's verses 11-12.  He will learn two verses a week until he has learned 11-29 of chapter 6.

Bible:  Old Testament Made Simple by  Melton Short.  We did this study at Rainbow Hills Baptist more than 12 years ago.  I used the books and copies of handouts to teach my
older kids when I homeschooled them about 6 years ago.  Today we reviewed the map of the Fertile Crescent.  We added some locations:  Mt. Sinai, Moab, Jordan River, Euphrates and Tigris Rivers, Haran and the estimated location of Eden to the locations we learned last week (Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Egypt, Persian Gulf, the Desert, Ur and Israel).  We are going to learn the 7 Major Moves of the People of the Old Testament these next couple of weeks.  Great study! 
I have been working to improve my writing and reading curriculum. I used to only use ABeka for Reading, but we are weak in things like Characterization, Plots, Summaries, etc. My oldest daughter who teaches 3rd grade has convinced me to look for some alternate sources to supplement.  After talking to her on what I need to be looking for I searched the internet and came up with some ideas. 

Reading:  I've found the website www.readwritethink.org to be very helpful!  Today we discussed three ways we comprehend our reading. Our lesson was to "Define and understand the three types of connections (i.e., text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world)".  We used the suggested reading of Harvesting Hope:  The Story of Cesar Chavez.We will use this text for the whole week.  Today we read the first 4 pages together.  I demonstrated how to use the "Double-Entry Journal" page to record the idea from the text and then how to write our reaction using one of the connections listed above.  I used the two examples given in the instruction plan of the website and then we worked together on the next two pages.  Ryan will continue doing the same thing for the next few days. 

Writing:  I checked a book out of my public library called, Teaching Creative Writing.
I think I may buy this on Amazon.com.  Today I reviewed with Ryan on how to make writing more interesting by using adverbs and adjectives.  Most of these exercises in Reading and Writing are to be done in groups.  We have to alter them, of course.  I'm part of the group, yet not.  The lesson today was to act out some adjective phrases from a list given in the book.  I typed up a chart similar to what was in the book and chose a few for Ryan to role-play for me, such as "old man", "upset baby", "lonely teddy bear", "stalled car", and "obedient dog." (I guess I could have acted out a few, but I'm the teacher so if I don't want to, I don't have to . *grin* )  Then we used a list of adverbs and added it to some of the list of adjectives and came up with some interesting sentences (ex: The hungry boy was unhappily sweeping the floor.)  This assignment was totally a review for Ryan, but since he didn't actually have to write anything with his pencil, he liked it.  

We are doing ABeka for Language.  I like this curriculum, because it is very strong in Grammar.  The first few weeks will be a review from last year, and then we will be adding details to that the rest of the year.  Last we just reviewed Subject and Predicates and how to diagram the Subject and Verb.  Today we reviewed Compound Subjects and Compound Verbs and also practiced diagramming sentences that had one or both of those. Sometimes Ryan complains a little about diagramming since he has to get out another piece of paper, but it's amazing how quickly he can spot the subject and verbs when he puts it on a diagram.  He may make a mistake when he is just underlining the subject/verb in the sentence, especially when they are not together in the sentence, but realizes the mistake as soon as he attempts to diagram.  It forces him to look at the relationship between the subject and the verb.  "Does this make sense?"  "Am I really reading the sentence, or did I just pick a noun and not consider if it was the subject or not?"

Spelling: List 2; Math:  Reviewing basics

ABeka:  Today we learned about spiders.  We studied insects and some of the different orders of insects last week.  Today we talked about some of the differences between spiders and insects.  There are more differences than the obvious number of legs and number of body parts!  Today for homework Ryan will read about Jonathan Edwards who you may not know wrote an essay "about ballooning spiders which revealed a keen observation of these tiny creatures."  He also wrote about colors and the rainbow.  Maybe he would have been a scientist if God had not called him to be a minister of the gospel.  Also, Ryan will read about how to observe a garden spider.  We live on several acres, so usually spiders are not hard to find. Ryan also will be writing on his Science Journal anything he wants about what he learned today (I set up a Journal for him in Microsoft Groove)   Experiment:  Find a spider web (mornings are the best time, when there is still dew on the ground and on the web) and lightly spray both sides of it with white spray paint (use with supervision!).  When both sides are painted, carefully place a piece of black paper on the web.  Two people should hold the paper both pushing the edge and middle of the paper against the web so that the stands will hit the paper at the same time.  Use scissors to cut the threads that anchor the web to branches and leaves.  Carry web inside and lay it flat until the painted silk has dried.  You can spray the paper with some plastic spray if you want to preserve it for a collection.  Add to the collection by finding different kinds of webs!  We will try this experiment tomorrow if we can find a nice web.  There is no dew right now, so it may not work....  I will post a picture if we are successful! 

ABeka:  For our Geography, we reviewed the Western Hemisphere: rivers, mountains, bays, lakes, deserts and peninsulas. We are learning only about 5 in each category. Ryan is learning part of the American Creed. We began talking today about Native Indians who migrated to North American from the Old World.  Last week we briefly discussed the Aztecs, Mayas and Incas.  Today the focus is on the history of Native Americans.  For homework he will read North American Indians, by Marie and Douglas Gorsline.  Then he will write one to two paragraphs in his journal (also in Microsoft Groove).

I made a grade book this weekend that I think will meet my needs as a teacher of one.  I wanted to be able to easily track his grades, while at the same time keeping up with averages without all the calculations!  Using Excel, I designed my grade book, with formulas, so hopefully this will make my life easier.  If you would like to try this grade book for yourself, I would be glad to e-mail you the file.

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