Friday, March 11, 2011

Homeschool Journal

In my life this week.....
I began reading Large Family Logistics by Kim Brenneman, and I am finished with the Old Testament in my Bible in 90 Days reading. Today I will read through Matthew 26. I am finding it harder to read without pausing to highlight or take notes now that I am in the New Testament. I am also reading the NT in a new light, having just completed the OT.

I drastically reduced my total running miles this week due to training fatigue. I ran 45 miles last week, but cut back this week to 25. This morning I ran my long run for the week--18 miles. It was a tough run. Lynn and I were so rested, that we started out too fast. The last mile was painful. Live and learn! Next week's training jumps back up to 47 miles, but I think that resting for the next two days should have me physically refreshed and ready to go!

In our homeschool this week....
We began reading two new books, The Land I Lost (about a young boy's life in Vietnam) and Rascal. Our Sonlight studies have moved us into Southeast Asia.

Olivia conducted a cool chemistry experiment involving cabbage, salt, vinegar, ammonia, and I'm sure some other supplies as well. I am not sure what she was doing, but Sam and Leah observed her while I read Sonlight books to Julie and Clay.

Leah worked on her Solar System lapbook, Clay began a study of the five senses in his Apologia science book, Julie wrote the body of her research paper comparing the cultural differences between Mongolia and Egypt, and I overheard Sam counting to 50.

Places we're going and people we're seeing...
Our homeschool cross country team, the Spartans, resumed weekly practice this week. Both the children and I were so excited to see all of our friends.

We plan to make a visit to my parents' house soon. We haven't been there since Thanksgiving.

My favorite thing this week was...
enjoying my family. Jimmy was off Tuesday, and that's always nice.

What's working/not working for us...
Working--I switched around our daily school routines a little bit, and seems to be working. Previously we were doing our Sonlight reading immediately after our Bible lesson (first thing each day). Now the children are moving to independent work right after Bible, and starting with Sam, I am working with each child one at a time. I work my way through the children, youngest to oldest, and I am able to get to Olivia before lunch. This has insured that I am checking each child's schoolwork every day. Most days I even get to Leah's Sonlight reading before lunch, and then after lunch I am reading Julie's and Clay's Sonlight to them. Leah and Sam usually listen to the books too, and doing it this way allows Olivia to listen if she wants to also.

Not working--Teaching Textbooks Geometry. Help!

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...
If you have a high school student, what do you use for math? I am not happy with Teaching Textbooks, and I am looking for something new to use for next year for Julie (Algebra I) and Olivia (Algebra II). I also want another 8th grade pre-algebra and geometry curriculum for the future.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share...

Does your front porch look like this?

Mine actually looks a little bit more productive since I took this picture this morning....Clay and Sam have spent the afternoon constructing a squirrel trap out of bamboo. They want to trap the cute little squirrel that keeps stealing pecans off of our back porch.
They want him for a pet!

Please visit The Homeschool Chick for more homeschool journal entries.


  1. Sounds as if you've had a busy and productive week!
    Sorry I can't really help with the math issue. We use Teaching Texbook for math (from pre-algebra and above) and we really love it. I have heard great things about Math-U-See but I am not sure how that will work starting with older children. I am planning to start Hope with that.

  2. I admire your running. You must be very committed!! I have never been to your blog until today ~ I am a follower now!


  3. Even your "messy" porch is not messy! My porch looks WAY worse.

    Kurtis has liked TT Algebra I so I think we'll stick with it for Algebra II. I think Saxon now has Geometry as a separate course so you could try it with the DIVE CDs. I didn't like Geometry period. I was an Algebra girl and usually people don't love both. Could it just be that or are you sure it's the TT? (I didn't like TT for 5th, but have found Algebra I to be much better.)


  4. I feel your frustration! I so regret using TT Geometry with Haley. She survived, but I wish I had chosen a different route. :( We're planning to switch to Math-U-See for next year.

  5. I'm trying to read LFL right now, too. I'm enjoying the little I've read in between packing. I think you'll find that you already do much of what she talks about, but it's still good stuff, and there's always something new we can learn.

    Do some research on Life of Fred Math. It's getting some rave reviews. A dear friend of mine just moved all her middle & high schoolers to it from TT.

  6. WE have used Saxon, MUS and another program that I can't think of for high school maths. Aaron was getting ready to move into algebra and I had already discovered that the TT that he was using only gave the answer in the teacher book and didn't check the work like the lower levels that correct?

    Devin and Jordan both did MUS Algebra 1 and did well. Devin did MUS Geometry and did well.

    Jeff has been inundated with homeschooling information in the last couple of years and has found a math program that has really interested him. It is Video Text. and EACH problem is worked out completely in the solutions book. We just got it in last week and Jeff "says" he is going to go through it with Jordan and Aaron and let Jordan go through as quickly as possible. Cost is comparable to TT. The algebra program should last two years and covers pre algebra, alg 1 and alg 2 topics. They also have geometry/pre calculus which takes the same amount of time. Each subject comes in 6 separate modules that can be purchased together or separately. We only purchased the first module to check it out. Look them up and request a demo. You can get a demo dvd.

    And with all our red dirt and all the wet weather my porch looks much worse than that!! Boots everywhere and even some socks amid clumps of mud! Today they are supposed to scrub the porch off....not just hose it down...I want it scrubbed!!

  7. Roan,
    Caylie used TT Geometry last year and really struggled. We finally decided to have her do 1 hour a week with a wonderful math tutor. Caylie would do the assignments, and then I would grade them. Then she would go back and work through the correction dvd for each of the problems that she missed. When she had her weekly tutoring session, the problems that she had missed and still didn't understand after working with the correction dvd, would be the guide for what they needed to work on. It added more expense and time to have the tutor, but her math portion of the ACT still went up 5 points last year, despite her struggles, so I think that it was worth the extra investment for us. This year, she is taking math from that same tutor at our CoOp, and it is working much better!

    We switched Christian from TT to this year also. He did well with TT last year, but we still feel that Aleks is an even better fit for us. I wrote a post about it a couple of weeks ago, and gave more details about why we switched, and there are even more details in the comments section of that post in case you are interested.

    Hope you find something that works for you all to get through geometry. It was sooo frustrating for us as we were struggling through before starting with our tutor!

  8. Found the post that I was talking's the link...

    By the way...yes, our porch OFTEN looks like that! :)

  9. I love Saxon for math, but we have only gone to 8/7, I am not sure what the upper levels are like... Do you know Kim Brenneman? She is a sweet woman! How do you like her book?

  10. Hiya Roan,
    We stopped using TT this year as well. Now we are using SOS math. The children really stay on track with it. It includes a calendar, where you can define your school year, mark days off from school, and the program calculates how much math they need to do each day. It also GRADES THEIR WORK, which is really nice for me. So I tell them to read through and listen to the lesson, then work the problems. If they get below 90% on the daily grade, they come to me and we work through the missing concepts together. That way, I'm only teaching what they don't easily 'get' on their own. What I don't like about it, is they do not have a textbook to use as a reference (like when they forgot some concept or formula). They have to click through previous lessons, trying to remember which lesson covered that concept. For my oldest, she is now taking a weekly lesson outside of the house, which further explains the concepts and provides even more accountability. It's also proving to her that she IS good at math, and not that mom 'makes it easy'.

  11. By the way, the previous post was from MelRae, not ReeCee. :) ReeCee uses my account to crete her blog. :)