Updates about our life of learning!

Archive for June, 2007

Never Enough Time!

I have been feeling slightly overwhelmed lately with all the “to-do’s” I have on my list that I never seem to quite finish! I seem to go through phases where I am “on top” of that list and other times where I just can’t seem to keep up! If only time would stop for about 2 weeks for me to get caught up….so I think to myself!

I am really working this week to get my outside job responsibilities caught up while I am also beginning to work on detail planning for the kid’s school lessons for the rest of the summer and into the fall. I want to try to have things more laid out (in addition to our unit work which I always plan out) so they can become more responsible for completing their oen work each week. Especially for my two older kids, they need to realize that school isn’t over until the work for the day is done! Even if that means working into the evening and missing out on “free time”. I know that if we are consistent with this tactic, they will reap the benefits of being a more disciplined student and they will be able to make progress much more quickly.

To help me with this very detailed planning, I am using The Full-Year Notebook System by Julie Anderson. I have my own way of planning in general and for our KONOS Units (which is posted on www.konoskarats.com under Resources) but I am going to try out this method also to see if the more detailed layout will help us all to stay on track better despite all our activities and responsibilities that will start back up in the Fall. It is going to require some time before we start to really lay everything out, but after the work will come the reward of plans to follow and no excuses to take unnecessary breaks during the year!

You can read more about her system at: www.full-year-notebooks.com

Although I like the flexibility of being able to do what we want, when we want, as the kids are getting older we need more structure to make sure they cover the basics they need before graduating along with all the extracurricular/enrichment activities we are involved in.

I will try to give an update on my progress as I work through this system!

The Lord is faithful and I know He blesses the time we spend getting our life in order…it only allows us more time with Him!!

“The Lord is my strength and my song, and is become my salvation.” Psalm 118:14 KJV

“This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 KJV

Unit Update

We took last week off from our KONOS unit because our co-op partners were out of town. It ended up being a perfect situation, because we had company come to town unexpectedly. The kids’ cousins came to visit for three days and we were able to spend time with them. The Lord always works everything out even when we don’t expect it!

We are back to working on our unit this week. I will get the details of what we have been doing posted at the end of the week.

Our topics this week include: levers, inclined planes, screws and wedges. The kids are doing a number of hands on experiments to see how everything works and having fun with it!

Post more soon!

Resourcefulness:Inventions/ Simple Machines/ Energy/Electricity–week 1

We have just started our new KONOS unit for the summer session. We are fortunate to be able to get together with a friend of ours and her children a couple days a week to do activities together. It has been a good first week! I will be recording here what we actually did each day–with my own kids and then with the co-op time. I am writing it up like I do my planning just with the extra notes of what we actually did.

Unit: Resourcefulness
Sub-Unit: Inventions/Simple Machines/Energy/Electricity
Week: 1 0f 6
Focus: General/Inventions
Books: How to Be An Inventor (M. Suid)
The Way Things Work (D. Macaulay)
Accidents May Happen (C. Jones)
Invention (L. Bender)
Mistakes That Worked (c. Jones)
Scientists & Inventors (A. Feldman)
Great Inventions (R. Wood)
Great Inventions (Juv 620 Great)

Writing: All–130 (p128) design new toy
Oldest-135 (p129) steps for a patent
Others-134 (p129) write backwards/code

Family Read Aloud: Robinson Crusoe (D. Defoe)

Daily: Bible verse/story
Read books on activity topics & family read aloud
32 (p8) one per day–problem solving

Day 1: (our family)
Bible-Genesis 1:28–read over and discussed
116(p126) review inventions (did this on the way home from music lessons)
117(p126) choose which is best and why (they looked through various books listed above, discussed ideas and which invention they thought was best)
118(p126) memorize motto of inventors (today-read over, discussed and used for copywork–will review daily until memorized)

Day 2:
(our family)
Bible: Proverbs 3:5–read over it and near verses; discussed, practiced and used for copywork
Read Chapter 1 of Robinson Crusoe
Practiced Inventor’s Motto
(with co-op)
Reviewed Inventor’s Motto
Reviewed Proverbs 3:5
122 (p127) “Googles” game (kids loved this!)
Read from books “Accidents May Happen” and “Mistakes That Worked”–read several entries from each book
119(p126) invention ideas–picked several groups of items, let the kids look and touch them and discuss what could be made with them
123(p127) “Name That Thing” game–played with various smaller items
120(p127) Junk box–make something–the kids used various “junk” items to make something

Day 3:
(our family)
Bible: Proverbs 3:6–reviewed 5 as well, used verse 6 for copywork, discussed and read through rest of Proverbs 3 as well
Reviewed Inventor’s Motto
Read Chapter 2 of Robinson Crusoe
(with co-op)
Reviewed Inventor’s Motto
Reviewed/practiced Proverbs 3:5-6
122(p127) “Googles” game–played again
Read and did activities from “How to Be An Inventor”, pg 18-19, 22-23, 24-25
(these were practice to lead up to designing their own toy)
131(p128) “Inventor at Work” signs
130(p128) Design own toy (I typed up the outline listed in the Vol. as a form for the kids to use with room for them to draw their designs. Some of the kids had worked on this the night before and some worked on it this afternoon.)

Day 4:
Bible: Proverbs 3:7–review 5-6 also and practice; use 7 for copywork today
Review Inventor’s Motto
Read Chapter 3 (or more) of Robinson Crusoe

179(p62) visit dump, machine shop, gather small simple machines–make “found art”

*I print out coloring pages for the kids to do during the Read Aloud time. I found a number of ship/boat pictures to go along with the first few chapters of Robinson Crusoe here:

Below are pictures from our two co-op days so far!

The “Googles” Game

Below are various pictures of the kids working on making “things” from the “junk box” (which we dumped onto the table for easy access).

This is an invention my oldest daughter made at the end of Day 1–on her own:

Here is the invention my oldest son made on the afternoon of day one on his own also:

The pictures below are from Day 3 during co-op time–learning about “reverse engineering”.