Thursday, April 29, 2010

How we use Textbooks~ SCIENCE...

Since my decision to go to more of a textbook curriculum, I haven't said much more about it. How is it going?? Well I LOVE it!! I am not having to plan, and organize and come up with ideas and think, and be creative, and be on top of everything... all the time. It has really lifted a large load off my shoulders. I spend most of the morning teaching Peaceful phonics. I also spend a lot of time helping Valiant with his work, and mostly his reading. He has a speech impediment, along with being all boy, he has struggled with his reading. He is doing a ton better, but I work a lot on his speech. I also read aloud his Science and Readings with him, and Peaceful usually sits in and listens too. That along with keeping the two younger children busy, occupied, and somewhat quiet. I was having a hard time keeping up with my teacher prep time, and {honestly} my peaceful meek teaching spirit! It was getting very overwhelming.

So I decided to give you a run down of how I do it. How I organize and teach with our textbook system. Please remember this is only how I do it, others might have better ways, ways that suit you and your family much better than mine. I also am very new to this approach, and might change things up from time to time, too.

Today I will start with Science.
We are using Apologia and Abeka for science.

Noble is {still} using the Apologia General Science. He has enjoyed this book greatly. I have him using the schedule forms available on Donna Young's Site. We have the first edition, and are using the schedule 2 forms. In the front of his textbook I wrote out what I expect done with each Module, along with how I will grade it. I don't give him a letter grade, yet. However we did do that for a short period last year. We had a nephew living with us, and the kids wanted grades like he got at public school. Noble has mentioned the desire for this, we will have to see. He has a spiral notebook that he writes all his experiments, vocabulary, on your own questions, figures {that can be copied} and his study guide questions in. Typically the Modules last for 2 weeks. I have him complete all the textbook work, then turn in his Module work. Then he typically has 2 days to study for his test and take it.

Virtue and Charity are both using Apologia Elementary Series. I simply chose these, since I already owned them! I did have to purchase one of the notebooks that are an option for this series. I typically give them 2 weeks to complete one lesson along with the notebook pages that accompany that lesson. Currently they are doing all experiments, but that is getting overwhelming {and costly} so I am considering on the next lesson having them look at the experiments when they begin a lesson, and choosing one. Some of them we have done, or they already understand without doing an experiment. I will see how well that works. As for the notebooks, I expect good handwriting, and completion. These two girls are not as big on "grades" so I don't do them at all with them. When I start it with Noble, that might change? I did just notice these Elementary Series Planners, on Donna Young. I am planning on looking them over shortly.

Experiments for all three of the above science students are done as a family. It's always exciting to see an experiment. Along with that, the student preforming the experiment, has to explain the experiment. They also have plenty of helpers who they have to incorporate into the experiment. So they not only learn the lesson from the experiment, but are learning teaching, public speaking, and cooperation, along with some patience and I am sure there are a few other things!

Science with Valiant, Peaceful and sometimes Precious and Boy. We are using the Abeka Science program. I am just reading through and discussing the chapter with them.

Along with these textbooks, the children also have a science reading time. It is scheduled for 15 minutes, 2 times a week. I have been currently letting them choose their own reading books. I might change that so I am choosing some of their books.. something I am still considering?

This also frees up more time for me to teach them what I want, and how/when I want. I am starting to use some of the outdoor hour. I love this website. We started using it last fall, but I got overwhelmed trying to teach their science lesson, along with nature study. I was feeling pressure to get it all done, and I wasn't getting any of it done!

That's it, really it is that simple!

1 comment:

  1. I found your blog yesterday and read about how you are changing to textbooks. We are doing the same thing next year. I am glad to hear it going so well. We're spending our summer doing a bit a catch up. I am glad to hear that you like the Apologia Science for your oldest. We will be starting that in a couple of years as well.

    I don't know if you are aware of Homeschool Science Tools ( sells kits that go with alot of the science curriculum. I know that they have all the Apologia as well as Abeka. We were going to use the Abeka curriculum but changed at the last minute. Had I stayed with them I would have gotten these kits for my kids so I didn't have to find all the material myself. Just FYI.

    I am enjoying your blog. I look forward to hearing more about your journey. I am planning to blog about ours as well. I have a baby due any minute (#7 for us) so once she is hear and I can get into my summer planning, I will start blogging about it more. oh, I forgot to ask if you had seen the new Maxwell book "Managers of the Schools." They are a textbook family. I LOVED reading this. It's what made me finally take the plunge (after over a year of trying to decide if it was the right thing.)

    God Bless.


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Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6