Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Ancient History by Region

We have completed our prehistory study and plan on covering Ancient History region by region during first and second grade. I'll list the best resources we find as we go along. The outline is on this page and the resource lists will be linked from here.

I know it is more common and popular to study history chronologically rather than regionally, and there are many programs and schedules available for this. For this first pass through Ancients, I decided to focus on the culture of Ancient people rather than the timelines. We are using a timeline to add events to in order to see the progression through history.

I don't schedule most of the resources we use. When we start a unit, I gather books and documentaries and we jump into the pile and go through things by interest. We do start each unit with reading from the Usborne Encyclopedia of World History and Story of the World to give us a basic framework.

  • Cavemen, First Towns
  • Southwest Asia/Near East
    • Sumer and Akkadians
    • Babylonians
    • Assyrians
    • Israel
    • Persia
  • Africa
    • Africa
    • Egypt
  • South Asia/India
  • East Asia/China
  • Americas
  • Europe
    • Europe
    • Greece
    • Rome

Friday, March 27, 2015

Michael Clay Thompson: Island Level "Schedule"

Michael Clay Thompson loves language and this is clear in his educational materials. I have to assume he does not love schedules because in the many books in Island Level, there is not one schedule. We completed our main lesson once per week, with the extra practice or Practice Island scattered in on other days. See additional notes at the bottom of the list.
  1. Grammar Island 5-28
  2. Grammar Island 29-44
  3. Grammar Island 45-64
  4. Grammar Island 65-74, extra practice on page 169 in TM
  5. Grammar Island 75-87, extra practice on page 171 in TM
  6. Grammar Island 88-94, extra practice on page 173, 177, 189 in TM
  7. Grammar Island 95-114
  8. Grammar Island 115-126, extra practice on pages 179, 190 in TM
  9. Grammar Island 127-135, extra practice on pages 181, 191 in TM
  10. Grammar Island 136-158, extra practice on page 192 in TM
  11. Music of the Hemispheres 1-37
  12. Sentence Island 7-56
  13. Building Language 3-39
  14. Sentence Island TM 268-269, one assignment of student's choice
  15. Building Language 40-48
  16. Sentence Island TM 268-269, one assignment of parent's choice
  17. Music of the Hemispheres 38-47, pages 162-163 in TM
  18. Sentence Island 57-108
  19. Building Language 49-56
  20. Sentence Island TM 278-279, one assignment of student's choice
  21. Building Language 57-64
  22. Sentence Island TM 278-279, one assignment of parent's choice
  23. Music of the Hemispheres 48-63, refer to pages 154-155, 164-165 in TM
  24. Sentence Island 109-146
  25. Building Language 65-74
  26. Sentence Island TM 292, one assignment of student's choice
  27. Building Language 75-81
  28. Sentence Island TM 292, one assignment of parent's choice 
  29. Music of the Hemispheres 64-79, refer to pages 154-155, 166-167 in TM
  30. Sentence Island 147-188
  31. Building Language 82-85
  32. Sentence Island TM 304, one assignment of student's choice
  33. Building Language 86-93
  34. Sentence Island TM 304, one assignment of parent's choice
  35. Music of the Hemispheres 80-103, refer to pages 154-155, 168-169 in TM
  36. Sentence Island 189-226
  37. Building Language 94-101
  38. Sentence Island TM 314, one assignment of student's choice
  39. Building Language 102-109
  40. Sentence Island TM 314, one assignment of parent's choice
  41. Music of the Hemispheres 104-105
  42. Sentence Island 227-256
  43. Building Language 110-117
  44. Sentence Island TM 324, one assignment of student's choice
  45. Building Language 118-125
  46. Sentence Island TM 324, one assignment of parent's choice 
  47. Music of the Hemispheres 106-116, refer to pages 154-155,170-171 in TM
  48. Building Language 136-128
  49. Music of the Hemispheres117-130, refer to pages 154-155, 172-173 in TM
Notes:
  • I include the extra practice in Grammar Island within the lesson in the list, though we did them during a different time slot than the main lesson. 
  • We did not do all of the extra practice, just enough to know my daughter understood. 
  • Likewise, we did not do all the writing activities in Sentence Island, just enough to have fun with the concepts.
  • We do BraveWriter-style poetry teas. We talked about what we had learned from Music of the Hemispheres during the poetry teas and related it to the poetry we were reading.
  • Beginning with week 11 (as soon as we had finished Grammar Island) we completed two sentences from Practice Island per week.
  • If you are looking to do copywork or dictation, the sentences in Practice Island can be used for short passages.
  • I do realize that 49 lessons does not fit into most people's "school year". I don't really think in school years, so this simply doesn't matter to me.

Monday, February 16, 2015

BFSU: Foundational Units

These three mini-units can be done in any order. Keep them simple. They are meant to help lay a foundation for later concepts, so they must be understood, but they will be reinforced repeatedly as you progress through the program.

Introduction to Gravity
Resources: Magic School Bus episode (was a good example of gravity having an effect on weight)

Lesson 1: BFSU D-1: Gravity I: The Earth's Gravity. Horizontal and Vertical. Part 1
Lesson 2: BFSU D-1: Gravity I: The Earth's Gravity. Horizontal and Vertical. Part 2
Lesson 3: BFSU D-1: Gravity I: The Earth's Gravity. Horizontal and Vertical. Part 3
Lesson 4: Magic School Bus Gains Weight


Introduction to Energy
Resources: Magic School Bus episode (just for fun)

Lesson 1: BFSU C-1: Concepts of Energy I: Making Things Go, part 1
Lesson 2: BFSU C-1: Concepts of Energy I: Making Things Go, part 2
Lesson 3: BFSU C-1: Concepts of Energy I: Making Things Go, part 3
Lesson 4: Magic School Bus episode: Getting Energized


Introduction to Living Things
Resources: None. I did use the Science in a Nutshell kit: Is It Alive? for this, but can not recommend it for several reasons. I recommend doing this lesson as written and saving the possible expansions for later topics in Thread B.

Lesson 1: BFSU B-2: Distinguishing Living, Natural Non-Living, and Human Made Things, part 1
Lesson 2: BFSU B-2: Distinguishing Living, Natural Non-Living, and Human Made Things, part 2
Lesson 3: BFSU B-2: Distinguishing Living, Natural Non-Living, and Human Made Things, part 3

Thursday, February 12, 2015

BFSU: States of Matter Unit

Resources: Magic School Bus episode (optional, for fun)
                  Science in a Nutshell kit: Gases (exceptionally good, very educational)
                  Science in a Nutshell kit: Liquids (good but not exceptional)

Lesson 1: BFSU A-2: Solids, Liquids, and Gases (I covered this in one lesson without doing the demonstrtions due to using kits. If I were not using the kits, I would have separated out  Part 1 and Part 2 and done the demonstrations.
Lesson 2: Science in a Nutshell kit: Liquids, Activity 1
Lesson 3: Science in a Nutshell kit: Liquids, Activity 2
Lesson 4: Science in a Nutshell kit: Liquids, Activity 3
Lesson 5: Science in a Nutshell kit: Liquids, Activity 4
Lesson 6: Science in a Nutshell kit: Liquids, Activity 5
Lesson 7: Science in a Nutshell kit: Liquids, Activity 6
Lesson 8: Science in a Nutshell kit: Liquids, Activity 7
Lesson 9: Science in a Nutshell kit: Liquids, Activity 8
Lesson 10: Science in a Nutshell kit: Liquids, Activity 9
Lesson 11: Science in a Nutshell kit: Liquids, Activity 10
Lesson 12: BFSU A-3: Air is a Substance (I introduced this in one conversation only, due to using a kit. If I were not using the kit, I would have separated out the three parts of this lesson and done the demonstrations.)
Lesson 13: Magic School Bus Makes a Stink
Lesson 14: Science in a Nutshell kit: Gases, Activity 1
Lesson 15: Science in a Nutshell kit: Gases, Activity 2
Lesson 16: Science in a Nutshell kit: Gases, Activity 3
Lesson 17: Science in a Nutshell kit: Gases, Activity 4
Lesson 18: Science in a Nutshell kit: Gases, Activity 5
Lesson 19: Science in a Nutshell kit: Gases, Activity 6
Lesson 20: Science in a Nutshell kit: Gases, Activity 7
Lesson 21: Science in a Nutshell kit: Gases, Activity 8
Lesson 22: Science in a Nutshell kit: Gases, Activity 9
Lesson 23: Science in a Nutshell kit: Gases, Activity 10

Monday, February 9, 2015

Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding in Units

BFSU can be an overwhelming resource. After using it for a while, I realized that many of the topics are set up to flow in mini-units, or flowing chunks of information. Thinking of it this way helps organize it into topics, schedule lessons by interest and availability of materials, and cover prerequisites. I will post and link our plans here as we work through BFSU.

A note on resources: BFSU has extensive book lists at the end of every section. I tended to reserve all of them that my library had and have them in the book bin to go through at our leisure, but did not formally include them as part of science class. The books are a fantastic addition to teaching and I highly recommend including them. In addition to BFSU, I occasionally use prepared science kits, Magic School Bus episodes (often available streaming on Netflix or for purchase on Amazon), and the book Blood and Guts by Linda Allison. None of these resources are required to use BFSU and I will make notes of where I think they were more and less useful.

All of BFSU starts with lesson A/B-1. That lesson is a prerequisite for just about everything and you should start there. I don't list it as a prerequisite below because I just assume it was done first.

Foundational Units - These should be done before moving on, as they are prerequisites for most further lessons. They may be done in any order.
Unit: States of Matter
Unit: Introduction to Gravity
Unit: Introduction to Energy
Unit: Introduction to Living Things

BFSU K-2 - These lessons assume you have covered A/B-1 and the Foundational Units above. Any other prerequisites are listed next to the unit.
Unit: Sound and Vibrations
Unit: Energy
Unit: Matter and Magnets
Unit: Living Things (note: best done during warm months when animals/plants can be easily observed)
Unit: Time and Maps
Unit: Physics (prerequisites: Energy unit and Time and Maps unit)
Unit: Advanced Matter (prerequisites: Energy unit and Matter and Magnets unit)
Unit: Land and Rocks (prerequisite: Advanced Matter unit)
Unit: Plants (prerequisites: Living Things unit and Advanced Matter unit; Note: best done in spring/summer, when plants can be grown and/or observed)
Unit: Animals and the Human Body (prerequisites: Living Things unit and Advanced Matter unit)

 Then wrap up using BFSU D-9.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Delayed in Charlotte

Returning from Cancun, we had a five hour delay in the airport, then an unplanned overnight in Charlotte. The Kid did great with all the waiting and delays; she had far more patience than I did!

The delay in Charlotte was so long that we slept there and still had a few hours to fill. We discovered the Discovery Place and had a wonderful morning exploring.



Monday, December 22, 2014

Learning on Vacation for Me

The trip to Cancun that I talked about in the last post was the first time in years that The Kid and I have traveled together without The Husband. What did I learn? That I need to be stricter about our routines when away than I do at home. The first two days were full of meltdowns (from The Kid, I didn't always have patience, but no full scale meltdowns!) before I realized that if I was exhausted, she was, too. Once I instituted a bedtime and a wake up time, she turned into a wonderful little traveler.