Friday, August 23, 2013


The old label on the jar is a mystery.
My intentions for a week occasionally match the end results.

This was not one of those weeks.

I spent last weekend carefully planning a fairly full week of schooling. We would cover all of our usual subjects, except for music. I have not finished my plan yet and we only do about 6 weeks of structured instruction for music anyway.

The week started on a positive note, but by Tuesday I was already starting to feel a bit drained. Our neighborhood is having a yard sale on Saturday and I have been working to clean things out in preparation. In hindsight, thinking I could accomplish that goal AND a full-ish schedule of homeschooling was probably a bit optimistic...maybe even insane.

But we dutifully plodded on. Today we had some major breakdowns. Mostly mine. It was supper time and we hadn't even gotten to our science lesson yet. I made an executive decision to postpone science until tomorrow. Or maybe Monday. We'll see what tomorrow brings...

In the meantime, here's what we are doing for science this year. On my original four year science plan that I laid out, this year we were to cover the periodic table, chemical compounds and reactions, and molecular models. All of these were at JT's request. I had just started looking at some chemistry texts when I found this awesome website, Middle School Chemistry, developed by the American Chemical Society. The site has lesson plans for six chapters. The plans include the teacher guide, student activity sheets, links to videos of demonstrations, and answer keys. The best part is all of the material is free to download and use. So far, we have completed only two lessons. The student activity sheets are great because they are very hands-on and really make the boys have to think about some of their answers. I am using the material for both EM(9) and JT(12). At times, JT might not be challenged, but I did pull up some additional reading for him with the first lesson. The only other problem I am running into is that because it's very hands-on, I have to prepare in order to make the learning meaningful. By the end of today, that wasn't going to happen! I will definitely need to invest more time in advance if I want them to get the most out of these lessons.

Next week my intention is to spend more time looking through the upcoming science lessons, try out the demonstrations, and find supplemental material to enrich our schooling. Maybe this time I'll live up to that goal.

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