Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Planning My first Unit Study- Harry Potter

Well, I have decided that our very first unit is going to be FUN!  My girls have absolutely made it clear that they would would like to homeschool indefinitely.  That being said, I am much more free to pick and choose what we learn...when! This also means I am not bound to the Georgia By Grade Outline...YAY! Now I can really take it an run!  I was feeling very limited in what I could do up until now and there are so many schools of thought to choose from!  I love many of the idea's presented to me! For example:
Charlotte Mason
Nature Studies
Unit Studies
Chronological History

I also love that I can see what "ideal" works best with my kids!  I plan to use some traditional textbooks for Math, Grammar, and Handwriting.  I do not feel as confident in teaching those classes..so I think following a Textbook is best.
Teaching Textbooks for math
Handwriting without Tears
Easy Grammar

Then the FUN Stuff!!!! We are doing a Harry Potter Unit Study!!!!!!  Our classes will be the following!

Muggle Studies such as Ancient History and Medieval History  (using a borrowed Sonlight core)

History of Magic for first years including Legends and Mythology (using a borrowed Sonlight)

Astronomy including our solar system, Stars, and Star patterns

Herbology where we will grow our own Herbs and learn their important uses

Potions  where we will learn how to create our own simple chemistry (for Muggles) experiments

Care of Magical Creatures will be a study of several animals both real and magic

Defense against the Dark Arts which will include our Armor of God Bible Study

Transfiguration will include turning many Muggle items into works of Art

I found some amazing ideas on the web!  I can NOT claim credit for a lot of what I am going to list here.  I am sure I will pull together my own ideas soon...but I borrowed liberally from the following blogs and websites.  I am going to tweak it to fit my own girls and my taste but the main ideas came from:

Sorcerer's Stone Comprehension questions  This is amazing!  Just what we needed to make sure my girls really are reading the story and not trying to answer from the movies!  This is chapter by chapter will links to online tests or print versions...plus activity links! 

A Term at Hogwarts  Theresa is a homeschooling mom with an Amazing blog and a lot of great ideas!  I am using here Herbology and Care and Feeding of Magical Creatures ideas for my girls!    I plan to add:  Catnip, Lavender, and Basil to her list of Herbs and the Cat, Centaur, Dragons, and Toads to her Magical creatures.  I'm not sure how but I will also tie in the Alchemy lessons as well...throughout our Astronomy and Potions classes

Scholastic Discussion Guide for the first 4 books  I plan to use this beauty of a freebie a lot.  It has some great discussion ideas for the girls.  I will play around with it for several language arts lessons, writing prompts, and other unknown plans as of yet. 

More Discussion questions

Several Good ideas here  This teacher has a lesson plan geared at older kids...but I am going to add this cool idea here of a personal dictionary.  I plan to have them do the Illustration, and choose a passage to recite from memory

Some more discussion questions and activities  This is another great list of discussion questions and has a Mind Pictures activity that I think is pretty cool

A good resource for research of those Magical and mythical creatures  Several of the animals we will study are listed here with a great link for "researching" them

A-maz-ing Lesson plan for older kids  This is an amazing free lesson plan for older kids...9th gradeish.  I plan to use a LOT of her ideas for our Transfiguration Class (Art) and tweak several of her daily writing prompts.  We will have a journal that the girls write in everyday.  I plan to use the discussion questions and writing prompts I have found throughout these links in that way. 

Online fun  Potions fun

Printable Decision making activity

Another free lesson plan I have not looked all the way through this lesson plan but I plan to use some of the ideas that I saw when I skimmed it. A great Literature Lesson plan for The Sorcerer's Stone

A Geography game here.  You need a Globe and will need to come up with your own questions

Owl studies information  This will come in useful when we study our Owl's.  There is a lesson plan and several links for Owl studies on this page

Another great page to look through  that has a lot of links for different Harry Potter themed activities!

 This is a great Art teacher's blog and I plan to use several of her projects for our Transfiguration class!

Our Armor of God Lesson's will come from www.daniellesplace.com, which is an amazing web site for crafts and Bible lesson's.  They have a free site and then there is a annual subscription site.  WORTH every penny!

Some fun Chemistry sites I plan to visit for our Potions class!
 A2Z Home's Schooling has a great chemistry page too!

I am really, really excited to put it all together!  I am sure I have completely overwhelmed myself with all of this info...but I hope should anyone actually stumble upon my little blog...they will be helped out! 

Blessings from our corner of the woods to yours!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Baby Steps and Getting Started

This is blog is going to be my way of sharing the our home school adventure.  Really isn't that what it will be?  An adventure... it is exciting, daunting, a little scary, overwhelming, fulfilling, and the journey is so very worth all you had to endure to get there!  

The Merriam-Webster definition of Adventure is, "a:  an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks.  b:  the encountering of risks.  c:  an exciting or remarkable experience. and d:  an enterprise involving financial risk." 

Well isn't that the truth!  How this new adventure in our lives is going to unfold is certainly a unknown risk and we will certainly encounter many unknowns, I know that it will be so exciting because I plan on several remarkable experiences, and well there is that financial risk of living on one income and all that goes with it.   So, I feel that Adventure is certainly the best description!

I have wanted to home school my children since my oldest daughter the Diva was in preschool.  The thought of enrolling our little angel in public school almost made me ill at the thought.  We explored the private school option...but we had two children at that time and the Princess was just two years behind her sister.  There was NO way to afford private school for two children.  At this time I worked part time as a preschool teacher.  So we moved to another neighborhood and had a WONDERFUL school that we loved with all our hearts.  Literally.  The BEST public school experience in the world.  I still toyed with the idea of home school because I felt called to do it...and I have A LOT of great friends who home school their families.  Knowing a lot of families that home school is ready made support group.   Well, fast forward to March of 2012.  A huge amount of change in our family has happened this year.  DH got his dream job.  When I say dream job...I mean, the night we met in college he told me when I graduate this is my goal.  Well, 11 years and three kids later he has achieved his goal and I COULD NOT be more proud of him.   Yay!!!  But, that dream job was not in Texas. It is in Georgia.   So we loaded up the truck and moved to...Georgia.  (did you sing that last line in theme song?  that's ok...I did while typing it too)  Now, we LOVE the area.  Georgia is beautiful and fully wooded!  I love it! LOVE it!.  I miss my friends and miss our Beloved Snow Heights.  This schools here are well...different.  My kids have been miserable.  MISERABLE.  M. I. S. E. R. A. B. L. E!!!   SO after much discussion, a lot of prayer, and a little bit if arm twisting, my husband has agreed to have the kids home school!  YAY.    There is the possibility that they will re-integrate into the public school system so I will be kind of piecing together the curriculum for from so that it models the Georgia State Standard.  This is a lot of work.  I also want to prove to my DH that I can do this on a low budget..so I am looking for free resources or low cost resources on the Internet.   I will be homeschooling a preschooler.  I have that in the bag...I taught PreK in Texas and I kept all of my personally purchased materials.  SCORE!  I will be homeschooling a 4th grader and she will be focusing on American History  from  Native Americans to 1860, Earth Science, Physical Science, and Life Science. along with Language arts and Math.  I will be homeschooling a 6th grader and she will be focusing on World history, Meteorology, Oceanography, Composition and structure of the earth, Energy sources, and the human impact on the earth.  I'm working on pulling that all together!  We are so excited!   Its going to be an adventure!!!!