Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Getting ready for RTR

Today I finally got around to looking through the manual for Heart of Dakota RTR (Resurrection to Reformation).  I searched the web for blogs by homeschoolers who have used RTR in the past, but did not find too many.  I know the upper guides are fairly new, but I was surprised at the lack of information about them.  This is one of the reasons I will be blogging about this curriculum, in hopes of helping others who wish to use this program, and see what other mom's have done.

So the first thing I did was to print out all the maps we would need from the Map Trek CD, which came with the program.  You may choose to print them as you go day by day, but I prefer to have them all ready so I'm not trying to print them at 9am on the day we need to get school finished quickly.  I printed up the student maps and placed them in my son's notebook, as well as the teacher maps (with answers) and made up a little booklet for myself. This will make checking his work easier for me, rather than always referring back to the CD each time. 


The other thing I worked on was a supply list for each unit, so I can see if there are any special school supplies we will need.  Most of the things on the list are normal items, crayons, colored pencils (these are used a lot), markers, paint, etc.  Some things you may not expect are the water color paper, and oil pastels.  Many household items are needed as well such as, aluminum foil, waxed paper, ziploc bags, etc.  There is a fair amount of cooking in RTR and it will be nice to make sure I have the supplies on hand, or easily add them to my weekly shopping list. 

And the last thing I am working on is making up sheets for story time.  The guide recommends using index cards.  These are used to record things each week as you read, new vocabulary words, vivid descriptions, plot twists, character moods, etc.  I think the index cards may be a bit small for this project, so I am making pages which can be kept in the notebook with all our other papers. 

I am excited to work through this guide with my son, I think I will be learning things about history that I never learned during my school years. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Getting ready for Beyond Little Hearts

Summer quickly going by and the school year is approaching.  I am in the process of figuring out what we have and what we still need in order to start school in three weeks.  Wow only three weeks left, summer going by really quick this year. 

Most of our curriculum, Heart of Dakota, was purchased at the homeschool conference this year.  Nearly all the books for Resurrection to Reformation were purchased from Heart of Dakota, and for the Beyond Little Hearts program we are using a mix of books from Heart of Dakota, Amazon and the library.  In addition to the books that come with the program, I printed out some wonderful material off the Yahoo group page for Heart of Dakota users.  I had these bound into spiral books to help keep everything together.  I printed the science and history pages and combined them into one book, printed a copy of the poems for another book, and in the last book I used the poem copy work from the yahoo group files as well.  In addition to the copy work, I used to create spelling pages using the word lists from the Beyond Little Hearts appendix. 

Next we will being organizing our school supplies and books to see what we still need to buy.  We have some special things to purchase this year like back packs, since we will be participating in a co-op program.  It will be fun for the boys to have a chance to pick out school supplies for their classes.  I have to be careful, school supplies are one of my weaknesses.  I love to buy school supplies! Its just so much fun to have everything nice and brand new at the start of each year.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Surviving Summer

How am I surviving summer vacation at home with the kids 24/7?  I am saddened to say I am surviving by doing the very thing I complain about the most.  Letting the boys watch TV and play video games, almost unlimited.  There have been good days and bad days as always.  And there have been days "when they actually get bored of electronics and crave other stimulation.  Maybe my plan isn't failing as much as I thought. 

Like many homeschooling parent's I had visions of us doing "simple school" work over the summer.  Finishing up our math that we didn't get done with during the year, and working on reading and handwriting, or other "problem" areas.  That vision only lasted a few days before the complaining and whining was more than I could bear.  Mom needs a summer vacation too!

So we are surviving our summer.  We are enjoying doing what each of us wants.  AJ has been busying playing his computer games (MineCraft and Spore top the list), Wii games and watching TV.  He reads every night before bed, still working his way through the Warrior book series by Erin Hunter, and watches educational shows like River Monsters.  JJ has been busy most recently riding his new bike, playing with kids down the street, learning to swim, and he's trying to read but prefers listening to audio books.  And Mom is busying doing pretty much nothing.  I too had grand visions of cleaning the house and exercising.  Well with JJ's new bike, we have started morning bike rides, so exercise is happening, but cleaning the house.........that will just have to wait until Grandma decides to come for a visit!