Tuesday, January 17, 2017

2017 Goals - 50 in 50

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2017 Goals - 50 in 50 - on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - This is my birthday bucket list for the year!

On New Years Eve, I made a more serious list of a few general goals for 2017. That list addressed my intention to be more organized and diligent in my home and in our homeschool. But I've also got another set of goals for the year - a list of some more personal things I want to do before my next birthday. You see, my birthday is on one of the last squares of the calendar, and as you might have figured from my graphic - yeah, I just hit the big five-oh. Last year I got the idea to make a Birthday Bucket List of fun and personal things to do, one for each year. It was a challenge to come up with 49 things then, so even if I keep on making Birthday Bucket Lists for years to come, I don't think I'll ever aim to put more than fifty items on the list!  This year's list will include some of the same items, either because I didn't get them done yet or because I want to do them again. Some are just for fun, and some are more serious, and many are somewhere in between. As I did last year, I will list them in random order, except for the first item. (You can see last year's list here: My Birthday Bucket List)

  1. Pray more.
  2. Take pictures.
  3. Cuddle my granddaughter.
  4. Plan a vacation.
  5. Watch movies with Kennady.
  6. Finish organizing our family room.
  7. Get new boots.
  8. Read 50 books.
  9. Write letters.
  10. Send birthday cards.
  11. Celebrate special occasions.
  12. Make new friends.
  13. Invite people over for dinner.
  14. Try a new restaurant.
  15. Get a new coffee maker.
  16. Read the Bible every day.
  17. Lose weight.
  18. Paint my bedroom.
  19. Do some updates on my blog.
  20. Start a newsletter for the blog.
  21. Get rid of stuff we don't need.
  22. Clean my closet.
  23. Clean my desk.
  24. Finish some craft projects. Or give them to someone who will.
  25. Paint the hallways.
  26. Go to hockey games.
  27. Go to baseball games.
  28. Color.
  29. Sing.
  30. Actually make meal plans and try to follow them.
  31. Decorate the house for the seasons.
  32. Can my own jam or jelly.
  33. Do something with the photos.
  34. Go exploring with hubby on Saturdays.
  35. Get new window coverings for the bedroom.
  36. Bake bread.
  37. Get a massage.
  38. Knit something.
  39. Attend a concert (probably Uprise).
  40. Renew our passports. On time.
  41. Plan something fun and romantic to celebrate our anniversary.
  42. Learn something new.
  43. Get family pictures done.
  44. Sit on the front porch and just relax.
  45. Phone my aunts.
  46. Fly the state flag.
  47. Visit the White House.
  48. Visit an art museum.
  49. Streamline files on the computer.
  50. Eat dinner using the china, even if it's not a special occasion.

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. ~C.S. Lewis

Do you have any "just for fun" goals for the year? Leave a comment and let me know! Visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to see what goals other Crew members have set for themselves and their homeschools in the Goals for the Year Ahead link-up.

Homeschool Review Crew Goals for the Year Ahead {Link Up}

By the way, you'll find my more serious goals for 2017 here: 52 Lists #52 - Setting Goals for 2017

52 LIsts #52 - Setting Goals for 2017 on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

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 ©2006-2017 Homeschool Coffee Break. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://kympossibleblog.blogspot.com/


Monday, January 16, 2017

Math: Not Only About the Numbers - Virtual Curriculum Fair Week 3

This post contains affiliate links - using affiliate links from Homeschool Coffee Break helps fuel this blog and our homeschool - thank you!

Math: Not Only About the Numbers - Virtual Curriculum Fair Week 3 on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com #hsCurriculumFair #homeschool #math #algebra


Welcome to "Discovering Patterns" and Week 3 of the 2017 Virtual Curriculum Fair, hosted by Homeschooling Hearts & Minds! This week's focus is on math, logic, and scientific studies.Math has never been much of a favorite subject in our homeschool. My boys did fairly well with it, although finding the right curriculum for them was key to getting them through it. Harrison did fine in high school math, but did it because it was a required credit. Spencer managed well in high school math, especially once we switched to a geometry course that worked better for him than the one we'd started with. Landon did great with algebra, and I think the curriculum he used made all the difference. It was not his favorite subject, but generally speaking, it was one he understood and did without complaint.

I think you can tell where I'm going next. Kennady does not like math. I'd guess she stopped liking it sometime during grade school. She doesn't get along well with numbers. And not surprisingly, this creates a vicious cycle - she considers math "hard" so she doesn't like it; she doesn't like it so she tries to avoid it; she avoids it so she gets behind and starts to forget things she's worked on; she's behind schedule and rusty on skills so it seems "hard"; and so it goes. But we've got to get high school math credits, even if it's just because they're required for graduation; and basic math skills really are needed for practical functioning in the real world. So what are we to do?

First, find a good curriculum fit. We've settled on Life of Fred as the approach that gets the job done most effectively and with the least resistance. I think it works well for Kennady because it's NOT primarily about the numbers. It's about the concepts and principles; it's presented in a story setting; and as silly as the Fred story background is, it also shows math concepts being used in the real world.

Math: Not Only About the Numbers - Virtual Curriculum Fair Week 3 on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com #hsCurriculumFair #homeschool #math #algebra

Some feel that Life of Fred doesn't provide enough written work, or enough practice in working problems. I'm kind of on the fence on that issue myself. In a way, I believe that if my kid can demonstrate that they understand and remember what they learned, that should be enough. But sometimes the problems in the book really aren't enough, in my opinion, and I do want to make sure Kennady has mastered this stuff to the point that she could make a decent showing in a college entrance type test if she needs to. So, we also make use of resources like CTCMath, which provides tutorials and practice problems and quizzes to be used as supplements to high school level maths. 

CTCMath - A Schoolhouse Crew Review on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

Find out more about CTCMath in our full review: CTCMath - A Schoolhouse Crew Review

We've also got access to VideoText Algebra, which is the curriculum that Landon used. There's a lot to love about VideoText - it's great for a student that can work independently; and the video lessons that teach the material offer much better explanations that textbooks. Kennady and I have discussed the possibility of her using VideoText, and she may be giving it a try starting later this year. If she can get what she needs from the video lessons, it might be a great fit; but we probably won't know until we try.


 photo Algebra_productimage_zps6b262264.jpg

For more about how Landon used it, see our full review: VideoText Interactive: Algebra (Schoolhouse Crew Review)


Second, stick to a predictable schedule. And as much as the ambivalence towards the subject is a challenge, THIS is the hardest part of this equation. That vicious cycle I mentioned earlier? That means that Kennady is likely not going to get out the math books and work diligently on it every day, at least not on her own. It means that I need to be reminding, checking, and even sometimes nagging, to make sure that it gets done. *sigh* Not my favorite thing to be doing; and sticking to schedule isn't my strength either. We are still working on making math study a non-negotiable part of every single school day, and with my work schedule, I'm not even going to be available to nag every day! As I said, work in progress!

I should also mention a portion of the Science course Kennady did last year: Survey of Science History & Concepts. The course is an overview of Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics; and provides the foundational knowledge in the concepts of each of these branches of science. The World of Mathematics walks the student through the history of mathematics, discussing the development of number and measurement systems, and focusing on the concepts and how the numbers are used in quantifying data and understanding how the world works.

Math: Not Only About the Numbers - Virtual Curriculum Fair Week 3 on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com #hsCurriculumFair #homeschool #math #algebra


From the High School Lesson Book: The History of Mathematics. . . as a Science on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com #highschool #homeschool

So you see, sometimes math is about more than just numbers. In our homeschool right now, it is more about understanding concepts and the whys and wherefores of what we're doing with numbers, rather than just the numbers themselves. And hopefully we can put a high number in the grade column on the report card and transcript in the process!

How is math going in your homeschool? Have you found resources that are a perfect fit for your students? Leave a comment and let me know! Also, please visit my fellow homeschool bloggers as they share thoughts on "Discovering Patterns" in this week's Virtual Curriculum Fair.

This post is part of the Virtual Curriculum Fair 2017. This year the Virtual Curriculum Fair is hosted by Susan at Homeschooling Hearts & Minds. Visit my fellow bloggers listed below and see how they are "Discovering Patterns" (all posts will be live by noon EST on January 16, 2017)!

Math: Not Only About the Numbers - Virtual Curriculum Fair Week 3 on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com #hsCurriculumFair #homeschool #math #algebra

Math Resources and Programs for All Ages by Amanda H @ Hopkins Homeschool
Math (doesn't) Stink! by Jennifer King @A Peace of Mind
When Math is NOT Your Thing by Michele@Family, Faith and Fridays
Math U See and All the Supplements by Laura H @ Four Little Penguins
Discovering Patterns in Our World: STEM Studies by Laura @ Day by Day in Our World
Junior High Math by Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life
Maths: a subject in progress by Sarah @ Delivering Grace
Taking Mathematics out of the Textbook by Dana Hanley @ Roscommon Acre
Maths for a Very Maths-y Boy by Lizzy @ Peaches At Home
Practical Math by Annette @ A Net in Time
Math, How I Loathe Thee by Shecki @ Greatly Blessed
Low Stress High School Science and Math by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
Are these toys or manipulatives? This is math? by HillaryM @ Walking Fruitfully
When You Don't Have a Math Plan by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
Clear Horizons by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens
A Few Thoughts on Teacher Math by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset

Math: Not Only About the Numbers - Virtual Curriculum Fair Week 3 on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com #hsCurriculumFair #homeschool #math #algebra


You may have noticed that my post wasn't included in the above list. That's because I got distracted and busy on the weekend, and forgot about the deadline for getting my post information submitted! Thankfully, I can add my contribution to the linky list; and it gives me the opportunity to let you know that YOU can add your related posts to the linky list below as well! Please do! We invite you to join in and tell us about the patterns discovered in your homeschool by linking up your posts about math, logic, and science:




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 ©2006-2017 Homeschool Coffee Break. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://kympossibleblog.blogspot.com/

Friday, January 13, 2017

Homeschool Highlights - Winter Weekend (January 13, 2017)

This post contains affiliate links - using affiliate links from Homeschool Coffee Break helps fuel this blog and our homeschool - thank you!

Homeschool Highlights - Winter Weekend on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Come link up the highlights of your homeschool week!  #HomeschoolHighlights #homeschool

Welcome to Homeschool Highlights! 
This weekly link-up is your opportunity to share some highlights of what is happening in your homeschool and in your world each week. If you write a wrap-up post at the end of each week, like I've been doing, we'd love to see what you're busy with from week to week. If you'd like to pick a favorite post from your week that spotlights a resource or activity in your homeschool that you'd like to tell others about, we're interested in those too. I'm keeping the guidelines as simple as I can, and they will appear at the bottom of each post, along with the link tool. I look forward to getting to know you, and I hope this will be a source of encouragement and good ideas for all of us.

Grab a cup of coffee and let's get started!


Homeschool Highlights - Winter Weekend on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Come link up the highlights of your homeschool week!  #HomeschoolHighlights #homeschool
I was on the go a lot this week - hence, the travel mug!
Homeschool news  . . . According to plan, I had updated History grades and assignment lists, so Kennady has been working very hard on those this week. She had missed a few readings along the way, so we figured that out and got it caught up.

Now if only Math would be that easy to deal with . . . algebra continues to be the biggest challenge in our homeschool!

Kennady worked on reviewing the units she'd already completed in The Power in Your Hands, and we're picking that up 'full-time' again. I'd hoped to work on Fix-it! Grammar and Science this week, but doesn't look like that will happen.

With my new work schedule, we've realized that we will have to adjust Kennady's school schedule a bit to make sure things get done. We're going to really focus on getting through everything that she often needs my help with on the two full days we're both at home. Guess we'll also need to focus on keeping each other accountable during our homeschooling hours!

Other news . . . Last Saturday was a busy one for me, as I went out for breakfast with a friend and then had our car serviced. After that I went home for lunch before heading back out on a shopping trip. When I got home from that, we decided to go out as a family to celebrate Landon's birthday, since we wouldn't likely get another chance for a few days due to work and other things. We tried out a new-to-us barbecue place (of course!) and really enjoyed it.

Hubby's hockey season started up for the new season on Sunday, and then it was another busy week with all our usual activities back in full swing. Well . . . except for gym class, which starts this coming week. To our surprise, the local schools closed on Wednesday due to weather concerns (there was a layer of ice in parking lots and in side streets and rural areas, thanks to the rain late on Tuesday) so our church activities were cancelled as well. Disappointing! But it worked out rather to our favor, since we were able to have our worship team practice earlier in the evening!

By the way, we're still waiting to hear about Spencer's car. Last word was that the repair estimate was just under the blue book value, so it could go either way. We're still keeping our fingers crossed for the repair to happen.

What's Working . . .

Me. I'm working away from home two days a week, and will be doing some work from home as well. What's not working is me making dinner after I get home from work on those days. I totally failed at putting meals in the freezer during December, and I'm regretting it now. Thankfully, I do have a membership at MyFreezEasy, so I will be remedying that and restocking my freezer.

MyFreezEasy.com Freezer Meal Plan Membership {MyFreezEasy} 



I recommend . . . SchoolhouseTeachers.com! And I especially recommend you check them out right away because there are just a couple of days left to get your membership at the Christmas sale price. SchoolhouseTeachers.com recently spruced up their already amazing website with more classes and helps, adding to their impressive collection of curriculum and resources for homeschoolers at all grade levels; and planning and record-keeping resources for parents. From now until January 15, 2017, new members can take advantage of holiday pricing with the following codes:

$9.95/month . . . use code CHRISTMAS
$90/year . . . use code CHRISTMASYEAR

For more details about what  has to offer, and to read reviews from Homeschool Review Crew members, check out the Homeschool Review Crew blog.

High-quality, Self-paced, Online Homeschool Resources {SchoolhouseTeachers.com}

High-quality, Self-paced, Online Homeschool Resources {SchoolhouseTeachers.com}

On my blogs last week . . .


Just A Second is where I share book reviews and other book-related things, and update on what's on my bookshelf. This week I finished and reviewed The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen, and I've been reading:

A parting shot . . . It finally occurred to me that I could turn my quilted bedspread right side up again and enjoy the colorful tulips! I'd put it on the bed 'upside-down' so that the kittens couldn't pick at the appliques, but they were declawed a couple of months ago so that's not an issue any more.

Homeschool Highlights - Winter Weekend on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Come link up the highlights of your homeschool week!  #HomeschoolHighlights #homeschool

Homeschool Highlights - Winter Weekend on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Come link up the highlights of your homeschool week!  #HomeschoolHighlights #homeschool


Grab the button and link up with Homeschool Highlights!
Homeschool Coffee Break

Homeschool Highlights guidelines:
  • Your blog should be family-friendly content, and your post should include something about homeschooling.
  • Please link directly to your post, not your blog's homepage.
  • Please include a link in your post to Homeschool Coffee Break - you may use the graphic above if you wish. 
  • Visit a couple of the other bloggers and comment or share.

I will be linking up my own posts at the following weekly link parties that you  may also be interested in: Weekly Wrap-Up hosted by Weird, Unsocialized HomeschoolersChristian Fellowship Weekend hosted by Biblical Womanhood; and Homeschool Blog & Tell at The Homeschool Post.



  The Homeschool Post

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 ©2006-2017 Homeschool Coffee Break. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://kympossibleblog.blogspot.com/


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Persevere

This post contains affiliate links - using affiliate links from Homeschool Coffee Break helps fuel this blog and our homeschool - thank you!

Persevere - a Word for the Year 2017 post on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

Persevere is what I've chosen as my Word for the Year 2017.

During 2016 I had a Birthday Bucket List of things I wanted to do - mostly they were fun things, but all the same, a list of things I hoped to accomplish. I did get a lot of those things done, actually, but I also noticed as I neared the end of the year that there were many that I continued to postpone over and over again. And sadly, that's often been the case with other more important tasks as well. I'm a procrastinator, and tend to put off tasks that I don't like or that I don't think I'll have time to finish . . . which ultimately means I don't get started.

Persevere - a Word for the Year 2017 post on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

So in 2017 I want to focus on perseverance:

- sticking to the jobs that need to be done, even if they're not my favorite.


-keep working, and keep putting forth effort. Because some things - like staying healthy and building relationships - don't ever reach a point where I can say I'm done and I've arrived.


-see projects through to completion that CAN be finished. Persevere until the job is done, whether it's painting the hallway or cleaning out the closet or whatever. If I start it, I should finish it.


-finish today's tasks.

Persevere - a Word for the Year 2017 post on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com


-resist the temptation to procrastinate, and just do it!


-be diligent in good habits and good character.


-avoid distractions and stay focused (I was really challenged by this post at Woman to Woman Ministries - Keep Us From Distraction in 2017).


Persevere - a Word for the Year 2017 post on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did. ~Newt Gingrich
I liked this quote from Newt Gingrich that was humorous but got to the point of what perseverance really is. It is hard work. But when it's work worth doing, it's important and satisfying to keep at it until it's done. 

What's your word for the year? Leave a comment and let me know!

This post is also linked to the Word for the Year 2017 Link-up on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.

Homeschool Review Crew Reflecting on 2016

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 ©2006-2017 Homeschool Coffee Break. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://kympossibleblog.blogspot.com/




Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Virtual Refrigerator - Quilt Wall-hanging

This post contains affiliate links - using affiliate links from Homeschool Coffee Break helps fuel this blog and our homeschool - thank you! 
Virtual Refrigerator art link-up hosted by Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

Welcome to 2017 and another year of art sharing on the Virtual Refrigerator! Thank you for joining me and my co-hosts for our weekly art link-up. We all cordially invite you to add your link sharing artwork that's on your Virtual Refrigerator and then hop over to the other blogs and admire what's on their Fridges too! As of today the Virtual Fridge will be moving to Wednesdays and I hope you'll continue to join us!

We're trying very hard to hit the books this week, and so Kennady did not get to a new project this week. Lucky for me, I got a Christmas present from my mom that displays her artistic talent - quilting!

Quilt Wall-hanging on Virtual Refrigerator art link-up hosted by Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

This newest piece goes in my lodge-themed living room along with these small quilted wall hangings she made a few years ago -

Quilt Wall-hanging on Virtual Refrigerator art link-up hosted by Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

. . . and this large quilted wall-hanging made by my aunts a number of years ago!

Quilt Wall-hanging on Virtual Refrigerator art link-up hosted by Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

Now it's your turn! Join us by sharing your art posts here on the Virtual Fridge!

The Virtual Refrigerator is an art post link-up hosted by Every Bed of Roses, Homeschool Coffee Break, Raventhreads, and This Day Has Great Potential #VirtualFridge #art
I'll work on a new link-up button like
the one at the top of my post soon!

Grab a virtual magnet and add your link here to share your child's art or your arts and crafts how-to posts. Please visit the other blogs and admire what's on their Virtual Refrigerators!





 Don't miss a coffee break! Subscribe to Homeschool Coffee Break by Email!

 ©2006-2017 Homeschool Coffee Break. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://kympossibleblog.blogspot.com/

Monday, January 9, 2017

Finding the Right Words - Virtual Curriculum Fair Week 2

This post contains affiliate links - using affiliate links from Homeschool Coffee Break helps fuel this blog and our homeschool - thank you!

Finding the Right Words - Virtual Curriculum Fair Week 2 on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com #hsCurriculumFair #homeschool #LanguageArts

Welcome to "Playing with Words" and Week 2 of the 2017 Virtual Curriculum Fair, hosted by Homeschooling Hearts & Minds! This week's focus is on Language Arts - English, Grammar, Writing, Literature, and more.

The abilities to communicate and to learn are, in my opinion, the most important skills a student needs in order to be successful. Reading, writing, and understanding words and using them effectively is foundational to communication and to learning. And one of the things I love about homeschooling is the flexibility we have to use just the right approach for each student - Finding the Right Words to help each one learn what they need to know.

The following resources are the curricula we are using this year for Language Arts.

For Composition (Writing Non-fiction)
Finding the Right Words - Virtual Curriculum Fair Week 2 on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com #hsCurriculumFair #homeschool #LanguageArts

We were able to review The Power In Your Hands last summer, and as we expected, it was a great fit for Kennady, so we are continuing with it through the school year. The book is written directly to the student, so she can work quite independently. The tone is relaxed and personal, with a bit of humor thrown in now and again. It's a great fit for Kennady, because she can work mostly on her own, and she likes the conversational tone. It's a good fit for me too, because the numbered lessons make it easier to keep track of work (this is an update from the first edition), and the Teacher's Guide offers specific grading grids to make evaluations easier. Students learn to write a persuasive essay; a compare-and-contrast essay; a biography; a literary analysis; and a research paper; and will be prepared for the new SAT essay and for college writing. We also like the collection of 14-Minute Power Surges found in the Teacher's Guide. These writing prompts encourage students to write without necessarily being graded on it. But those could wind up as "starter material" for essays that they will be graded on.

The Power in Your Hands (Writing Non-Fiction in High School) from Writing with Sharon Watson - A Homeschool Coffee Break review for the Schoolhouse Review Crew on kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

You can read more about The Power In Your Hands from Writing with Sharon Watson in our full review: The Power in Your Hands (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)

For Grammar (parts of speech, punctuation, vocabulary, etc):
Institute for Excellence in Writing, A Schoolhouse Crew Review on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

We've found that Fix-it! Grammar (from IEW) is a great fit for Kennady, since she is a story-teller and that's the format of this grammar resource. A story is told, a sentence at a time, and students look for the intentional errors and correct them, learning about parts of speech and their functions as they go. They re-write the corrected story in their own journal, in their nicest handwriting. Kennady definitely enjoys this part! This course can be used for all ages, and teaches parts of speech, punctuation, and everything else grammar related. Younger students can go through the book(s) much more slowly than older students and learn the same material. The instructions are to work on one sentence per day for four days, but since Kennady has a great background in grammar already, we do a week's worth or more of Fix-It! lessons at a time, and in just a short sitting. As the concepts get more complex, we'll be prepared to slow down if we need to.

Institute for Excellence in Writing, A Schoolhouse Crew Review on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

We originally got started with Fix-It! as part of our review of the Student Writing Intensive Level C from IEW a couple years ago. If you're looking for a writing course for high schoolers that is taught by someone other than you, give the Student Writing Intensive a look. It's a four-DVD set with basically all the teaching done by Andrew Pudewa. This curriculum was a good fit for both of my kids that year, despite their different learning styles and interest in writing, because they started by focusing on developing good writing skills without worrying about the content.

Institute for Excellence in Writing, A Schoolhouse Crew Review on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com


(Find out more about Fix-It! Grammar and the Student Writing Intensive in our full review: Institute for Excellence in Writing (A Schoolhouse Crew Review))

For Literature (poetry memorization, and literature study):
Finding the Right Words - Virtual Curriculum Fair Week 2 on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com #hsCurriculumFair #homeschool #LanguageArts

This is another product from the great people at the Institute for Excellence in Writing, and it feels like we are doing this purely for fun! This is Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization - which may not sound like fun, but trust us, memorizing these poems really is enjoyable and painless. We don't have a set schedule to work on these, and to be completely honest, we've neglected it recently, but what we do is keep the CD and the Student Manual in our car, and when Kennady and I go for a drive, we work on our repertoire of memorized poems. We recite all the poems learned so far, then listen to the new poem several times before trying to recite it ourselves. Kennady was a little skeptical at first, and the first few times she was reluctant to put much dramatic effort into her recitation, but as we went along she became more animated. We even enjoy a bit of friendly competition too, as I am memorizing along with her. We do need to get back into the habit of working on this, which has been difficult while we're sharing vehicles with others in the family and therefore spending less time driving on school days. We may need to actually work on it at home instead of just while driving!

Poetry Memorization with IEW - A Schoolhouse Crew Review of Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com
Reciting one of our favorites: The Yak by Hilaire Belloc
Poetry Memorization with IEW - A Schoolhouse Crew Review of Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

 Find out all the details in our full review: Poetry Memorization with Institute for Excellence in Writing)

During high school, our literature study is part of our history study because we use Exploring World History and Exploring America (both from Notgrass). This year Kennady is studying Exploring World History, so her reading list includes things like:

The Cat of Bubastes by G.A. Henty
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
Animal Farm by George Orwell

I plan to talk more about Literature during Week 4 of the Virtual Curriculum Fair, so please check in then for more! In a nutshell though, my approach to literature study is that I want my kids to be reasonably well-read, by which I mean they are familiar with a selection of classic works of literature; and I do want them to enjoy the stories as much as possible. The books chosen to go with the Notgrass history studies are written about, or during, the time periods studied, so that adds interest. Hopefully! We don't read every book in the list, but choose a few of them, and I don't require detailed analysis or long writing assignments for each novel. Instead, we focus on reading for enjoyment and understanding of the story and historical setting. (Kennady will be writing a literary analysis essay using The Power in Your Hands, so that will be covered!)

Not surprisingly, Finding the Right Words for Kennady's high school studies turned up different curriculum choices than those that were good fits for my boys! For example, in his 11th grade year, Landon used Analytical GrammarLandon is a "just the facts" kind of guy, and just wants to get right to the point and move on. This no-frills presentation grammar course worked great for his learning style. Find out more about this one by reading our full review: Analytical Grammar (Schoolhouse Crew Review)
Finding the Right Words - Virtual Curriculum Fair Week 2 on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com #hsCurriculumFair #homeschool #LanguageArts   

What are some favorite Language Arts resources you've used? Leave a comment and let me know! Also, please visit my fellow homeschool bloggers as they share thoughts on "Playing With Words" in this week's Virtual Curriculum Fair.

This post is part of the Virtual Curriculum Fair 2017. This year the Virtual Curriculum Fair is hosted by Susan at Homeschooling Hearts & Minds. Visit my fellow bloggers listed below and see how they are "Playing With Words" (all posts will be live by noon EST on January 9, 2017)!

Finding the Right Words - Virtual Curriculum Fair Week 2 on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com #hsCurriculumFair #homeschool #LanguageArts

Delight Directed High School English by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Act Your Part Well- 2017 VCF by Lisa @ Golden Grasses
The Search For Language by Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
Our Top Picks for Language Arts by Amanda H @ Hopkins Homeschool
Multiple Approaches to Language Arts in 2017 by Laura @ Day by Day in Our World
How We Cover the Language Arts in Our Homeschool by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Use Your Words by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
The Art of Perfecting Macarons by Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life
Loving Languages Every Day by Jen K @ A Peace of Mind
Speech Therapy & Elementary Latin by Yvie @ Gypsy Road
The Readin' and Writin' Part of Homeschool by Shecki @ Greatly Blessed
Children Who Love Books by Lizzy @ Peaches At Home
Customizing High School Language Credits by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
A Poetry Feast by Sarah @ Delivering Grace
Teaching Language Arts without Curriculum by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
I know your pain and it is worth it! by Kim @ Good Sweet Love
Language Arts: Our Style by Annette @ A Net in Time
Words! Words! Words! by Lisa M @McClanahan 7
10 Wonderful Word Games (+1) by Lori @ At Home: where life happens
Finding the Right Words by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
What About Reading Comprehension? by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset
Teaching Grammar and Writing Through Discussion by Chelli @ The Planted Trees

Finding the Right Words - Virtual Curriculum Fair Week 2 on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com #hsCurriculumFair #homeschool #LanguageArts

Now it's your turn! We invite you to join the conversation about words by linking up your posts about your curriculum choices in the area of Language Arts:







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