Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Homeschool Curriculum

I have to share something I am really excited about...


What!?!  Me, excited about some nerdy science stuff?  Why yes, I am.  As a homeschooler, I am always looking for ways to freshen up the day, do something exciting and stimulating that will keep my kids engaged.  I realized that the science aspect of our school year was almost completely non-existent.  I started poking around for a good curriculum to add to the mix.

And this is what I found...

"The Elements" (Digital Download)

I was grateful that they posted the first two chapters on their website.  It intrigued me and so I just bought the whole darn thing.  Best purchase, ever.  This lady knows her stuff.  I wish someone had taught chemistry to me this way when I was in high school.  We have done three chapters now and it has been a huge success. The book is engaging, simple, but not simplified.  For example, chapter three is all about the structure of an atom.  We talked about electron clouds, electron order, and then electron configuration, like the  neon atom is 1s2 2s2 2p6. Does this look familiar to anyone?  I mean, it is scary-looking stuff, right?  Wrong. Not to my kids.  They picked it up so fast. And you should see the way their eyes light up when I tell them to get out the chemistry stuff.  Zach begs to read the paragraphs out loud. He loves it so much.  This is the way learning is supposed to be.

Ellen McHenry has also written a follow-up book called Carbon Chemistry.  It is organic chemistry for middle school kids.  I can't wait to tackle that next.

We have also had much success with a new Latin book I found called Getting Started With Latin.  I love it way more than the last one we were doing.  It has a logical order of building Latin skills for the very beginner.  I probably spend 5-10 minutes a day doing Latin with each of my boys, and they are building a solid foundation. I don't think any education is complete without Latin.  It is invaluable.

Getting Started With Latin

I think now that my boys are well into their tenth year of life and 5th graders, I am finally hitting my educational stride.  I wouldn't say that it gets any easier, because that would be a gross exaggeration.  I still yell and lose my temper. There are still a lot of tears and resistance, but it is worth it. I can see connections being made. I believe in the process and know that in the long run, it will pay huge dividends.

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