Homeschooling in Florida

My journey


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My 6th grade curriculum- Homeschool

After 3 months of researching and multiple purchases and returns, I finally have a curriculum that is perfect for my child. As a homeschool mom, I’m sure curriculums come highly recommended only to find out that it doesn’t work for you. Just because it works for me, doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you. I need order, by daughter is a HANDFUL of crazy energy – some might define her as adhd – but I say, she is who God created her , I won’t change that. I am exactly the same way so I know what works best for both of us.

This is my 3rd year homeschooling my 6th grader ( I began 5 years ago with my now college student, 3.5 years ago with my 11th grader and and finally pulled my last one out 3 years ago) I know a lot of moms are into the unschooling, but it’s not for me (yet). I need order, to-do lists, goals and planning to make life work in all aspects for me. I have my days, hours, and year planned already for this year- always allowing for a curve ball so I don’t stress out.

Here is what I have for my daughter’s 6th grade curriculum. We started 3-4 weeks ago and so far everything is moving smoothly.

Science – Abeka science and Abeka Health. I just ordered the teacher’s edition so I can follow along when we read together. I bought this used on Amazon- Abeka Science  -Observing God’s World and Abeka health for 6th grade. I like that it’s in order, easy to understand and covers all the science topics she needs to learn this year. http://www.abeka.com/ABekaOnline/BookDescription.aspx?sbn=157406

  • I originally ordered Apologia, but I couldn’t get into it. I tried both Apologia Anatomy and Apologia Botany apologia. As wonderful as it sounds, and it’s great with the 2 day workweek they had, it just wasn’t for us. I didn’t like the journal or the ‘way too many things’ I had to purchase to keep up with experiments every week- it was ridiculous. Besides that, it seems more like an elective, not a full science curriculum. Science Apologia Botany Study
  • I then tried Sonlight. I loved the idea, but a few of the health (girls) books bothered me – do we really need cartoons of naked girls and boys and the hair down there – no, didn’t like…… but I tried to get over my immaturity and move on.  The curriculum annoyed me because I like things in order. I don’t like to flip around to different books and different pages on different days. I like order and it was really out of order. Also, numerous times, we couldn’t find the answer on the pages given that day so it frustrated my child (we sampled this for a few weeks in the summer before I decided I wasn’t going to use it for the year) After I ordered from Sonlight, they came up with a 4 day plan but still I like order so that’s why it’s not for us. I do like the books so I’ve incorporated them into our yearly reading. Sonlight Science F 6th grade girl
  • Abeka Science is in order and has covers everything my child needs for Science. I like it and the Health book is decent too – so far no naked pics.

History– For History, I chose Bob Jones Heritage Studies  and activity book. You don’t really need the activity book- they have a LOT of work in it, so if you do have it, I think to do every single page in the activity book would feel like torture. I have my daughter do a few I select, and we discuss other ones together and I help with the answers. I found that the teachers editions were very helpful to me in different ways – to read with her, to ask comprehension questions after we read, along with miscellaneous facts and notes  I write.  No lie, at first it all overwhelmed me, but I started out just reading with her- not following their schedule- and slowly adding things here and there. It’s a good history book, it’s in order, but I’m doing a timeline with it and somethings in the chapter are a little scattered along the timeline, but so far so good. Bob Jones Heritage Studies History 6th grade

We also add in Story of the World because I love reading it. I didn’t like Volume 1 as much as I enjoyed the others. Call me uber conservative but I think it’s pointless to teach on the gods and their ancient a make believe stories – which are probably demons- and the bible stays not to even speak their names so I thought volume 1 had a lot of that nonsense in it.Story of the World history book and workbooks

Math– Teaching Textbooks- I love, it gives me a small break and there are no tears! tantrums or crying on the floor. Maybe once in a while if it’s a bad day, there will be a meltdown, but so far, so good. I also add in different math worksheets from workbooks and online sources. I help along side her with  long multiplication and division on a boogieboard dashboard from costco, it’s like an electric wipe off board.  I do the math problems along side her until she’s ready to fly on that topic Math grade 6 TT

Reading– We liked reading spectrum last year but decided to step it up to Abeka reading. It’s good and I have a schedule to finish them all within the year. Comprehension isn’t our ‘gift’ in this home school house so the stories really need to interest us. I’m happy with the selection and it’s challenging. (voyage of discovery, Of America, Adventures in greatness and Mountain pathways) I didn’t buy anything but the student books I listed for this.  Abeka reading 6th grade

Spelling/ Vocabulary – I go back and forth between curriculum here. We have Wordly Wise, which i think is great and I mix that with Spelling Spectrum. However,  I don’t feel that Spelling Spectrum is that challenging for 6th grade so I purchased the Abeka Spelling Vocabulary (pamphlet) book. I will do Abeka spelling-vocab one week (it’s both subjects in one small pamphlet like book) and the next week I will do Spectrum and Worldly wise. I add in missed words from previous weeks until they are spelled correctly.

Wordly Wise vocabulary
Spelling Spectrum 6th grade
Abeka Spelling and Vocabulary

  • I do find that Abeka Spelling/Vocab is not so easy. There are 35 words, only one small practice sheet for the week, so you need to plan out your week to study. 35 words and definitions was a lot for my daughter, so I only give her 20-25 words because any more is too much. We have other vocabulary in week with Science, History and Reading . Abeka just seems like overkill. However, their word list is amazing so I mix it up

Grammar– I use a few workbooks for grammar. Each week I rip out what I want completed in the week. Here are a few I use:

  • Grammar and punctuation grade 6 by Evan Moor. It goes over 25 grammar rules and practice work.
  • Paragraph editing . This is my favorite. Each day I give her 1-2 paragraphs to edit. I found this is the best way to reinforce grammar and spelling. The downside to the workbook is that the answers are on the following page so I had to make copies of the pages so she doesn’t cheat.
  • Evan Moore Daily language review. Same stuff, busy work

We did analytical grammar and we enjoyed that as well.

Writing– I’m sure I need to step it up with writing, maybe in research papers for other subjects, but for now we are using 730 Journal prompts for grades 4-6. It’s a simple workbook. It’s daily creative writing 1-4 paragraphs. We use this about 3 times a day. There are 2 journal prompts for every day of the year, I let my daughter select one to write about and it’s been very enjoyable

Bible– I originally bought Kay Arthur’s books for kids but her daily work IS TOOOO MUCH. She needs to shorten it plus a lot of fluff. What a shame because she’s a good teacher. That didn’t work for us, so I down load BSF weekly bible study sheets and we read and discuss together. We’ve been in BSF before, but not now and I’m sure they’d wag a finger at me because they think no one else can teach like they can but not so. I appreciate their work and study but their schedule conflicts with ours so I can’t join their meetings this year. I do like their weekly studies. Another good sight you might like to download studies is biblestudies4u

My favorite lesson plannerTeaching is my Superpower lesson planner

I tried to plan out a 4 day school week, giving myself one day a week to catch up, visit a museum , read a new book or discover something new. I also give my schedule a 1 week break every 6 weeks for vacations, hurricanes, interruptions, sickness, catching up, etc- so we don’t get overwhelmed. By doing this, I am able to schedule out all our work to be completed by next May/ June. We started 6th grade at the end of July because I wanted to start early knowing hurricanes intensify over this next 8 weeks and that can put a hamper on homeschooling and also we are having our floors and kitchen remodeled.  I don’t want to stress over home school while listening to jackhammers, so if I need a few days off, it’s all in the schedule.

We try to begin our school day at 9:30, take a short 15 minute break around 11, lunch at 12:30-12.45. Our school day generally takes about 4 hours give or take another hour -depending on the focus abilities for that day.

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Homeschool STEM Science Technology Engineering and Math – Stemsims and Pitsco

I went to the FPEA homeschool convention last week and found two booths with the STEM projects/curriculum.

STEMSIMS

The first was Stemsims.com it is an interactive website with simulations. I thought it was really great, so did my husband and kids.  It’s is for grades 4-12, but probably best for middle school. My 3rd grader enjoyed working with it with an adult and my 12th grader absolutely loves it. Check it out, I’ve never seen anything like it before and they have a 7 day free trial. The yearly charge is only $69, which is a great price.

From their website:

    • Over 100 interactive simulations of laboratory experiments and engineering design projects that draw grade 4-12 students into virtual worlds that promote inquiry.
    • STEM Sims place students in scenario-based, contextual learning environments where they use virtual tools to deeply explore STEM topics that matter.
    • It’s not just the simulations. You get lessons, methods, video walkthroughs and more. All designed to support a robust, minds-on STEM curriculum.
    • Research-based and classroom-tested, STEM Sims enable students and teachers to experience leading-edge, next-generation STEM topics in the context of real-world applications.
    • STEM Sims are available on a subscription basis for students at school and at home. Nothing to download or maintain.
    • STEM Sims are aligned with national (NGSS) and state (e.g., Florida) standards. For further information on specific state standards, contact STEMsims@STEMsims.com.

PITSCO

The other booth that I thought was interesting, but didn’t get a lot of time to look was PITSCO.
  This is more of a hands on STEM and Robotics program, rather than an online interactive. When I walked by the booth they handed out sample bags for the kids to create different things with the contents, my elementary daughter really loved it. You should check out the site, there is a lot to see and look at. Products are groups by grade, K-12. They have curriculum and activities for all ages.Check out this site for : Middle school engineering activites
  The web has many more sites for homeschoolers interested in Stem, also check your local library. I know our Nova Library in Davie, Florida has afterschool Stem activities as well.


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Elementary Science – US Parks – Yellowstone National 3rd grade home school

The link below from awesome science is a Good Learning resource for kids. The  cost $1.99,  but I saw it  on TV, channel NRB called “The Awesome Science Series”.
http://vimeo.com/ondemand/awesomescience

Extra resources : (ecosystem, animals, geysers, volcanoes and more)

Learn about Geysers:

Volcano under Yellowstone – Supervolcano

 

Yellowstone for kids – check out the match the antler to the animal game

http://www.nps.gov/yell/forkids/index.htm

Become a Ranger: http://www.nps.gov/yell/forkids/beajuniorranger.htm

 

 

Printable Map of US – National Yellowstone park is in three state, have student color the 3 states

http://pdf.mrprintables.com/mrprintable-ma02-america-states-grey.pdf
or
http://www.mrprintables.com/printable-map-of-the-united-states.html

 

If you have a brainpop account, they have a short video about energy source and a small part
includes geysers – http://www.brainpopjr.com/science/energy/energysources/

 

More Information:

https://www.e-education.psu.edu/geosc10/l12_p3.html

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