May 6th, 2011

Firefly: Jayne hacking Simon's LJ

It's a beautiful day....

and I have work to do. :sigh: Ah, well...the money is nice, but the stress is not.

I...bought some more curriculum yesterday. :hangs head: Here's the deal - Himself is doing OK in Science and History, but he could do better. I'm not aiming for a perfect 4.0 here - but he's capable of maintaining a 95+ average in both. Right now, he has an 89 in Science, and an 85 in History.

I don't know if it's my teaching technique or what, but I wanted to do *something* to help him retain the info. A lot of homeschoolers use Notebooking (which I, personally, hate, because *I* don't learn that way), so I figured I'd give it a shot. But...since I hate it, I'm no good at putting together something......and I don't have the *time* to do a lot of work in Word or I turned to google.

Found a few sites....then hit CurrClick. No, it's not free...but the things I had found, they had at a discount. So...for $35-ish I got the complete History Scribe set and the complete Notebooking set for Apologia General Science.

Himself is a bit perturbed by it - he likes the current set-up. I've been sitting down, every other week, and basically outlining the next chapter (only, outlining in question form, if that makes sense - making up a study guide, in other words). The lesson plans I have have the vocabulary words already listed; on my sheet I put them first, then start with the questions. For History, I then go into my Map Trek file and print off the appropriate maps, then I go into the paper model file and see if I have anything that will fit. For Science, I print off the experiment log(s), and try to gather up the necessary "ingredients" for each experiment.

The outlining takes me about 3 hours, all told......and, while it's working, he's not retaining everything. So.....

I sat down this morning to get ready for next week. Science was easy - I had already found (and saved!) a lesson plan that included the Notebook, so I printed off the correct Module and we were pretty much set (I had already done Mod. 5 the "old" way, last week, because I didn't remember we weren't done with Mod. 4 yet. Ooops...) It took...maybe 20 minutes to put it together so that I can just grab the correct pages for each day. History took a little longer - I think I'm still going to need to do the outline, because I haven't found anything for our book already set up. :sigh: BUT.....I have notebooking pages, I have maps, and I have the paper models for Ch. 5 all ready to go - and it took me maybe another 20 minutes to get *it* set up. (Set up included making out next week's lesson plan, and copying all the Math worksheets/tests and Logic Puzzles, AND putting everything in the folders where they belong.) (Plus, the outlining helps me know what he'll be learning in that chapter, so it's all good. *I'm* learning, as well, which makes it even better.)

I need to double-check to see if the Science book has vocabulary; if not, that won't take long to type up.

IF it works, then we're set for Herself - I can just print off the Science Modules for her to do, and those are good to go. History - well, I've saved all the sheets I've already done (because sometimes I am smart!), and I have the Lesson Plans that I used with Himself, so - for her, set up will go much quicker. I'll have to go back and add any notebooking pages he didn't do for her (up to Ch. 5, anyway), but that won't be too bad. (And, if it works I'll go back and get the set for Physical Science for next year...and see if they have any for Chemistry/Physics/Biology. Yes, they're kinda expensive...but it's worth it if the kids can retain what they're learning - and I figure that they won't miss something that I didn't realize was an important concept. Science is not my Yeah. Math? Somewhat. History - LOVE it. But Science? :blah:)

So.....hopefully I'll only have to outline History. Maybe.....maybe the notebooking will help, instead? We'll see....I told Himself to give this a shot for Ch. 5. IF it doesn't work, might with Herself, so the money won't be wasted. If it does work, I'll have saved some time....and improved his grades, which is the point, after all.

Now, if I could just get him to take Math seriously I'd be doing great! (He's doing a Review today, of ratios and percents. He's got it down fact, he's doing them all in his head, and he's NAILING them. It's scarey...but he's goofing off, because it's "easy". :blink: I may need to toss some Intensive Practice at him, just to get him to settle down!)