A lot of people were interested in how we created Raven’s delight-directed plan for 7th grade. That is awesome! I was pleasantly surprised to see so many people looking for ways to create a student-customized higher education.
It seems like it is really easy to be eclectic and free when your kids are in preschool, but once Jr/Sr High rolls around the pressure to go for a more formal curriculum and structure sets in.
That works for some students.
But I have always thought that the older grades would be the easiest to customize because the kids are older, more responsible, and able to give feedback about what is working and what their goals are.
So anyways I wanted to give an update on how things are going, and share some things we are changing up and what is working well.
And stay tuned at the end of the post for a giveaway!
What is working
So far Raven has completed the NaNoWriMo challenge in November with a total of 20,162 words, started two more novellas on her own, done plenty of research for her history and science topics, and completed notebooking pages for those as well.
We also found a Flash Kids Writing Skills workbook at the px and she decided it could help her brush up on some proof editing and structure.
She has discovered that she really enjoys doing artist studies. I’ve been trying to accommodate this interest by creating an Unschooling Art Pinterest board for inspiration.
Her art history book is a high school text, but she seems to be enjoying it when she picks it up. She did get a little bored with the Smarthistory videos as they go very in depth at times.
We both absolutely loved the project we reviewed from Art in History and I will be ordering some more of their projects with our tax money.
Foreign Language – Korean
Our Korean lessons with Miss Jee from italki were going great! We absolutely loved her and met her in person several times for some hands-on culture and language experiences.
I’m sad to say that we are looking for a new tutor as she left Korea to travel South America for a couple years.
Culture, Philosophy, Fine Arts
These other interests are working well. Things kind of slowed down for us over the winter as we couldn’t travel as much outside. But when Spring arrives we plan to get out for more Korean culture field trips.
Our family philosophy discussions kind of went by the wayside for a while too but I am planning one right now based on The Three Little Pigs.
Raven continues to draw almost every single day. She has also picked up finger knitting, a rainbow loom, and some more origami skills.
What we needed to change
The biggest change we had to make was in her plan for Science. She had planned on doing a research report on cats and dogs. Well, she quickly ran out of material and interest.
I had been looking at a few resources online and thought she might like the format of the new Discovering Nature series by Queen Homeschooling. We had used their language book a few years back and really enjoyed the relaxed Charlotte Mason style.
Raven immediately chose the Summer By The Sea – Marine Biology book. I ordered it and hoped that it would work. It has a story reading each week with about 5 notebooking activities. The notebooking pages are not easy – a lot of research and online searching is required. She loves it though, even when I have to help point her towards where she can find the information she needs.
I purchased the book from Hearts at Home Curriculum Store online.
The only thing I wish the text had was some reference links or places you could find what you needed. That might get frustrating to a family that isn’t very tech savvy.
I have no idea where we are with math right now. Raven likes Khan Academy but she also gets frustrated and distracted with Khan. She really likes the elementary series of Life of Fred, but doesn’t really enjoy the Fractions & Decimals book.
I found a workbook called Math For The Gifted Student at our px and bought it because it was mostly puzzles and math strategy. She seems to be liking that a lot better right now. We are still on the hunt for some good math resources for my visual/kinesthetic learner.
Records and portfolios
I need to get caught up with some of our records and notebooks. I’ve just let it get piled up and I need to take a weekend to organize and sort out what to keep and what to ditch.
All in all though I am pretty happy with our system of keeping life experience notebooks along with some basic book and resource lists.
The kids have been working slowly through their homeschool Awana books, but they have been wanting something a little more. So for part of our purchases this new year, I am investing in several studies by Grapevine.
If you don’t remember, I taught in our Awana group back in Kansas using the Grapevine stick-figuring method.
Grapevine’s biggest sale of the year
I just so happen to be an affiliate with Grapevine and am pleased to announce that they are having a sale between January 31st and February 7th.
A lot of their student books and ebooks are 50% off!
All in all, I think over the years we’ve been able to figure out Raven’s learning styles and preferences fairly well so when she has a goal we kind of know where to look for resources to reach it.
It’s good to see her strengths (the arts and sciences) and where she struggles still (grammar and math). But it is also amazing to see how far she has come, especially since we backed off with the required schooling. I’m looking forward to a few purchases with our tax money for all of the kids – especially some more art supplies!
And now for the giveaway!
I know a lot of my readers are either homeschool moms, teachers, or parents. And they are always looking for fun ways to bring a multicultural view to their kids in a fun way.
I am offering one of my readers a very fun Korean culture set! Two large, full-color books and some fun traditional games – plus a cute outfit to fit your doll!
- Let’s Color Korea: Traditional Games book
- Let’s Learn About Korea: Traditions book
- Yutnori game set (with instructions)
- Go-Stop (godori) game cards (no instructions but you can find some videos online that explains it)
- A hanbok costume for a doll (I think this will fit a Barbie-sized doll)
Entering is very easy – just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget below. One entry is free -simply enter your email so I can contact you. You can also like me on Facebook, Google+, or follow one of my Pinterest boards to get more entries.
The winner will be chosen next Friday and you will have 2-3 days to respond to my email before I choose another winner. I will ship it via US Postal Service. This giveaway is limited to the US and Canada (sorry – I’ll get you International folks on the next one!)