Teaching Tips – Current Events

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Abby’s history this year has her doing current events at different times.  She isn’t sure she like it, but I really do.  I think it helps her to think beyond our little “neck of the woods”.  She also reads a cartoon and writes what she thinks it is about.  I really think this causes her to think through different ideas that other people might have.  It’s a little out of her comfort zone, but she has come to enjoy it.

I believe these kinds of activities can help children to work through ideas and beliefs.  It also gives them the opportunity to see other’s thoughts and to see beyond their own lives.

These activities can be done weekly or just occasionally.  At this point Abby is doing them at the end of each unit.  The websites to find current events are:  http://www.studentnewsdaily.com/archive/world-current-events/ and http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/scholasticnews/index.html . The second website is for younger children.  The website for the cartoons is: http://www.studentnewsdaily.com/archive/editorial-cartoon-for-students/ .


Our Homeschool so far.

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We started school this year early, because of the trips we will be taking.  Our start date was July 15th, so we are on week 10 this week.  I’d like to review what we have accomplished thus far.

In Grammar, we have been working on verbs and their tenses.  Present, Past, Future and the participle tenses.  It has been slow, but she is getting it!

In Reading she has read some great poetry, an epic poem, and has just completed the book Penrod and Sam.  She has also just completed a book review for that book.

In writing she has written an essay on “Micro Bats”, and has submitted it online for peer review. This was a neat experience.  She submitted hers and reviewed another person’s essay.  It has really helped her to be more careful in her writing.

For Math was are using Saxon 87 and she has completed lesson 25.  We are also working on Multiplication and Division review.

In History she has been studying ancient cultures.  We have done Greece, China and the Mayans.  We are now starting to read about ancient India.  For the Mayan’s, she did a Power Point presentation and presented it to our family.  For each culture she has done a timeline including economic, social, art, music and religion.  She also takes all kinds of notes of what she has read.

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We will use these timelines to then put them together to see how these cultures overlapped.  During the section on ancient China, she made a scroll with Chinese lettering of the Buddha’s five virtues.


In Science we have learned about birds, bats and flying reptiles.  We have completed a lapbook component, taken notes and done a crossword puzzle for each chapter.

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Some of the activities we have done have been recording what birds come to our bird feeders, we have taken some great pictures of hummingbirds, we have gone outside and measured the wingspan of several types of Pterosaurs and we have made a fossil egg.  We are about to start a chapter on insects.


As part of our school, we attend a co-op every Friday.  Our day at co-op includes an assembly, choir practice and then three classes that change every month.  This month we have art, book club and PE.  This past Friday we had an unexpected visitor who brought along a Sugar Glider.  She was so cute!  All the children were able to pet her and watch her climb on everything.

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Abby is also learning Hindi in anticipation of her visit to India.  She is working on Hindi greetings and other phrases she might need in India.  We found a good site for conversational Hindi, Hindipod101.

I’ll try and keep a journal here of our activities as well as pictures.

Our updated curriculum for this school year.

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I’ve got a couple of emails asking about our curriculum for this year.  I’m sorry its taken me so long.  So here it is:

English Grammar – We are still using School of Tomorrow (PACES)

Reading/Writing – All In One Homeschool – English 7 (http://allinonehomeschool.com/individual-courses-of-study/english-7/)

Spelling – I’m using a weekly schedule I’ll explain at the end of this post.

Math – Saxon 87

History – All In One Homeschool – Ancient History – Year 1 (http://allinonehomeschool.com/individual-courses-of-study/history-year-1/)

Science – Apologia Zoology II Swimming Creatures

Computer – All In One Homeschool – Computer  (http://allinonehomeschool.com/individual-courses-of-study/computer/)

Foreign Language – Hindi


I get a list of words from www.k12reader.com.  I usually use the words for the weekly rule, but add my own academic and sight words.  I also add 4 additional words to make 20.  Then we follow this weekly schedule:

Monday – write the words in agenda and twice in notebook

Tuesday – Put words in alphabetical order and look up 10 of the words in the dictionary

Wednesday – Look up the other 10 words and write 3 sentences using as many words as possible.  Pretest

Thursday – Write the words missed on pretest 10 x each and study for test

Friday – Test