Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Exploring Egypt...

Today my 12 yr old son and I toured around Egypt. We saw the vendors on the street and the funny way the buildings and houses were packed in like sardines. We also got to visit a few pyramids while we were there. One of the pyramids even offered a tour down INSIDE of it! We got to see the old king's tomb that grave robbers had already gotten to, and unique passageways carved out thousands of years ago.  Then after exploring Egypt we visited a cave in France in which ancient paintings of animals and people were on the walls within the cave.  After we were done, we were still home in time to pick the other boys up from school and make dinner.

Isn't technology great! Google maps is such a fun tool for exploring the world. It felt like the next best thing to being in Egypt ourselves (minus the hot sun, sounds, and smells of it...). The tour of the French cave was a virtual tour provided by an educational website. I think it's amazing how technology is changing how we learn and what we can learn.

Today was day two of homeschooling Brayden. After a lot of careful research, reading, and thinking - we decided to go with the Easy Peasy curriculum. It is an all-in-one curriculum that provides adequate education in all of the areas we wanted to cover. It covers math, reading, writing, language arts, history, science, art, music, PE/Health, computer/technology, among a few other areas.   This curriculum is fully online with some worksheets/printables that are to be printed out from home.  It also comes with a wonderful support system/network.
The very best part? Its ALL FREE!
 The curriculum is given in bite sized amounts, which is perfect for a child with low attention span. This also allows more time to explore areas of interest or dive into subjects further (like we spent an hour in history just touring around Egypt and exploring pyramids).

I can't wait to see what the rest of this school year brings! Tomorrow we are making papyrus among other fun activities. :)



Lee said...

Are you still using Easy Peasy? I've looked at it a couple times. Never at the beginning of a school year though. And I don't want more screen time for my boys... But I keep looking at it!

Bethany said...

Yes we are Lee! I really like it. It really is easy and allows for more time for exploring other interests, taking "field trips", and life skill learning (aka helping mom haha!) Yet, its a thorough curriculum. Another big positive for me about this curriculum is that it has a HUGE support system on facebook with several different facebook groups. Really the screen time isn't all that much. We get finished in about 2 hours. However, the creator of Easy Peasy has now made books and workbooks for the readers. So that could cut down on some time by having actual books to read from rather then reading on screen. The math I do separate for now. I like Life of Fred, so that's what we're using. I'm thinking of adding an extra writing program too because my son could use some extra intensive help with writing. :)

Granola said...

I was going to ask the same question the above commenter asked. :) Your reply was helpful, thank you! I'm looking for a way to simplify our homeschooling and All-in-One seems like a great option. It's fun to hear that you use Life of Fred. I'm really intrigued by it but just haven't taken the jump to it yet. We're currently using Teaching Textbooks.

If you have time, I have a question for you. With the work being independent, how do you get a feel for what kind of grade to give them? Or maybe you don't grade yet . . .? I haven't in the past but now that high school is in sight I'd like to start "practicing".

Thank you!

Bethany said...

Granola - I have really liked Easy Peasy as a base so far. I plan to continue using it next year. I feel that it really does simplify homeschooling. :)
I don't give grades yet. I watched a seminar on homeschooling once that made a really good point. They expect "A" work out of their children. They want them to master subjects, not just get through them as fast as they can. Therefore, the grades will always be A's, because if I see him not grasping a concept that well then we will re-do it. This makes it much easier for recordkeeping as well. Occasionally there will be quizzes and tests, but if there is a low score on a quiz then I just have him re-do the chapter and try the test again. Life of Fred has several "tries" for tests in their book. If you miss more then two on a test, then it's suggested that the child go back and brush up on concepts they still aren't getting. Then there is a "second try" test to take and so on. I believe it goes to four or five tries per every 4-5 chapters.
Since my son isn't in high school yet, grades aren't as big of an issue (for our state - you may want to check your own state guidelines). Once he starts 9th grade, then I'll be keeping track of grades better. Again, though, I plan on keeping the "all A's" policy by ensuring that he masters subjects and does his very best.

Granola said...

Thank you, I haven't heard the grading concept explained in the way that you explained it. Inspiring! Thank you again!