Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Rock On Panthers Elementary

School is in session!! I had read somewhere to have your kids pick out their elementary name so when someone asks them where they go to school they have something to say. Other kids picked their last name and added academy or something similar.
Not my children.
Our official school name is "Rock On" and our mascot is a panther.
Who wouldn't want to go that school??

We've changed things up a little bit this year. I was able to attend the most amazing writing workshop from a woman named Mary Peterson. She was an elementary teacher and now she teaches a lot of workshops for teachers and home school moms. Her website is www.teachertreasures.com. It was awesome! Writing is definitely my weak subject and there is no real "guide" for writing. We were doing Writing With Ease from the woman who wrote A Well Trained Mind and we weren't loving it. I would read a passage from a famous piece of literature and they would write a summary. They REALLY hated doing it and I REALLY disliked it myself.Trust me, if you don't like it your kids won't like it either.
With the books I got from Mary it requires me to be more creative. It doesn't give an outline of lesson plans. So you take her amazing ideas and make your own lesson plan. At first I was a little bit nervous, but it has become one of our favorite parts of our day. We make fun things to showcase our writing. The books I bought from her are: Writing strategies that really work K-2, Practical strategies to increase writing skills 3-6, Wonderful writing projects, Spectacular Books, and I bought the game Writing Center.

Our new schedule goes as follows:
Prayer, pledge, calendar, weather, songs
Life Skills (standin' tall, safety kids, 21 rules of this house and so on)
Journal writing 10 minutes
Subject of the day, art/music, ancient world history, science, US history/geography
Individual kid time
Ethan-Spelling, vocabulary, grammar, writing, cursive
Porter-Spelling, vocabulary, grammar, writing
Bella-Spelling, phonics, grammar, writing
Joshua and Tess-letters, shapes, numbers
On their own-
Math, Explode the Code (phonics), read alone
Lunch Time
After lunch the little kids are all done. Ethan and Porter can choose to have a break or just keep going. The boys have to do typing, read their scriptures, and practice melody harp.
We have Rosetta Stone Latin that they will also start in the next couple of weeks. My friend found a company that teaches your child to play the piano online. You just need a keyboard to plug into your computer. So as soon as we've saved up enough money the three oldest will start piano.
Also, this year we are a part of a home school group that will be meeting together for Friday Fun classes. The kids have different options of classes like, gym, theater etc. My kids are very excited!!
Here is some of what we've been doing this year. We made igloos when we talked about Eskimos and we made an edible oasis when we were studying about ancient world history. It is always more to fun to do an activity after we've learned about our subject of the day.

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