Sunday, January 1, 2012

First Semester Wrap-up

Happy New Year!!

Our Side of the Mountain posted a mid-year summary that I thought was inspiring. It was nice to be able to see the exact progress of the first semester of school, as well as state some second semester goals. I told her I was going to copy this great idea. So, here goes ...

Dawson ~ 9th Grade

Algebra: Life of Fred Beginning Algebra
finished Lesson 49 of 108

Grammar: Easy Grammar
finished Lesson 44 of 180

Critical Thinking: Reading Detective, Beginning
finished Page 61 of 146

Typing: Good Typing
did about 15 minutes, twice a week

Writing: Institute of Excellence in Writing, U.S. History Supplement
finished Lesson 10 and extra Thanksgiving poem

History: America: The Story of Us
finished Lessons 4 of 12
 the First Settlers
Boston Massacre
Boston Tea Party
Paul Revere
Valley Forge
The Declaration of Independence
Westward Expansion
Lewis and Clark
Gold Rush
Trail of Tears
The Erie Canal
Underground Railroad
(spent extra time on the Westward Expansion and Slavery)

Literature: Group oral history reading 
Blood on the River by Elisa Lynn Carbone
The Winter of Red Snow by Kristiana Gregory
Yankee Doodle Boy by Joseph Plumb Martin
The Captain's Dog by Roland Smith
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. 
also did about 30 minutes of personal reading daily

Science: Biology. After a slow start with Apologia, we switched to The Way Life Works 
finished cells, solar energy, life patterns, watched "The Andromeda Strain", studied atoms, bonds, enzymes, photosynthesis and cell respiration with various readings, virtual labs, and experiments

Fine Arts
beginning guitar class every Monday for 1 1/2 hours
studied the following artists and did an art project using their specific mediums: Vincent VanGogh, Hendrick Avercamp, Katsushika Hakusai, Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee, and Henri Rousseau

attended our Homeschool Co-op and volunteered in child care for upper elementary aged boys during the parent meetings and was helper in physical education, as well as helped me teach a World Geography class to middle school aged kids

Second Semester Goals
Finish Beginning Algebra by Spring Break to move on to Advanced
Give more of a steady emphasis on Biology with a focus on labs and writing lab reports
Start Driver's Education
Read two pieces of Formal Literature and follow Literature Guide
Stay on our steady pace with all other subjects
Work really hard and stay focused until Spring Break

Brynne ~ 2nd Grade

Grammar: Easy Grammar
finished Lesson 51 of 180

Copywork: Copywork for Little Girls 
finished Lesson 20 of 180

Handwriting: Handwriting without Tears Printing Power
finished Page 34 of 85

Spelling: Sequential Spelling
finished Lesson 9 of 180
(started well into second quarter at Brynne's request, and only do it when we have time)

Math:  (MEP) Mathematics Enhancement Programme
finished Lesson 30
completed lots of other theme-related math assignments and living math

Personal Reading
independently read 48 books toward goal of 100 for the year

History: U.S. States Study

Unit studies
Columbus Day

Human Body
Food Pyramid
Flower parts: Poinsettia

Fine Arts
studied the following artists and did an art project using their specific mediums: Vincent VanGogh, Hendrick Avercamp, Katsushika Hakusai, Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee, and Henri Rousseau

Homeschool Co-op
physical education two times per month
choir two times per month
various field trips and learning opportunities

Second Semester Goals
Complete at least another 30 days of MEP
Do steady unit studies
Literature study on "The Secret Garden"
More nature studies
Back into U.S. States studies

What are my general observations? WOW! We accomplished a lot this semester! Sometimes I know that I sit and wonder if we are getting anything done. But, obviously we are. I feel like we are pretty close to being where I want us to be. Somehow I need to figure out a way to help the other child feel engaged in what they are doing when I am going full force on a subject with one child. I am not sure we will ever get that figured out. Thankfully both of my kids have independent work that they can do every day, so we just juggle that around when I'm tied up. 

I know that a lot of teacher moms make some curriculum changes at the half-way mark. But, we made all of our changes early on and I am elated with what we are doing!

So far, so good! Here's to another awesome and productive semester!! We will start back at it on Wednesday.


  1. Wow! You are going great!! I'm going to this too! Thanks :)

  2. Nice job! It's great to visually see what progress they make! And just think - this doesn't count learning through field trips, walks, discussions, TV, etc!


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