Posts Tagged ‘homeschool curriculum’

Homeschooling and Brain Surgery

February 14, 2017

An 18-year-old, non-homeschooled friend of my son’s was at our house during our Bible lesson with my 13-year-old daughter. He was sitting on the couch not far from the kitchen table where Nora and I sat coloring our Bible lesson. Yes, you read that right… coloring. It’s the BEST Bible curriculum out there, in my humble 16-year homeschooling experience.

“Picture This!” is a walk through the Bible system that has pages for each book with lightly shaded lines for you to draw and color the history from the Word of God. We read Bible verses, then we draw, then we color, and then we read more Bible verses talking about each as we go along.

This is not a sales pitch for the curriculum, but I love it so much I wouldn’t have a hard time selling it. (I am making no profit from this…. in case you thought I had figured out how to make profits off my favorite homeschool ditties. Um… no.)

Here is the page we were working on when our story began:

“This is the covenant I will make with them
    after that time,” says the Lord.
“I will put my laws in their hearts,
    and I will write them on their minds.” Hebrews 10:16

brain

Wanting to always be RIGHT, my daughter asked, “Mom, what color are brains?

An honest question. I replied, “I think they are sort of pink.”

Nora inquired, “How do you know? Have you seen a brain?”

Then, as most homeschooling lessons go, we veered off to a bunny trail on youtube and watched a video on brain surgery so my girl could see a real live brain. The surgeon was removing some dark colored blob and we could see the blood still pumping through different veins. She thought it was the most supremely awesome video in the history of the galaxy. How is this my child?

Setting my phone down, so I didn’t have to hold all seven minutes of brain surgery in my hand, I concentrated on non-gagging images in my head… like watercolor pictures of flowers and birdies. I get queasy with blood and guts and bones and such. I realize this is surprising to some who know our family’s history of frequent ER trips. But it’s true. I’m an injured-anatomy wimp.

When brain surgery ended, we found another video (like one wasn’t enough!) with a scientist holding a recently harvested brain before it had hardened up. I didn’t realize brains harden up, but they do. I am learning so much from homeschooling. Miss Scientist was naming the different lobes while holding and squeezing it in her gloved hands, and showing the characteristics of a fresh brain. It was so gross to me I had to keep my eyes averted most of the little show. However, my daughter’s dream of becoming a scientist was planted a little deeper in her blood-n-guts loving heart.

Back to the non-homeschooler on the couch… his interest was piqued and he sauntered into the kitchen and viewed the videos with us. His only comment, “I thought you guys were doing Bible?”

“We ARE doing Bible. This is homeschooling.” And back to coloring we went.

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HOW1 is Done!

May 19, 2009

The last Konos History of the World 1 class ended today (Ancient Civilizations through the founding of Rome, in case you’re wondering).  I’m happy and I’m sad.  I’m happy because it was nine grueling months of trying to stay ahead of three high schoolers.  Let’s just say, it was also my first time through Mesopotamia, Sumeria, the Promise Land and Greece.  I read more literature on the subject this year than the rest of my life all added up.  I’m so smart now… ask me anything about hoplites, mastabas, murex snails, and chitons.  Then again, as any good teacher would say, “Look it up.”  I never could figure that out… if you don’t know how to spell a word, how can you look it up????  Please!

I’m sad because I love this course and I’m not teaching the HOW2 class next year.  Our little Zaza will hopefully be here consuming large amounts of my time.  But I do love the Konos curriculum because it engages every style of learner, especially the hands-on type.  Our 10th grader will still be taking it, but not in a class setting, and we all know how consistency is improved with peer pressure!  Or student pressure as the case may be.

We will have our final gathering, Greek Night, on Saturday night and then after grading the final projects I’m officially done with school for three months… but like I said before, who’s counting??? (besides ME!)  This is always a joyous time for me as a homeschooling mom.  This wraps up our ninth year of teaching our kids at home… and I still L-O-V-E  it.  With the HOW1 course, this is the first year that I have felt somewhat successful when the year is over.  As homeschool moms, we know what we could’ve, should’ve, would’ve done better… after the fact.  But with teaching the HOW class with OTHER people’s kids, I really made sure we studied all the goodies.  Ahhhhhh.  I can already feel the load lightening.  Sweet relief.

And yes, I’ve started reading Quo Vadis already for next year.  You can never start reading that gigantic book too soon.

Oh, and please pray for Jessica Hulcy, the author of Konos.  She was in a car accident yesterday and has multiple injuries.  Thanks!

HOW 1 ~ and HOW I’m Doing

September 17, 2008

HOW1 stands for History of the World and the 1 is the first of 4, making this Ancient History.  It is a homeschool High School course by Konos that includes History (duh!), English and Art.  Even though I’m feeling quite inadequate to teach this… I am.  I’m actually quite enjoying it… so far so good.  I have four students, all freshman, including my lovely daughter.  We have only made it through the four week introduction at this point.  Paleolithic… Neolithic…. AND next week is our first people group….  ooooooh.

Part of the reason I teach kids is because of the thrill of having them learn by doing.  I’ve read studies that show children remember 10% of what they read after two weeks, 30% of what they see and hear, and 90% of what they say and do.  I didn’t believe it seven years ago, but now I most certainly do. 

My children have been taught at home with Konos curriculum unit studies for seven years, so they think nothing of me announcing, “Today we are taping our thumbs to our hands for the whole day,”  or  “Today the boys of the family will be blind and the girls will help them,” or “We will be spending four hours in the playhouse as if it were the Mayflower.  Remember to bring rations,” or “Find the measuring tape, we’re marking off a runway at the park,” or “Make a medieval costume for yourself.”  You get the idea.  Not much rote book learning goes on here.  They have created Olympic events with skateboards and jumpropes.  They have floated out on a lake and taken soundings with their homemade equipment.  They have climbed through a WW2 B-52 Bomber and toured a tower at Sky Harbor Airport.  They have replicated every bodily function and noise with straws, balloons and tissue paper.  (My boys LOVED the Systems of the Body unit.)

Back to HOW1, not all of these kids have done this type of learning.  So last week I had them paint terracotta pots in some ancient art design.  They were so careful and turned out the prettiest pots.  Two days later I smashed them to bits and buried them in my backyard… for archaeological excavation, of course.  When they figured out what I had done, the shocked looks on their faces today were priceless!  I sent them out with brushes, dustpans, small hand tools and rubber gloves to excavate the flower beds.  They whined a bit about the heat, and it was a mere 95 degrees today.  I explained that in the regions we were studying it was hotter than Phoenix and those digging projects were years long… not 20 minutes.  Not air conditioned.  No breeze.  Just you and the paintbrush, lots of dirt, old bones and pots.  It’s not a pretty job, but some history-loving-nut has to do it.  The kids did make it fun, as highschoolers are known to do.

 I found ONE!

 I found FOUR!

 Am I in the right spot?

 I’m diggin’ this!

I’m not sure which brought more joy to my heart, the initial looks on their faces when they discovered potsherds or the final looks of disbelief when I told them to take them home and glue them back together for next week’s class.  Muuhuhuhhhaahahahahaha!  Archeology ROCKS!