Planning, planning, planning

Lesson planning goes a lot slower with six little ones at home. But I have been working on Fritz’s lesson plans. I’ve finished sixteen – so just over three-quarters – of the Layers of Learning units for next year which takes him through to the middle of April and the 133rd day (of 162) and the 28th (of 34) week of school. So far I’ve got 673 pages of his worktext all ready to be printed (I think I’m going to have to bind it in more than one part!). It doesn’t take a horribly long time to do a unit once I get a chance to sit down and work on them. It’s finding that time to work on them that’s the problem.

Just over two months to go before our school year begins…

Plan for Next Year

While we have liked Power Homeschool and it has definitely helped while incorporating the toddlers into our family, there are some definite negatives to it so we have decided we will not be using it last year.

So I’ve been lesson planning. I’ve been working on Fritz’s plans first. He’s going to be in high school. How did that happen? I started this blog when I was pregnant with him and now he’s almost 14 and heading into 9th grade. Crazy.

The boys will both be using Layers of Learning as a base for history, geography, science, and the arts, but I am making it so I am not so needed and they can do it on their own. Fritz will be doing year 1, 14 units for two weeks each and 6 units for one week each. Adrian will be doing 34 units from year 1 and 2 for one week each.

They’ll be using Writer’s Workshop for grammar, usage, and mechanics and vocabulary/spelling. They’ll be using Cover Story for writing. They’ll both be working on handwriting. They’ll be using Progeny Press literature guides. I haven’t picked books for Adrian, but Fritz will be reading To Kill a Mockingbird, Fahrenheit 451, Romeo and Juliet, and Lord of the Flies as well as reading and analyzing a few Robert Frost poems.

They will be using Family Time Fitness for PE. For math, they’ll be using Art of Problem Solving. Adrian will be doing prealgebra and Fritz will be doing introduction to algebra. I have never seen Adrian get so excited over math as when I showed him the AOPS samples. He loves the idea of playing with numbers to make it all make sense. I gave them both several choices for math and they separately both picked the same one.

Fritz will be taking Spanish I from the Well-Trained Mind Academy. We agreed that truly learning a foreign language will work better with a live teacher. He’ll be taking that two mornings a week. He’ll also be doing on-line seminary, covering the second half of the Book of Mormon in the fall and the first half of the Doctrine and Covenants in the spring. He’ll have one evening a week in person at the church for that.

Fritz will also continue doing Code Ninjas. I’m not sure exactly how that will look by the time school starts. The dojo is currently shut down completely and he’s been working on Unity 3D/C# on his own a little bit at home and then taking some on-line classes from the senseis via Zoom. He takes digital logic once a week, Python twice a week, and HTML once a week. He is also on the esports team. He has practice two evenings a week and games on Saturdays. We’ll see how any of that changes in the fall, but for now he is loving it.

Our 2020-21 school year will be 34 weeks long. We’re going to start the day after Labor Day and finish the Friday before Memorial Day.

Science: Chemistry of Air and Water


This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Weeks eighteen and nineteen of school we did unit 11. Our science topic was the chemistry of air and water.

We watched a really old film on YouTube about air and water.

We watched an experiment on YouTube demonstrating that fire needs oxygen to burn.chemistry2

We heated a soda can with water in it and then crushed it in ice water. It was so cool we did it a second time with a different can.chemistry3

Crushing a Can With Ice Water

We watched a YouTube video of water being a solvent and then tested it out ourselves.chemistry4

We tested hard and soft water by blowing bubbles.chemistry5

Hard vs. Soft Water

We played with water droplets on wax paper.chemistry6

Playing With Water Droplets

We used capillary action to move water from one cup to another.chemistry7

Geography: Symbols & Landmarks


This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Weeks eighteen and nineteen of school we did unit 11. Our geography topic was Symbols & Landmarks.

We learned about the Pledge of Allegiance.symbols1

We learned about the National Mall.

We learned about the US Capitol building.symbols3

We watched a YouTube video of the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

We learned about the Great Seal of the United States.

History: World War II


This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Weeks eighteen and nineteen of school we did unit 11. Our history topic was World War II.

We did the timeline with a little “help” from the foster toddlers.

We attempted to save as many men as possible at Dunkirk.

We watched speeches by Winston Churchill and FDR.

We watched a Crash Course video on World War II.

We learned about the Bataan Death March.

We learned about rationing and made ration card booklets.

We learned about World War II medals.

We did mapwork.

We listened to some World War II music.

The Arts: Kinds of Art


This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Week seventeen of school we did unit 10. Our arts topic was kinds of art.

We did some mixed media art (Adrian’s qualifies because the N is colored pencil and the O is crayon).

We watched YouTube videos of different kinds of sculptures.

They designed candy bar wrappers.

They designed their dream vehicles (flying car for Adrian, teleporter for Fritz).

They did a bit of collaborative art.

Science: Mountains


This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Week seventeen of school we did unit 10. Our science topic was mountains.

We folded a piece of paper as many times as possible.

We used Play-Doh to demonstrate how rock layers can fold into mountains.

We learned about types of mountains.

We watched YouTube videos on mountain formation, Mt. Everest, and how we know the age of the earth.

We learned about delamination.

Geography: Heartland States


This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Week seventeen of school we did unit 10. Our geography topic was the heartland states.

We did mapwork.

We learned about the Great Lakes.

We learned about Chicago’s Great Fire.

We learned some facts about Indiana.

Jamie told the story of how he had to go on a business trip to Indiana four days before Adrian’s due date and I wouldn’t let him stay overnight just in case so he went for about an 18 hour day. It turned out Adrian wasn’t born until 12 days past his due date so Jamie could’ve spent two weeks in Indiana and still made it home before the kid was born.

Adrian identified all of the Great Lakes on a blank map from memory.

We added the flags of Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio to our passports.

The Arts: Abstract Art


This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Week sixteen of school we did unit 9. Our arts topic was abstract art.

We made some Kandinsky-style art using concentric circles.

We learned about Picasso.

We made some art in the style of Picasso’s Cubism.

We made art to music, drawing whatever we felt like the music was telling us to draw.

Abstract Music Art

We did scratch art.

And we made pieces of abstract art however we wanted to make it.