Thursday, March 27, 2014

Another Cool Thing About Homeschooling

It's crazy for me to believe, but we're actually in our fifth year of homeschooling.

Something that has struck me these past few months is how cool it is for us to have the continuity of working together year after year, building on what we've learned as we go along. The Core Knowledge curriculum that we use is cyclical (as are most curricula). In other words, the broad areas of study are repeated every three years. The objectives and content go deeper as the children get older. 

We are now at a point where we're re-visiting areas of study at a deeper, more detailed level. It has been fun to be able to pull out past projects and materials, remember what we've already covered, and dig deeper. We are able to compile work done over a long period of time. We keep folders of our unit study works that we can pull out and refer to and build on as we go. We also keep an ongoing "Book of Centuries" in which we record all of the people and historical events we learn about. We keep poetry notebooks and liturgical binders that are cumulative through the years. That is something that doesn't happen when students move to new teachers each year.

Over the past few months, we've studied astronomy and human body systems. We've enjoyed looking back and referring to previous work ---
We made these human body systems books two or three years ago! The boys love looking at their basic drawings.

Right now we're learning about the skeletal, muscular and nervous systems.

Ray is building a spinal column using a pipe cleaner (spinal cord), gummy life savers (vertebrae), and wagon wheel pasta (cartilage).

Look at this LITTLE toothless boy learning about the planets!
We had so much fun pulling out these astronomy folders that Mary made for us two or three years ago. We loved looking at our completed projects. We understood lots of things better now.... and we were able to go back and read/complete parts that were too hard last time.
Adam's Constellation Project

Ray still has this poster and is so proud of it.
We went back out and used our moon finders again.

This was our solar system "model" from way back when.
Right now we're finishing up a few more advanced models.
(I'll post those when they're finished.)
This year we moved beyond the solar system and learned about the Universe!
This is Adam's model of the Milky Way.

We also wrote min-reports about each planet.
We've now added those to our astronomy folders.
It will be fun to look back on them when we re-visit astronomy in a few years.
 I really like this aspect of homeschooling --- the continuity that comes with the same people working together through the years. It's so cool to see that the boys really are learning and improving so many skills as time goes by.  I can't wait to display all our work when they graduate!

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