Home School Life Journal

Home School Life Journal

August 5-11, 2016 The Hobbit and our Staycation Begins

August 5-11

Opening Night of The Hobbit
 Exploring Gardens
Betterton Day Fireworks

The Hobbit
Betterton Day

The Hobbit Closing Night
and Cast Party...
in which we had the pleasure of bringing food mentioned in An Unexpected Party.

Camp Bergenholtz 2016 Begins!
Tie-Dying T-shirts

Brandywine Battlefield

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

July 29- August 4, 2016, days 176-180 We Are Finished!

July 29- August 4, 2016
As most are going back to school, we are just finishing last year's school work, but that is okay because we can determine our own schedule. This week was full of lots of celebration and good times.
We finally got around to celebrating Alex's 22nd birthday with a trip to Rita's and some time down at the beach. Although the beach is only blocks from our house, we have been so busy, we really haven't had a chance to go down there much, so we stayed until the sun set.
Some of us went to our friend, Pat's annual Bastille Day party, which is nice and relaxing in the beautiful setting of her yard.
We had a couple of really bad thunderstorms and found out that Midas is a bit scared of them. Despite his fear of them, he and Quentin watched them from the chair that sits at a window.
Playmakers Drama Camp
Quentin is keeping very busy with acting camp and fencing and Katie is keeping busy with her summer college class. 
James and Quentin finished up the bits of schoolwork they had started and then we put the books away. Next week begins our two week staycation.

July 15-21, 2016, Our Homeschool Weekly Report, days 166-170

July 15-21, 2016

days 160-164
Our days are so busy and our weeks so filled that they buzz by at an incredible rate. It seems as if our weeks are only about three days! We have gotten into a new rhythm. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I take Katie to her college class and James comes along and we do our school work in the cafeteria while we wait. We are continuing our Shakespeare studies, his work on both of the papers he is writing.

This week Sam came along so he could apply to the college as well. He went for the admission testing and did quite well. He is hoping to start next month with Katie. Since he applied so late, however, he might not be able to attend until spring. We shall see. 

On Mondays and Wednesdays Steven takes Quentin to acting camp and picks him up. We all arrive home at about the same time.
The rest of the week, I take and pick up Quentin, and Sam drives me so he can get in some more driving practice. He is striving to get his provisional licence before the fall as well.
The highlight of the week for Quentin is his fencing lesson. This week he learned to parry and repost in the sixth postion. In a parry, the fencer is to prevent the opponent's attack, in this case by knocking the sword away and the repost is an attack back.
I have yet to parry Neuvieme    French names of Fencing parries:
How was your week?

July 8-14, 2016 Our Homeschool Weekly Report, days 161-165

July 8-14, 2016

It is almost eerie how the reflection of me taking a picture of the poster blends in with the poster's content.
 Quentin went to acting camp every day this week, and...
a Fencing lesson... 
including his first one minute match.

days 155-159
Shakespeare: Midsummer Night's Dream
" ...Lulled in these flowers with dances and delight..."
We looked at the scene in which Bottom, Quince, Starveling, Snug and Snout are practicing their play and Puck gets the idea of how to have Titania fall in love with a beast -by giving Bottom the head of a donkey!

The Reluctant Writer's Research Paper
James has been working on his research paper on wasp nests. This week we worked on finding internet sources. He was required to find websites sponsored by an organization or one in which the author cites his name, and hopefully, accreditation. No wikis allowed. He was required to write another outline for the websites, extracting information from them that he had not already gathered. He also needed to include the citations in the form of name of article, name of website, author's name or the name of the organization and link address.
James also worked on a essay comparing the Incans, Aztec and Mayans.

Aside from that, math goes on as usual, as it is Teaching Textbooks and so it is self-teaching and self-grading.

What have you been up to this week?

July 1-7, 2016: Our Homeschool Weekly Report: days 150-154 Independence Day Weekend

July 1-7, 2016

This week was incredibly busy and fun. We had lots of Independence Day Weekend celebrations, which included lots of good food (including cute red, white and blue firecracker jello cups),playing at the beach, watching fireworks and having fun with friends.

We had to take our car in for service and spent the day in Newark, Delaware, ending up at the Hibachi restaurant.

days 150-154

Quentin started fencing lessons.

Katie is doing well with her college class.

Shakespeare: Midsummer Night's Dream
"...There sleeps Titania sometime of the night..."
For our Shakespeare studies this week we looked at the part in which there are lover's quarrels. Oberon puts magic juice on Titania's eyes in order for her to fall in love with a beast. Puck  mistakenly puts the magic juice in Lysander's eyes and he falls in love with Helena.

The Reluctant Writer's Research Paper
Remember James' research paper on wasps? We are still working on it. He made an outline of the book of his choice, making one section of the outline for each chapter of the book that applied to his topic. The outline was written in phrases and was encouraged to write the phrases in his own words. This is to reduce the possibility of plagiarism, even accidental. He also wrote down the citation (name of book, author, date of publication, publisher and city of publication.) You would be surprised how many times the books were returned to the library without our writing down this information, so I get them in a habit of including that information on the outline.

Nothing else in particular to note on these quite yet, but I have a few posts coming.

How to Have a Homeschool High School Graduation of Your Dreams

Everyone has different ideas on what the ideal high school graduation would be like. The president of a local homeschool group wanted her daughter's graduation to be a several thousand dollar affair and that wasn't what we had in mind, so we decided to have our graduation in our own backyard. My boys, however, didn't have an idea of how to go about planning their ideal graduation, so I gave them this list of possible ideas to choose from. This list might also be helpful to you, if you are planning a homeschool high school graduation, to make your graduation one that is just perfect for you.

In the Beginning: A successful graduation requires a bit of prior planning, weeks in advance.

Place: You and your graduates will need to decide the venue of your graduation. Do you want to hold it in a church or community hall? Do you want to hold it outside at a local park on just in your backyard as we chose to do? How do you want to decorate the area? Do you want it to be elegant or casual? We had originally wanted it to be elegant, but it became casual as time went on. Sometimes plans do change, and that is okay, too.

People: Who do you want to be presenters and speakers for your graduation? Who do you want to invite? Do you want to send invitations or do you want to call your guests? You will have to consider your space in relation to the amount of guests. Our graduates chose to invite only family to their graduation, but you might choose to invite many people important to you. It is the graduation you want that is important.

Things: Do you want to have a cap and gown or go casual? What colors will you choose for your school? My boys wanted blue cap and gown but chose red, white and blue for their tassels. This made an easy color scheme for us, since our graduation fell between Memorial Day and Independence Day.

The Ceremony: The core of the traditional graduation has ceremony that includes certain parts.
Opening Remarks: This is just a welcoming greeting to announce the start of the graduation. This can be done by an organizer of the event or someone else who is meaningful to the graduate(s), such as a beloved uncle or neighbor.

Processional: This is when the graduates come out and walk through an aisle and reach a seat waiting for them, often on a stage area. This is traditionally led by an important person in the school and has Pomp and Circumstance playing in the background.

Since we decided to have our graduation in our backyard, we played Pomp and Circumstance on our portable CD player. The boys decided that they didn't want anyone leading the procession, although I did follow up in the rear only because I wasn't sure about how my autistic graduate would respond to the ceremony and I wanted to be available to help prevent any problems with the ceremony for the others.

Commencement Speeches: A speech by someone significant to the graduates or their school. This is often a encouraging and uplifting address. For a homeschool graduation, this speech is often given by the parents. In larger graduations, the top students often give speeches celebrating students' accomplishments and hopes for the future. In small homeschool ceremonies, all the students can give speeches of thankfulness and filled with their most special memories. Some homeschool graduations also include slideshows of pictures of the student throughout their schooling, complete with a graduation song of their choice. My boys, being shy in nature, decided not to have any speeches. Since we decided to have our graduation outside, we did not have a slideshow, but had a science display board of photos that was displayed in the party area after the graduation.

Presentation of Diplomas: A school official, often the person who led the processional, presents the diplomas to the graduates. They read the diploma, and then calls the name of each student and the student then steps up and receives their diploma. The presenter shakes the graduates hand and congratulates them. For our graduation, since we had two mothers and three sons, we would have the opposite mother's present the diplomas. In this way, the mothers each were able to see their sons' get their diplomas and it seemed more official for the students. Others might want to give their own child their diplomas since they have worked together  in order to obtain this diploma. We had our students stand up, the diploma, including the name was read to the student and then he was given his diploma. The graduates also decided to have their graduation songs softly playing in the background as they were presented their diplomas. (Sam picked, Faith of the Heart

Eddie picked Proud to be an American

and we played Wonderful World for Alex.)

Moving of the Tassel: Now that the students are officially graduates, they symbolize this with moving the tassel from the right to the left side. 

Benediction: This is a parting blessing that also symbolizes that the graduation is coming to a close. For our benediction, I decided to read a portion of the letter that was included in the diplomas sent to us by our umbrella group, Homelife Academy because I couldn't imagine anything more fitting.

"As you move into this new season of your life, we pray for God to make clear His direction for you. We believe every individual has a calling and purpose in God's Kingdom. If you are unsure of that direction right now, just keep praying...God will reveal it to you in His perfect timing. Remember God's purpose for your life is more about character than career (see Philippians 2:5). These two things summarize God's will for your life, that you:
Maintain a vital and growing relationship with Him, trusting Him in all things.
Let Christ live life through you, whatever career or role you find yourself. 
The rest will fall naturally into place." 

Recessional: Our new graduates now leave the graduation area just as they came in, diplomas in hand. You can play appropriate music during this as well.

The Celebration
The celebration of your students' graduation can be as formal or informal as you would like. It could be at a fancy restaurant or a casual affair at home.

We decided to have their favorite dinner, the opening of gifts and games outside afterwards.
It really doesn't matter what you choose to do as long as it celebrates this landmark occasion in the student's (and teachers') lives.

Red, White and Blue Punch (a lesson in Density)

Here is a fun way to make a patriotic punch and have a little lesson in density. You will need 3 different kid-friendly juices/drinks in red, white, and blue as long as the three colors of drinks are of different sugar content per serving. The larger the sugar content difference, the better your drink will layer. That’s because this involves a little kitchen science density. For your bottom layer you want something with close to 40 grams of sugar per serving, the middle layer should have around 20 grams of sugar per serving and the top layer should have as little as possible.

 The sugar content can be found on the package with the rest of the nutritional information. You can see that our white layer mixed just a bit with the other colors. This is because the sugar density did not differ enough in the layers. There are also a few more tips and tricks to get the layered effect.
First start by filling your container, whether it be a large dispenser like in the above photo or individual glasses with the drink of the highest sugar content per serving, in our case, red Gatorade Fruit punch, which has 56 grams of sugar.

Next fill the container totally with ice. Place a large metal spoon across the top of the container so that the spoon is up against the side of the container. Now, slowly pour the drink with the next highest sugar content over the spoon and down the side of the container to fill it up one third of the way with the second color, in our case a white drink, Gatorade Frost: Glacier Cherry, which has 21 grams of sugar per serving. Try not to let any of it pour directly over the ice in the center or it will mix with the next layer and the colors will combine. 
Slowly pour your drink with the next highest sugar content very slowly over the ice to make your second layer. The ice will act as sort of a buffer. 
Lastly slowly pour the drink that has the least sugar content on top to form your top layer. We used Powerade Zero Mixed Berry, which has less than one gram of sugar. It is a light blue, however, and that may have contributed to it not showing up as a distinct layer. 
If you would like to complete the lesson in density, you could try it again, using drinks that are a similar density and show how they mix instead of staying as layers. You could use Hawaiian Punch Fruit Juicy Red, which has a sugar content of 14 grams of sugar, instead of the Gatorade Fruit Punch and compare the results, as it has a density level much closer to the Gatorade Frost: Glacier Cherry, (21 grams of sugar per serving.) Have fun, drink up and learn science!