Word Nerds! (and other stories)

Word Nerds!

The call went out for class proposals with my local homeschool co-op and I immediately responded with the class I’ve been planning and talking about for several months.

Word Nerds is partĀ spelling bee, part etymology, part writing and all words. I’m really looking forward to the class. We will:

  • Conduct weekly spelling tests (with the end goal of participating in our own spelling bee at the end of the following semester).
  • Dig into the origins of words. Where do they come from? What do all of those little partsĀ mean?
  • Have fun with Mad Libs
  • Confound Christine (find a word I don’t know, spell it and define it for everyone, and you can add it to my Word Nerd lab coat)
  • Create art with words
  • Creative writing using word prompts

This will be on Wednesdays at LEARN at the Brush Creek Community Center location.

Lesson Planning for Fall

It suddenly dawned on me that it was mid-July and I haven’t done ANY planning for Em’s homeschool curriculum. We homeschool year-round, but the rest of this month is taken up with day camps and then a week of simply reading and a little journaling before we resume a “full” class load on August 1st.

So far, it is looking like this:

  • Spelling – 5th grade list that I downloaded from K-12 Reader
  • Math – Life of Fred and Khan Academy coupled with Real World Math
  • History – I’m running with a cartoon theme for now. Em really enjoys graphic novels, so I found some that deal with non-fiction topics. The Cartoon History of the Modern World Part 1: From Columbus to the Constitution seemed a good place to start. There is also the Cartoon History of the United States that I may buy if the first book is a success.
  • Philosophy – following on that same “cartoon” theme, I have two books – Heretics and The Cartoon Introduction to Philosophy. We started in on Heretics towards the end of the school year, so we didn’t get far. I’ll resume with that and then use the other book to start some interesting conversations with the kiddo.
  • Reading and Writing – These continue to be challenging. In the age of computers and Minecraft, reading from a book or writing more than a few words at a time seem to be quite challenging and, according to Em, BORING. I expect her to give a new book a full 20 pages before setting it down and finding something else if she isn’t interested. And as for writing, well we have several options – Complete the Story, write in the Fairies journal, send a letter to a friend, or write in her journal.
  • Science will be handled by her attending LEARN Math and Science and also through Nature and Space documentaries as well as “How it’s Made” type videos.

There will be other things – such as more reading from What’s Happening to My Body for Girls, discussions about articles from Futurism, and possibly some field trips. Recently, Em went with a friend to the observatory in Atchison, Kansas and was able to see Uranus and her rings.

We remain eclectic in our curriculum planning and choices. Given the option, I am sure my munchkin would happily watch videos and play Minecraft all day. But that is not in the game plan.

Looking Ahead

When it comes to homeschooling high school, which is several years away, I’m hoping to wait until Em is 14, or nearly there, and then I will enroll her in a couple of college classes to augment her home studies. I won’t be worrying about that until Fall 2020.

My game plan is to start with 1-2 classes, then increase it to a max of 3 classes per semester. She could attend in the fall and spring semesters and then use the summers as an opportunity to work and make some money.

The nice thing about this is that by age 18, she may well have accumulated enough credits to graduate with an Associate’s.

I hope that I will be able to pay for her to go to a four-year college after that to get her Bachelor’s degree IF that is something she is interested in. The idea of paying for her schooling is a big step for me. I didn’t get that help from my parents, and I know how expensive it can be. But I have some ideas on how it could work. More on that another time.

Meanwhile, I leave you with this to ponder…

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