Our Family

Our Family

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Our Week in Review (July 17-23rd)

It was HOT in Arkansas this week!  We had a few days in a row hovering around 11o with the heat index, and do you know where we were? Camping.  We had had to postpone a camping trip twice in the last couple of months.  Once because there was just too much to do around the house and the other time was when Chelsea had the baby.  This time we were going!  With chickens and rabbits we could leave enough food and water to last a few days and be fine. Of course now we have goats too  and they have to be fed twice a day. Chelsea agreed to come over once a day to take care of them and Art and Alex were going to come home and feed them once a day.  We are minus one rabbit and have no idea how she got out.  The cage was closed and no holes dug around it.  The other rabbit in the cage is still there.

Earlier in the week we did not have too much going on.  Lots of swimming for the children and they did do a little bit of school work, mostly math.  We also spent a lot of time preparing for our camping trip.

 The camper needed a bath inside and out.

The goats need to be exercised every day.  We are trying to exercise them separately so they will get used to be apart and not be overly stressed when it gets to be fair time.  Oh my!  They cry and cry when they are apart.

I ran Chelsea to the doctor for her follow up appointment.  She is doing well.  The baby also had is appointment this week.  He is now 10 lbs 14 oz and is doing great!

After we got back from the doctor on Wednesday it was time to go.  We arrived at the lake around 5:00.  As soon as we backed the camper into the site, a tire on the camper blew.  The spare was the wrong size.  When Art and Alex fed goats on Saturday they had to go to three different places to find tires to put on the camper.  Also when I was turning off the shower Friday night, the cold knob broke.  We had to turn off the water and Art had to buy some caps on Saturday to plug the water to the shower so we could turn the water back on.  Never a dull moment!

We fished, swam, went on the boat, played lots of cards, and drank lots of water!  We watched a movie in the camper every day during the hottest part of the day. 

One of my favorite things about this lake is that even though there is a swimming area (and its a nice one with picnic tables, a little bit of a beach and a water slide), you don't have to go to the swimming area to swim.  The water is shallow enough that we can walk out of the camper and swim right outside the back door.  We also like it because every time we go we catch fish.  Even if they are just little fish.

Lily found some tadpoles that were in different stages of development.
Emmie decided she was going to make a leaf collection.  Then she also started collecting some different rocks she found.
Christian found a big toad.

Emmie caught that bass all by herself while on the boat.  It was 16 1/2 inches long.  Nick had caught a bass that was 13 1/4 but had to be thrown back because it was not legal to keep.  Christian caught a good size bass that was legal to keep so that fish and Emmie's fish are now in the freezer.

We are out of food so I have to go brave Walmart even though I'd rather just climb into bed! 

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Homeschool Crew Review: Doctor Aviation

Our latest review has been for Doctor Aviation, a website for instructing those who are interested in aviation.  Over the last several weeks we have been working on fascinating lessons in Aviation Education.

Doctor Aviation

Doctor Aviation is an online course recommended for high school and adult learners, but you can use it with younger children who are interested as well.  The course contains 15 lessons.  Each lesson has an online video that is streamed and lasts around an hour.  Each video has three sections: Technical Trivia talks about the technical side of flying and airplanes, Notable Innovators talks about people who made a difference in flying, and Legendary Events discusses important and memorable events in aviation.  To go along with each lesson there is a downloadable PDF of guided notes that you or your child can fill in while watching the video. There is also a downloadable PDF called To Learn More that lists books, videos, websites, and activities that you can do to further your study on the topic being discussed.  The course also includes tests.

The videos can be watched on a computer, tablet, or mobile device.  When you sign up and pay for the course you choose on online log in and password.  After completing a lesson, you mark it as complete and the next time you log in it starts you where you left off.  You do have the ability to go back and view the lessons more then once.  Doctor Aviation is $99 for a 6 month subscription. Lessons include:

Session 1 Course Overview: The Aviation System
I. The Aircraft
Session 2 The Major Components of an Airplane Session
3 Axes and Forces Session
4 Why an Aircraft Flies: The Secret of Airfoils and Lift Session
5 Why an Aircraft Turns, Pitches and Slides: The Flight Controls

II. Air Traffic Control
Session 6 How We See an Aircraft Miles Away: The Secrets of Radar
Session 7 The Air Traffic Cops: How Air Traffic Control Works

III. Maintenance
Session 8 Keep ‘Em Flying: Aircraft Maintenance – Propeller Engines
Session 9 Keep ‘Em Flying: Aircraft Maintenance – Jet Engines

IV. Airfield Operations
Session 10 The City in and of Itself: Running a Large Airport
Session 11 The Small Airport and Running an FBO

V. The Aircraft II
Session 12 Flying in the Clear and Not so Clear Air: VMC and IMC
Session 13 Important Pilot Instruments – Attitude Indicator
Session 14 Important Pilot Instruments – Airspeed Indicator
Session 15 Other Aviation Ships: Gliders, Helicopters, Airships

A few weeks ago we did a family read aloud on Orville and Wilbur Wright.  My boys were fascinated with the book and with flying in general.  They even spent their money on drones so they could have something to fly.  They are much younger then the suggested age range for this course but I thought they would enjoy it and that I would watch the videos with them.  We completed one video lesson per week.  We watched the entire lesson in one sitting, but because of the way the lesson is divided, it would be very easy to watch one segment three times a week.

The Doctor Aviation videos reminded me of being in college.  For most of the video, the instructor is standing beside a plane and lecturing all of the information.  There is an occasional graphic or chart, but mostly it was just him standing and talking.  We found the information presented in the course fascinating.  The boys were interested in the technical trivia.  We all loved the sections on Notable Innovators and Legendary Events.  We learned so much!  The first lesson was on the Wright Brothers and even though we had just studied them learned some things that we didn't already know.  Chuck Yeager was a name that we had not heard before and learned some very interesting things about his life. We loved the lesson on Amelia Earhart and her failed flight across the Atlantic.  That was interesting timing as we had just watched a documentary on her.  Daniel Bernoulli was a name we had heard in science but did not know much about before watching the lesson on Doctor Aviation.

Because I was using this with my boys who were under the age range, I did not have them use the guided notes or To Learn More resources but I did look them over for review purposes.  There are some wonderful resources and activities listed in the resources to further your study on all of the topics presented and filling in the guided notes is a great way to ensure active listening and prepare for the tests.

Can Doctor Aviation be used for high school credit? Absolutely.  Watching the videos, taking the exams, and adding a few activities can easily earn a half credit.  Adding in all or almost all of the activities could even earn a full credit.  Because this course discusses so much history, you could even earn part credit in history and or science/aviation. 

Doctor Aviation is a wonderful course for students/adults who are interested in flying and the history of flight.  To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

2017 Changes to Arkansas Homeschool Laws

*Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer.  This is what I know of the changes to homeschool laws in Arkansas this year.  If you need further information, The Education Alliance can provide some information.  The HSLDA is a resource for homeschool laws in all 50 states and can help with any legal questions you may have.

In 2017 there were several changes to homeschool laws that will benefit homeschoolers.

The biggest change was in the Notice of Intent and Homeschool Waiver.  Homeschoolers are no longer required to fill in information about their homeschool curriculum and schedule.  They also no longer have to fill out a waiver stating the state of Arkansas is not responsible for their child's education.  The new form is one page and only requires your name, address, date you are starting, and names , birthdates, and grades of your children along with where they attended school last year.  You do sign a statement saying you will be responsible for your child's education.  You must file your forms by August 15th.  They can be sent in the mail, dropped off in person, emailed, or filled out online on the Department of Education website.  I will tell you that they have not updated the online form and it will not be updated this year (there was no money in the budget to update the forms), so if you fill it out online you will still see the old form.  I personally do not like their online system anyway because after filling out your form you are sent an email telling you that your form will have to be approved and the approval email takes months to arrive.  There is no need for any kind of approval in the state of Arkansas. If you fill out your form online you are legal to homeschool.  I have read that you can put a N/A in the section that asks about curriculum.  You will still have to fill out the Waiver in the online form.  You can find a form to print or file online here.

I am not sure why it wasn't legal before, but it has now been made legal for homeschoolers to enroll in individual academic courses at public schools under Act 173.  Each district has their own regulations on this so if you are interested you will have to look into this at your district.  If you enroll in too many courses, you will no longer be considered a homeschooler.

In 2013, The Tim Tebow Law was passed in Arkansas allowing homeschoolers to participate in extra curricular activities in their resident school district.  This year, Act 592 was passed allowing homeschoolers to participate in these activities in any school in the state, not just their own district.  Now, there are some conditions to this.  You have to have permission from the superintendent in the district that you live in and the superintendent from the school you want to participate in.  If either one objects you cannot participate. If you are trying to participate in a AAA run activity, the student must wait 365 days upon approval before being able to compete, but can participate immediately in practices.  So if your 9th grade child wants to play football and you get approval this year, they can practice with the team this year but cannot play in any games until next year, unless they are entering 7th grade then they can play in games/competitions immediately.  The school district can require your child to take a class.  Many activities like track, football, cheerleading and band take place during the school day and counts as a class.  Any activity that takes place after school can require your child to be in school for one class period a day to participate in that activity. This is up to the school.  You also may have to provide standardized test scores to prove your child's academic eligibility. 

Act 453 makes it possible for homeschoolers to participate at a AAA member private school within 25 miles of their home if the school approves.

Act 863 was passed to require public schools to recognize coursework completed by students while they are being homeschooled.  It also prevents discrimination involving awards, honors, and scholarships.

Our Week in Review (July 10th -16th)

This week we did not have very many things we had to do. Alex was gone for three days for Adventure Challenge Camp, but the rest of us had 5 days this week that we didn't have anyplace special that we needed to be.  It was very nice!

Alex has been waiting for years to be old enough  to go to Adventure Challenge Camp in Little Rock.  It is a 3 day 4 h camp for ages 13-15 where they do exciting things like climb a rock wall and go through a ropes challenge course.  In their spare time they can swim, fish, canoe, play basketball, and other activities.  He had a great time and would like to go again next year.

While he was gone, I helped Christian with Alex's animal chores.  The goats were incredibly nosey when we were cleaning out their pen.

I talked about the coughing goat to a man who has raised goats for a long time and he suggested we treat them for lung worms.  We also had to give the goats their CDT vaccine.  So Saturday I had to help hold down two goats while Alex gave them their shots and oral medicine (add that to the list of things I never thought I'd do!)  One of the goats took it better then the other, but Alex did a really good job.

We also worked on finishing the chicken pen.  We moved the birds to their new pen, and just need to get the coop finished up.

Christian, Lily, Emmie and I did some painting this week.

We also watched a lesson from Dr. Aviation, did some math, and learned the words for man and brother in Greek.  We listened to the first part of a new audiobook from Heirloom Audio called In the Reign of Terror.

Chelsea and Liam came and visited on Thursday and went shopping with us on Friday.  He is growing so fast!

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Review: Destination Romance 5 Inspirational Love Stories Spanning the Globe

In Bare Feet and Warm Sand by Kim Vogel Sawyer, Tamiera is a marine biologist on Grand Cayman Island  who has a special love for sea turtles and works very hard to protect them from humans.  When Joe wanders into her workplace, she is intrigued by him.  She has never met anyone like him before. What she doesn't realize is that Joe is there on business to build a new resort near the turtles nesting grounds.  Will she be able to convince him to put the sea turtles needs over making money?

Sufficient Grace by Constance Shilling Stevens is a historical fiction.  In this novella, the town of Pine Ridge is all abuzz over a new mill that is supposed to be being built.  The mill will bring much needed jobs to the area.  Donovan McNeary is helping his boss Asa Bennington with all of the work regarding the new mill.  But when the survey stakes disappear, he discovers that the area is an old Cherokee burial grounds that holds sweet memories for Nora Courtland and her grandfather.  Will Donovan follow his bosses orders or his heart?

Better Together Then Apart by Rose Allen McCauley is a contemporary romance that starts out on a K Love Cruise.  Natalie re-connects with Ken, a man she had met 6 years prior and hoped for a relationship with but it didn't work out. They are attracted to each other but both have opposite goals.  Will they listen to God's leading in their lives?

A Shelter in a Weary Land by Julane Hiebert is a historical fiction that takes place during the Civil War.  Charlotte is taken to a cave in the Missouri hillside by her husband to keep her and her unborn baby safe from the soldiers in the area.  But soon a wounded soldier also seeks refuge in her cave.

Cotton Candy Sky by Kristian Libel is a contemporary romance that takes place in Jamaica.  Danica is on vacation trying to escape from her predictable life.  When she falls for a travel photographer he introduces her to more adventure then she ever imagined, but how can their long distance relationship work?

Destination Romance is a great mix of historical and contemporary Christian romance. It is approximately 295 pages long and can be purchased as an ebook or paperback.  The only author that I was previously familiar with was Kim Vogel Sawyer ( I adore every book she has written!) but I would definitely look for books by the other authors in the future. Kim's daughter wrote one of the stories in this book and I definitely saw some similarities in their writing styles.  Each of these short novellas are full of inspiration and romance and focus on trusting God's path for your life no matter your circumstances.  I think each of the authors did a wonderful job developing their characters in these short stories.  Many times when I am reading a novella I feel like they end too quickly without giving enough of the story.  I did not feel that way with these stories.  I loved the blend of contemporary and historical and that each story took on a completely different topic.  Destination Romance makes a great summer read!

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.  I received no other compensation and all opinions are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance to the FTC regulations.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Summer Art Project: The Caribbean Lighthouse

We only have a few more weeks of our Creating a Masterpiece subscription and I wanted to get at least 1 or 2 more projects completed.  So this week Lily, Christian, and I painted the Caribbean Lighthouse.

It took 3 days (and a lot of paint!) for the 3 of us to complete this painting.  This was the first time we have painted on canvas.

At the end of day 1 our paintings looked like this.

This was our second day.

Emmie didn't want to do a lighthouse so she did her own painting.

And here was our finished product.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Homeschool Crew Review: Fascinating Biology

Fascinating Education

Fascinating Education is an online science curriculum that uses a step by step audio visual technique to teach science.  Instead of using text as the main part of the lesson, Dr. Margulies uses colorful illustrations that flash across the screen as a narrator explains them.  This approach targets the right hemisphere of the brain that will process the images more effectively then simply reading from a text.  We have had an opportunity to review Fascinating Biology over the last several weeks.

Fascinating  Physics

Fascinating Biology was designed to cover what you would find in a high school biology course, but it has been used successfully with middle school students as well.  It is recommended that the student takes chemistry before taking biology.  If the student has not taken chemistry first, they offer a subset of the Fascinating Chemistry course that can be used to ready the student for biology for an add on fee of $20.  A one year subscription to Fascinating Biology is $79.

There are 18 lessons in Fascinating Biology:

What is Life?
Chemistry Review
The Cell Membrane
Take in Nutrients
Take in Energy-Part 1
Take in Energy -Part 2
Take in Energy -Part 3
Taken in Energy-Part 4
Reproduce-Part 1
Reproduce-Part 2
Reproduce-Part 3
Homeostasis-Part 1
Homeostasis-Part 2
Adapt- Part 1
Adapt- Part 2
Prokaryotes, Protists, Animals, Fungi

Each lesson has a series of visual slides with an audio explanation.  The video for each lesson varies in length but are less then 45 minutes long.  You can stop in the middle of the lesson and when you click on the lesson the next time you log in, it will give you an option to continue where you left off.  You do have to remember what lesson you are on, the program does not keep track of that. At the end of each lesson there is a review of what was covered in that lesson.  There is an option to print out the text for each lesson if your child wants to read along or review the text when the lesson is over.  There are also multiple choice tests for each lesson.

We have been completing 1-2 lessons of Fascinating Biology per week. When you log into the course, the lessons are listed in a table format.

Choose the lesson you are on and click on lesson.

That takes you straight to the video slides.  The program moves through the slides automatically.  You are able to pause and stop if you need to.

 If you would like to read along with the lesson, click on script and you can print out a PDF of the lesson.

At the end of each lesson there is a review covering what was taught in the lesson.

At the end of each quiz, it tells you how many points you earned and what a passing score is.  You also have options to review the quiz, print the results, and retry the quiz.  When you review the quiz it shows what your answer was and the correct response. Grades are not stored in the program and you can retake the quiz as many times as you need to.

I love the visual aspect of Fascinating Biology.  The slides are colorful and clearly demonstrate what is being explained in the video.  The information is split up into digestible chunks making it easy to understand.  For some students, it may be easier to split the lesson up into two or more days, and this is very easy to do with Fascinating Biology.  I love the ability to print out the text for review, or to read along with the lesson.  I love the What You Know So Far review at the end of each lesson.

The course website states that after finishing Fascinating Biology the student should earn a high school credit based on the information the course covers.  But, there are no labs in this course and only 18 lessons at a little less then an hour each.  For those who have to track hours for counting credits you may have to add in some outside resources to have enough hours to count as a credit.  Although the course can be used completely independently by the student, parents will have to keep track of the grades as the program does not store those for you. Also, in the FAQ, there is a question of whether creation vs evolution is taught in Fascinating Education courses. The response is ,"Religious views and scientific views differ, and Dr. Margulies does not see his role with these curricula to argue in favor of one or the other. His role is to describe the forces in the universe and how they play out in our everyday lives without addressing how those forces came into being or whether forces are being manipulated by God in some way." Fascinating Biology does come from an old earth perspective and has several mentions of millions of years.

Members of the Crew reviewed Fascinating Biology, Fascinating Physics, and Fascinating Chemistry.  To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!