Our 2018-2019 Family Time Plans

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m going to do a “family time” where we combine everyone for a variety of subjects. I wanted to write out what tools we will be using for FT and a basic schedule outline.

First, the subjects and resources:

  • German – Deutsch Mit Felix Und Franzi, found free at the Goethe Institut.  My father-in-law also has a massive German library, including a plethora of easy readers and kid-books, movies, tapes, and more. Both he and my German mother were excited that the kids are going to learn German and thought the lesson plans were quite good.
  • PE – I don’t really feel the need to have an actual PE “curriculum” as the kids are already outside running around, riding bikes, climbing things, going to the park, etc.
  • Artist study – AmblesideOnline has a very phenomenal artist study rotation, with artists and pieces already selected. I wanted to weave in as much Montana history as possible; so we will be studying Montana artists this year. I’ll list them when I post about Montana history resources. 🙂
  • Composer study – same as Artist Study
  • Real Science 4 Kids: Geology – I wanted to add some more science onto AmblesideOnline, specifically experiments and a deeper focus on some topics. Due to my involvement with the local mineral club; the older kids have been on geology field trips and therefore have wanted to learn about geology in-depth. I found that RS4K has the most of what we’re looking for – focus on a specific topic, experiments, and isn’t overwhelmingly expensive. There are five ‘focus on’ subjects of RS4K, I plan on doing one per term until we’ve done all five.
  • Nature Study – honestly, this is my weakest thing to do because sometimes it feels like I have 500 kids versus 5, and I am at a loss of where to go that is interesting but also safe for littles. A friend of mine who does nature study with me suggested we focus on learning about local flora and fauna, which is fine with me.
  • Typing and Programming – We have used typing.com in the past for typing with Peanut and have been successful, so we will use that site again. I may put Moose on it but his frustration tolerance is rather low so we may just focus more on programming. Speaking of Programming, we plan on using Scratch Jr to play with, as well as other resources like the Hour of Code and some great coding games I found at Target to supplement. We don’t want the kids to program for the sake of programming but want them to learn how think like a programmer. If you know how programming works in general, then learning programming languages should be considerably easier.
  • Shakespeare – nothing fancy here – read from Tales from Shakespeare, then watch the play. I’m skipping the “read the actual play” because it’s just too confusing for the kids since I’m the only one who can read the plays. I could have Peanut read with me but I still think it will be too confusing.
  • Montana History – post coming soon!
  • Folk songs – We plan on using AO’s folk songs that are already selected as well as some Montana-centric songs. And a couple of cowboy songs for good measure.
  • Hymns – We will be using Erin McFarland’s Sacred Music Studies (starting with Year 1).
  • Read-aloud – I selected a book from the free-reads list from AO for each year I’m teaching to read-aloud. I selected Pinocchio, Men of Iron, and Anne of Green Gables. We should be able to read one book a term.

The plan for getting all of this accomplished is as follows:

  • German is done 4-5 days a week, including review days
  • Real Science 4 Kids is done five days a week
  • We will loop read through our Montana History books – the spine on Thursday, and biographies and other books on Monday and Tuesday
  • Artist study done on Wednesdays
  • Composer study throughout the week
  • Nature study TBD but probably on Thursday, this worked well for my friend and I; hopefully we can get some other homeschooling families involved as well
  • Shakespeare on Friday
  • Folk songs and hymns each day
  • Read-aloud daily
  • Typing and programming at least 3 days a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday)

And there you have it! Subjects that often were neglected in years past or just wishful thinking can now be done without me having to replicate it three times.

Our 2018-2019 Homeschool Plans

We are less than three weeks away from our first day of school! I finished planning the first six weeks of the term so it’s time for me to post what books we will be using this year.

This year, I will have three kids in school: Wok in Year 1, Moose in Year 3, and Peanut in Year 5. Little Miss Sunshine and Nugget will be along for the ride.

Peanut is essentially independent as she should be able to read almost all of her schoolbooks, although I expect she will need me to read a couple like Age of Fable. Moose is getting there, but will most likely have me read his schoolbooks; and Wok will need my help 100% of the time.

I’m doing a “family subjects” time, that combine some subjects and add others that I want to do:

  • German
  • PE
  • Artist study
  • Composer study
  • Real Science 4 Kids: Geology
  • Nature Study
  • Typing and Programming
  • Shakespeare
  • Montana History
  • Folk songs
  • Hymns
  • Read-aloud

As we are studying Montana History this year, all of our artists and composers are Montanans as opposed to using Ambleside Online’s artist and composer selections. Folk songs we are going to learn some Montana themed songs such as the state song; as well as using some of AO’s folk song selections. Our hymn selections will come from the Traditional Catholic Living’s Sacred Music Study selections.

For the kids, we are following Ambleside Online’s curriculum somewhat closely. I did substitute some books and add in others. I’m linking each AO Year we’re using below so you can see the entire year that AO has designed.

AO Year 1 | AO Year 3 | AO Year 5

Here is my list of substitutions and additions. My list is based on the kids’ abilities, our family dynamics, our faith, the books I already had on hand, and if I could find the book for an appropriate price (unless they’re public domain books).

Wok – AO Year 1
Remove Trial and Triumph, replace with Saint stories
Remove Parables from Nature
Add in Catechism – Our Holy Faith Book 1: My Father and Mother on Earth and In Heaven

Moose – AO Year 3
Remove Trial and Triumph
Remove Parables from Nature
Remove Pilgrim’s Progress
Add history supports – The Old World and AmericaA History of England for Catholic ChildrenOur Lady’s DowryChrist the King Lord of HistoryLight to the Nations, Our American Catholic Heritage (note: most of these books I am simply reading sections out of in order to give a rounded view of the Protestant reformation as well as Columbus.)
Add Saint biography – St. Edmund Campion
Add additional reading – Crossbows and Crucifixes
Add Catechism – Our Holy Faith Book 3: God’s Truths Help Us Live

Peanut – AO Year 5
Remove Trial and Triumph
Remove Madam How and Lady Why
Substitute Bold Journey by Charles Bohner for Of Courage Undaunted
Substitute Blood and Guts by Linda Allison for Christian Liberty Nature Reader
Add Catechism – Our Holy Faith Book 4: The Vine and the Branches
Add Saint biographies – one about Fr. DeSmet and one about Fr. Palladino, two priests who were instrumental in both Montana and Catholic history
Add Native American biographies
Add a three-term course on health – The Care and Keeping Of YouThe Care and Keeping of Your EmotionsThe Care and Keeping of Your Mind and Spirit
Add history supports – Our American Catholic Heritage, others as needed

Finally, all three kids will be using a combination of Math Mammoth as well as Simply Charlotte Mason’s living math. Wok will use Handwriting Without Tears for her handwriting refinement (she already can write quite well). Wok and Moose will use MCP’s Plaid Phonics Program – Moose will continue with Book C and Wok will begin with Book A. Wok will be the third child to use BOB books to gain fluency and hopefully she will be into easy readers by the end of the year!

I think that covers all of what we are using! I will post what we’re using for Montana History as well as go deeper with our “family subjects” in later posts.

June Reads

I read these books this month, pushing my total number of books read for the year to 38. I went to the eye doctor yesterday and received a new prescription; so I’m not sure how much reading I’ll get done while I wait for my new glasses to be made.

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius – This is one of Greg’s favorite books and he cautioned me about falling down the philosophical rabbit hole when he saw me reading it. We have been discussing how a lot of what Aurelius wrote about is echoed in Christianity. I believe St. Augustine expanded on Aurelius but I’m not too sure about that.

Surely You’re Joking, Mr Feynman by Richard Feynman – Back in my undergrad years, I spent more time with the physics and computer science folks than the folks in my major so of course I heard a lot about Richard Feynman. This was on my “to-read” list in those days but never was able to get it read. I’m glad I read though – it’s a great read, funny at times; but also somber (especially the parts about the Manhattan Project). I may put this book into our highschool years.

Your Two Year old and Your Six Year old – these child development books are somewhat old but informative. I really like them because they’re short (about 120 pages usually) but really do a good job about conveying what typically developing children go through. I like the giant caveat in each book that every child is different and not to stress too much if your child isn’t EXACTLY BY THE BOOK. I like these books to give me a reality check and make sure I don’t have wildly inappropriate expectations for my kids.

The Shallows by Nicholas Carr – another slightly outdated book, but the overall message is solid. What IS the internet doing to our brains? I know when my kids have overdone it on screentime they are just absolutely bonkers afterwards. Even I have a hard time switching from screens to books from time to time. I’ve always liked this book because it’s not a fatalistic almarist “we’re all going to die!!” type book, but one that definitely makes you stop and reevaluate a few things.

It Happened in Montana by James Crutchfield – a preread Montana history book. Short, sweet, and full of fantastic stories about Montana and important events for the state.

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance – I find Elon Musk extremely fascinating, and so I had to add him to the list of people to read about. I liked this biography because it was more like sitting down with the author over a beer to discuss Elon Musk vs some scholarly tome about him. The author actually had multiple dinners with Elon while writing the book, so hooray for first-person sources.

I read this book in one sitting, so I clearly found it engaging and informative. I knew next to nothing about Elon Musk, except for very little bits that come through the media.

The most thought-provoking part of the book (for me) is at the very end, where Vance talks about how everything Elon does is for one goal. Is Elon’s overall goal to get to Mars or to make a “fantastic future”? I’m not sure, but Tesla (the car company), SpaceX, Boring Company, and whatever else he’s up to all seem to feed into each other and work to support his overall goal/vision/dream. There really isn’t any waste in terms of “let me devote my time and money to something that won’t further my goals and desires of going to Mars/better humanity/etc”.

I need something like that in my life because as of now, I feel very fragmented, like my overall dream/vision/goal is still something that can’t be put into reality. I want to raise children who are critically-thinking adults, content with doing things perhaps not how society does it; who are good and virtuous. But what does that look like? I would like to say “I’m doing X,Y, and Z to get to my goal above” but who knows what that looks like because I’m dealing with people here (something that ultimately can’t be controlled), AND there’s a danger in defining a goal so focused on my kids. Something for me to (over)think.

Also, you should know there’s a lot of profanity in this book. I’m not bothered by profanity (thanks, oilfield work) but I know some people are. So just a heads up for y’all.

Tesla: Inventor of the Modern by Richard Munson – this is absolutely a “book of the year!” read for me. I just loved this book about Tesla. It is objective, factual, has lots of quotes from Tesla throughout it, includes Munson’s thoughts about Tesla in a curious but still objective fashion. I can’t stand it when biographies paint a specific picture about a person in either extreme. Everyone has their flaws and a good biography (I feel) will include them. Munson did a wonderful job talking about Tesla’s mystical experiences without turning him into some sort of extra-terrestrial. This will definitely be included in our curriculum for high school.

If you’re new to Tesla, start with his autobiography or this biography. Absolutely a wonderfully written book.

Every link except for the one to Meditations is an Amazon affiliate link, purchasing through them gives me a small commission which I turn around and buy more books with. Thank you!

Catching Up

It’s certainly been a busy summer lately. Once we wrapped up our school year, we have been decompressing as much as we can and just relaxing. I was thinking about doing some nature walks over the summer with the local Charlotte Mason group, but I’m starting to think maybe not (mostly due to the inclement weather that’s been going on).

As we are going to start our next school year towards the end of August, I’ve been ramping up book purchasing for the kids. I have all but one or two left to buy for Wok’s Year 1, nothing for Moose’s Year 3, and still a lot or Peanut’s Year 5.

Some books for Year 5, Year 3, Montana history, and geology.

I’m also adding a “family time” component where the four oldest kids will be participating in, will probably happen during Nugget’s naptime; and will consist of Art Study, Composer Study, Hymn, Folk Song, Swedish Drill, German, Programming/Typing, and in-depth science topic. Peanut selected term 1’s in-depth science topic: geology. I’m also doing our own artists and composers for study – Peanut is doing Montana history this year so the artists and composers will all be Montanans. I’m putting together a page here that has a list and links to all my Montana history resources.

More books for the upcoming school year. I helped with a garnet dig for kids at a local festival, and the festival organizers put the dig right in front of the used bookstore. 😀

I’ve been getting out into the field more with the local rock club. It’s a lot of fun, great specimens are found, and we even ran into a juvenile moose! We were nervous it was a mama with babies, but since it wasn’t; we were just ignored. I also have made a couple new friends who are more into rocks and minerals than I am; so we (naturally) have a grand old time together.

The cubes are barite.

Sometimes the kids come out into the field with me, and they get to make their own discoveries! It’s also why Peanut chose geology for the first in-depth science topic.

Blue calcite, epidote, and I think there’s some garnet in there as well. Collected by Moose, age 8.

Finally, when we have had good weather and break in my husband’s on-call schedule; we’ve been CAMPING. The kids have all enjoyed it and even the dog loves all the new smells and sights he gets to take in. So far we’ve gone up into the mountains and camped by a river. It’s nice to get away from everything and not have to do much other than hike and camp and watch wildlife.

I also had a friend come over with her daughter for Peanut to play with, where we just discussed paper planners and personality theory. 😛

I need to finish getting the rest of the books for the upcoming year, then plan out the 36 week plan, and start making sure we have all of our extra resources (science experiment items, nature study stuff, do we need to refill any art supplies, etc). I’d also like to get some more camping in if the sun returns and rivers cease flooding, and keep on reading great books!

A Brief Look at Biographies of Tesla

A friend of mine on Instagram was inquiring about the various Tesla biographies I’ve read and which one would be a good one to start out with, if one wants to learn more about Nikola Tesla.

As I can be overly lengthy when talking about things I like (and really, anything relating to books will surely trigger such a reaction), I figured it would be easier to make a blog post than constantly run up against IG’s comment length limit.

The first book about Tesla I read was Margaret Cheney’s Tesla: Man out of Time. This is also a book that I did not finish (with 30 pages left) because I couldn’t handle the sudden turn of making Tesla seem to be this beyond human entity. There’s a lot of talk about ESP and Tesla and for me, that was a total turn off. It’s well-known that he had visions – flashes of light where he would see things -but to go from there to full blown ESP is a little much.

Still, there was a lot of good things in this biography, especially the whole “Edison vs Tesla” issue. It’s where I first read that Edison had neighborhood pets stolen so he could electrocute them in a scare campaign against Tesla (which shocked me so much because that was news to me and I always thought Edison is as this noble inventor…). She also did a really good job highlighting Tesla’s eccentricities (which honestly sounds like OCD but could just be how he was wired  and not actually a mental disorder).

[I promise that the amount of puns I’ve written in the above paragraph are completely unintentional.]

After I read Cheney’s biography, I went to the source himself and found a cheap copy of his autobiography on Amazon for $3. It’s a short, 92 pages and is titled “My Inventions” and is mostly about – surprise – his inventions. But he does talk a little bit about his family life. I always like to go back to the primary source whenever possible, especially when it comes to biographies.

I’m halfway through Richard Munson’s Tesla: Inventor of the Modern and am enjoying it greatly. There’s a lot of overlap between this book and the two other books – but this book does get more into his family life (including grandparents), includes little mini-bios of people like Edison and Westinghouse, and has quotes by Tesla sprinkled throughout. There’s also footnotes and a couple of appendices. The actual biography is about 260 pages, then the rest of the book are appendices and footnotes. And there are some pictures in the middle, which are always fun to look at.

Although I’m not finished with this book (and therefore can’t tell if Munson also veers towards the supernatural in a big way), I really enjoy it. Plus, Munson cites a biography of Tesla written by John O’Neill, which is something I’ll have to track down – Tesla actually talked to O’Neill while he was writing the biography.

If I had to rank the biographies in terms of their awesomeness/readability/objectiveness, the list would look like this:

  1. My Inventions by Nikola Tesla – short, cheap and is ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’, so to speak. I don’t have to worry if someone is trying to make Tesla someone he’s not.
  2. Tesla: Inventor of the Modern by Richard Munson – lengthier than Tesla’s autobiography but (as of halfway through the book) the approach to Tesla appears to be very balanced and objective. Yes, Tesla had eccentricities and visions but he was still human.
  3. Tesla: Man Out of Time by Margaret Cheney – mostly good, but the direction of making Tesla seem like this supernatural being was just too much for me. And I’m Catholic, so I’m quite comfortable with mysticism and the supernatural.

For everyone’s convenience, here are some COMPLETELY AFFILIATED Amazon links for the books that will give me a little commission that I use to buy more books, should you choose to use them. 🙂

And as I track down more biographies about Tesla (especially that O’Neill one!) I’ll be sure to update this list!

Ambleside Online End of Year Wrap-Up

WE MADE IT!! 😀 😀 😀

We finished up school today, and everyone is excited and ready for a summer break. We met all of our required school hours, we learned a plethora of new and interesting things; and I have seen a lot of growth in Peanut and Moose over the last school year.

– semi-regular blogging the school year helped me to stay focused and helped to troubleshoot areas
– staying as close as we could to the Ambleside Online curriculum, and using great blogs and sites like Celeste’s Joyous Lessons and the Mater Amabilis website to make substitutions when needed
– Moose’s narrations blossomed beautifully, and he really started making connections all over the place at the end of the school year.
– Peanut is at a point where she can transition into written narrations next year, I’m really glad I gave her the extra term to finesse her oral narrating skills before moving into written narrations
– the amazingly supportive CM community on Instagram as well as the baby CM community that’s forming locally
– planning out all 36 weeks ahead of time, even if we didn’t stick to the schedule for the last six weeks of school. Just seeing it all laid out was enough to give me the “yes, we can get everything done and not lose our minds” feeling.
Phonetic Zoo is still a wonderful tool for Peanut — we are about halfway done with Level A and her spelling is right where it should be for her age and grade. I look forward to using it with Moose. Some of the best money I’ve spent on curriculum, to be honest.
– Moose’s copywork went from three-letter words to actual phrases, so next year he’ll be moving on to sentences. Handwriting has been so hard for him and I am exceedingly proud that he has done so well with it this year.
– Dropping Latin. We’ll try it again this fall but man did we ever feel good when we both realized that this wasn’t working and just dropped it.

– I need to be more organized for things like nature study and nature walks
– Our attention was destroyed after The Longest Winter Ever and I should have taken some time to recapture that vs letting us dig deeper ruts (guess what we’ll be working on this summer?)
– My three year old and toddler definitely will need busyboxes or something this fall, when I have three kids in school. Especially since my toddler moonlights as a tornado.
– Pre-reading. I need to make a system for it and stick with it.
– Notebooking. Also need to make a system and stick with it. I have been keeping notebooks this year so I can help the kids keep theirs. Right now I have my nature notebook, a commonplace book of quotes, and my learning notebook of notes from books and other sources.

That  being said, this year was very successful and I’m so proud of how hard everyone worked, even when books were boring or hard to comprehend they stuck at it. I think everyone is getting used to the school routine, there wasn’t much drama about “but I don’t want to do schooooooooool”, and the free time after lessons were done was a great natural reward for efficient time usage.

We are expected to start up the next school year towards the end of August. During the summer I will be getting ahead on prereading, especially as Peanut will have Montana History as a subject (which coincides nicely with the period of history she’ll be studying). I’m making a page of CMish Montana history, art, and music study resources, so watch for that throughout the summer.

I’ll also be sharing pictures from my notebooks, adventures in geology, what I’ve been reading, and how I’m planning out the next school year – books we’ll use, resources, etc.

I hope everyone has a great rest of the school year or a great start to the summer vacation! 😀

AO Year 4, Term 3, Weeks 5-6 | AO Year 2, Term 3, Weeks 7-8

I decided I would switch over to an “every two weeks” update as we close in on the end of the year. Honestly, things aren’t changing that dramatically anymore and a lot of the books are coming to a good stopping point (to be resumed next year) or wrapping up in general.

I’m really quite pleased that the Burgess Animal Book is moving into some of Moose’s favorite animals – deer, elk, bison and other animals that tend to live around where we are at. I know he desperately wants to just stop for the year, but the Burgess Animal Book has provided enough hook to keep him moving towards the end without hassle or drama.

Peanut is excited for fifth grade and also has pretty much had it with fourth grade. She doesn’t find the books she’s reading overly interesting (I think she’d rather read the Burgess book above), and is just ready to move on to a new time period. That will come with the next school year, so she just needs to hang in there for the rest of this year.

It’s really wonderful seeing all the connections rapidly appearing now. We went on a nature walk to a local lake yesterday because the weather was that nice, and Moose was constantly connecting the animals we saw to the animals in the Burgess Animal Book. We talked about observing the wildlife without disturbing them, and talking with the fishermen that we saw around the lake. It’s just a great way of life, now that we’re (hopefully) done with the perpetual winter.

I am looking forward to summer break, and have been working on the next school year’s schedule and plans.

I’ll be making some tweaks:

  • all three kids will start at the same time as opposed to the staggering approach I did this year. While it was really good for me at the beginning of the year; now that we’re at the end I’d rather everyone finish together. I suppose it’s easier in the long run to front-load the amount of chaos vs dragging something out (for me it feels like we’ve been doing this school year for yearrrrrrrrrs now).
  • adding and dropping some things to and from AmblesideOnline. I want to focus more on science this next year, as well as typing classes for Peanut and coding for all three kids.  Peanut also needs to do our state’s history, so I’m working on finding books, artists, and music for that.
  • habit training or bust during the summer vacation
  • working more with each kids’ strengths and weaknesses and making sure we aren’t neglecting anything in terms of character and development

And there are some things that will stay the same:

  • the six-weeks on/one-week off model works really well for us; it provides enough regular breaks that there isn’t too much burnout, and it’s a good to know that the next break is just around the bend. I’ve sat down with a calendar and massaged the schedule enough so that we have breaks when we need them (like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Holy Week, Easter, New Year’s etc). This means we aren’t exactly following 6 on/1 off but close enough.
  • sticking with AmblesideOnline whenever possible. I don’t know how much modifying I’ll be doing but the brunt of what we’ll be doing will definitely be AO.
  • continuing documenting what we’re doing and general life here and over on Instagram.

AO Year 4, Term 3, Week 3-4 | AO Year 2, Term 3, Week 6

Holy Week really threw me off on recording how our weeks have progressed. We are nearing the end of our school year, which is exciting for everyone. Moose has six weeks left and Peanut eight; so we’re beginning to do the final push for Moose and start thinking towards his last batch of exams. Peanut still has a break week left and then her final six, so I don’t have to think of her exams quite yet.

Right now we are on schedule to finish all thirty-six weeks of each kid’s Ambleside years and satisfy the state’s hours requirements. It’s a nice feeling to be able to start wrapping things up, soon books will be finished and our workload will gradually lighten up.

Hopefully the snow will leave and we can go outside way more than we have been lately. Everything is either snow-covered or muddy; and so while we take any and all opportunities to go outside and play; they’re hard to come by.

Some things I want to focus on for the kids as we end the year are more of the keeping aspect of things. Nature notebooks, commonplaces, timelines, and ensuring mapwork gets done. Those haven’t happened as much as I would have liked, and I’ll have to figure out how to make sure they get more emphasized in the next year.

This week I will be putting Moose into the Scrum-esque style of homeschooling. I am not quite sure if he’ll enjoy it as much as Peanut, or if he’ll see it as “another boring thing to do”. The goal of making things Scrum-esque is to help everyone get on the same page, see what they have left to do for the week, and make sure that I am receiving all narrations that need to be done (mainly from Peanut, who likes to just move on to the next subject without stopping to give me a narration).

So, we’ll see what the week brings and maybe we can get outside more – or even get a nature walk in!

What I’ve Been Reading Lately

I had to do some rearranging of my books, as reading Annals of the Former World along with Superintelligence was really proving to be a bit too much. I figured it would make more sense to read through Superintelligence as I hadn’t gotten too far into Annals.

I finished The Restaurant at the End of the Universe and enjoyed it, although not as much as The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Still, it was a great “zone out” book and one I’ll probably revisit in the future. On to the third book, once I can get my hands on a copy.

I actually made really good progress on Superintelligence and now I’m about halfway through the book. The first 3 chapters are really jargony and somewhat dense, and it was hard for me to orient myself and keep track of all the details. But after all that it gets drastically easier and I find myself not making as many notes in my notebook (right under the book in the picture) as I did with the first few chapters. I should be wrapping this book up sometime in the next couple of weeks. Go me!

The Physics of Everyday Things is a new arrival to the library and one that intrigued me. I took physics classes in undergrad for my degree, but I was really, really bad at it (extra ironic given that I somehow ended up as the secretary for my school’s Society of Physics Students chapter for some reason…). I do want to have a better grasp of physics, and I figured this book would be a good book to do that (or at least, explain the concepts that eluded me in university). This is a good book to do that, in simple and non-threatening language. Bonus: the diagrams in the book look hand-drawn and definitely have that “Physics 101 lecture” quality to them. I’ll probably be putting this book in to the kids’ school, probably around middle or early high school.

Underneath that is Tesla’s autobiography which is short but 100% better than Margaret Cheney’s biography. Unsurprisingly it talks mostly about his inventions but does give a little more information about his life. I definitely should have started with his autobiography first. There are some other Tesla biographies out there that I’ll give a whirl to, because it would be really nice to find a really well-written biography of him.

Quirky is … I’m kind of disappointed, actually. The writing is really quite good but it’s not in the format I was expecting. There’s been a run on Edison biographies at the library, which is who I wanted to read about right after reading Tesla to see how Edison thought about Tesla. This book talks about eight different people who are all inventors, entrepreneurs, geniuses, and just outside the norm; including Edison and Tesla. What I was hoping is that each chapter was devoted to one person, so I could just read the stuff about Tesla and Edison. What it actually is that the author points out common traits and shows how it appears in each person’s life. It flows really well. It can start with Tesla, segue into Steve Jobs, talk about Marie Curie, and end up with an example from Elon Musk. Which is great and a really good way of illustrating the “quirky” characteristics of each. But it isn’t what I’m looking for at the moment. The index is really in-depth and I can pull out some information about Edison, but I think I’ll have to wait until all the Edison biographies are back.

I’ll probably come back to this book because I do want to read it all the way through; but probably later on in the year.

Not pictured, because it’s a Kindle book:This book actually does double-duty for me. I want to learn about Scrum because it’s part of my long-term plan and I think that it can be beneficial to include in my homeschool. I’ve done a little bit with Peanut based on what I’ve read from this book as well as the official Scrum guide available online. The results have been OK – a little mixed which I think is due to the fact that I need to do some tweaking and more reading. I’ll write a post later once I (think) I have it understood to the point where I can use it in homeschooling, I’m not trying to become a Scrum master or anything at this point in my life.

AO Year 4, Term 3, Week 2 | AO Year 2, Term 3, Week 5

This past week was a rough week, in that we had a lot of people around here getting sick (including myself). I think we made it to Tuesday on the “regular” schedule and then switched to the “for emergency use only” schedule.

The Emergency Use Only schedule reflects what the emergency is. Since I was sick some of the time, the schedule was focused on 1) things the kids could independently do and 2) taking advantage of pockets of time. We grab readings as the time becomes available, we work through the entire week’s schedule, we stop abruptly, and we just keep chugging.

Some things are left undone and that’s just how life works sometimes. I’m not too concerned by that, as we’ve been progressing very well all year and I’m not going to lose sleep over something that in the long run is rather inconsequential.

This coming week should also be an interesting week. I have a doctor appointment (time to check on how my iron is doing – I have been tapering off thanks to appropriate levels; so maybe at this appointment I’ll be cleared to stop taking the iron supplements), we have a therapy appointment for my autistic kid, a playdate, choir rehearsal, the local Charlotte Mason group meets, and Greg’s parents come home after their time in a warmer climate. Plus it’s the Triduum, and Easter is right around the corner (thank God, because this Lent has been rough). We won’t need to break out the Emergency schedule but we’ll definitely need to make sure we are all staying focused. 🙂