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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Classical Homeschool Class Offerings - High School & Jr. High

Mondays starting Sept 29, 2014 
Southwest at Indian Weslyan University
8211 W. Jefferson Blvd.

through Northside Homeschool Co-op or http://northsidehomeschool.org/

  1. World History - High School 9am
  2. Shakespeare - High School 10am
  3. English: Composition - High School 9-10am (for those signed up for one of the previous 2 classes)
  4. English: The Research Paper 7th-12th grades 11am
  5. Algebra I 12:30pm
  6. Shakespeare - 4th-8th grades 1:30pm
  7. Pre-Algebra 2:30pm
Incentive Program:
1-4 studends registered, tuition remains as stated
5-8 students registered, all students get $10 off tuition
9-12 students registered, all students get $20 off tuition
13-15 students registered, all students get $30 off tuition

(See below for details)

History through the Ages: The Ancients through the Renaissance

Recommended Ages: 9th-12th (or academically advanced 8th graders)
Duration: 55 min for 11 weeks
Cost: $130
Dates:
Time: 9-9:55am
Instructor: Jenn MacDonald
Contact: jenn*at*high*land*dove.org  (take out the stars)
Required Materials:
                 Internet access
                 – OR - World History: The Human Odyssey by Jackson J. Speilvolgel isbn# 978-0538423298
                 – OR - History of the World  by Marvin Perry, 1990 isbn# 
978-0395461303 (an audio version of this book is available for those who request it)

Course Description: This class is a fly-by of the major events in world history. Students can choose from one of the textbooks and do the assigned readings each week, or parents can choose the internet option in which movies and online readings will be assigned.  The format of the class will be lecture and the students will be taught to take notes. Since note-taking is such an important skill in college, it will be taught as a graded part of this class. The notes will help the students with class discussion, in-class oral quizzes, and, if they are enrolled in the English Composition class, will help them write papers.  Group discussion will be required for this class, but will be a very small component.
Contact Jenn MacDonald to discuss any concerns or questions you have.

Note: Semester 2 will cover Columbus through 9-11

Minimum of 3 students, Maximum of 15

*This semester class qualifies for the Referral Incentive Program!  Help fill our classes and we will save you money!  

A Year With Shakespeare: Semester 1 of 2

Recommended Ages: 9th-12th (or academically advanced 8th graders)
Duration: 55 min for 11 weeks
Cost: $130
Dates:
Time: 10-10:55am
Instructor: Jenn MacDonald
Contact: jenn*at*high*land*dove.org  (take out the stars)
Required Text: Unabridged versions of Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, and Twelfth Night all of which can be obtained through the library if desired

Course Description: We will spend 3 weeks on each of the following Shakespearean works: Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, and Twelfth Night.  Sonnets will be read the week between each of those plays. Sonnets will be read in class together. You do not need to provide them. In addition, Catholic students will be assigned the following encyclicals to be read alongside of the assigned works: "Immortale Dei," & "Libertas".

Grades will be based on in-class discussion, in-class readings and participation, and, if they are enrolled in the English Composition class, literary analysis papers.  Finally, all students will submit a 2 page paper at the end of the class.

Shakespeare is challenging to read, but in addition, much of the situations, humor, and wording is definitely bawdy. We will be reading parts of the unabridged version in class as we discuss it. PLEASE make sure your student is emotionally prepared for the bawdiness and sometimes shocking content.  Contact Jenn MacDonald to discuss any concerns or questions you have.

Note: Semester 2 will cover As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, King Lear, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and of course, more sonnets.
Minimum of 3 students, Maximum of 15

*This semester class qualifies for the  Referral Incentive Program!  Help fill our classes and we will save you money!  

English: Composition

Recommended Ages: 9th-12th (or academically advanced 8th graders)
Duration: 55 min for 11 weeks                                    Cost: $50
Dates:
Time: 9-9:55am or 10-10:55am or 9-10:55am
Instructor: Jenn MacDonald                                        
Contact: jenn*at*high*land*dove.org  (take out the stars)
Required Materials: computer and printer
Pre-Requisite: 
                     Student MUST be enrolled in either History Through the Ages with Jenn MacDonald
                     or A Year With Shakespeare with Jenn MacDonald

Course Description: Student will turn in a 2 page essay in either literary or historical analysis each week. This will mean 10- 2 page papers, double-spaced & footnoted per semester. Students will be provided with the grading rubric and grading scale that will be used.  It is expected that the student will do his own work.

No minimum, Maximum of 30 students

English: The Research Paper

Recommended Ages: 7th-12th
Duration: 55 min for 11 weeks
Cost: $130
Dates:
Time: 11-11:55am
Instructor: Jenn MacDonald
Contact: jenn*at*high*land*dove.org  (take out the stars)
Required Materials: computer, printer, index cards & holder, availability to spend extended time in the library for a few weeks
Prerequisite: Student must be able to write a grammatically correct sentence and paragraph with appropriate punctuation, supporting ideas, opening and closing sentences, etc., before taking this class.

Course Description: The culmination of this semester will be a 10 page research paper including: cover page, footnotes, and a bibliography. During weeks 3 & 4 of the class, the student will need to be able to go to the library and check out books.  It will be best if they check out books on week 4.  During week 5, they may find the books they’ve chosen give inadequate information and they may need to go to the library during week 5, also.  Topics covered will be: united composition, plagiarism, planning and researching, source cards, note taking, thesis statement, introduction, outline, rough draft, footnotes, bibliography, editing, final drafts.

Minimum of 3 students, Maximum of 15

*This semester class qualifies for the Referral Incentive Program!  Help fill our classes and we will save you money!  


Algebra 1   Semester 1 & Semester 2

Recommended Ages: 7th-12th
Duration: 55 min for 12 weeks   (14 weeks 2nd Semester)
Cost: $130
Dates:
Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm
Instructor: Jenn MacDonald
Contact: jenn*at*high*land*dove.org  (take out the stars)
Prerequisite: Students must be able to pass this test with at least a 75% without help.
http://store.mathusee.com/catalog/math-u-see/secondary-math/algebra-1.html  Students will be required to bring this completed and graded test to their first day of class with them.  This will not be part of their grade.
Required Materials: Math-U-See Pre-Algebra:
1.       Instruction Pack which includes the Instruction Manual and DVD
2.       Student Pack which includes the Student Workbook and the Test Book

Course Description: For the year, this is a 26 week class.  The Math-U-See Algebra course has 32 chapters, so for the first semester the student will be doubling up.  You’ll have to allow your student extra time (or encourage it) to be able to squeeze a year of math into this course –but then, you’ll be done with math for the year! 

Your student will require 1-2 hours of math/day.  I suggest having your student do an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon.  If you feel like you can trust your student, he can grade his own worksheets.  However, a parent should grade the tests. Your student should come to class each week with their completed and graded test(s) to turn in.
Contact Jenn MacDonald to discuss any concerns or questions you have.

Minimum of 3 students, Maximum of 20

*Tutoring is available by appointment from 3:30-4:30pm.  See the website and contact Jenn for details.
*This semester class qualifies for the Referral Incentive Program!  Help fill our classes and we will save you money!  

 A Year With Shakespeare: Semester 1 of 2

Recommended Ages: 4th-8th grade
Duration: 55 min for 11 weeks
Cost: $105
Dates:
Time: 1:30-2:30pm
Instructor: Jenn MacDonald
Contact: jenn*at*high*land*dove.org  (take out the stars)
Required Text: Tales from Shakespeare by Charles Lamb

Course Description: We will spend 3 weeks on each of the following Shakespearean works: Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, and Twelfth Night.  The life of Shakespeare and his times will also be covered.  

Grades will be based on in-class discussion, in-class readings and participation.  We will be covering just the plot and some character development of these plays.  Shakespeare can be challenging, but the book by Charles Lamb makes the story attainable by this age group.  By introducing Shakespeare to students in this form, they are not afraid to attempt reading his works in high school.  Contact Jenn MacDonald to discuss any concerns or questions you have.

Note: Semester 2 will cover As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, King Lear, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Minimum of 4 students, Maximum of 15

*This semester class qualifies for the Referral Incentive Program!  Help fill our classes and we will save you money!  

Pre-Algebra  Semester 1 & Semester 2


Recommended Ages: 6th-12th
Duration: 55 min for 12 weeks   (14 weeks 2nd Semester)
Cost: $130
Dates:
Time: 2:30pm-3:30pm
Instructor: Jenn MacDonald
Contact: jenn*at*high*land*dove.org  (take out the stars)
Prerequisite: Students must be able to pass this test with at least a 75% without help.
Required Materials: Math-U-See Pre-Algebra:
1.       Instruction Pack which includes the Instruction Manual and DVD
2.       Student Pack which includes the Student Workbook and the Test Book

Course Description: For the year, this is a 26 week class.  The Math-U-See Pre-Algebra course has 39 chapters, so for the first semester the student will be doubling up.  You’ll have to allow your student extra time (or encourage it) to be able to squeeze a year of math into this course –but then, you’ll be done with math for the year! 

Your student will require 1-2 hours of math/day.  I suggest having your student do an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon.  If you feel like you can trust your student, he can grade his own worksheets.  However, a parent should grade the tests.    Your student should come to class each week with their completed and graded test(s) to turn in.
Contact Jenn MacDonald to discuss any concerns or questions you have.

Minimum of 3 students, Maximum of 20

*Tutoring is available by appointment from 3:30-4:30pm.  See the website and contact Jenn for details.
*This semester class qualifies for the Referral Incentive Program!  Help fill our classes and we will save you money!  

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Do Something MEANINGFUL today -- this is one idea.

Read this. Then send $6 to my friend on the front lines. Many of you know, I open my house to help new homeschool moms get started. She opens her house to help mamas and babies LIVE. Read, then pray, then help.

http://www.blessedarethefeet.com/on-birth-stories-and-brave-women/

Our lives can sometimes feel so overwhelming -- and sometimes they are.  These are the stories she hears every. day.  Making a genuine difference in someone's life can sometimes cost alot -- time, relationships, vulnerability, heart ache. This time, it's only $6.  That's not alot.

Very often we have to be so cautious to know where our donation dollars go.  Research.  Analysis.  Time.  Effort.  This time, though, we know where it goes.  

Are you a Mama?  A grandpa?  An aunt?  Wouldn't you give so much more than $6 to make sure the young mother in your life is safe along with her baby?  This is just $6.

If you decide not help Colleen, then help someone in your life.  THIS is what makes life meaningful.

Friday, August 29, 2014

12 Years Done -- 12 Years To Go

Homeschooling can be surreal.  I had 4 and then 5 kids to raise, feed, play with.
I spent 12 years educating this kid.
- She was EASY to raise (compliant, sweet, compassionate, fun)
- and HARD to school (she was totally smart and EXPECTED that I would give her challenging work -- which was very difficult when she was reading and analyzing Don Quixote for fun in middle school)
- and required me to be PRAYERFUL to mother (she spent most of her high school years fairly sick and I not only worried but worked to get her healthy -- it's still a work in progress, but she's getting better -- just slower than I'd rather).

As she's getting better, she's sassier and more fun than ever!
 
Now that she's 18 and graduated from homeschool high school, I've got the first 12 years of homeschooling under my belt.
So I begin the next 12 years while I teach 1st grade all over again this year.  This will be my 5th time teaching 1st grade and the last time I teach it (that I know of)...


Being done/beginning...It's all a little -- SURREAL.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Prairie Parties

It's been at least a decade since we did them -- but that school year is one of the most solidified in my memory -- such sweet, sweet memories of learning and FUN.

You choose one book in the "Little House on the Prairie" series per month and have everyone in your group read it.  My house could accommodate 20 kids, so ~6 families. 

Sept - Little House in the Big Woods
Oct - Little House on the Prairie
Nov - Farmer Boy
Dec - On the Banks of Plumb Creek
Jan - By the Shores of Silver Lake
Feb - The Long Winter
Mar - Little Town on the Prairie
Apr - These Happy Golden Years
May - The First Four Years


Prairie Primer is the book I used to jump start our Prairie Parties.  For my family the book wasn't academically challenging enough to use as a stand-alone curriculum.  But it really gave me ideas on how to pull activities from the series. The book is available at our library - ACPL.  Each family selected any topic from the book of that month to do an activity with everyone.    Everyone brought a dish to share for lunch after the party was over. 

Examples of activities that moms chose:
Butter making with a ball jar and whole milk (shaking)
Using a washboard and tub to wash an item of clothing
Taste testing real maple syrup vs. imitation
A presentation on hibernation of bears
Making a pumpkin pie from scratch
Quilting
Candlemaking
A lesson on Native Americans
A lesson on bee “dancing” and taste testing different types of honey (clover, etc.)
Bonnet making (kids cut it out and moms sewed it together at home)
A lesson on square dancing

Saturday, May 31, 2014

4BR, 2 1/2 BA, 2,376sq ft, 2-story home for sale in Fort Wayne, IN for $119,900

We have decided to sell our home in Blackhawk for $119,900. (Current property tax values assess it at $123K.)
We haven't listed it yet, but while we're getting it ready, would you like to buy our home and help make the decisions? It's driving me crazy making the decisions for someone else. What color carpet throughout? Which rooms would you like painted and what color? Anything in particular with the landscaping? It will take us a few weeks to make all the decisions. Please share this with friends of friends and see if we can sell the house before we list and have to have open houses to show it (not looking forward to that part). Anybody can stop by and see the house before we officially list it, but please note that the 5 kids are all working on it and it may be in disarray.
6714 Winnebago Drive, Fort Wayne, IN 46815
4 Bedrooms, 2 1/2 Baths
Home size 2,376 Sq Ft
Lot Size 0.25 Acres
Built 1969
Central Air, Baseboard Hot Water Heat, Whole House Attic Fan.
This is a book-lover's dream: Living Room is a true library with floor to ceiling bookshelves. Ceiling Fans in every bedroom, Dining Room & Family Room. Family Room has wood fireplace. Large open kitchen and breakfast nook with ceramic tile. Attached 2 Car Garage with Attic storage. 3 Seasons room. 4 Bedrooms upstairs and Master has it's own bathroom. Half Bath is on first floor. Great backyard for kids and pets with multiple swingsets under shade tree.
New laminate wood flooring in Living Room-Library in January 2014
Most windows replaced in 2013 and new Front Screen Door in 2013
6 yr old asphalt roof
Swingset is negotiable
Schools: Croninger, Blackhawk Middle School, Snider

Contact us at (260) 485-8828 









Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Welcome to my Messy House


"Quick! Clean up!  Someone's coming!"  -or- "Here!  Take these dirty underwear I picked up off the floor and stuff them down the clothes chute." -or- "I'll talk to them in there and you clean up in here."  We've all done it.  It's the loving thing to do to make things nice for someone.  But when making things nice is at the expense of someone -- we have a problem.  We have to stop worrying about how things look to the exclusion of having people over.  We can't live in House Beautiful or a Southern Living magazine all the time. (Honestly, not even some of the time).  We try, but we fail.  That failure is "just life", not a fatal flaw of morality.

My children are a gift from God so I share them with the world. Do I keep my child from talking to someone because he's a filthy mess from playing at the park? No.  My home, too, is a gift and given to me to share with others. 

 I'm pretty good about this. Annette Funicello, America's sweetheart, appeared on TV with full-blown MS in a wheelchair and with her mouth a little disfigured, but as big of a smile as she could manage said, "Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."  
 It's a theme of my life.  I say it to myself over again and again and have for years.

I do warn guests when they need to use the bathroom, 'I'm not promising it's clean, but you're welcome to it.' Most of them KNOW what a 6yr old boy can do to a previously clean bathroom. And if not, it's time they learn. Approximately half of the population has been or will be a 6 year old boy.  Being ourselves gives our guests permission to be themselves. 

I have people over when my house is 'lived-in', to LOVE them. How many exhausted moms of preschoolers feel like they can't keep up? How many men feel like they don't measure up? My aunt committed suicide and the toll on the family was horrendous.  We can't put so much pressure on each other to 'measure up'.  How many times have we seen a teen in the news who committed suicide?  In their pain they think things would never feel better than they do in that moment.  The response from the rest of the world is that we want to shout from the rooftops that it doesn't matter what everyone thinks or how chaotic it feels - life CAN get better. 

By sharing our chaos with the the world, I'm shouting to everyone who walks through my door, 'I love you and you're welcome here just the way you are. Come share some of the less-than attractive places in my life and I'll share your pain with you.'

The test of this was having our priest over for dinner when life was chaotic. As I fed him out of my messy fridge and he sat on my gross floor (I had cleaned it, but you know...) with my smelly dog on his lap he told us that he'd had a black lab as a boy and was too busy for a dog now. He said that not many families with kids had him over - he assumed due to the stress of life - and I saw that us inviting him into our chaos helped fill something in him. 

I want my guests to feel loved and I have to be 'real' to do that. Some may judge me, but I want to say back to those, 'This is my best. And a way to love you, because "Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."

This post started my rant self-reflection.

Why Scruffy Hospitality Creates Space for Friendship



Wednesday, May 21, 2014

How Do I Prepare Myself to Teach High School?

Not everyone thinks this way, but I am a whole-to-parts kind of thinker.  I use an organizing principle to begin, plan and end.   In my mind the tool looks like a wrapped piece of candy.  So, I start with an organizing principle to begin my planning, stuff all the details in as I go on planning, and end the year finishing up with the same organizing principle.
And this magical tool is -- a transcript.  I KNOW, I KNOW, I KNOW -- that's the scary part at the end of high school for most homeschool moms.  Just hang with me.  It's just a piece of paper.  (Mine is an excel document, but you can do it in Word or just on a piece of paper.)  

If you need to meet your state's requirements for graduation, this is where you take it into account.

First, take your blank piece of paper and put down categories that you want your student to learn.  And put at least 4 lines between each:
Transcript
Math
1.        
2.        
3.        
4.        

Science  
      
English

History

Theology

X-Curricular
       
Next, fill in what you know.  Do you know what math curriculum you'll use? (We're Math-U-See fans, here.)  Even if you're unsure if your child will make it to Calculus in his 4th year, fill in what you'd  like his high school to look like.  It's just a piece of paper.  

You'll obviously have some blank spaces.  Do your best to fill them in.  Don't know what English curriculum you'll use?  Call it English 1, English 2, English 3, & English 4.  Even if you don't know what x-curricular classes your child will take? Guess.  Might he like photography?  You have 4 years to make it accurate, for now just fill it in with your best guess.  When you're relatively sure about something, highlight it.  Then do a happy dance.  When you get a chance, move onto the next thing you're close to figuring it out.

Now, when you've filled it all out, you have a 4-year tentative plan. 

http://www.scribd.com/doc/225495765/Mock-Transcript

Next, you're ready to buy some books and start lesson planning. (This is the start of the candy part.) 
My finalized lesson plans look like this.  The kids get a printed copy in glued into their student planner and I glue a copy for me for each child into my teacher planner.  Then as the year progresses, I track grades on it and where we are in each subject compared to where my plan thought we should be (because those things NEVER match up).

Then at the end of the year, I update my transcript for what actually occurred through the year, adding class descriptions and a books read list (organized by class).  I also use my transcript to begin planning for next year.