Monday, September 30, 2013

TOS Review: Videotext

I knew I had a math whiz on my hands when my five year old son started telling me how many miles were left on car trips because he subtracted the mile markers from our exit number (3 digit numbers IN HIS HEAD).  That was five years ago and things haven’t changed.  He’s been tearing through math books like Grant Took Richmond.  He loves math and for that I am grateful, but I’ve been searching for something to challenge him.   Then we learned about  VideoText Interactive and I thought “maybe this is it.”  Their Algebra: A Complete Course covers all the material traditionally taught in Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, and Algebra 2.  The pacing of the course can range from 1 to 3 years (progress is based on mastery).  Schnickelfritz is younger than the suggested grade level (Gr. 8 and up)  but he was more than ready.  You may be surprised to learn your kids are ready too!  VideoText offers these guidelines…

We selected the 2-year pace although we’re prepared to slow down if things do finally get challenging.  Under this plan a lesson would take two days.  Here are the details.

I began each day by printing out the Course Notes and WorkText for the lesson.   Fritz  would watch a 5-10 video lesson.

Because Fritz cannot interact with the teacher on the screen, VideoText recommends that  I, as the parent, watch with him and pause the video “every 15-20 seconds” to engage him in discussion.  That interval of time was so short as to be annoying but we did try to pause and talk 2-3 times per lesson.  Fritz had the Course Notes in front of him as students are not supposed to take their own notes during the lesson.  This program is clearly meant for students ready to buckle down and be serious about math—there are no jokes, cartoons, games, or rewards for completion, just a teacher and power point presentation.

After the video we left the computer for the dining table where we could read through the WorkTest – more thorough than the notes and often with completed problems to study.  When he was comfortable he could proceed to answer the 5-10 problems included in the lesson.  Then he returned to the computer where he checked his own answers.  If he found any errors he would compare his work to the solution to see where he’d erred and he had to explain the mistake to me (error analysis being part of mastering the concept). 

The following day I would print out and give him the quiz on the prior day’s lesson.  (We did run into several instances where two or more lessons had been grouped together so he watched videos several days in a row before taking a combined quiz.)  This delay before testing meant he couldn’t just rely on short term memory to solve his work.   I would grade the quiz and we would do the error analysis together if necessary.  If he had done really poorly we could have repeated the lesson and done a B version of the quiz.


I have to say as a math whiz myself, I was impressed that Fritz was learning math theory—not just how to solve problems.   In the first 3 lessons he learned to see the different symbols of math as a components of a language:  numbers were nouns,  operation symbols were verbs,  the x’s and y’s common in algebra were the pronouns.  They could be combined to form phrases and sentences (sentences have a relationship symbol like the = sign).   And we translated problems from English to Math language.  Since then we’ve been working through lessons to further investigate number, operation, and relational symbols.  As I look ahead, we’ll go nearly the first quarter without a lesson “this is how you solve for X” which is basically what I recall algebra lessons to be about.

We’ve been using the online lessons for five weeks now and I asked Schnickelfrtiz if he wanted to continue with it or go back to our old math curriculum.  He picked the VideoText, as sound a recommendation as I can come up with. 

The VideoText site is best supported by Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox for PC’s and Safari or Google Chrome for Mac’s.

The lessons are done by streaming video.  Our internet service is via satellite  so our download speeds could vary greatly, but we only had the videos pause once or twice during the review period.  For the month we had slightly over 5G of downloaded data –only a portion were the videos (for those of us concerned with download limitations).

The Pricing for all six modules of the online version of Algebra: A Complete Course is $299.  This gives you a 2 student licenses and each student will have access for 3 years after activation.  The Program is also available on DVD for $529.  If you’re not sure if this will work with your child, you may purchase Module A online for $59.  You may also login as a guest and access some sample lessons and demonstrations.



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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Wilder Days

As I mentioned in our last field trip post, Schnickelfritz and I had traveled to Mansfield, Missouri for a quick, weekend jaunt.  We’d spent Friday afternoon at the Baker Creek Seed company and Saturday  the town of Mansfield was hosting its annual Wilder Day’s in honor of the towns famous author—Laura Ingalls Wilder. 

Laura and Almanzo Wilder moved to Southwest Missouri in 1894 as a compromise (he couldn’t take the cold winters of the north and she couldn’t stand the low altitude and humidity of south).  They purchased 40 acres with money she had hidden in her writing desk.  The original log cabin on the property was moved and became the kitchen of the white farmhouse they started building the next year.  2013 marks the centennial of completion of the house so they apparently worked on it as time and finances allowed.   It’s probably the least famous of the Little Houses, because it’s the one she didn’t write about—at least not in a book.  Many Missourians read about the Rocky Ridge farm through Laura’s articles in the Missouri Ruralist.  It definitely has Little House ties though because this is where she sat down and wrote the books – in long hand with a pencil no less.

And Wilder Days is the time to come visiting—the town hosts a parade and look-alike contest, the town players host an outdoor pageant of Laura’s Memories, there’s reduced admission to the house and museum, you can go upstairs in the farmhouse (not part of the normal tour), and best of all—they take Pa’s fiddle out of the case and play it!  I heard from someone with relatives in the area that the Rock House (built by Rose Wilder Lane for her parents) isn’t always open depending on staffing, but it definitely is for Wilder Days.

Having scouted out the venue after our Baker Creek trip, we thought it best to arrive early Saturday morning for a parking spot.  There were a number of weavers and spinners setting up their looms and wheels,  several Morgan horses were being led out of their trailer, and there were a few other eager guests mulling about.  I had to say I was a little concerned about the state of our cultural well-being by what I saw.   There was a smaller group of older ladies – I took as fans of the books from when they were originally published;  the majority of guests were my age—these were clearly fans of the TV series (more on them later), and NO other kids besides my son.  I was afraid that Laura and her little houses were being largely ignored by the new generation more interests in vampires and werewolves or post-modern battles to the death.

Since it wasn’t quite time for the opening ceremonies Schnickelfritz went to visit the horses while I got in line to get Dean Butler to sign my copy of his documentary The Legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder (which I reviewed last month).  Cleary most of the people  were here just for the chance to meet the actor—who was running an hour late.  A group of five sisters headed the line, clad in t shirts sporting the actor’s picture and touting “We love Zaldamo!”  Another woman pulled a Ziploc bag of cinnamon chicken out of her purse (fans of the show will understand these two references).  The woman in line ahead of me was 45 minutes late in getting her daughter to a church wedding –WHERE SHE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE AN ATTENDANT!  She had been a tour guide at the home in her teens and had old hardback copies of Farmer Boy signed by the original illustrator, Garth Williams.  I was pleased to see that Mr. Butler was humble enough to refuse to add his signature to that page.

Dean Butler at opening ceremony

Mr. Butler had to leave the autograph table to take part in the opening ceremony.  He encouraged everyone to take part in the capital campaign to restore the grounds to their original design and build a new bookstore/ museum down the hill from the farmhouse.  As you can see, by now there were other children—I guess most had been in Mansfield taking part in the look-alike contest.

By the time Pa’s fiddle was being played there were plenty of “little Laura’s”  twirling and swirling in their prairie dresses.   David Scrivener, the musician, explained that Pa probably received his fiddle through a promotion by a seed company—which sounds really strange until you do some investigation.  The contraption used to broadcast seed was called a seed fiddle and you looked like you were moving a bow back and forth as you distributed the seed.   Mr. Scrivener read passages from the various books as introductions to the songs: Ol’ Dan Tucker, Pop Goes the Weasel, Camptown Races,  Golden Slippers, and the Sweet By and By.   He even took a few requests for more gospel tunes like I’ll Fly Away.  He probably played for more than an hour!

Photographs are prohibited in the houses and museums so I can only tell you about the things we saw –Laura’s writing desk, the jewelry box she got for Christmas, Pa & Ma’s marriage certificate, Mary’s nine-patch quilt, and on and on.  Where applicable, there was a card quoting the book that mentioned the object.

In the houses we could see that the family was petite by the lowered kitchen cabinets, etc.  You should see the narrow stair/ladder that rose used to take up to her bedroom.  I’m not sure I would fit and yet the volunteer said Laura still used the ladder in her 80’s!  we also learned  that Almanzo had made the latch-hook rugs and pillow in the front room.  There were several volunteers in both houses willing to answer questions and offering some information but they weren’t officially “tours.”  We received a tri-fold paper with notes on each room for a self-guided tour
It was just a short drive to the Rock House.  The museum is hoping to restore the original path between homes as part of their capital campaign.  My Schnickelfritz had just received his first real camera-a hand me down from his grandpa.  He took this photo of the front of the house and the fiddle player.  Pretty good, huh?
Mansfield is probably only an hour from Branson, MO.  If your vacationing in the live music capital or visiting Silver Dollar City,  Laura’s Home and Baker Creek Seeds would make an excellent day trip.

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Monday, September 23, 2013

The Walnuts come first

In my mother's home sits a mason jar filled with walnuts and popcorn.   It's not meant to be eaten, but serves as a visual reminder about the need to prioritize.  You see at one time the jar was empty and it was my mother's task to stuff everything inside.  If she started with the popcorn she'd never have space for the much larger walnuts at the top.  The walnuts had to go in first and the smaller grains would fill in the gaps and cracks.  So when I have a busy day ahead, I always make sure the walnuts of life are taken care of first.

School is important to be sure but sometime even school gets trumped -- I have to take my husband to the surgery center,  I've got a bushel basket of persimmons that need to be processed,  the car needs to be serviced.  This past Friday I needed to 1) pack for our weekend trip to Mansfield, 2) process 10 pounds of tomatoes which wouldn't last till we got back, 3) puree a basket of persimmons, 4) finish a product review, 5) grind flour and feed my sourdough (already two days passed its normal feeding) and 6) make sure my husband had meals while we were gone. Fortunately, my son is old enough now to do a lot of his own reading and work unsupervised.  We brought schoolbooks up from our basement and set him up at the dining table.  I was nearby in the kitchen for any questions.  Later he did his online work and then I took over the computer to complete my review post.  We didn't get all the schoolwork I had planned, but we managed better than 75 percent.  The rest we'll make up this week.

Here a few of my best tips for busy moms.

1.  Unlike the yellow bus crowd, we aren't tied to an 8-3/M-F schedule.  There have been days my son was at school at 6:30 in the morning.  Perhaps we'll save some subjects until after the supper dishes are done.  Take off a Monday and have a brief school day Saturday Morning. 

2.  Be realistic about what you can get done.  Last year we participated in a weekly co-op and because I wasn't going to waste the trip, we stopped and some of the grocery stores in the area.  That meant we were going to be gone 6 hours.  The only subjects I kept for our homeschool were Bible, Math and Science.  All other subjects I planned for a 4 day/week schedule with co-op day being our light day.

3.  Take school with you.  Our first year in Missouri I didn't really know anyone well enough to leave my son with when I had to say get the oil changed in the car or take my husband to out-patient surgery.  Since my Schnickelfritz was having to come with me, we might as well bring some schoolbooks too.  I read aloud to him in the waiting areas and we discussed the materials (often science).  Fritz was also very talented at math and could solve word problems in his head if I read them to him. You know what--we never got any complaints from the other people and often they stopped reading their magazines to listen to our conversation.  We were ambassadors for home schooling, and without bragging I think we made a pretty good first impression.

4. Think outside the textbook when logging hours.  If your day is busy with something, can you figure out a way to make that something count as school?  Processing tomatoes --sounds like Home Ec. to me.  Give my son a map and see if we're above or below 1000 ft. and explain how that's make a difference in the pressure canner.  Math can be multiplying fractional cups of ingredients by the number of batches we're making.   Need to drive across two states to Grandma's?  Pull out the maps and teach them navigational skills.  Have them calculate the gas mileage when you fill up.  Stop at the rest areas and pick up the state's tour guides--they usually list famous people and events, there's your history lesson.

5. Let your kids have a turn being the teacher.  Okay I only have one, but isn't the goal to help them learn how to acquire information on their own and not wait to be spoon-fed?   If you've got several kids, let the older ones help the younger one with subjects they've already mastered.  (don't do this too long or without supervision though--one of Fritz's friends still couldn't read by second grade because mom thought the older daughters were taking care of this and they obviously weren't).


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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

It's been a while since we've taken a field trip so we were due for a good one.  So good in fact that I'm dividing it into two parts.  Schnickelfritz and I traveled down to Mansfield, MO for an overnight trip.  We had to get down there early enough Friday to visit Bakersville -- the home of Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. (open 8-4 M-F and 9-5 Sun).   We kept traveling down this gravel road, certain we were heading to the middle of nowhere.  Perseverance paid off though,  we were still
in the middle of nowhere but surrounded by beautiful flowers, and a hundred Master Gardeners the Missouri Extension Dept. brought down.  I didn't mind browsing the grounds with them, but they took all the seed catalogs before we arrived. 

Bakersville is arranged like a small town--complete with an opry and jail. The mercantile held pottery items and sun bonnets.  There's also a restaurant that serves a vegetarian lunch (11-1) from the harvest on the farm--you make a donation for your meal.  Outside lunch hours, there is a bakery (did I mention the Master Gardeners ate all the cinnamon rolls before us...didn't their mamas teach them to share?)  The apothecary had mason jars of herbs and tea blends for sale.  There were samples in bowls to smell and get a hint of the flavors.

Down the center of town is a garden with more varieties of flowers and vegetables than you can shake a stick at.  See something you like?  Head into the seed store with bin after bin of seeds from around the world lovingly preserved season after season. 

For those not familiar with the term "heirloom seed":  most crops grown today come from hybrids--plants that are cross bred to develop specific traits like resistance to disease.  In the case of food we eat they want the fruit or vegetable to be able to withstand  shipping long distances from farm to store and to look pretty in the store bins.  Often left out of the equation is the excellent taste of the food itself.  Take a look at this table of squash--nothing here is going to win a beauty contest, but the man telling us about them was practically drooling as he shared each one tasted better than the last.

I addition to the plants, there were plenty of farm animals to pet and view -- especially breeds of chickens.  Baker Creek Seeds has been helping the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home (the second half of our field trip) restore the grounds by providing chickens and seeds that Laura herself may have raised.

If you visit Mansfield because you're a Little House fan, a side trip to Bakersville is only 10 miles away and certainly worth your time.  If you're an avid gardener, you may want to plan a trip around one of their festival weekends when they have special speakers and vendors.    The village and festivals are free except for the Spring Planting festival in May.

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

TOS Review: Seed Sowers

I'm probably dating myself here, but there was a time when Missouri stores were closed on Sunday and we attended church in the morning and the evening.  I never minded Sunday evening services--that's when the kids got to pass the offering plates,  that's when we had our potluck suppers, and that's when the missionaries came with their slide shows and talked about God's protection and providence.  Seed-Sowers: Gospel Planting Adventures  reminds me a lot of those Sunday night lectures and I've been so glad to be able to share it with my son.    Missing the slide show?  You can find some pictures like the one below on the  Seed Sowers  website (the book has no pictures other than the cover).   I have to say the only story with which I was familiar was the Five Empty Vessels (the party that went to find the remains of Jim Elliot and the four other missionaries killed by members of what was then called the Auca tribe), but I bet there a many who don't even know that story any more.

Author Gwen Toliver spent two years collecting stories from the mission field--stories she feared would be lost if someone didn't take the time to write them down.  These men and women were not just going to share the gospel, but to translate it into previously unstudied languages--in some cases the New Testament alone could take 20+ years of getting to know customs and grammar etc.  There are twenty stories in the 165 page paperback.  Some translators face the dangers of the jungle: a wild cat, giant snakes, white water rapids, malaria, etc.  Some must overcome other obstacles--one translator was having a hard time finding natives to help him learn the language because they were too busy with the harvest.  His solution:  there were plenty of men at the local jail with nothing but time on their hands.  Later in the jungle when the translator needs to find shelter, the first hut he comes to belongs to one of the men he ministered to in prison.  Some may call that co-incidence but in our family we say God-incidence.  The Lord knew what he was doing all along.

My Schnickelfritz and I read chapters during our free time--away from school.  I wanted him to enjoy the adventure stories and build his heart toward unreached peoples. Most stories were less than 10 pages and could be read in one sitting.  We would pause for questions if he had something he wanted to discuss (I didn't force him to tell me what he remembered, etc).  If you wanted to make the book more school-ish you could certainly add some map work or country studies for each story.  I usually read the book aloud while my son  played the pouncing ocelot or studied the signs of the trail.  Fritz was able to do some the reading on his own--the book often includes pronunciation guides after difficult names (at least the first time encountered).  Before you just hand the book off to your child be aware that there are cases of death and martyrdom.  Each chapter ends with a brief  note when the translation was completed and "What they're doing now."  Some names had to be changed to protect those still in the field in sensitive countries.

List Prices
Softback $13.95 (but on sale for $12.50 right now)
Hardback $30.95
Kindle $3.99


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Monday, September 16, 2013

Night-O in the Park

There aren't many dates on the calendar my son looks forward to year after year--Christmas and his birthday certainly.  But placing third is a weekend in September when we don good running shoes and head lamps and go orienteering in the dark at Kirkwood Park.  The family friendliest race of the year draws folks from far and near (and believe me we weren't the farthest--we ran into a father/son team and a whole bus of ROTC students who'd made the trip from Arkansas.

Maybe we should go back and explain orienteering since I haven't posted about it in a while.  Think of it as part geography class, part cross country race and part Easter egg hunt.  Each racer receives a map covered with tiny circles denoting the location of the controls -- orange and white signs sometimes like a windsock (like below), but sometimes the size of index cards on the end of a stake. (This photo was taken at a class we took in one of the parks --I wouldn't carry my camera during a race in the dark).

Attached to each control is a paper punch with a unique arrangement of pins.  You must punch the appropriate box on your score card to prove you made it to that control. (some races use electronic devices to track progress, but this race is so well attended there aren't enough to go around). 

Orienteering races come in many forms.  The two most common are following a designated path (the winner comes in the shortest time) or having a time limit (the winner visits the most controls in that time period).  This night race falls into the second category.  When the "Go" signal came, people scampered in all directions.  It's really a matter of strategy: to plot a course to reach as many controls at possible and stamina: to be able to keep running the whole time, catching your breath when you stop to punch your card and consult the map to see which direction you'll head of in next.

Here's our map with our course super-imposed on the top.

We made it back to the finish line with 7 minutes to spare--which was actually poor planning on my part.  We had time for more controls, but there weren't any close enough.  A better strategy would have been to run around the lake near the beginning of our trek.  There were three more controls we could have picked up before heading to the far edge of the park.  Live and learn I suppose, or better yet talk to the family that came in first place -- 23 out of 24 controls in the 45 minute limit.  I asked the farther which way they had gone and perhaps I'll be wiser when it comes to plotting a course next race.  Still, we got 3 more controls than we had last time so we'll celebrate that victory.  And of course (and the real goal) we had fun.

Check out the U.S. Orienteering website. You can find educational articles and see if there are any events in your area -- trust me, you'll have fun.

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Friday, September 13, 2013

TOS Review: People Keys

Hasn’t there been a time in every parents life when they wished their kids came with an owner’s manual.  I felt that way the first night in the hospital with my son.  Heck, I’d be happy for a sheet that said “the baby will stop crying if you follow these steps.”  And just when you think you’ve got things figured out along comes kid number two and they seem to be wired completely differently.  As a parent, I want to know what’s going to motivate my kid—something beyond the “carrot or the stick” method of bribing rewards or threatening punishments.  As a homeschooler, I want to know the best way to get the information to stick in his noggin.  Along comes  PeopleKeys with, as their name implies, the key to unlock your child’s potential.  We were given access to their Student Strengths Report , part of their StudentKeys product line.

The $20.00 fee gives you one keycode to access the online three part quiz.  Make sure and save the code!  If you can’t finish the quiz in one sitting or you want to access the Strengths Report you’ll need to re-enter the code. 

The quiz itself is not long (two sections had only 8 questions each, the third may have had a few more), but we did have to do it in baby steps as my son was getting frustrated.  It is designed for ages 13-adult and I had thought with his advanced reading skills this wouldn’t be a problem.  However, he is a little behind the curve when it comes to making choices, being able to articulate emotions, and recognizing motives behind actions (including his own).  I had to explain terms like “authoritative” to him and even then he wasn’t sure he liked to be around authoritative people for one of the questions.

The majority of the quiz was made up of sets of four statements and he had to rank them (1 to 4) from what least describes him to what most describes him.  WARNING: read the directions carefully.  Schnickelfritz had filled out a whole page selecting 1 as most like him so our results would have been the exact opposite of correct if I hadn’t caught the error before submission.  It was often easy for him to pick out one extreme or the other but he had a hard time ordering the other 2 or 3 statements.

It was possible to go back to previous pages of the quiz (which I did after catching his ranking incorrectly) before submitting it, but you cannot review the questions once you have the results report.

What we received was a 34 page report divided into three sections: Personality Styles, Learning Styles, and Cognitive Thinking Styles.  Incidentally, my son’s name was printed in the top right hand corner of every page, so if you’ve got several kids or students you may want to keep these reports from prying eyes who might tease others about their perceived weaknesses.

Personality Styles

The four components of personality are: Drive, Influencing, Steadiness, and Compliance.  For my son’s particular pattern, he’s been labeled as a Communicator with traits like: love being around people, high energy, articulate, small attention span, may become careless and disorganized.  Yep, that described him a lot of the time.

There was only one page devoted to Fritz’s style, but 15 generic pages covering characteristics of each letter: strengths, potential limitations, what motivates, ideal environment,  how to enhance communication with each, etc.

  Learning Styles

Homeschoolers are probably most familiar with the learning style section of this report.  I’d known that learners  have been categorized as Auditory, Visual, or Kinesthetic depending on how they take in information.  For this section there was a brief overview of all three styles, but then three pages of information specific to visual learners—his dominant style.  One page gave a list of phrases to listen for in conversation to help identify learning styles in others (in case they hadn’t taken the Strengths quiz themselves).  There were also several interactive pages where he could do exercises to apply his learning style to choose a career and design his ideal learning environment.

Cognitive Thinking styles

Once you’ve taken in new information you must process it in your mind to make sense of it.  These thinking styles have been categorized as: Literal, Intuitive, Theoretical, and Experiential.  Again we had a 1 page overview of all four styles but the remaining pages focused on Fritz’s Intuitive style: how to capitalize on strengths, how to improve learning.  And this is the one that doesn’t seem to be as accurate.  The I style are supposed to be good at “reading into” what others say and adjusts easily to changes in routine. That doesn’t describe my son at all!  (Incidentally, this was the quiz section he had ranked everything backwards and we had to change everything. I wonder if we’d have been better off leaving things as they were).

As you can see from my son’s three charts, he’s scored in relatively tight patterns.  I wonder if this is because there weren’t enough questions on the quiz to give a more accurate reading.  And if this is accurate, then I wished that they’d included more about styles that scored close but not the highest (like Literal thinking or kinesthetic learning).  Still, I’ve found some useful information in the report.  I won’t be doing all  reading aloud anymore for science and history since Auditory is his lowest learning style. 



Wednesday, September 11, 2013

First Quarter History

Schnickelfritz chose American History this year.   I received a set of All American History Vol. 1 from another homeschooling mom in exchange for some accounting work I’d done for her small business.  Yes, it’s a “textbook” but not like a traditional one with paragraph after paragraph of names, dates, and places--plenty of width but no depth on anything.  Each chapter is devoted to a handful of historical figures or events--covering the background and impact of each.  Still, I missed getting the “you were there” feel that we’d had when we combined Project Passport with Mystery of History II  last year.  So I’m combining Homeschool in the Wood’s Time Traveler series with AAH.  There seems to be a perfect title for each quarter.  Here’s the first.


All American


New World Explorers

Week 1 No assignments Lesson 1 What is an Explorer
Lesson 2  Life of an Explorer Pt. 1
Lesson 3 Life of an Explorer Pt. 2
Lesson 4 Ship Ahoy
Lesson 6 Navigation
Week 2 Lesson 1 The First Americans & Leif Eriksson Lesson 7 Leif Erickson
Week 3 Lesson 2  Marco Polo & Prince Henry the Navigator No Assignments
Week 4 Lesson 3 Christopher Columbus & Amerigo Vespucci Lesson 7 Christopher Columbus
Lesson 8 Vespucci
Week 5 Lesson 4 John Cabot, Balboa & other Conquistadors Lesson 8 Cabot
Lesson 9 Balboa
Lesson 11 Pizarro
Lesson 12 Cortes
Week 6 Lesson 5 Ponce de Leon, Magellan, Verrazano Lesson 9 Ponce do Leon
Lesson 11 Magellan
Lesson 12 Verrazano
Week 7 Lesson 6 Cartier, de Soto, Coronado Lesson 13 Cartier & de Soto
Lesson 14 Coronado
Week 8 Lesson 7 Drake, Raleigh Lesson 14 Drake
Lesson 17 Raleigh
Week 9 Lesson 8  Hudson,  Champlain Lesson 18 Hudson & Champlain

Rather than read each chapter of AAH straight through, we focus on 1 explorer at a time--reading his Atmosphere, Event, and Impact (these are subheadings in the chapter) and doing the appropriate page in the student workbook.  We start the week with our All American History and when we’ve finished the chapter we review the same explorers in the appropriate lessons of the Time Travelers.  This way Fritz hits each explorer twice for better retention. 

In the New World Explorers we do the mapping, timeline and Explorer profile activities.  My son has never been interested in the craft projects and I’m lucky to get him to do his regular writing assignments so I don’t push the Explorer’s Weekly newspaper project.  Since we use AAH as our spine, there are several explorers we miss from NWE.

Cabrillo, Ribaut, Bering & Onate ---  Skip
Cook --  May cover with Magellan
John Smith -  saving for next quarter on American Colonies

There are also 2 pirate lessons that I’ll be saving for the 4th quarter in we cover America’s conflict with the Barbary pirates.
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