Posts Tagged ‘high school’

High School Astronomy for Homeschoolers

Monday, October 7th, 2019

high-school-astronomy-homeschool

I have been researching high school astronomy for homeschoolers for quite a few years, and it wasn’t until this year that I found a curriculum that looked beautiful, was beefy but not too mathematical, and that was understandable. I finally found it! I ordered the majority of these from Master Books, but my dad already had several of the books and DVD’s. The large Hubble coffee table book we got from Costco.

Here is a list of books that we got:

  • The Stargazer’s Guide to the Night Sky (includes planisphere inside back cover)
  • Survey of Astronomy: 9th -12th Grade Teacher Guide
  • Our Created Moon
  • Taking Back Astronomy

The four books listed above are all you need for a full year of high school astronomy. Besides the huge Hubble book, I’ve also added:

  • The New Astronomy Book
  • The Privileged Planet (DVD)
  • Our Created Moon (DVD)
  • The Heavens Declare (set of 3 DVD’s)
  • Binoculars, and hopefully a used telescope at some point

Unboxing High School Astronomy

To see the books up closer, take a look at this unboxing video, where I show you the beautiful photos and describe what I am doing for astronomy this year:

High School Field Trips for Astronomy

Just during the month of September, we have already gone on 5 astronomy field trips! The first one was an astronomy workshop at a local library, where the speaker presented many different astronomy activities that would be taking place in my area. I asked him where the nearest observatory was located, where the best place to see the Milky Way was, and when the next star party was scheduled.

nasa-space-suit

On a different day we went to a planetarium, where we leaned back and observed outer space from a domed ceiling. I’ve always love planetariums because it makes me feel like I’m an astronaut in outer space, just floating and looking at the nebulae and planets.

solar-flares

We looked through telescopes at the sun during the daytime, to try to find solar flares and sun spots. On the day that we were looking, there were no sun spots or solar flares, but it was still cool to look through the expensive equipment to see the sun without hurting our eyes. The Spokane Astronomical Society had a booth at a local festival, and they were getting the public interested in astronomy by having their telescopes set up.

sun-spots

At night we attended a star party, which was also hosted by the Spokane Astronomical Society. We were able to find basic constellations, the north star, and some planets. We actually got to see four of the moons of Jupiter, and a red stripe going across it! (I’ve never been able to see that in real life before, so it was definitely cool.) And we also saw the rings on Saturn!

nasa-space-stuff

Our family also attended another workshop at a different library, presented by a NASA representative. The workshop was entitled “Space Frontiers.” We saw a space suit, Shuttle EVA suit glove, small rocket steering thruster, Martian meteorite, and other artifacts. Joe Bruce was the speaker, and he had witnessed four space shuttle launches and the launch of Space X Falcon Heavy from the Kennedy Space Center. He described what it was like, from the perspective of someone who was there!

star-party

We have learned so much high school astronomy so far and have experienced it! I’m always astounded at how much fun I have homeschooling my kids, and this year is no exception. Hands-on is the best way to learn about a subject, and we plan to go star gazing many more times this year.

Korea Day Activities

Monday, September 23rd, 2019

korea-day

Isn’t it lovely when there’s a little Korean town in the middle of a bustling city? And isn’t it even better when that town holds a festival of its own to attract attention to its little self? Welcome to Korea Day.

korea-in-british-columbia

This is the event I went to recently on my trip to British Columbia. The place itself had a grocery store, a bunch of restaurants, and clothes stores. Oh yeah, and ninety percent of everyone was Korean.

It was interesting. It was as if I was actually in some place located in Asia; I felt out of place as an American. But after I got over that and realized that they didn’t even notice or care about me, that’s when the fun began!

korean-restaurant

We got Korean pancakes, which were filled with glorious sweet brown sugar and peanut filling. After that, me and my third cousin once removed went browsing the clothes stores while the responsible adults left us to fend for ourselves. We noticed a certain hat, maybe it’s popular in that country to have sun visors that are super long. Our time of browsing was cut short as the rest of the group were trying to find us for the past five minutes. Oops.

korean-food

We went to a restaurant next, and it was so hot in there I almost melted, but that’s not the point. All the stuff we ordered were put in separate little bowls and put all together to look pretty. There were a lot of different foods. Mostly spicy foods. I have a feeling Koreans are best friends with fiery spices. My favorite foods were the ones drowned in teriyaki sauce. These were the beef and chicken dishes. We also put a bunch of the sauce in our rice, and we had no regrets.

car-photo

Overall, it was an interesting experience to get out of the culture I’m so stuck in, and see the way people on the other side of the world live. And really, Korean culture is not so different from ours. They have styles and brands and good food, just like we do, but they have their own way of expressing it.

PS. My daughter Rachel wrote this blog post.

Delight-Directed High School Curriculum

Monday, September 2nd, 2019

delight-directed-high-school-curriculum

What?! Is it possible to have delight-directed high school curriculum? Why, yes it is! Following the interests of your teen, you can build any high school course on your own or by collecting curriculum and resources that are perfect for the personality and strengths of your high school teen. Let’s take a look at what we will be doing this year for my 14-year-old daughter.

This post may contain affiliate links.

Homeschool High School Math Curriculum

First of all, she will be taking Algebra 2. We will be using Teaching Textbooks, but we will also use Khan Academy and Math-U-See Algebra 2 (especially the DVD’s) to help her think mathematically, since this is her least favorite subject. I also picked up the Algebra Survival Guide: A Conversational Handbook for the Thoroughly Befuddled. We will be going through the book together during the first few weeks of school to refresh her memory on Algebra, since she did Geometry last year and has not been doing Algebra for a full year.

high-school-math-curriculum

Homeschool High School Geography

Since Rachel has already done three years of high school English (literature and writing), she will not be doing English this year. Instead we will be focusing on the location of each country in the world, along with its culture and topography.

She started by decorating a binder with travel-the-world stickers to get her excited. We have a puzzle of the world with each country a separate puzzle piece. We will also be going on field trips: our first trip is to Canada! She has a travel journal to snap pictures of Canada and write descriptions on the sides of the pages. I picked up a brand new atlas, since countries are changing all the time. Of course, her passport is current–we will be using it the first week of school!

high-school-geography

Homeschool High School Psychology & Early Childhood

My daughter is taking Psychology and Early Childhood courses from 7 Sisters Homeschool. I love, love, love their no-nonsense curriculum. They have a LOT of electives to choose from that are perfect for delight-directed homeschooling of high school.

Introduction to Psychology is a one-semester course with printable tests and activities for each of the chapters. I found two visual guides about psychology at the local bookstore: How Psychology Works and The Little Book of Psychology. I might make a YouTube video showing you the inside of these books at some point, since they are beautifully laid out.

Early Childhood Education is another one-semester course with printable tests and activities that my daughter will be taking the second half of the school year, when we finish Psychology. Over the summer my daughter took the Safe Sitter class at the YMCA to start babysitting. What she learned in the class is a perfect introduction to Early Childhood.

psychology-homeschool-curriculum

I plan to also do Astronomy with my daughter this year, but the curriculum hasn’t arrived yet, so I will write a separate blog post for that.

Last but not least… what my 16-year-old son will be doing:

My 16-year-old son will be taking Pre-calculus, Physics, Quantum Mechanics, Piano, and Civil Air Patrol. He already took the SAT last year and did well, so this is his senior year. He will continue running the sound system at Youth Group at church, as well as teaching himself computer programming.

delight-directed-homeschooling

And that’s how you do delight-directed homechooling. Why are my kids so far ahead, you ask? Well, I’m glad you asked! It’s because of what I did with them in early childhood (which I explain in my workshop Cognitive Development in Early Childhood). Secondly, they are far ahead because we accelerated their learning through unit studies. Thirdly, we skipped middle school. Stick around. Join my newsletter below, even if you don’t want the Bible craft book, just to keep up with our family adventures!

back-to-homeschool

Top 10 Healthy Food Tips

Monday, May 13th, 2019

top-10-healthy-food-tips

My daughter Rachel and I have been learning a lot about food and how it affects our bodies. Rachel created another fun video about hands-on health called “Top 10 Healthy Food Tips.” These tips come directly from her high school health book by Apologia (link is at the bottom of this post):

Healthy Food Tip #1: Eat a variety of foods. Meat, dairy foods, beans, vegetables, and whole grains all have their parts to play.

Each type of food provides different nutrients that are needed by the body. If you don’t eat enough protein, for example, your muscles will feel weak and start hurting because your body will start taking protein away from your muscles to keep your other body systems alive. Without fruits and vegetables, you will not get essential vitamins and nutrients for your body, and you will suffer with poor digestion and other problems.

Healthy Food Tip #2: Choose unprocessed food, closest to its natural state. Choose fruit over fruit juice.

The less processed food is, the better it is for your body. This means that raw fruits and vegetables, for example, are better for you than packaged foods that contain preservatives. Even with fruit, the bulk in the fruit (like the pulp of the orange) has nutrients that are absent in the orange juice that has been pasteurized, a process by which it is heated to high temperatures which strips the orange juice from most of its nutrients. Preservatives are then placed into the juice. So it’s way better to eat an orange, or to squeeze it right before drinking it. The same is true for any other juice.

Healthy Food Tip #3: Limit white carbohydrate foods. These include white flour, white sugar, white rice, and white potatoes.

When we studied biology in our homeschool, we did an experiment where we placed white bread and wheat bread with some water drops in a plastic bag. The wheat bread spoiled a lot faster than the white bread, which had less for the mold to feed on, indicating that mold didn’t even want to eat the white bread because it didn’t recognize the bread as actual food.

The darker rice has the bran and germ still in it, giving it more nutrients, whereas the white rice has the nutrients stripped from it. So try to stay away from white carbohydrates and instead, eat whole grains.

white-grains-not-good-for-you

Healthy Food Tip #4: Enjoy the delicious nutrition of eggs; just average one a day.

Growing up, I heard that two eggs a day is about all you want to eat because of the cholesterol. (This health book recommends eating only one egg for that reason; I’ve also researched online to find that eating a lot of eggs causes heart disease.) But the eggs also contain Omega 3, protein, and other vitamins, so they are good to eat. I’ve heard people argue that the cholesterol in eggs is the good kind, and that the nutrients in the eggs are hard to find elsewhere. So enjoy your eggs; just don’t go overboard–one or two a day is plenty.

Healthy Food Tip #5: Grain and beans together give you all the essential amino acids.

When I grew up in Guatemala, everybody ate black beans and rice. I never knew that together, they provide a complete protein with all the amino acids. Complete proteins contain all 9 essential amino acids, so sometimes you have to combine a grain (like rice or corn) with a bean to get everything you need.

Healthy Food Tip #6: If you have a choice, start with unsalted food and then add a sprinkle of salt at the table if needed.

If you eat too much salt, your blood pressure goes up because of extra water stored in your body. I know so many people who are on high blood pressure medication. I wonder if they cut out salt (as much as possible), if their bodies would not need the medication. For example, if you put cheddar cheese and ham into your scrambled eggs, there is no reason to add salt because the eggs are already flavored. Oregano and other herbs are good for you, unlike salt, so use those instead.

Healthy Food Tip #7: Three 8-ounce servings of milk or yogurt each day cover many mineral needs.

Milk is a rich source of calcium, which is needed for your bones. You can get that calcium from milk products like yogurt, cheese, and even ice cream. Milk products also contain phosphorus and magnesium. If you are lactose intolerant, you can get the same nutrients from vegetables, nuts, eggs, and whole grains.

Healthy Food Tip #8: Eat lots of vegetables, both cooked and raw. Minerals are more easily absorbed from cooked vegetables. Vitamins, on the other hand, are more plentiful in raw vegetables because vitamins are destroyed by the heat used for cooking.

I found it interesting that minerals are more absorbed from cooked vegetables. But raw is better in almost every other way because most of the vitamins are cooked out of the vegetables if you don’t eat them raw. If you grow your own vegetables, eating the vegetables right after picking them will give you the most flavor, too!

fresh-vs-canned

Healthy Food Tip #9: If you have options, choose fresh or frozen food over canned or dry food.

The high temperatures needed for canning remove a lot of the vitamins from the food, so it’s way better to eat fresh or frozen foods. Even dehydrated foods have to be processed, losing some of the vitamins of the food. So fresh food is best, then frozen, then dried, and last… canned.

Healthy Food Tip #10: Limit your intake of table sugar to between 6 and 9 teaspoons each day.

My dad recently died of cancer. Cancer thrives on sugar. And eating too much sugar leads to atherosclerosis, which clogs your arteries. Sugar is empty calories, so you end up gaining weight. Also, sugar makes you feel sluggish. Yes, you can eat sugar in moderation, especially a small piece of dessert with a meal, because when you have other food in your stomach, all of the contents of your stomach are digested together and you won’t feel the sluggishness you would feel if you ate a sugary snack on an empty stomach.

If you enjoyed reading about what we are learning in our health class, you would probably love the book that we are using: (affiliate link) Exploring Creation with Health and Nutrition by Apologia. We hope you enjoyed my daughter’s video where she dramatized each of these food tips, to help you remember to eat well to have more energy!

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