January 2017 Gifted Homeschooling Update

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It snowed in Texas!!! Not a lot, but enough! 🙂

It’s funny, I wonder why I am always tired and have bags under my eyes and then I write a monthly update post and see what we’ve done in a month and then I remember why. At the same time I know it’s not forever and will last Madison a lifetime and that is what makes it all worth it.
This month Madison went to the Perot Museum quite a bit. She learned about Ornithology in her Junior Master Naturalist class and went on a field trip to the John Bunker Sands Wetlands.

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The Perot had a special event called Journey to Mars that was presented by Lockheed Martin. They had a school bus set up and the windows inside were screens that showed a simulation as though you were driving on Mars. Madison enjoyed building her own stomp rocket and launched it and made her own badge.

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Madison’s favorite part of this event was talking to Dr Z. She went to speak to him on three different occasions while she was there. He amazed her and she loved hearing everything he had to say. They had some great conversations.

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The Perot also hosted a homeschool day early in the month. The focus was on Nano meters. Madison had never heard of nano meters before so she learned quite a bit. She even got to see nano gold and learn how it is being studied in the medical field.

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Unfortunately, we have had a bad season of allergies this month. Madison had a lot of sinus headaches and lost her voice. I started her on Zertec and she improved immensely. While she wasn’t feeling well she watched the series American Genius on Netflix. She really enjoyed this series.

Madison has continued Thinkwell 7th grade Math and we are on track to start Algebra I in early February. She also plays Prodigy for fun which allows her to practice and solidify basic skills at the same time she advances in higher math.

We are currently working on The Secret of the Andes unit from Moving Beyond the Page. In this unit in conjunction with the language arts unit, we are also working on the Incas, Aztecs and Mayans unit from Moving Beyond the Page. We dug deeper into this unit by reading the Mountains Discover Kids magazine and coordinating lesson plans as well as reading the Peru book from Top Secret.

In Secret of the Andes, we covered present, past and future verbs, verbals, a gerund, an infinitive, a participle, a verbal phrase, and how to write sentences with different beginnings. We will wrap up this unit with her writing a narrative essay in the beginning of February.

In Incas, Aztecs, and Mayans, Madison learned Mayan and Aztec History and Geography, Daily Life of the Maya’s and Aztecs, Mesoamerocan Warefare, Mesoamerican Knowledge, Mesoamerican Religion mans Celebration, History and Government of the Ican Impire, Daily Life of the Incas, The Art and Beliefs of the Incas, Incan Knowledge and Warefare, and Legacies of the Mayas, Aztecs, and Incas. The Perot has a traveling exhibit coming in February on the Mayans that we look forward to seeing. Madison read about Peru in Geography of the World and then colored Peru in on her wall map of the world.

The Thinkwell AP American Government course Madison is taking has been going very well without any issues. She has covered The Foundations of Government, Political Culture, and The History of the Constitution. Each of these have 4 – 5 subsections. She answers questions after each subsection. She will take a practice test and test after each chapter. Hopefully she does just as well on those.

With the recent Presidential inauguration, we took the opportunity to learn about the history of inauguration, the current cabinet positions and nominations as well as our President’s 100 day plan. We are tracking the 100 plan as well. Before the inauguration Madison also listened to the book Lives of the Presidents: Fame, Shame (and What the Neighbors Thought) (Lives of . . .).

For science Madison completed the Astronomy Unit study from Intellego and read and did lesson plans from the Discover Kids Space magazine. She also received her first Tinker Crate which was about polymers. It was a hit. She loved making mars mud, bouncy balls, slime and putty all by herself and reading and reviewing polymers at the same time.

As far as Art and Music go, Madison is continuing her piano lessons and loving them. She read the booklet and listened to the Maestro Classics ‘Carnival of the Animals.’

Madison completed a couple of projects from the DVD from Home Art Studio. We are still on third grade. She loves these art projects. The video shows her what to do and all I have to do is buy the supplies.

She also started a kit to learn how to draw and paint with water color pencils.General Pencil Learn to Draw and Paint with Watercolor Pencils

We attended the DMA homeschool class where Madison learned about patterns and wax resist. We enjoyed hanging out with friends and we also met some new friends!



Madison is continuing Rosetta Stone Homeschool Spanish (Latin America) Level 1-5 Set including Audio Companion, Visual Latin, and Wordly Wise 3000 Level 6 online. She reads her Daily Devotions and attends her weekly Religious Formation class. Madison also attends Homeschool PE weekly as well as American Heritage Girls. This month they had an awards ceremony and she received her badges in Photography, Living in the U.S.A., Fishing, Geology, and Aviation.

She loves playing chess kids and chess with others whenever she can. We attended a chess strategy session at the Library featuring Alexey Root and then Madison had a blast playing chess with her friend.

We love board games and I love the classics, but Madison has recently learned how to play Ticket To Ride, SET: The Family Game of Visual Perception,and Castle Panic. Next on her list of games to learn is Catan 5th Edition. Check out the Gameschooling Challenge from My Little Poppies. It is so much fun to see all the games people are playing, what is out there and which are the most fun.

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January also included fishing and a Top Golf outing for Madison and Jeff.

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So, I’ve decided from my last post that we cannot do it all, but now We’ve decided to try. Ha. Ha. We don’t have a path or a plan. We’re on a week by week basis now. 🙂

Today is the Moment

Today is the moment when I fully realized Education is entirely different from what I have known and thought it was. 

Subtle clues along the way have made me aware, but not convinced, until today. 

I love the Charlotte Mason education as well as Classical education. But after today, I am convinced both are going to be obsolete. 

Nature is important. But as a layer it is going to be a hobby unless one has higher aspirations to make it an actual ground breaking science. 

I see where all of the hype of STEM and STEAM is coming from now. The question is how to balance what they need to know from the basics in conjunction with what they need to know to keep up with the discoveries and inventions our present and future is evolving to discover? 

They can’t learn it all. It isn’t possible. There has to be a happy medium and I am determined to figure out what that is. 

But I am not going to hold Madison back from what is clearly evolving before my eyes, but at the same time, I am not going to compromise her as a well rounded person. 

Question: Does anyone watch Jeoordy anymore? Is it still relevant to be able to answer the questions on that show? 

Does anyone have an insights to this concept of what is important in this generation for learning? I’m adamant about history, but to what extent? Diagraming sentences?  Good literature? Math is crucial. Science is crucial. American Government is crucial. How do you do it all? 

Thoughts? 

Visiting Dreams

I love this post. I think it speaks in volumes.

we tried normal

This is the season for resolutions, we are seeking to fix flaws and change our lives. It is our human qualities that make us want to compare, judge, control, and aspire. We can be hard on ourselves, and on our children.

We tell them from an early age what is expected of them, what we fear for them, and how we want them to comply. We are trying to help them become successful, functional, and fulfilled. They are swamped by our own fears and desires.

We mean well, but considering that our children are becoming ever more stressed, anxious, depressed, and suicidal; shouldn’t we to take a real look at how we raise and educate our children? It is time to let go of our agenda, our need to control, and our desire for compliance.

How would our collective lives change if we allowed children to trust their own instincts…

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