Shakespeare Activity, “You’re the Director”


Shakespeare Activity, “You’re the Director”

You're the Director in a Shakespeare's Play

Three things I have learned from my daughter studying Shakespeare in high school:

  1. Shakespeare is designed to be watched and not just read.
  2. Shakespeare had a sense of humor. I only had known of his tragedies before.
  3. Directing a scene from a Shakespeare’s play allowed for deeper thoughts than answering a list of questions.

Growing up I did not have a love for Shakespeare. Nor did I ever watch one of his plays performed. Having seen 3 of Shakespeare’s plays this year…I now love and appreciate his work.

My favorite books to read are from the No Fear Series. Macbeth (No Fear Shakespeare) [Read more…]

Edgar Allen Poe Lesson Plans

Poe Lesson Plans

Edgar Allen Poe lesson plans for high school students. This is how one study guide from our Illuminations program turned into a 6 week in-depth study on Edgar Allen Poe.

This could be an example for my homeschooling friends who are nervous about homeschooling high school. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is a popular pre-school book. Moms have read the book over and over to their children and provided small activities to go with the book. Guess what…It is the same format in high school except the topics run deeper.

If you give a homeschool mom a one week study guide on Poe she begins to study ways to teach the new topic.

She decides that one week is not enough to time for all the treasures she has found for her Edgar Allen Poe lesson plans.

Edgar Allen Poe Lesson Plans Resources:

She has chosen The Best of Poe: The Tell-Tale Heart, The Raven, The Cask of Amontillado, and 30 Othersfor her students to read. But then finds this book has a study guide, The Best of Poe.

After gathering information on which writings to read she decides the students must understand poetry to fully appreciate Poe.

Why not have students study poetry and practice writing poetry too. Yes, there is a study guide from 7 Sisters on Poetry Writing. 

My daughter’s favorite book in helping her understand poetry, How to Read a Poem: Based on the Billy Collins Poem “Introduction to Poetry”

Really hearing the poetry read aloud to capture all the nuances leads to buying the Edgar Allan Poe Audio Collection. Which was my personal favorite.

Why not gather some free resources from the National Park Service on Edgar Allen Poe.

Edgar Allen Poe Lesson Plans Field Trips:

Edgar Allen Poe Lesson Plans for Co-op Setting:

The breakdown of how these resources were used in a 6 week poetry unit meeting for a 3 hour class once a week; 1 hour on reading poetry, 1 hour writing, 1 hour on Poe study guide.

Week before class started the girls read and discussed the resources from the National Park Service web site. [Read more…]

Illuminations Schedule Created for Mom

Illuminations Custom List for Mom

How I used Illuminations Schedule to Create a Custom To Do List

I have really been struggling with forgetting things, or just winging my work hours and not really having a plan. In keeping with my word for 2015, Stones, I decided I needed to spend a few moments on writing some goals and to do lists. I started a google search looking for planners, schedules, and to do lists.

After about 30 minutes I decided I would probably need to create my own since I did not trust my brain to learn a new system. I took a moment to think what I might already have to help keep me on task.

How To Tweak the Illuminations Schedule:

  • Open up the program and select create a new schedule.
  • I selected the subject family bible and created the new schedule.
  • I began adding custom subjects for each different area of my schedule.
  • I added homeschool, Lane kids, blogging, BIP and errands.
  • I then deleted family bible from the schedule.

[Read more…]

Illuminations, Schedules and Overwhelmed

I know many hours of research went into deciding to use Illuminations. Really that custom schedule grid that contains every subject and is printed weekly just makes my planning momma’s heart happy. I am on top of the homeschool mountain ready to conquer this school year.

Then something twisted happens around week 4 at my house. I become slave to the schedule. I have kids who are overwhelmed, I have kids who are behind in a subject and I become one stressed momma.

Then I have to remind myself of my goal for homeschooling…Teaching My Children The Way They Learn.

Schedule 2

My youngest son, a 5th grader, has become completely overwhelmed with the weekly schedule grid. He takes one look at all the assignments on Monday morning and cannot grasp how he will get it all done. Then he has a melt down. [Read more…]

Illuminations and High School Credit

Student On Books Showing Educated And Knowledge

Since I have been asked a few different times about which high school credits can be earned using  Illuminations, I thought I would do a write up of a few examples.

My oldest son graduated last year and attends college majoring in Atmospheric Science and GIS.

My daughter is a junior in high school and plans to attend our local college to become a pastry chef.

I mention their career choices to point out their high school transcripts look completely different even though they used the same program.

Personally I like to work backwards on high school credits. I look at what they need to graduate and what their college of choice requires. Once I know what is expected then I look at how courses offered in Illuminations can fulfill the requirements. [Read more…]

Illuminations, Combining Two Weeks

Illuminations Series

I could joke and say if you have homeschooled for at least a day then you understand the need for rescheduling school work. Kids get sick, mom gets sick and family emergencies happen. Then the tension can rise when the colorful printed schedule grids have not been completed by the end of the week. Take a deep breath…slowly exhale.

Since the schedule software does not allow you to bump information to the next week how do you handle rescheduling?

Illuminations Schedule Combining

Suggestions for Combining Weeks in Illuminations:

[Read more…]

Schedule Tweaks with Illuminations

Illuminations Series

We are still talking about Illuminations. I hope these posts are helping you to understand how the program works.

If you watched the first video on “How to create a schedule with Illuminations” then you are ready to look at some other tweaks of the software.

I have to admit I needed a little extra help on creating this post and video. I emailed my co-worker who works 5 days a week on the redesign of Illuminations. These are the points he felt every user would benefit from knowing. I even had to do conference call to fully understand all the details. [Read more…]

Creating a Schedule with Illuminations

Illuminations Series

The new software included in Illuminations gives me the freedom to create custom schedules in under 10 minutes each week.

At the beginning of the school year a small amount time is needed to select and create the schedule. Once saved the schedule can be labeled by the child’s name and an icon remains on my desktop. Each week I click the icon, click the week we are on, make a few changes and print.

My kids love knowing at a glance what they will be learning for the week. They are also accountable to complete the work in the grids. My kids use it as a check list and will mark off the completed assignments. It becomes very visual on how much is completed and still needs to be done by Friday. [Read more…]

Illuminations and Study Guides

Illuminations Series

What is the difference between an FSG and a RAG? What things are included in the study guides? Where can I find the guides in the program? Are there answer keys?

Illuminations Study Guides:

  • There are 3 types of study guides
  • Read-Alone Guide (RAG)
  • Family Study Guide (FSG)
  • High School Study Guide (HSSG)
  • All the guides include Answer keys

[Read more…]

Why I Love Illuminations

Illuminations Series

I love the freedom of choices with homeschooling curriculum. With access to the web and a good printer, homeschooling can be very inexpensive. The only draw back, time in putting it all together.

Since I work part time, homeschool and blog…every waking moment counts.

Why I love Illuminations!

  1. The time it saves me on planning school.
  2. I love the literature books. I have observed the hours Maggie Hogan spends on selecting books for the literature selections. I totally trust her choices, especially since I am not a book lover.
  3. I can create a weekly schedule for my kids in about 10 minutes on a Sunday night.
  4. It covers every subject but math. Since each of my kids uses a different math program, it is the one custom subject I add to the program.
  5. The DVD and audio schedule for adding movies to our history topics.
  6. My kids having a weekly schedule to keep them accountable to what needs to be completed. In my home, failure to complete assignment by Friday at 5:00 results in cancelled weekend plans.
  7. All my kids are on the same time period of history. The longer I homeschool the more I need to stream line the teaching in my home.

[Read more…]