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11 February 2017


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Melanie B

I really like the insight in your final paragraph, about balancing the needs of the family as opposed to optimizing each individual's education. You and I have very different approaches to planning and organization, but I think we have similar visions for what it means for the family to thrive.


I just had our 7 year old work with his 4 year old little brother on something each day--play dough, pattern blocks, drawing, worksheets. It's been a good thing for the 7 year old. He gets to practice his reading and be the one in the know!

Karen Edmisten

I, too, like your conclusions about family and balance. It's been tricky with my youngest -- she is 14, and her older sisters are 20 and 23. They always had each other, and we did so much of their schooling together. It's been more challenging with my youngest, and every year there's been tweaking, and watching and waiting to see how God will provide (or how He'll tweak my planning and tweaking.) :)


Would you mind sharing what science lab she had been doing (the rigorous one) as well as the one she's going to be doing next year? I just introduced my 5th graders to a very simple lab report form for science experiments, and I'm thinking about doing it next year with my upcoming 4th grader. Thanks!


I'm using the Middle School Life Science lab published by Quality Science Labs. It's a complete kit with a year's worth of experiments.


I've tweaked the "lab notebook/lab report" instructions some -- she and her 7th-grade brother each have a composition book to use as a lab notebook. I instruct them what to write before the lab and what to write (or draw) during the lab, an abbreviated version of what I assign the high school kid. So, like,


[but only general steps, not the detailed step by step procedure that a high school lab would do -- so it might be something like 1. observe bacteria under a microscope 2. draw what you see]

[whatever they see or measure]

Then the DISCUSSIONS section is just to answer the end-of-lab questions from the lab manual.

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