Sunday, August 12, 2012

School, Weeks 1 through 3

I've had the kiss of death when it comes to anything remotely technical for the last two weeks.  BUT, I'm now up and running with a new laptop, a new router, and lots of computer-related stuff to catch up on, including this blog.  (Please note, I have not looked at Pinterest in about a month, I may get lost over there, and forget to post anything here.)

Today, I'll start with school, you can read all about our curriculum here.

Week 1, Thoughtful had pneumonia, in July.....I know, he should've been resting.  But, he really, REALLY, wanted to school!  Crazy kids I have I tell ya!  So after a few shots and milkshakes for breakfast, we gathered around the school table.

We start light on the academic part, and ease our way into full swing schooling a week at a time.  During Week 1, we jumped into all of our Language Arts and Reading.  Thoughtful read a non-fiction book about spiders and their webs.  I am reading Charlottes' Web to the boys, so this fit very nicely.  After looking through a picture book, Spunk and I found a spider that we later identified as a Phlocus.  Here is a Thoughtful's drawing in his nature journal, with a few facts from his reader.  

I also gave Spunk a workbox assignment to create a spider out of tangrams. 

Each of the boys are working on sight words this year.  I printed lists from which has all kinds of teaching tools.  I also printed the flash cards to use with Spunk.  Basically, I had him read the list of words to me, and we're concentrating on those he missed.  He works on a word every day or so by building it with clay and letter tiles, writing it, and using the word in a sentence.  The word goes into a composition book that he's keeping throughout the year.  Every few days, he reads all of the words he's already put in the book and copies some on Fridays.

Thoughtful is working on US States this year - just for fun learning!!  I don't find the need to test him on an additional subject.  So he picks which state to learn about using flashcards, maps, books, and a Children's Atlas.  More on this later.  So far he's learned about Alabama, Tennessee, and Texas (he IS my country boy).

In Week 2, we added History, and frankly, we're wingin' it this year!  Really, do you remember what you learned in History in your early elementary years?  Me neither!!  So I figure that anything we get in is good.  We're starting with a Creation Unit because the way I see it, that's the beginning of History.  We'll carry through this as long as it takes before we feel like moving on to Archaeology and Dinosaurs.

Also this week, I sent them out to collect the eggs, and look what my boys found nearby!  SNAKE SKIN!!

They spread out the pieces of the found snake skin and connected them to figure the length, about 3 feet by the way.

They identified it as some variation of rat snake based on its markings.  They drew a picture of it in their journals and kept an eye out for the owner of the shed skin.

Two days later, Hubs caught the culprit eating my eggs! He's now gone...................The End.

This caused all kinds of snake and wild animal books to be de-shelved!  Can we say unschooling?  I have now heard about every snake found in North America, which are the most venomous, which are the "good" snakes, and which are constrictors.  Gross!  But they're learning so what can I say?

We also had this sweetie, my perfect angel of a 2 year old niece, whom I refer to as The Princess.

I was a little afraid that she'd be a distraction to schooling, but she fit right into our craziness!

I got to throw together some tot activities, and get some sweet Princess lovin'!  I love her to pieces and hope that my brother and sister-in-law will let me have her more. <wink>

The kids are involved in an instructional bowling program each Saturday.  They've had 4 lessons and have 2 left to complete the class.

They are getting all kinds of tips and helps from some very dedicated bowlers.  Do you notice there are no bumpers for Spunk to bowl with?  I am amazed that with bumpers he was scoring in the teens, and now, without them, this 6 year old is averaging 70 pins!!  Not too shabby! 

In two more weeks, they'll each get a custom-drilled ball as part of the low cost for the class.  Win!

In week 3, we began our new levels of Math U See.  This means that Thoughtful is starting multiplication. 

Translation:  The first time that I'm really questioning my ability to teach my children!  Oh, but teaching is so easy with  Math U See's DVD, and the way that Steve Demme teaches make so much sense.  I wish I was taught this way!!

 Here's a picture of part of his first test.....and yes, we called it a test.  If you know us personally, then you know this is a huge step for Thoughtful!

We've also dabbled with Draw Write now, had some occupational therapy-type stuff, Dictionary skills practice, typing, time, money, All About Spelling, and other extras along the way.   We're using Spanish flash cards, just one at a time - again, JUST FOR FUN!!  They love it!

Using workboxes has proven to keep us organized and we're fitting in so many extras.

Last for today, we were supposed to take Flat Stanley's around this summer, but poor ol' Stanley got neglected, BIG TIME, so we're turning this into a year-long project.  Spunk remembered to bring him to lunch this week where he found a flat fried okra!  It was a hilarious find for sure!

This week, we start Science & PE with our new Co-op, which we are soooo excited to participate in!  Updates to follow, I'm sure!

No comments:

Post a Comment