Friday, August 29, 2014

Week of 8/24/2014-8/30/2014

This weekend we went to the zoo, which is always a lot of fun! Our favorite moment was when the sloth bear posed for the camera, very obviously stopping what it was doing to smile at me after I got my camera out.

Reading/Language Arts : Continued reading/logging Jolly Robin. Reviewed CH/CL consonant blends. Did workpages in Star Wars 2nd grade reading book, talked about collective nouns.

Math : Learned 2 times table, discussed other times tables she already knew (2, 5, 10, 11). Reviewed more subtraction word problems and learned to “FIND! THE! DIFFERENCE!!!!” when extracting number problems from word problems. Did Greater/Less/Equal problems. Pages in Star Wars 2nd grade Math book. Played math games on the computer.

Social Studies : Discussed recent times, long ago times, and long, long ago. (ie : yesterday, when she was a baby, before cars were invented, before electricity was invented) Read a story from the Mali empire about Sundiata the “Lion King”. Drew a picture representing the story, and created our own story to practice storytelling.

Science : Talked about how objects in motion stay in motion, and did movement experiments by running, riding bikes, and dropping eggs. Observed birds in the neighborhood and journaled their movement, habitat, and what they ate. Listened for bird song to determine what kinds of birds we had locally.

Health : Discussed ways to stay healthy and journaled it.

Art : Art for other lessons, also more wet paper watercoloring and started to learn about shading pencil drawings.

Music  : Continued learning recorder.

Craft : Continued learning to crochet.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Subtraction breakthrough!

Mimzy has been having a hard time with subtraction. She often adds the numbers instead of subtracting, and she also is challenged by extracting subtraction number problems from word problems. Today we found something that worked, and it was so great to see the moment of epiphany!
It's as simple as playing ..... "Find! The!! DIFFERENCE!!"
Now, finding the difference isn't exactly something new, but Mimzy decided it should be a game. So when she reads a problem, it goes kind of like this :
"Sally's hair is 24 inches long. She cuts off 6 inches, how long is her hair now? Everybody, it's time to play Find! The!! DIFFEREEEEEHHHHNNNCCCEEE!" She then removes the numbers from the problem, just like she would an addition problem, and thinks about how she has to arrange the numbers to find out the difference. Like I said, not exactly a "new" technique, but it just finally clicked with her, and she's so pleased with herself that she continued doing subtraction problems long after she'd done the amount I asked of her, just so she could keep playing the game.
She also learned today that she already knew how to do multiplication, and I proved it to her by having her recite her 1, 2, 5, 10, and 11 times tables using her ability to count in those groups. She's quite impressed with herself.
Who said Mondays were awful? Learning should be fun, and I'm so pleased that she knows that! <3

Friday, August 22, 2014

Week of 8/17/2013-8/23/2014

Drawings for Social Studies the last two weeks,
story summaries written on the backs.
Reading/Language Arts :  Continued reading “A Tale of Jolly Robin” and entering summaries into journal. Reviewed consonant blends.

Math : Addition and subtraction word problems as well as number sequences. Discussed number placements. (ones, tens, hundreds, thousands)

Social Studies : Read “The Fish Basket Goddess: A Tale from Ancient China”, drew a picture about the story, and created dances telling the stories from this and last week using masks, play silks, and music. (We'll be performing them this weekend, pictures then.)

Science : Read the fable of the Ant and the Cricket. Learned the life cycles of ants, observed them in their colonies, researched them on the internet and wrote about it in the journal.

Health : Discussed how joints worked, and explored the human body’s various systems. Discussed our skeletons, how they’re similar in other creatures (with pictures found online), our organs, muscles, and other basic body systems.

Art : Explored wet paper painting and mixed media using watercolors and colored pencils.

Music  : Continued learning recorder.

Craft : Continued learning to crochet.

Extra : Went to the library.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Happy "Not Going Back To School" Day!

Today is the day that all the local kids go back to school, and so we decided to celebrate her first day of NOT having to "go back to school". She got all dressed up in her TMNT sunglasses, a "fancy dress", and her winged galaxy shoes, and went out to eat. I told her that we were having PB&J sandwiches .. what I didn't tell her is that they were the PB&J ice cream sandwiches from Coldstone Creamery! (They were absolutely delicious, by the way.) Happy Homeschooling! :D

Socialization and Homeschooling

One of the biggest concerns I hear from people regarding homeschooling is, "When/How will your kid socialize?"
Last year Mimzy had 20-minutes for her silent lunches (no talking allowed), no talking in the hallways, no talking in class, no talking in the bathrooms .. and 20 minutes for recess, sometimes a second recess or free time. I'm really curious why people think kids get so much time to socialize in school? 
Mimzy has karate class 2-4 times a week, we travel to the library at least once a week, go to interactive museums/the art museums at least once a month, she'll be going to the zoo's homeschool program once a month, the park at least once a week in decent weather, having playdates and meet-ups with other families, volunteering in community theater .. She's getting a ton of chances to socialize with children AND adults in real-world situations. I've often heard high school and college teachers complain that kids aren't prepared for the real world after being trained to survive in fabricated school environments.
As for socialization, ie, "the lifelong process of inheriting and disseminating norms, customs and ideologies, providing an individual with the skills and habits necessary for participating within his or her own society." .. as far as I can tell, my child can get the same socialization if I beat her up in the bathroom and steal her lunch money, then insult her and demand conformity. Instead, she is learning how to make appointments, how to write checks, pay bills, queue at the bank, manage her savings account, work hard to earn money to pay for the things she wants, grow her own food, treat other people the way she wants to be treated, and embrace diversity .. I think it's a fair trade.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Week of 08/10/2014-08/16/2014

We took a field trip to 
Historic Sauder Village where the kids were able to learn about local history as well as experience it first-hand. They churned butter, rode on a horse-drawn carriage, shelled beans, made noodles, practiced cabinetry ... there's so much to do there! Mimzy also started lessons in crochet, and she was able to make several bracelets/anklets using the basic chain stitch.

Lessons :

Reading/Language Arts : Reviewed word families, Mimzy read and discussed with me several “chapters” of the story Jolly Robin, (See “Jolly Robin” note). Entered summary of week’s reading into Workbook.

Math : Discussed the 4 basic processes of math. (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division). Reviewed addition and subtraction, and explained (with examples) how multiplication and division worked. 

Social Studies : Read an ancient Chinese legend, Laownu and the Fallen Sky. Mimzy then summarized the story in her workbook and drew a picture representing it. Played with Tangrams, and decorated a mask.

Science : Explored 5 senses by playing 5 different games. Discussed the games in Workbook.
Game #1 : took turns being blindfolded, the person who was blindfolded had to find the other person following sound cues. Discussed sense of hearing and how animals used it in the wild (echolocation, hunting, etc).  --  Game #2 :  Discussed our individual "territories" (ie : bedrooms, places we usually sit in the living room, where we put our things) and observed animals in their specific "territories" in nature and in out home (pets.) --  Game #3 : We played Pin the Antennae on the Ant. --  Game #4 :  Blindfolded again, had Mimzy smell 5 bowls filled with garlic, vinegar, cinnamon, vanilla, and fruit juice, and had her identify each item using only her sense of smell. Then discussed how animals (specifically dogs) used their sense of smell.  --  Game #5 : Blindfolded and set 5 objects in front of Meara, letting her use one finger to touch them in an attempt to discern what they were. Discussed how insects used antennae/cats used whiskers.

Health : Discussed differences and similarities in humans and animals, including physical, cosmetic, mental, abilities, manner of dress, etc. Discussed pigmentation in the skin and it’s purpose.

Art : Discussed the seasons and painted pictures representing them.

Music : Began Recorder lessons.

Craft : Began learning to crochet, created some bracelets/anklets using the basic chain stitch.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Our Curriculum

For Mimzy, our second-grade level student, we use Oak Meadow curriculum. We supplement her education with frequent field trips to local museums and zoos; she also has multiple trips a week to martial arts lessons and the library. Shark, our preschool age student, loves reading and playing with flashcards. There are also many other ways in which they learn. They both enjoy imaginative play, in which they builds forts, create clothes/costumes, and pretend that the world is full of magic. Mimzy wants to be a scientist and a mermaid, and frequently does science experiments at home, and of course researches how she might one day turn herself into a real mermaid. They both do imitation activities, helping us to clean, pay bills, make appointments, cook meals, etc. We spend time out in nature so they can learn how plants and animals interact, how food grows, and generally observe and interact with the world around them. We believe that life is full of teachable moments, that we should always enjoy learning, and should never stop seeking knowledge.