Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Schedule Tweaks, Old School Stuff & Bowling

After our Play-Doh week, I thought I'd try to do the "Play-Doh"time after we finished our core work. It didn't work well... we completed a lot... but our days still don't have a flow that we'd like to have:/

 I also tried to schedule our time in one hour blocks...

 for a couple of reasons. One it gives a time for everything. Two it's motivating for the kids to finish those assignments in the given time versus dragging their feet ...which some tend to do...often:/ It's also nice for me to only be working on math with the kids for this set time versus the middle two doing Spelling, Anna doing math and then Grammar. I feel like the one hour blocks have given us some more structure. And we are able to give math the full hour... so the kids can fit in more hands-on activities or math fact practice.

Tweaking and tweaking to "get it all in" peacefully:)

This week we talked about taking personal responsibility. It was mostly applied to keeping our home more tidy, but also helping others when we saw an opportunity. I loved that later in the week we saw someone we knew carrying something that was very heavy for them. The kids looked at me and I looked at them... we knew exactly what to do:)

Language Arts
IMG_0082For spelling Chris and Lydia worked on the "air" sound...

it was a tricky lesson because there are numerous ways to make that sound:) They missed more words this week than usual but that is how this spelling system works... it shows us where we need to work:)

For Chris the challenge is making spelling fun, so I try to find unique ways to work with his spelling words. This week he made them out of pipe cleaners... and did well on his end of week spelling test;)

I also like them to write sentences with the words. It's "old school" but really helps them learn proper Grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, and creativity in using the words.

Lydia did some sentences for her word "where" on the whiteboard... sweet:)


Another fun lesson was a Grammar lesson with Lydia and Chris... so fun that Anna joined in:) LOL!! They made postcards for people:) Postcards are different though because the address and "letter" are included right next to each other. The body of the letter has to be short, concise but still fun and interesting to read. Oh, and the stamp goes in a different place:) Now if this Momma can just get them in the mail:)

Our read aloud is Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith, its totally going to take a few weeks! But it fits within our history lessons, so it's all good;) Anna is reading a biography of Abraham Lincoln from Sowers and then she'll move into Little Women (possibility with me reading it with her). Lydia is reading through the Samantha American Girls books. Chris reads what suits his interest while he was at the library as well as his reading lessons since he is still reluctantly reading; even simpler books for his reading time with me has been good practice.

With our new tweak to the schedule, the kids had a little more hands-on math and math fact practice! Definitely a reason to keep the new "tweak" :)  Between all the different lessons, we worked on long division (YIKES!), telling time, addition facts, making graphs.... lots of lessons;)

Since Christopher started SAXON 3 which begins with a lot of review, he buzzed through his lessons and worksheets every morning. So he was also able to do xtramath.org and work on the old-school GeoSafari to practice telling time.

Lydia also found the "one hour" block to be plenty of time to complete her lessons, worksheets, fact sheets and xtramath! Poor Anna... the "one hour" didn't work as well with her. I am hoping she will get back into the routine of starting math earlier so during the "one hour block" she can work on just the questions that she needs my help to complete correctly.

Our history times were mostly spent reading about The Battle of Bull Run (Manassas), Children of the Civil War & what their schools looked like and the soldiers' life. We made two charts comparing the Union & Confederate soldiers and comparing schooling in the Union & Confederacy.

The kids also colored two soldiers... one Union & one Confederate. I was surprised how accurate they wanted to be, definitely nice to see them engaged in the lessons... even when it's coloring.

I felt like we didn't cover much in Science this week:( But with the impending "snow storm" there were plenty of snow and temperature conversations;) In fact, Nate's theme this week was snow so one of Chris' reading practice book was about snow and it's uses.

IMG_0102Since preparing for the snow, Lydia's birthday and getting to the library to get our books in on-time before the snow took priority, science was not done one Friday:/ I hadn't planned on doing school over the weekend but I could see we all needed some structure Saturday afternoon.... so back to the school room we went to work on Newton's 1st Law with a matchbox car:)

We did the activities for the 1st law and expanded on the activity by rolling the car on different surfaces to see which surface allowed the car to go the farthest (ie, less friction).

Since we had already written the 1St Law earlier in the week, the kids drew an example of that law under their definition.

And then for Lydia's birthday we went bowling as a family:) Talk about the PERFECT time to talk about Newton's Laws of Motion and friction.... nice how that works out sometimes;)

Pic(s) of the Week
from bowling;)
Our little bowler.... playing two full games;)
Watching his ball.... miss the pins:/
A little unsure of it all.
Nate cheering his ball down the lane:)
And this definitely shows, we don't bowl often.... just laugh at me! yes, I'm "K"!
Soooo very sad that I really am this bad at bowling... next time I'm using the bumper lane!

Linking up to
The Homeschool Village


Jenny said...

I love bowling. I haven't been in years. I used to hate the smell of smoke in the bowling alleys, but they recently banned smoking here. Now I have no excuse not to go!

Abby did her first lesson on xtramath today. Thanks for mentioning that in the past. She needs the review and she seemed to like it today.

Lydia's handwriting is great! And I love the idea of using pipe cleaners for spelling words!

Anonymous said...

I loved my postcard from my secret admirer. Happy 6th Birthday Lydia!

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to hear from you when you have read Little Women :)
Have you tried with Chris to read non-fiction books? My counsin was like that when he was younger, he already loved books when he was only 4 years old, but he only was into non-fiction books and especially later when it came to read by himself, he did not get along with fiction. Perhaps this is to give a try to Chris for getting him into reading. My favorite serial os the eyewitness by Dorling Kindersley