Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Week the Started with Play-Doh & the Civil War

IMG_9927Last week was tough as we started back into schooling after the Christmas Break and everyone getting over sicknesses. But this week was unique, too... isn't every week. It started Monday with the kids getting into the school room before me and pulling out the Play-doh. I would definitely prefer them to work on bookwork first to get it over with..... but the last thing I wanted on Monday morning was for a "battle"! So I went with it:)

They played with Play-Doh and I did our devotional times, read history, later in the week I gave them their spelling works to practice with Play-doh and a knife and did our Grammar lessons orally. It was amazing how much we read this week and how quickly and smoothly our school days went! I told Brian a few days when he returned home from work how much we completed BEFORE lunch!!  I'm definitely willing to add in some Play-doh every week although maybe make the Play-doh after the basics?

And just as an FYI... they all sat at the table and worked on mats. Before we started bookwork all the Play-doh was cleaned up BY THEM. And they usually were the ones asking to complete their other work. To make history come alive a little more, since we're not able to visit some of these places right now.

This week we discussed working together, helping one another and accepting help! The biblical passages were mostly about cooperation in the church, but it's easy to see that we need to use these principles in every group we are a part of... church, family, or office/class.

Language Arts
spelling in Play-Doh... why not;)
Pronouns! pronouns! Pronouns!! LOL!! Just amazed again this week how much First Language Lessons vol1 &2 combo has prepared Anna for Grade 4 Grammar, definitely a GREAT reason for us to enjoy our time with FLL with Chris and Lydia;)

For writing we completed some story narrations from Writing with Ease (probably not going to use it next year.. or ever again) and then wrote more Thank You and pen pal letters;)

For individual (or with Momma) reading, Anna is still working through Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell. Christopher is working through Just a Few Words, Mr Lincoln by Jean Fritz. And Lydia has gotten lost in the American Girl series... this week she finished Changes for Samantha and began working through Josephina books;) It's very exciting to have little readers and hear them explain the stories they are reading about!

We had 5 full days of schooling... so lots of Math... lots of word problems, math facts and some assessments:) Thankfully we all got through it well and had a BIG accomplishment:) Chris finished Saxon 2 on Friday:) He started Saxon halfway through his Kindergarten year so he is 1/2 year ahead in Math. But for Chris to do the work successfully is exciting... he likes Math and obviously is getting it DONE:) Congrats to Chris!!

This week we started The Civil War. Story of the World vol 4 only has one week of material for the Civil War... I just felt like there was soo much to cover that ONE week wasn't enough. I was hoping to find a  recommended book to act as our spine, but I found a book I had reviewed a while ago and so I divided the topics chronologically and into separate "do-able" weeks.

So this week was our first week. Our topics were Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis and the build up and  causes of the War. We colored a map of the US to show how the states alined themselves - Union, Confederate and Neutral.



We've read some fun Abraham Lincoln books;) In 2 books we read about some of Abraham Lincoln's homes. Chris wanted to build one... a lean-to:)
Definitely a highlight of his week to use my glue gun! 

Another simple, but fun activity was to see how tall Abraham Lincoln was. We printed off a head shot of Lincoln, measured his height of 6 foot 4 inches and then

For Jefferson Davis we had a coloring page of Davis and an issue of Cobblestone that we borrowed from our library! After all the reading the kids wrote out 2-4 sentences about each on the back of their painting/coloring page:)
Lincoln and J. Davis pictures painted with watercolor and Nate's contribution :)
We also found some short video clips at the History Channel and PBS to supplement what we already had read! I just want to warn that they were produced for adult viewers, so preview them before you watch them with the kids. And as an FYI, if you use Netflix there is an interesting PBS documentary called The Civil War by Ken Burns... it's like 8 episodes (we're still previewing it for the kids).

We learned about what "work" was:) After reading about forces and work on physics4kids.com, we defined "work" and drew a picture of a stick figure kicking a ball.


Our experiment was called Falling Weight Does Work so we used a small plastic container of maple syrup and Play-doh, of course! I had a BIG rock to do the experiment outside, but we had a cool, wet morning, so I had to improvise.... and the Play-Doh was already out;) I wanted to show them a real-life example of  how this concept is used and How Stuff Works had an ok video of a pile driver at work.

Preschool Corner

Nate and I had two sessions of Before Five in a Row starting with his favorite book Goodnight Moon:) We have a few conversations about day and night, light and dark and finding the mouse on the colored pages;) It's one of his favorite books and he can often finish some of the phrases because we have read it soo much before this week;)

Since mid-November he has begun watching  Little Einsteins. Before then he was never still enough to watch anything on TV... which was fine! So now that he's watching (and asking to watch shows) we are introducing him to Leap Frog... can't believe he's already at this stage!

Next week I'm hoping to put together a few more plans for Nate using The Snowy Day by Keats. we'll see what happens as we ease into "pre-schooling" Nate.... hate to call it pre-school right now because he's young. But he's got his colors down, he's trying to count, he loves letters and maybe it's time to start doing some more slightly structured things with him... a little at a time;)

Photo of the Week
Walking into the school room after taking the dog out and I see this:)

Anyway, a GREAT Week... if you couldn't tell:) Add in a few visits with friends and Mommy finally going to the doctor for some meds... and it's a fun week:)

Linking up to
The Homeschool Village


Anonymous said...

I love the house Chris made. And I have even more respect for it now that I know about the condition of the glue gun!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

To Anna:
Perhaps you like to read "Little Women" by Louisa May Scott. It is about 4 sisters who grow up during the Civil War. I thought it is may be a nice add to your history lesson. I liked reading the book very much! I thought I wrote a bit more of it at my blog...but I cannot find it anymore. Sorry ;-(

Kelly B said...

Funny you mention Little Women:) That is definitely on her "must read" list during the next few weeks;) She actually has it on her Kindle... so she's excited to include the Kindle in her schooling.... exactly why it was a Christmas present:)