Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Earthschooling and a new home

We officially have 2 more days before we leave South Carolina and move to Kentucky. We closed on our house today!! I will spend the next 2 days packing up what I can to take with us. Mainly clothes, toys, and our cat, Gloria. While we have been here I have realized that 1) Boog takes things way above him and worries about it and 2) our current homeschool method wasn't working. We had started out our kindergarten year using k12, then switched to unschooling (which just didn't work for us), and then to child led learning. None of these things has fit us like we really wanted. Then I stumbled across charlotte mason and that led to woldorf. I think one of the big obstacles with our homeschooling is me! I don't mind admitting that I'm a pusher and sometimes I feel like Boog isn't trying hard enough. It's hard for me to remember that he is only 5 and all of this is new and abstract to him. So when a friend told me about earthschooling I checked it out. After reading tons about waldorf and so much on the bearth institute website I fell in love. So I made the plunge and paid the $85 for the kindergarten curriculum. I especially love how 1st grade doesn't start until 7. I *know* I've been way to pushy and need to let my children develop at their own pace. After really analyzing the first half of our kindergarten year I know that Boog really needs that extra year to be ready for first grade. Earthschooling allows us to do year round schooling. I plan to try this out for at least a month to find out if its a good fit with us. If it is a good fit then we will use it for the next year and a half until Boog turns 7. Theres plenty packed into the kindergarten curriculum for us to use it that long. I will also be able to use it with pork chop who turns 4 in January.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Knight at Dawn

Magic tree house book #2 The Knight at Dawn

We did two activities with this book. The first activity was look up rules during the medieval times and decide which rules should be brought back. Here are the list of rules my kids brought back (the last 3 are from the list of rules knights had to follow):
1)Don't bite off more than you can chew
2)Dont eat foods you hate
3)Be calm while you eat;don't rush
4)Avoid emotions of anger and irritation when eating
5)Dont touch other peoples food
6)Make sure to tell the person who cooked your food thank you and how good it was
7)Wash your hands and teeth before eating
8)While eating don't make a mess
9)Don't lick your fingers while eating
10)After eating wash your hands, lips, and teeth
11)Protect the defenseless
12)Always tell the truth
13)Always year people with respect

The second activity we did was make a coat of arms. The colors and designs are based on the qualities each child came up with about themselves.
Red-ready to battle

Cross bones-morality

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cretaceous period diarama

We read the first book in the magic treehouse series and made a diarama of the cretaceous period.

Magic Tree House books

We discovered the Magic Tree House book series the other day while browsing Target (one of my favorite spots). I'm always on the lookout for books Boog might be interested in. Most of the time after I buy the book and get it home Boog has no interest in the book(s) I have purchased. Fail! I know at this point some of you are thinking "Hey lady! This is what the library is for.", but I am I truly HORRIBLE library patron. I can tell you over the last 5 years I have paid hundreds of dollars in library fines! Yes I help keep our local libraries in business, but it's cheaper for me to buy the book and keep it in our personal (or digital) library at home. I imagine at some point at least one of my children will read these books that are being cast to the wayside by Boog.

Ok, now back to what my post is about. We were in the book section (because it is right beside the video game section and Boog was going to die if he didnt get plants vs zombies) browsing for a new book that looked cool. This is when Boog spotted the first Magic Tree House book Dinosaurs Before Dark. Well, Boog LOVES dinosaurs and this looked to be right up his alley. It has around 68 pages so I figured it would take us around a week to read it. This is why I only bought book 1 (that and his notorious disliking of books that I have bought in the past). When we got back "home" (still at the inlaws) he asked to read it. At the end of each chapter I asked if he wanted to stop or keep going and he said keep going all the way to the end. We read the entire book I 1 sitting (took us a little over an hour). I was amazed my 5 year old son just SAT STILL for over 1 whole hour! As soon as we finished the book he asked if we could go buy the 2nd book. After breakfast yesterday he said " Mom, can we go to the store and buy the second book about knights?". It was pouring down rain so I grabbed my iPad and lo and behold found the book series in digital. Book #2 "The Knight at Dawn" was in our hands instantly. (while this made me giddy that I didn't need to leave the house with three small kids in the rain Boog didn't feel the same. He kept asking why we couldn't get it in book form like the 1st book.) Again, this book had the same result! We read it in one sitting. After we finished book 2 he asked if we could download book 3. Well sure! Who am I to deny literature to a child;) we read chapter 1 of book 3 "Mummies in the Morning", but after sitting still for 1 1/2 hours he said he needed to go play and we would finish it later. I'm sure we will finish it today.

This series really is awesome and keeps kids interested the whole book. Even 3 yr old Pork Chop sat still during most of the book and listened. Mary Pope Osborne really hit the nail on the head with this series.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wrapping up October

Here we are with 4 days left in October. We didn't do anything fall or halloween themed this yr since we are staying with my inlaws during our move. We wanted to go to the pumpkin patch and pick a pumpkin to carve (like we do every yr), but with so much traveling it didn't happen. Since Big D left for Louisville in September we have travelled so much. By my calculations we have travelled about 4,000 miles since the middle of September! After tomorrow there will be no more traveling to Georgia though. The movers came today and packed up all of our stuff and hauled it away to storage. Nothing left to do but box up a few things and make sure our apartment is all spick and span before we turn in our keys tomorrow. Hopefully, our things won't be in storage long since we had our offer on a house accepted today. I've never seen the house (gasp). Big D picked it out all by himself!

So what's all this upheaval done to our schooling life? Well, it's pretty much turned it upside down. We started doing child led/unschooling bc our lives were so crazy. After about 2 weeks I realized that it was not working for us. Looking back I think that it may have added in more adjustments than the kids could handle. Their little lives have been flipped upside down and disrupted and school was the only constant. When I decided to do a more Unschool approach I took that from them. So after 2 weeks I went back to having set lessons and set times. I thought they would hate it, but just the other day Boog said "mom, I really like doing this can we do it everyday?". We still haven't put in a full week of school yet. My great aunt passed away on 16th of October so we left for North Carolina (a 6 hour drive from my inlays) to attend her funeral. Then this week we schooled Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Wednesday afternoon we hopped in the car so we would be here when the movers came today. Since we are done with Georgia after today I'm hoping November lends us a less demanding schedule and we can get back to a 5 day school week. Right now our school day looks like this:
7:30-8:30 wake up/get breakfast/watch curious george/get dressed
8:30-10:30ish start school we begin with phonics and language arts then move on to math (I have to add that Boog is now reading some. Just the other day he read the book title "the bird and the cat with a hat" (or something like that). Then yesterday I gave him a flag of Spain coloring sheet with the color names printed on it and he says "red, yellow, red. Mom I already know what colors this flag is supposed to be." I was so excited for him!)
10:30-1 the kids have outside play time and lunch
1-2:30ish science and history/geography
2:30-bedtime the kids play whatever they want and Boog finishes up any work he didn't get done earlier. For some weird reason he likes to have "homework" lol I think it's bc his cousin in 4k has a homework reading assignment every night.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Stories about toys coming to life

Yesterday we read the story "The Velveteen Rabbit". We decided to write our own stories today about the kids favorite toy(s) coming to life. Pork Chop went first in telling me her story. She is only 3, but can make up some pretty good stories. Her story is titled "Panda's at the Beach".

One day while we were at the beach with my purple and white and black and white stuffed panda bears my dad used his powers to make them become real. My dad jumped in the ocean. I was holding the baby black and white panda bear and we went into the water. Then the panda bears made sand castles with me. We were tired from playing all day so we packed up and went home.

Boog went next in telling his story. He has a whole host of star wars figures and loves them dearly. So naturally his story was about them. He titled his story "Star Wars Save the Baseball Game".

One day I was at Will's baseball game. Two Jedi came out of Uncle Joe's truck. They got into Will's brain and controlled him. They made Will hit the ball super duper hard and it hit the coach. The coach tried to throw Will out of the game, but a storm trooper appeared out of nowhere and lasered him in the ear. Then the Jedi came out of Will's brain and everyone said "Hurray".

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Weekly Wrap Up

-Jobs around town: veterinarian and police officer. This stemmed to the kids playing vet and police for a good bit of 1 day
-Cycle of milk: farm to store
-Built a Lego house
-Built a pyramid out of cheese
-Took a trip to the auto mechanic and the eye dr
-Learned how the judicial system works. Explained everything from committing a crime to be sentenced or aquitted. Learned the proper named for the people involved in a trial.

*Scooby Doo & the Miniature Gold Mystery
*No More Chores
*Dinosaur Dinners
*Spongebob The Song That Never Ends
*Bop, Bop, At the Bunny Hop
*The Incredibles
*Dinosaur Ed
*The Country Mouse & The City Mouse
*Mouse's Hide & Seek
*Peter Pan
*2 Articles out of Progressive Mechanics
*1 article out of Combat Arms
-Practiced Alphabet
-Vocabulary Words:
-Watched Word World
-Spelling: Boog wrote and spelled the words bat, cat, rat, hat all by himself
-Boog wrote his name all by himself
-Drew the story of the 3 Little Pigs
-Played a word spelling game on iPad

-Practiced subtraction on the 6 family
-Practiced telling time And worked on time word problems
-Counted by 5's
-Put together a bunch of puzzles
-Played math games on the iPad
-Boog learned how to play Blackjack
-Worked on # recognition
-Practiced addition and subtraction
-Measured liquids and dry goods
-Did some division to find out how much we needed of certain things
-Boog was playing outside being a contractor and came up with these math problems. I helped him solve them and showed him how to use a calculator.
*M owns a construction co. And has 8 employees. His employees earn $8/hr. They are working a job that will take 3 hrs to complete. M wants to make $100 for himself after his employees are paid. How much will the job cost? (answer is $292)
*M takes another job and is Charging $70 for 1 hr of labor. He has 1 employee that is helping with the job who earns $8/hr. How much $ will M make? (answer $62)
*M is worked 2 jobs. On the 1st job he earned $100 & on the 2nd job he earned $62. How much $ did M make in all? (answer $162)
-Played # bingo

-Learned about birds, warthogs, and cheetas. This prompted a trip to the Louisvulle Zoo while we were in Kentucky on Saturday.
-Watched Big Cat Diary
-Nature Walks
-Used our 5 senses
-Played with our Bugs Knowledge Cards: Beetles, Butterflies, Moths, & other amazing Arthropods (these are AWESOME. if your child likes bugs they will love these beautiful cards)
-Built a bird with wings that flapped out of blocks
-Watched a video on making soap. Boog would now like to make soap so we plan to pick up a kit next time we are out at the hobby store.
-Talked about the difference between solids & liquids
-Visited Ruby Falls in Tennessee

-Learned about Egypt, Nile River, Spinx, & mummies
-Globework: found these places on the globe and learned facts about them
*N. Pole
*S. America
-Dug for artifacts that our ancestors left. Found a brick and tried to figure out what kind of tools our ancestors used to make bricks. Decided that the brick was from part of a house.
-Took a 5 day road trip from SC to Ga to Ky and back SC

Boog is 5 and Pork Chop is 3. We did so much learning that I was exhausted by the end of each day! It's so amazing the amount of things that kids come come up with to learn.