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.