Sunday, February 22, 2009

Homeschool Week Highlights - Sunday, Feb 22 - Saturday, Feb 28, 2009

Notice I didn't post last week for days 104-108? That's because:
a. my computer crashed and was at the repairman for several days.

b. we did a whole week of reading and workbook pages, nothing noteworthy to write about

c. I spent all my allotted computer time doing other things.

So, here's to a better week!

Days 109 - 115

I am trying to find a way to balance work and spending time with family. I am also working on getting rid of clutter. So I pulled out a few preschool things, thinking that we would probably play with them this time and get rid of them because she is above that level now. I was wrong, but we did have a great time together.

We did a lot of playing toys and educational games this week. Is she having fun? Yes! Is she learning? A bigger yes!

We played Bender Blocks. There are similar things available with Handwriting Without Tears. First we used the playmats to use blocks to make shapes. She helped Boogaloo the frog make circles for his glasses, then she helped Trucker Dan make his truck.

Build That Shape: The game suggested showing child the flashcard and talking about the design of the shape. Then, taking the card away and asking child to reconstruct it. This proved way too hard for Shayla. So I gave her the flashcards and she was able to put the blocks in the grooves of the flashcards to form the shapes.

Boogaloo Flash: We each picked one of each color of flashcard. Then we took turns spinning the spinner. We found blocks that matched and put them in the cards to make the shapes. I won this one.

*Note: I think it's important to continue playing games and her not always winning. It used to not matter to her who won or lost, but then she went through a phase when she always wanted to win. Now she is learning how to be a gracious winner or loser (although she still prefers to win!) (character)

Let's All Boogaloo: We built new designs with the bender blocks. We took turns spinning the spinner and adding blocks onto the design. We got a lot laughs out of this. We decided it looked like a bee with a large stinger! LOL! (language)

Draw a Design: We took the bender blocks, crayons, and paper and we made a design with the blocks on the paper. Then we traced around it with crayons, then we colored the design. Shayla made an apple. (art, language)

Block Stack: This is just what it sounds like, we built and toppled blocks down. She is still amused by this at 7-yrs.-old!

Music: We listened to some of her music including Kid's Kamp by Mary Rice Hopkins. There is a song that talks about Grandfathers. She becomes visibly sad when listening to this song. We have noticed that she is finally showing her grief over the death of her grandfather (almost 2 years ago!). They were very close.

Does anyone have any suggestions to help her deal with death of a close family member?

Shayla had also been talking alot lately about her I Can Play Piano. We bought this for her several Christmas' ago thinking she would love to play it. Wrong! It's been in the box since. The older kids have played it on several occasions, but that is about it.

So, I decided that she should play this today to try something new. Which were still working on as a character/social issue.

She watched her dad and I play. We encouraged her by telling her that you can't be perfect at it right away, you have to practice by doing it. She finally gave it a try.

At first it caused anxiety for her. She is too hard on herself. She is afraid of trying something if she thinks she might fail at it. After she tried it, with help from mom and dad, she kind of enjoyed it!

Ok, I'm probably the only mom that's ever encouraged their child to play video games!

We played Build-A-Word wooden puzzle set. This reinforces all the phonics rules I've been teaching about 3 and 4 letter words with long and short vowel sounds.

We played another Wings game called Making Tracks. It is supposed to help with problem solving with shapes and objects. Spatial organization, pattern recognition, shape recognition and cooperation in play. We used the bender blocks on this game.

Hare Racing Track. First Shayla put bender blocks in the correct spaces on the bunny track. She did fine making the track, but really didn't care for the Rabbitopolis 500.

And They're Off. For this game we played against each other. We used the spinner from the above game to tell us where to land.

Dino Derby. Again, Shayla put the blocks in the tracks. This one she had slight difficulty with because it was very curvy and windy. She enjoyed the dinosaurs more than the bunnies.

Dino Derby Dash. We played the same as the Hare racing track game, only using dinosaurs. Again, she was a good loser.

Math: Still practicing writing those pesky numbers on dry erase flashcards. She also has been doing a page in her dry erase addition workbook. We played the addition war game. She just doesn't seem to be getting addition. We can go over and over facts and she just doesn't seem to memorize any of the facts! Any suggestions?!?

Although hesitant to move on, I decided to review math and try introducing subtraction. I used pictured counting lines (it would be similar to using unifix cubes, only cheaper). She picked right up on subtraction. It remains to be seen if she will be able to memorize the facts.

Art: This is definately Shayla's favorite subject. I've read where some people forgo art for more important subjects like reading, writing, and math, but I've decided that they are all equally important. By doing art projects, I believe she is building her imagination and creativity, building up her self-esteem "hey, I did this, aren't you proud of me?" It also helps build stronger muscles for fine motor skills like writing.

Ok, I've stepped off my homeschooling soapbox!

We played Barbie shopping spree card game. She was really into this, so she really tried to remember where the cards were. She won, honestly 14 pairs to my 4!

Since she was into this Barbie game, I got out the Barbie fashion plates. Do you remember those? Where you choose a head and body plate and rub a crayon over it to get a paper doll? Then you can color them. She was so into this that she decorated my whole refrigerator in one afternoon. LOL! (Again, she tried something new, and fine motor skills)

We started making an art assessment book, as described here. Today we did the cover.

She has also been doing a lot of color pages (by choice!)

We also made a Gospel caterpillar. We got the idea from watching the new episode of the Star Family Singers yesterday. Unfortunately, I couldn't link to the actual video. It was for letter g and that video is not up yet. The idea is that you can make a caterpillar to be a witness. Glue pompoms onto a spring style clothespin in this order:

Yellow is first for the streets of gold in heaven

Black is for the sin in our lives.
Red is for the blood of Jesus

White is for man being white as snow after Jesus washes away our sin.

Green is for growing in a new Christian life.

You can put a magnetic strip on the back to hang on the fridge if you like.

The next project we made came from the Heart Club - letter F week. They made a memory verse holder using 2 paper plates.

She had fun sewing it together and decorating it with foam stickers.

We also made the paper angel from one of the letter a weeks.

Science: There was a magazine article in the Nov/Dec issue of Homeschool Enrichment magazine about knee replacement surgeries and joints. If you don't get that, you can go to Family Education and learn about why we get cavities. I tied them both together with the simple rubber egg experiment. I explained that eating acid forming foods without brushing your teeth causes cavities, but eating the acid forming foods without balancing with alkaline foods ( mostly fresh fruits & veggies - in raw form) will make your bones rubber, as well. This is osteoporosis.

By the looks on the faces of both girls, I think they will be more careful about their brushing and eating more fresh fruits & veggies. LOL!

Social Studies: My girls have always loved to help me decorate for holidays. We have window clings and other things for almost every month. So, today, it was down with the Valentines and up with the St. Patrick's day theme. At least my windows get cleaned once a month, so the clings stick to it. Before hanging the shamrocks and such, we read about the history behind St. Patrick's day in the Holidays and Birthdays Childcraft Encyclopedia. I was surprised to learn of the Christian roots of the holiday. Then she cut out a shamrock shape and decorated it. After decorating, we located Ireland on the globe (geography)and read a native folktale. (literature)

For more homeschooling ideas, visit Stacy's and Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.


Kris said...

Sounds like a great week! There is *so* much value in play. I love the caterpillars. They turned out really cute. I wish I had some tips for you on how to help your dd deal with her grandfather's death. My oldest was five when my step-dad passed away. It's never an easy thing to deal with, especially for kids. (((Hugs)))

Thanks for participating in the Wrap-Up this week.

Shannon and Alex said...

You are brilliant! I wish I played more games with my 8yo but the 2 yo often creates chaos! What a great read.

Stacy said...

DD and I used to incorporate playing Barbies with schooling. When she was in elementary, and trying to memorize things, it helped her to have the Barbies be the students, and I would be the teacher.

As for helping dd with the grief, what about helping her journal some of her favorite memories? That will be a treasure she can share with her own children someday.

Anonymous said...

You have done so much! I love the playing that you're doing. We do Handwriting Without Tears, but I loved the Bender Block activities that you did...