Monday, May 4, 2009

Homeschool Highlights - Week of May 3, 2009

This post is the result of what happens when you don't take the time to log on your work as you do it. I'm trying to remember everything and my memory just isn't the greatest. Even if it looks like we weren't schooling, I assure you we were learning. Maybe not of the book type, but there were many life lessons going on this week!

Days 162 - 168

Sunday: Crocodile Dock - Children's Church. (social skills, music & movement, art & fine motor). Unfortunately, it didn't go well because of her sensory issues. The music was loud, the rooms were dimly lit, they yell Bible points. Everytime she calms down, they say the magic words and the kids yell again. UGH!

Despite all this, she seemed to have some fun. She got to make a lightning bug craft and color a fuzzy magnet. As always, I took lots of photos so we could show family members and use it for discussion. We're always discussing somethin' around here!

Michelle, the group leader, is so understanding of our problems. She asked if there is anything they can do to accomodate Shayla's needs. She gave me a CD of the music they will be learning so Shayla can listen and practice dancing at home. Familiarity definately helps her feel more comfortable! I also asked what the next few weeks snack schedule would be so I can make her something similar.

She will be attending next week, because Michelle told them that every child that attends next week will get a free Crocodile Dock t-shirt that they can wear each week. Shayla has collected t-shirts for several years and this is enough motivation for her to go back next week! LOL!

Monday: A normal day. The calm before the storm. Nothing really noteworthy.

Reading: Read read many books aloud, including Welcome to Kit's World - 1934 - Growing Up During the Great Depression, and many library books.

Shayla read book 5 level 1. Wet Legs! It focused on the short e sound.

Therapy/Social Skills Time: Shayla has made a personal goal (by her own choice) that she will begin speaking by the time she is 8-yrs-old. I am trying to nudge her along a little bit by suggesting that she try talking in the car again, or whispering to family members in public places. She is very resistant, insisting that it will happen magically on her 8th b-day (which is days away!) We'll see. . .

We did read The Berenstain Bears and the Bad Habit. It was about Sister Bear who was anxious and started biting her fingernails. The Berenstain Bear Family set up a plan for her to get pennies a day. Each time she found herself biting her nails, she had to give a penny back. In the end, she was able to kick the habit and become a little richer.

We may try something like this, but our problem is that she is unmotivated by money, food, or toys. Yeah, really. Maybe I could make coupons for my time. . . As always, I'm open for suggestions on how to make this work!

Tuesday: Earth Day Celebration at the State Park. Although Earth Day was officially last month, our local state park had a day-long celebration this week. Second graders from all the county schools, as well as, homeschools, were invited to attend the event.

We were greeted with a puppet show, then we joined up with the group from the local Christian school and moved around from station-to-station.

Station 1: Native Animals. We learned about local animals and their habitats. We discussed the differences between herbavors and carnivors and got to guess what each animal was by looking at their furs.

As you can see, the kids enjoyed this hands-on fun. As you can see, my little darling, in her cool shades and hoodie didn't willingly touch any of the furs, but I was able to pick up the furs and rub them on the back of her hand. I asked her yes/no questions about their feel. She was able to nod appropriately.
Station 2: Corn Uses. We learned that corn is used for many things besides eating. It is now used in the production of oil, plastics, packaging, and many other products.

Comparing the packaging material made from corn vs. a traditional packing peanut. The corn one had dissolved to mush in about a minute.

The kids played human tic-tac-toe on this plastic sheet and duct tape board. The boys wore vests and they were the x's the girls were the o's. To get to stand on the board, they had to answer a question about corn correctly.

After all the other kids had answered, I explained to the teacher that my child was non-verbal, could she give her a yes/no question. She asked her one and Shayla nodded yes correctly and got to stand on the board! Yay! However, she still was not completely comfortable and she cried. But the teacher hugged onto her and Shayla allowed her to comfort her. Yay!

Station 3: Wildflowers. We went on a nature walk on one of the trails in the park learning about wildflowers.

Station 4: Birds. We got to look at many local birds - they were real, but stuffed. We identified whether they were a bird of prey or a seed eater by the shape of their beaks. We listened to a CD of birdsongs and it identified the correct bird.

Then we each got to go into the woods a bit and look for birds with a pair of binoculars.

Unfortunately, with that many children around, there were not many birds to be seen!

Station 5: More uses of corn. The kids learned how to clean dried corn off an ear of corn and got to run it through the grain mill.

The guide also had cornhusk dolls made entirely out of a corn cob and husks. They were beautiful. Such detail went into making them. I wish I would have gotten a picture.

Yes, Shayla kept her shades and hoodie on all day. UGH!

Afterwards, the kids got to enjoy some playtime! My child refused to ride the merry-go-round. Seriously, refused. Want proof?

I still took a picture! Ha!

See that boy on the merry-go-round. He was in love with Shayla. He hugged her numerous times throughout the day. He talked to her and I honestly thought she might open up to him! He was so kind in sharing the acorns, rocks and sticks he found with her.

After all the festivities, I talked Shayla into posing by this banner for a scrapbook picture.

We didn't get any written work done today, but we did read books, had outdoor playtime, voted on the local issues and had a trip to the library.

Wednesday: A normal day at home. We worked on some scout projects, in addition to the normal.
Thursday: Back to the State Park for the Wee Discover Outdoor School Program.
This week's theme was green. We discussed all the different shades of green. The kids went out and picked as many different shades as they could find, then we all compared them.

We also did some fingerpainting and color mixing to show different shades of green.

Then a guide talked about wild birds, including baby ducklings and then she showed the kids the real-live baby duckling that she rescued. *I didn't take a picture because the poor thing was so scared by all the children. The duck - not Shayla!
Later on, we went to my friend, Marybeth's place. Marybeth owns a feed store around the Amish community. Every spring she orders hundreds of baby chicks, turkeys, and ducklings.

Friday: We went with Dad to the big city to a doctor appointment. It was interesting. Shayla got to see a parking garage. Something she's never seen before. While we waited in the waiting room, we looked out the window and saw the medflight helicopter on the hospital roof next door. We watched it and the guards. I discussed it with her and the receptionists overheard our conversations. Since we were the only ones there, they added to the lesson. They graciously gave us some masks from the swine flu scare to use for our play doctor kit.
After that we went to Whole Foods to get some yummy treats! Shayla loves to go to this store because we always discuss all the different fruits and vegetables. We looked at ostrich eggs. Yes, they really sell ostrich eggs at $17 a piece! She likes to look at the whole, fresh fish, but says they smell gross!
Next, we stopped at home, unloaded and picked Morgan and went to our scout meeting.
Now, we attend scouts every week. I rarely mention it anymore, but this week was different. The girls were working on painting birdhouses for the fair booth project. Shayla even painted hers!
Then all the adults were called out into the hallway. The principal of the school where we meet, informed us that there was a local pervert who was exposing himself outside. She had called the law twice, but they were not responding.
In the meantime, we had to keep this quiet from the girls, try to keep them away from the windows. The outside door went into lockdown. The parents had to come to the door for their daughters, pull their car up to just outside the door, come back in and escort their daughter to the car.
Luckily, none of us had an incident. Girl scouts must not have been his thing. I don't know if the people on the ballfields had an incident or not.
UGH! What is wrong with people!

Gardening, a whole bunch of science there. Nuff said!

Life around here is not all work! Shayla and Dad found time to go out flying kites.
Now that I've sat down and posted this, it makes me tired again!
To read about what others are doing in their homeschools, visit Kris at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.


Kris said...

Looks like a fun, busy week. My kids would love seeing all the baby chicks and ducklings.

Nekey said...

You had such a full week. I love that your state park has so many wonderful activities!

My girls would have loved to see all the baby chicks as well.

Have a fabulous weekend.

Dusti said...

I wish our state parks would host some fun days. That looked like a lot of fun.
My kids have gotten tshirts at their Awana club in the past and it was funny to see them so excited over them.
Thanks for sharing your week. :)