Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Homeschool Highlights 9/9/09 - 10/3/09

Welcome to our 2nd grade homeschool! I hope to post weekly, but alas the past several weeks have been a whirlwind.
I am still harvesting and canning, Morgan is very active in fall sports - needless to say, there's alot of time and money spent running back and forth there, there have been several field trips and classes, our county fair, a birthday, a funeral, a doctor appointment, and weekly therapy sessions for our daughter.

Oh and this week, our computer died and was at the repair shop all week and the refrigerator died. Yeah, it's less than two years old, it's the second or third time all of our food had to be thrown out and repairman called in. Luckily, we bought the extended warranty!

UGH! Help me! I'm drowning!

Seriously, the last of the beans are shelled and put away for the year. Tomatoes will be done this week. I canned 28 quarts this week and picked approximately 4 bushels of green tomatoes before the frost. The carrots and 3 bushels of apples sitting in my living room. . . well. . . I have plans for. I did can 14 quarts of applesauce, but it is a painstakinly slow process because the apples have a lot of bad spots and each one has to be cut.

So, school has not been what I am used to. It's frustrating! We have done several field trips, but it's becoming apparent this year that Shayla's learning differences are starting to slow her down. Most days we don't get to anything other than reading, phonics, writing and math.
Writing: Shayla is working on writing out Psalm 8 for badge 3. She is also working on lowercase print letters in A Reason for Handwriting. She wanted to begin cursive this year, but her printing is still not where it needs to be. Maybe by the end of this year.

Colors. Shayla has no problems identifying her colors, but well, we all need some fun things to keep our sanity, right? I made these paper crayons and made wrappers with the english spelling and the Spanish spelling. She matched the correct label with crayon and glued them on. In addition to the learning the Spanish names for colors, we also learned the ASL signs by watching our new Signing Time Storytime DVD. We played I Spy in the house and the car. Of course a lesson on colors is not complete without picking a favorite color and painting with it. (reading, foreign language, art)

Reading: We are using the Now I'm Reading Series by Innovative Kids. We love these little books. They focus on one vowel sound per book. Each day she reads the short story for 4 days and she gets a sticker to put in the cover of the book. The stickers are included in the parents guide. There are also some questions in the back to check reading comprehension. On the fifth day, she reads the story for the family. We are currently working on series 2 - book 2 Floating Goat (the long o sound).

I am trying to come up with some hands-on activities because Shayla is definately a kinesthetic learner. I used the long o words in her workbook, along with some helper words. We made a story using those words. (language)

The old, gold ghost played in the snow. His nose, toe and bone got cold. He wrote a note home to Toad. "Rope Goat and go down the road with a coat, hoe, toast, bowl and a crow. No boat!" I know this is so.

She also read book 3 A Pike Glides. After she reads the books for 4 days in a row, we play the games on Starfall to reinforce the weekly reading lesson.

Physical Education: As part of Shayla's therapy, we are spending a lot of time outdoors, working on her large motor skills. She has low muscle tone. So, we have been swinging, jumping on the trampoline, running in the field (ok, mom speedwalks, but it's still exercise, right). She also started riding her bike this week. I know this might not seem like a big thing for an 8-year-old, but with her disability, the coordination it takes to ride a bike is huge! On top of that, we have a stone driveway, which is not easy to ride in. Anyway, she did a great job riding her bike this week.

Math: We are using the Abeka 1 curriculum. This is still very challenging for Shayla as a student and me as a teacher. She is a right brained learner. She doesn't see things in abstract - only concrete, she needs visuals to make sense of things. She can not figure out a flashcard 3+1 equals 9 to her, unless you make it relevent. Ask: If there are 3 monkeys 1 more comes to play, how many monkeys are there? She gets it right everytime. It's retraining me as a teacher.

She used these lids to put her her numbers in order from 1-20.

We added on by one using these paper monkeys.

She's still having some trouble writing her numbers. Half the time they are perfect, but backward. I have been using hand-over-hand assistance on the white board talking about which direction we turn while forming the number. This will definately be a problem when we get to lesson 12 and begin daily timed tests. Obviously for now, they won't be timed, that's the benefits of homeschooling right?

The Abeka curriculum has the average time it should take to complete each section. On average it takes her double the allotted time. Some days we get little done besides handwriting, reading, and math.

Science: We are working on the My Body badge for Brownie Scouts at Home. We have learned about the brain and fingerprints. We are also using Our Bodies #618 by Teacher Created Materials.

Science/Social Skills: Wee Discover Program at the local state park. We have been lucky to attend these weekly classes. They are geared for preschoolers, but there is still much to learn for Shayla. Each week there is a different theme. So far we have learned about ants, coyotes, caterpillars/butterflies, and fungus. Here's some of the fungus we observed:
Field trip: We went to Trinity Farms Market. First we learned about organic foods:
Next we had a fun scavenger hunt all over the property. The kids made a trail mix using healthy, organic foods.
The best thing was last, a hayride! This was by far the longest and best hayride we've ever been on!

Field trip: The apple orchard. We spent the day reading library books about apples, then we took the afternoon and drove deep in the country to the apple orchard.
We showed Shayla the factory that my husband and I met at (many years ago). It's been closed for several years now. It was located right down the road from the apple orchard.
My husband showed us where he attended church as a young boy. It is just a simple one-room church. The children went to the back of the church and colored pages. It still does not have indoor plumbing, but there is an outhouse, if you really have to go! This quaint little church is still open.

Social Skills: We are attending the children's church program called Living Inside Out. The monthly theme was heroes. Last week was the first week we had time to go. We alternate games/crafts every other week. Last week was games. Shayla participated, although unwillingly and with some assistance.
Science/social Skills: We attended our local homeschool group's family night. We learned about dinosaurs and fossils from a Christian perspective. There was plenty of hands-on science with the presentation from Akron Fossil and Real Science Center. I hope we can visit this museum soon.
In addition to our homeschooling, we are including therapy with a counselor this year for our daughter's issues. She is a wonderful, Christian lady. She seems truly committed to helping us make our daughter the best she can be. The second session she gave me a book to read. It is called Disconnected Kids. There are exercises you can do with your child to strengthen areas of the brain to improve conditions.
So far I have done the checklist and found that Shayla has a moderate left hemisphere deficiency. I did the first set of testing on her and found that she has problems with mixed dominance. In other words, she often confuses which hand to write with, which foot to kick with, step with, etc. She was mixed in all areas, including hand, foot, and eyes. Her ear was definately right dominance.
To learn about other's homeschooling week, visit Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.


Cheryl@SomewhatCrunchy said...

Wow, do you have a side by side Figidaire? The same thing happened to us. Thankfully, they completely switched out the compressor and we've had no problems since!

I'm sorry your daughter is struggling a bit. Don't feel bad about just doing the basics, she needs that foundation. A friend of mine recommends a video series for similar issues, I am going to check it out for my boys. I think it's called Help With Struggling Learners, it's by Diane Craft. Some of her basics can be found here:

Weird Unsocialized Mom said...

Wow! You've been busy. That stinks about the fridge. Ugh!

I always enjoy seeing all the hands-on things y'all do. The pictures of the apple orchard made me excited about the field trip that we're going on this week.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you have been very busy! That museum looks really interesting! I wish we had one close to where we live.

Have a wonderful week!


Anonymous said...

WOW! I say you had a busy week. Your my hero with all your canning etc. I didn't even get my big flower gardens weeded this year, let alone plant a veggie garden. Sorry about your fridge and over hiccups. Thus is life! Your hayride etc looked great. I hope to do that soon. Have a great week. God Bless!

Giggly Girls said...

It sounds like you're giving your daughter exactly what she needs. It's such a blessing that we can tailor our child's education to fit them where they are.

Keep up the great work!!

chubbycheeks said...

Sounds like a fun week. Way to go on the+ bike riding.