Sunday, October 4, 2009

Homeschool Highlights week of Oct 4, 2009

Social Skills: Living Inside Out. October theme: Wilderness Trail - Respect. We played this fun game. Each person tossed the ball to someone who answered the question that was under their left thumb. Questions like: How does your mom or dad drive? What are 3 things you and someone have in common. What are your favorite foods?

I realized today that maybe our church youth group is not exactly the best place for Shayla to form friendships. Although most of the children are nice and well behaved. Many are almost as shy as she is! How funny is that? A large class of introverted children! The class of nine 2-10 year olds was actually quiet! How weird is that?

Learning through Play: I'm trying to encourage Shayla to play by herself more. She is not an only child, but my other kids are much older and don't share Shayla's interests. Her only playmates are Mom or Dad. However, there comes a time when she needs to learn some independence and creativity, so after I get done doing several things on my to-do list, if Shayla has entertained herself, I reward her with an activity with me. Sometimes I choose it, sometimes she chooses.

Usually she chooses to go outside, but the weather is cold and blustery today, so she choose puzzles instead. She picked out four 25 piece puzzles. It took an hour out of my day, but we both enjoyed the break!

Science: Shayla has been asking me many questions about how cartoons are made. For instance, on the Blue's Clue's videos she enjoys, she's trying to understand the difference between real people and cartoons. I couldn't really give her an answer and I told her so, but I didn't want to squash her want to learn so, I searched online for an answer. I found a short you tube video here, explaining how cartoons are made.

Math: We are still plodding ahead with the Abeka 1 math. Wow! I don't remember it taking Morgan nearly as long to complete it. She's learning yes, but we are spending close to an hour a day just on math! And we haven't even started the flashcard drilling yet! I think we will break it down into sections - flashcards one day, lesson the next.

Social Skills: The King's Kids program started up again this week. This is an afterschool program run by the church next door. There were probably 25 children participating so far. Let's just say that anytime I feel that my daughter isn't learning and getting what she needs at home, I need to go to this program. This is one time when I will sing the praises to the public school teachers - I don't know how they manage to get anything done, other than disciplining. These kids are EVERYWHERE! Most all of them seem to be hyped up on something! The disrespect is unreal. Yet the older ladies that run this program, remain calm and joyful. They laugh and pray with the children. They are patient and seem to overlook the fact that no one seems to be paying attention.

Anyway, they usually sing songs, listen to a Bible story, make a craft or play a game, and have a snack. Despite all the chaos, Shayla loves to go because she loves the teachers and the crafts!

This year we felt school was becoming just that - school. I don't know what happened, I had good intentions, I just don't feel like I prepared enough for this year. As a result of my unorganization, we are not doing as much hands-on stuff. And you know what, for the first time ever, we both are hating school.

I have been too focused on what I feel a typical 2nd grader would be learning. This week I'm trying to change that. After each hard subject, reading/phonics, writing, and math, Shayla gets to play outside for 15 minutes or we do a learning game or craft. She loves it and so do I.

Reading/Phonics: At the back of the readers are questions. For example: What rhymes with blue? I like for Shayla to practice writing the words out. But, to keep it fun and her interested in doing it, I allow her to write in many different ways, not just with paper and pencil. One week we used playdough and shaped it into letters to spell out words. One week we used chalkboard and chalk. This week we are using a magna-doodle. The key is keep it fun!

Science: Human body theme. We're working on the My Body Brownie Badge and a printable booklet.

Science/Art: Leaves. We read Why Do Leaves Change Color? A Let's Read and Find Out Science Book. Then it was time for some fun! We talked about all the changes fall brings and the beautiful colors. We made a fall color sponge painting. We went outside on a leaf hunt, trying to identify the trees the leaves came from. We brought a pile inside and made leaf rubbings and pressed leaves. We started pressing leaves in a phone book to make a leaf scrapbook. We also decorated our windows by making a painted stencil out of the beautiful leaves. (I hope this paint comes off as easily as it says!)

Social Studies: Manners

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