Sunday, December 20, 2009

Homeschool Highlights - Week of December 13, 2009

Days 68 - 73

Sunday:  Again, no children's church for us.  Due to the fact that my back is painfully out of place, I did not think I could handle doing the activities meant for ages 3 - 12 year olds.  LOL! 

We did do some activities that had some academic merit though:

  • Shayla has been into princesses lately.  She brought her princess dolls in and we sat down and watched Disney Princesses:  A Christmas of Enchantment together. (Ok, maybe I'm stretching here, but remember what we were doing in school around Christmas time?  Not much.) 
  • We sorted through a tote full of winter clothes - hats, gloves, scarves.  She had a great time matching up all the gloves and mittens.  When finished, we had an impressive pile to go to the local pantry that helps people in need.
  • We made rice krispy treats together.  No, we can not eat them, they are not gluten-free, but they are fun to make.  I'm trying to get Shayla to help me more around the house.  I think it will help out with her learning common-sense.  Anyone else have any other ideas on teaching common sense to children?
  • I finished reading aloud a version of The Nutcracker.  We were both surprised that the ballet was nothing like this book. 
  • We finished up the Brownie Scout Puppet, Dolls and Plays Badge. 

Reading:  Started Book 3 of Series 3.  A Bass Mess.

Exercises:  Thankfully we could get outside again today.  I think we both needed it.  Shayla discovered mud today.  She was having lots of fun sliding her feet in the mud. 

Math:  Place Value.  Estimation.  Cut several lengths of string and estimate the size.  Shayla guessed 40 or 41.  I showed her that the side of her Lego Duplo squares are about 1 inch.  She lined up the legos the length of the string.  It was 22 inches.  Her guess was just a little off.  LOL! 

Addition.  Reviewed by solving simple problem puzzles.

Scouts at Home:  Shayla did all the requirements for the puppet badge last week, but I found this cute kit I bought at Hobby Lobby sometime ago, so we put the felt nativity puppet set together.


Scouts at Home:  Started on the Me and My Shadow Badge

Home therapy/Read Aloud:  I read these little books aloud and asked questions to Shayla.  Is that what you think or feel?

 David and the Worry Beast addresses worry.  It is about a boy who plays on a basketball team.  He misses the winning shot and feels his whole team is disappointed in him.  He doesn't ever want to play again.  In the meantime, he learns that he has a math test coming up.  The worry beast rears it's ugly little head as a monster David can see.  As David worries, he feeds the monster and it grows bigger and bigger.  David also began experiencing stomach aches as he worried more.  Finally, David is helped and the worry beast goes away. 

A Thought is Just a Thought is about children dealing with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  It is about Jenny, a little girl that thinks if she steps on the floor's white squares, something bad will happen to her sister, Lisa (who is at school).  It addresses that many children with OCD play games like this, even in their head, because they think that it will keep something bad from happening. 

Jenny is able to talk out her problems with Dr. Mike.  He says the best way to get over these things, is to just do them.  (I've often told Shayla this, but she seemed to accept it more coming from the book).

Shortly after reading these books, I was shocked when Shayla just blurted out that some of her fears are that you could push a button and the car would flip over or blow up.  Where does she come up with this stuff?!?  I assured her that that wasn't going to happen.  I don't know where she could have even come up with this stuff.  Watching TV?  She doesn't watch much at all.  Mostly preschool educational shows.  I guess I'll have to be more discerning about what everyone else watches.  Maybe she just walked through the room and caught a glimpse of something.


Lately, it is becoming apparent that Shayla can not keep up with the typical 1st or 2nd grade work.  She simply struggles too hard.  The perfectionist in her causes her anxiety when she can't do it "just right."  My solution?  We are slowing down and reviewing.  Since there is no way we typically get through more than a few subjects in the hours a day of school, I have included a packet of workbook pages for her to do.  Some of the pages are preK level on up to 3rd grade level.  That way she is getting all her subjects - at least once a week.  We do daily reading, writing, therapy, and usually math. 

Anyway, today she was doing a paper.  It was the perfect way for a hands-on learner to learn addition and subtraction.  She cut colored bears and followed my verbal directions.  (Put 2 bears on one log.  Put 2 bears on the other log.  How many bears in all?)  SHE TOTALLY UNDERSTOOD ADDITION AND SUBTRACTION THIS WAY!  NO MORE FLASHCARDS!  You could easily make the manipulatives yourself. 

Another similar paper that she understood addition with.
This kind of goes with the math curriculum I looked at this morning.  Making Math Meaningful.  Does anyone have any experience with this?  Good?  Bad?  Worth the cost?

Thursday:  A day of independent work and play.  Shayla read on her own and chose to practice writing numbers and math.  Go figure!  She just can't stand to not "play school."

We didn't do much structured stuff, just enjoying spending some time with dad.  His company has been making him work mandatory overtime.  He has been working 6 days a week - 12 hour shifts a day.  Praise God he has a job.  The overtime money will be nice, but I would rather have him home to help out with the holidays and a sweet 16 birthday party coming up.

Reading:  Finished A Bass Mess (Book 3 - Series 3).  Played Art Gallery on the starfall site. She did the lesson about compound words and about Van Gogh (language & fine arts)

Science:  We have been working on the Me and My Shadow Brownie badge.

Math:  Doubles Addition.  This is a fun way to learn about doubles (ex:  2+2).  Look for real life doubles to use as a visual math lesson. 

Here we counted her braids, eyes, ears, arms and legs (1+1=2).  We also did 5+5=10 with her fingers.

We counted arms and legs to model 2+2=4.   

We did additional practice using blocks as counters.

We looked at the holes in an electric plug in for 3+3=6.

An egg carton shows 6+6=12.

UGH!  Try as I might, there was not much learning going on today!  Shayla was having an allergic reaction to the Dairi Free milk I tried her on. Thankfully, it was non life threatening.   Her cheek was bright red and her behavior was just terrible to put it mildly.  The words grumpy, willfully disobedient, defiant, whiny, and mean are just some words that would define yesterday.  No not me!

After it was apparent we were dealing with an allergy issue, instead of a bad attitude.  There's no more discipline involved.  No more threats, warnings, or time-outs.  The best thing you can do is just hug them and explain what is happening.  Then try to engage them in something to quiet their sensory overload, like quiet, classical music, a favorite show, book, coloring. 

After calling Vance's (Dari Free's manufacturer), I learned that the crystalline fructose has 2 grams of corn in it, although most corn allergic people do not have a problem with it because it's not the corn protein. In fact, it's so safe, many people with autism use Dari Free.

 Guess what, some people are that sensitive.  Companies might want to have full disclosure and let the consumer decide for themselves! 

Ok, I'll get off my soapbox now.

How was your week?  To learn about other homeschoolers, visit Kris at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

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