Saturday, April 24, 2010

Homeschool Highlights - Week of April 18, 2010

Days 153 - 157


When we switched to the Abeka reading, phonics, language and math, I knew it would take additional time from what we had been doing.  I did not realize how much time.  Many days we only get the above subjects and handwriting and outside time, done. 

We plan on continuing to use these things throughout the summer months.  Maybe not every day (more because of my schedule than hers :) but hopefully several times a week. 


Bible/art:  Shayla is loving this book that shows how to make Bible crafts from paper plates.  This week we made a rainbow. 

Reading/Bible:  We read the story of Noah's ark for the umpteenth time.  It's definately one of Shayla's favorites (and mine, too!) 

Science:  Discussed the order of the colors of the rainbow.  She understands this, but had a hard time coloring in the lines of the paper rainbow.

Social Studies:  Discussed obedience character trait.

This is the umbrella project from last week.  I forgot to post about it.  The picture really doesn't do it justice.

The lesson was about God's love covering us all.  Shayla colored the umbrella and we punched a hole through the paper plate for a straw handle.  Then she cut out raindrop shapes and wrote people, things, or animals that God loves. 

We also talked about the saying, April showers brings May flowers.  Looking over our weather chart, we realized that maybe there's not always truth to that saying.  We have only had three days of rain this month, so far.


In addition to the basics, today we did some fun learning activities.  We usually do these on the weekends, but I'm falling behind as usual!  What can I say?

She enjoys the activities and they are still educational.  I get my ideas for activities from:

  • The Toddler's Busy Book (even at almost 9 years old, she still is amused with these activities).  Most of the activities are little or no-cost and can be used with things around the house.
  • Nasco Early Learning and Afterschool catalogs.  These are a treasure trove of ideas!  Since we have been a homeschooling family for many, many years, we have plenty of toys and craft items on hand.  I improvise what we have with items for sale in the book.  Oriental Trading Company is also a good catalog to use for activities.
  • Sometimes we use Family Fun magazine.  I love my free subscription. 

Phys Ed:  Climbing.  The book suggested taking all the cushions off furniture and making them into stairs to climb up.  Unfortunately, our leather furniture does not have removable cushions, so I improvised using lots of pillows.  She crawled around in them, jumped in them, and ultimately it ended in us having a pillow fight.  Her first ever! 

Art:  Together we squeezed large globs of paint onto a piece of cardboard.  Shayla used cake decorating things to spread the paint. 

Of course, as usual, she ended up getting her hands into the masterpiece!

Field trip:  A trip to the library for more books.  Shayla is starting to enjoy picking out a "surprise" book.  This is just a book of her choice that we read together. 


Phonics:  Shayla took her first phonics test.  She scored a 100%.  Yay!  I did not even make any special accomodations for her.  (BTW, I also did not tell her it was a test until after I graded it!  LOL!)

Unit Study:  A Porcupine Named Fluffy by Helen Lester

Mr. and Mrs. Porcupine have a baby.  Like all new parents, they try to come up with the pefect name for their child.  They come up with several names, but settle on the perfect name, Fluffy. 

Fluffy does not believe he is.  He tries to make himself live up to his name, until he meets another friend with a mismatched name.  Hippo the Rhinoceros.

Although I was unable to find any lapbooks or lesson plans on this (other than Teaching the Classics K-1 workbook pages), there were a few things I came up with.

Science:  Learn about the porcupine and rhinoceros.

Foreign Language:  Learned the ASL sign for porcupine and rhinoceros

Cooking:  You could make Porcupine Balls.  They are like meatballs with rice in them.  I didn't bother because we recently had these and my troop didn't like the texture of them. 

Language/Writing:  Shayla made her own character called A Dog Named Meow and wrote a story with illustrations.

Learning Games:  (This is also usually included in "Weekend Schooling")  There are so many educational games out there that really helps reinforce what has been taught.  I think it's important to include this in your school day - occasionally. 

On this day we played two games of Dora Memory.  Shayla became upset because I had more matches.  I told her this is why it's important to pay attention.  After she learned this lesson, she played much better.  The second game she almost beat me! (Social/behavior skills) Memorization.  Counting out the cards and we discussed the concept of greater and lesser by counting up each person's matches, this is what we are working on in math.  (math)  Putting the cards in rows and turning over and keeping them in the rows.  (fine motor) 

Morgan came home in the middle and decided to join in our 2nd grade learning fun!  So, Shayla really got a lesson in taking turns, since there were three people playing now!  (social skills)

The second game we played was Boggle Junior.  Although it is designed for children ages 3-6, it goes well with what we have been learning in phonics.  The short vowel words having one vowel and the long vowel words having a silent second vowel.  (reading, fine motor, letter recognition, working in a set amount of time)

Sometimes Shayla watches Sesame Street on tv (since we typically start later in the day).  Each day they advertise The Good Egg Project.  Each day Shayla asks what that is about.  I decided we could make time for her interests because that's the joy of homeschooling.  Right?  Anyway, it was actually interesting to learn about.  It would go well with a chicken/egg unit study.


Science:  Dad decided that we needed some fresh air, so he took us out and taught us about some of the wild herbs that grow nearby.

We also finished up on the Eco-Explorer Brownie Badge.

What did your week look like?  For a glimpse into other homeschool's, visit Kris' Weekly Wrap-up at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Eco-Explorer Brownie Badge

This badge is formerly known as the Outdoor Fun badge.

Trail Signs
Trail signs make shapes and tell you which way to go and other directions.  There were examples in the Brownie Scout Handbook. 

*This went along with the Hobo Signs we learned about in the Kit Kittridge American Girl book.

Shayla easily learned how to make the overhand knot. 

Ecology Hunt - Touch, Smell and Listen
Go on an outside nature hike and look for several different kinds of leaves, rocks, plants, insects, animals, etc.  Keep some for a collage or collection, draw what else you see, or photograph it.

Try to involve all of your senses when looking for things.

Some ideas are:

Touch something rough, smooth, soft, hard, wet, dry, bumpy, squishy, etc.

Smell something sweet, sour, flowery, bad, fruity, pine, mint

Listen to birds chirping, animals moving, wind blowing tree leaves, etc

Take rubbings of some of the things you find in nature, such as tree bark, flowers, and leaves.

Homeschool Highlights - Week of April 11, 2010

Days 148 - 152

Reading:  Started Abeka 1st grade advanced curriculum for reading, language, and phonics.  She eagerly does the colored workbook pages, but still does not care for phonics. 

Writing:  Writing, signing and memorizing Badge 6 - Ephesians 6:10-13

Math:  Abeka.  Showing increased improvement in memorizing both addition and subtraction facts.  Understands the concept of counting money, starting with the greatest coin first.  I thought this was going to be a nightmare, but she pleasantly surprised me!

Unit Study:  Ira Sleeps Over by Bernard Waber

Ira is going to his first sleepover at his friend, Reggie's house.  He has to decide whether or not to bring along his favorite teddy bear, Tah-Tah.

  • What did Ira want to take on his sleepover to Reggie's house?
  • Why did Ira finally go home to get his teddy bear?
  • Do you sleep with a favorite teddy bear or stuffed animal?  Describe it and draw it. 
  • How is sleeping at a friend's house different than sleeping at your house?  Are there any ways that it is the same?
  • What would have happened if Reggie had not had a bear also?
  • Is there anything else Ira might like to sleep with?  What would you sleep with if your favorite bear/animal were not available?
  • Make a list of types of bears (pandas, brown, black, grizzly, polar, koala, sun).  Learn about these types.
  • We made a paper bed for Ira and designed a Tah-Tah bear. For fun you could have a pajama day! 
  • Lastly, show off and discuss your favorite thing to sleep with.  Shayla chose her Pooh Bear.  She was very excited to talk about this and it was a good chance to work on conversational skills, and public speaking (even though it was only to family.)