Monday, August 21, 2017

Make way for Ducklings

Although we are mostly done with Five in a Row I had plans to be in Boston the other day.  We never rowed Make way for Ducklings.  So we rowed it and went to Boston Public Gardens.
If you plan on going there plan for time to drive around looking for a parking space. I drove for over a half hour and still didn't find a spot. I ended up in the expensive parking garage.  $24 for 3 hours of parking.  It was a real fun day.  We road the Swan Boat, then visited the Duckling statue, walked all around that park, Went over to Frog Pond and Samantha cooled off in the wading pool.  Then at the end of this part of the adventure we drove over to Sumerville to go to the Taza Chocolate Factory for a tour.  It was a very yummy tour. Many samples to taste.

Taza Chocolate Factory

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Thinking Planning Ahead.

So I haven't officially started planning for the fall yet. But I do know what we will be using.  There are a few things I want to add in this year and need to work out how to do it.

Curriculum Line up for the fall of 2017

Math- Teaching Textbooks
Grammar- Fix it Grammar and the story Grammar-land
Spelling- copy work
History- Beyond Five in a Row & living books
Science- Beyond Five in a Row & living books

Tea Time Poetry and Art Tuesday- I plan on having Tea Time for lunch and we will read poetry and read from the Art History Book.

Nature Time- Weekly nature walks

Outside classes- Thursday Art and Nature Class with Daniel,  Coop with Kim that subject is still up in the air, Nature class

Outside activities- homeschool Ice Skating, Baton, Choir, Theater and other activities that become available.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Works of Art

One of the great things about homeschooling is my daughter has time to explore many of her passions.  She is a very creative person.  She does all kinds of arts. Homeschooling gives her the time each day to practice and get better at what she enjoys.  Some of the things she enjoys are drawing, needle felting, painting, using clay, sewing and really anything creative she can do with her hands.  She found a new enjoyment in woodworking. She enjoys writing poems & short stories.  I have read some of her writing and she can get deep with it or very light hearted. When I have her permission I will post some of her writing here.  
 Here is just a sample of her work.

a page from her nature journal 

when we learned about the  Aurora Borealis. This picture doesn't show the colors as vivid as she used.

 Chalk Art A looking Glass

Needle Felting A Sunset in Fall

A vase she made me 

The Scrabble words Mathias in woodworking class

Our Family as the look at the setting sun

This was a joint effort

A cat toy she sewed.  The cat loves it

another page out of her nature journal 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Five in a Row Arabella


This was a fun book about a boy who visits his Grandpa who lives on an island.  There was a lot to learn from this row. From how to treat people with disabilities to sailing in bad weather.

We did all the discussions from the manual.  Here are a bunch of links we used for the extras. 
islands around the world  Sea Lore  history of storytelling labeling a ship   history of ships  The_Rime_of_the_Ancient_Mariner 

We watched the Reading Rainbow episode of Keep the Lights Burning Abbie  In this episode it also shows the child how they build those ships in a bottle.  It was very interesting.

I bought a rope tying kit to teach Samantha about tying different kinds of knots. It was fun.

This is the kit I bought it comes with 2 ropes and an instructions booklet.

We did origami and made a paper boat to go into a bottle.
origami boat instructions  youtube video easier to follow

Sunday, July 9, 2017

too much or too little???

I thought about writing this post for a while. I go back and forth on this subject. But lately I see so many mom's thinking they are not doing enough school with their children.  Or thinking they have to cram so much in so they learn more.  One mom I know was upset with some testing scores and is adding more schooling to their children's day thinking they don't do enough.  Another friend I have has her kids in all kinds of classes.  Multiple classes of the same subject.  We all tend to get in that trap from time to time.... either thinking we are not doing enough or thinking we need to do a ton of classes outside the home or teach all day long so they absorb all there is to learn.

So here is my own thoughts.  Sometimes less is best.  Sometimes cramming too much makes them learn nothing at all.  

My own learning experiences... in college I had many tests to take on the material learned during class.  I crammed all that information into my brain.  Where did it go?  I will tell you most of it went into short term memory never to be thought of again after the testing. I remember doing that when studying for finals in middle and high school.  When I was in a class that wasn't a heavy testing class I learned so much more and most of it is still with me 20 years after college.  

My own experience teaching Samantha.... One school year we did a complete all in one curriculum, every day was laid out for us.  Along with that we did our favorite curriculum Five in a Row,  We also did Co-op classes I believe 2 of them weekly, we did once a month lessons at the museum, I think there might have been a few other classes thrown in there.  That one school year my daughter didn't retain hardly anything at all.  Our school days were long and frustrating.  Our lives were blah.  LOL it was the same thing day after day.  No fun in our learning.  The crafts in the curriculum were scripted.  The fun was not there.  I was teaching my daughter in a way I hated how its done in public school.  I can honestly say the only thing my daughter learned that school year was the lessons from the book One Small Square the beach.  It was because instead of following the curriculum exactly we took the book to the beach to show it in person and very hands on.  

What I learned from all this.  Learning is not a race.  A child learns so much more when they are not being crammed with information.  If a child isn't ready for something today there is always tomorrow.  The more we try make them learn the less they will retain.  

So if your at a point in your learning journey and your finding no joy in it at all. If your trying to figure out what to change how about making a change to 
less is more.  

Our days flow like this no more then 15-  20 minutes per subject.  Less is more.  We get our days done all subjects taught but its not a race.  We discuss the material, we enjoy the time reading together, we take many rabbit trails on our material if something really caught Samantha's attention.  She is learning and retaining it well most of it.  

******Now I do have to state this is the real world so its all not perfect.  There are still days when I hear do I have to do school today?  UGH math again I did it yesterday.  I love the one where my daughter wants to pay me $10 so I don't make her do math.  LOL  On a daily basis math can bring my daughter to tears... she is very sensitive.  There are days like in grammar when I know I taught her something and she acts like I am speaking a foreign language when I ask her to tell me what the preposition is in that sentence. But overall this approach to teaching my daughter has made our  learning journey so much better******

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Five in a Row- Paper Lanterns

We rowed the book Paper Lanterns.  It was a fun little book.  Its one of the digital downloads from the Five in a Row website.

We covered many topics in this row.  From some of the Chinese inventions to their wildlife and explorers.  We talked about missionaries to traveled to China to share the gospel.  We talked about China's history, geography and important landmarks.  We talked art and literature.  The most fun that we had was sending the paper lanterns we bought up into the sky.

In art we looked at how the artist rarely used the full body of a person often leaving off body part. He also used lots of bold colors and shapes.  Samantha found one of the only full body pictures.

I have the book Global art and we learned a few facts about Chinese art. We didn't do any of the art projects besides making the signature stamp.  They are the first to use stencils and an example is on the walls at The Thousand Buddha Cave in Western China

I also have the book Children Just Like Me. Samantha read about 2 siblings in China and how they live their lives.  

Another book we used this time along with Paper Lanterns is part of our history readers... On An American Day Volume 1.  She read the story The Last Rail about the Chinese Laborers were brought here from China to work the railroad.  

If your a FIAR rower this download was an amazing one to do.  So much learning happening with this one.

How to made rice paper

Marco Polo's Life in 3 minutes

Marco Polo

Marco Polo

Bamboo the Miracle Plant

We also watched on Amazon Prime- Travel with kids episode of when they go to China and  Torchlighters: Gladys Aylward Story.
 On Pureflix we watched Wow, I never knew that episode on how fortune cookies became about and the documentary on China/ Peoples Republic.  

We found this article on fashion trends in China interesting and disturbing at the same time... Fashion Trends in China

We always try and cook at least one meal but this time we did take out 2 different times. First we had chow main sandwiches and egg rolls then we had beef with Chinese vegetables and egg rolls. We in my city and the surrounding towns have a different chow main.  And putting it on a hamburger bun is a local meal.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Mail time happiness

I like when people suggest things they use that they like, that has worked for them. 

I  will check it out usually Amazon has good samples of book pages to get an idea if its something I want to use.  I kept eyeballing this book Vincent's Starry Night and Other Stories:  A Children's History of Art.  What I could see looked good.  But still I had to spend the money if it turns out to be a flop.

Well it arrived today and I love it.  I will wait until the fall to start using it but I get so excited when new stuff comes in and its something I really like.  It looks like a great way to introduce art to children.  

Here is a description from Amazon.  An enthralling journey through the story of world art, from early cave paintings right up to the present day. Discover artists and their art around the world, in 68 exciting and imaginative tales about artists and the way they created their work. 

Written by educator and art historian Michael Bird, and beautifully illustrated by Kate Evans, the book also features reproductions of the famous artworks discussed, a comprehensive timeline of events, and extra feature spreads on places connected with art.