Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Earth! School work

Samantha has been asking a lot of questions about our earth lately. Why do we have day and the other people have night? How does that happen? How does the earth spin? Where is the sun and moon? Things like this. So I set out to find a book with answers that are her level of understanding. I found one at the bookstore called What makes Day and night. I also wanted some kind of craft to do with this. Well the one I was looking for has been recalled, no wonder why I couldn't find it. Something to do with lead paint. Anyway. I read the book she really seemed to understand what I was saying. She notices a lot too. She looked at pictures of the earth, she commented that there is so much water everywhere. I pointed out where we live and she was so excited to make it look like it was daytime for us with our made crafts. We made the earth out of a styrofoam ball and the sun was a pom pom. So I demonstrated when we have day and night. She did an awesome job of making the earth. Then she wasn't ready to be done with painting so she made a big picture of the earth and sun. Its amazing how quickly she learns something. Today was a real fun day. We played at the playground, outside on the sidewalk tracing our shadows, and then inside to do some more learning. We worked from one of our work books talking about families and how you help each other out. Lots of fun learning today. Samantha has been watching some of the flowers in our yard grow and every day she will comment if it has grown or not. Next I need to find a book or some resources to show her why the moon doesn't always look like a ball. That is one of the questions that didn't get answered in the book. I tried to explain but I think she will get it more if I show her pictures. Off to search the internet!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Samantha riding her bike outside for the first time...

Samantha got a bike for her birthday this year. Since Sunday was a very nice day we went outside to teach her how to ride it. She had ben riding it in the house.

Well when she was done we played ball and then Samantha noticed something................. the first sings of spring is coming...

field trip

On Sat. after dance class we ended up going to the zoo. We had so much fun. Fun that a normal trip that I would have taken without thinking of school can become a field trip! We walked around and learned about different animals. Found out that they have some chickens waiting to hatch. Noted the difference in shape of eggs compared to the ones we buy in the market. Watched some ducks swim under water. She looked at the pictures of the water creatures and tried finding them in the tank. It was fun. Most of the animals were all out as it was a beautiful day.Of course we took the train ride! LOL Again a lot of learning in every day life.

Monday, March 2, 2009


My sister brought up about the standardize testing. How a home school group her pastors wife is a part of is trying to get someone to come and give the kids the the mcas test. I heard on the radio that Massachusetts is trying to push a bill to add more subjects to those test. I for one am totally against those tests. I am glad that as a homeschooler in MA Samantha wont have to take those tests. As of right now its optional for children who are home schooled and private schools. I was against them when the boys took them as many of their teachers were too! How can intelligent people actually believe this is a test of a child's true knowledge is beyond me. There are many faults with this test. With any standard testing. Some kids don't test well. I have 2 who don't test well at all. Mike is an average student and he did horrible on those tests. Had to take the last one twice. Nick who is very smart only scores average on them. Nicks teachers tell me the work they have for him in school isn't hard enough for Nick, it doesn't' challenge Nick. They wish they had more for him but they don't. One teacher said Nick would be a good candidate for self learning out of the school environment. But on this test he doesn't do well at all. For weeks before he would stress out over them as so much pressure is put on the kids about this test. For Nick stress equals to canker sores over his whole mouth. For Mike I am not to sure if he ever really stressed out about it. Now one of the boys friend is a smart person, Maybe did average in school. Well you want to know how he passed the test??? By not reading it and just guessing on the whole thing. He passed in the top 5% of the whole state. Now how is that even accurate???
So I ask you why do these tests matter so much??? How can they even use them in an objective manor?
So for Samantha unless they become mandatory for a homeschooler or she wants to take them I wont have her do them. Lucky her!!!

Fun time learning.

Today I was watching a tv show one of those wife swapping ones. It featured a home school family and a workaholic family. Well the workaholic father couldn't understand how the kids could learn while having fun. Now we are talking about children who were only 5 and 6 I believe. It got me thinking why can't kids have fun while learning. With Samantha I try to make it fun heck she is only a 4 yo. Why wouldn't learning be fun. But really there are so many learning styles and not every kid learns the same way. So many different ways to learn something. A person learns even if they are not doing book work. So why can't a child learn by doing both? As long as there is a balance between book work and life learning the child is learning everything she needs to. I have been doing a lot of researching into homeschooling and learning in general. I know that in our home school journey I want Samantha to enjoy learning, I want her to have a love of learning a thirst for learning. Really in life we never stop learning. But the desire can be squashed. Learning is life. Why not make it something exciting for the child.
If you ask Samantha if she likes homeschooling she will tell you she loves it. She is proud to say she is home schooled. She is funny she will tell a stranger that she home schools before I can even say anything. We were at Donkin Donuts one day and this older man asked if she goes to preschool. Samantha right away said NO I home school. He just looked at me. So I said yes we home school. He said that's nice. That was it. But she is so funny about it. She loves learning right now and I hope we can keep that love. When I was a kid I loved learning but somewhere along the way I started to hate it, well maybe not the learning itself but school. I know it happened sometime in third or fourth grade and that is young. I didn't find that love again until college.
We have been working on her numbers some more and doing some of the Boz God's world book. We have been doing some water colors and other crafts. She made a placemat for herself to teach her how to set the table. So we have been working on some life skills. She has a chore chart now and is really loving it. She can't wait to do her chore to get a sticker on her chart.We have been doing the Amish friendship bread. We already made one loaf and she helped me everyday mix the started. Then she helped me measure add the ingredients.
Next I have a lesson to start this month about Easter that includes things like working with numbers, shapes, animals, drawing, life skills and of course about Jesus. It will take a couple of weeks so we should be starting that in 2 weeks.