Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What we have been learning lately...

Lately in math she has been moving right along. She recently learned how to tell time to the half hour. She has also figured out how the minutes work and can tell me when its quarter past. She learned how to measure using inches. How to skip count 2, 5, 10, & 6's. She does word problems. She will be moving on to fractions this week learning what a half fraction is.

measuring using her measuring inch worms

In language arts she is moving along with reading, she does awesome when she actually reads the word and not guesses. She has learned many new things like punctuation, nouns, plural nouns & verbs. She is doing good in spelling.

History is her great love so far. She begs yes begs for more each day. We started at the beginning of time and we are moving right along with the early church. Soon we will get more into recent history well maybe not so recent but learn about the pilgrims, then on to learning about the USA and each state.

Science has been fun. Its been a two week long lesson in the planets, the sun, the moon and the stars. We have done a lot of hands on learning. She made a constellation in a can with Daddy, she drew her own solar system with chalk and black construction paper. She made the constellation Sirius. We are moving onto the phases of the moon next.

Doing her science work while at work with me. Look at her great job on Sirius and the little dipper.

Homeschooling in the not so normal places

We are very flexible homeschoolers. There are days where we don't do school at home due to many reasons. Some days she is with me at work doing her own work. Other days she is at grandma's doing some of her work. She reads in the car. One day on the way to a field trip she asked to bring along some of her work so she could finish her math paper and have free time at home after the field trip. It works. Its doable. Just today I had to run to the post office to get a care package out to Nick so Daddy took her along with him to get his hair cut. She brought along Math and phonics and completed a little more than half of it while there. Its not the normal homeschool day. But its our day.

Just the other day she went to work with me and did almost a whole day of work there. She did some amazing work too. She drew the constellation of Sirius. She did all her math work and phonics work. She even learned a new grammar lesson on verbs.

Learning happens everywhere not just in a classroom. I fully believe that. she is learning all the time. So many experiences we have teach us lessons. Sometimes we have to bring the books along with us on our day to live life to the fullest and learn all we can learn. Other days I enjoy the peace of staying home when life allows and having a great day homeschooling.

All though our days sound crazy and hectic I have a complete week always planned out in my planner and we almost always complete all that I have listed to do. We also always find time to snuggle on the couch and read. Or just enjoy life together.

Monday, October 24, 2011

They joys and not so joys of flexiable homeschooling...

Because I work part time I have to find ways of getting it all in. I have had to learn to be flexible in where and when "school work" happens. Most days its not a problem. I go to work Sam is with a sitter. I do send her with some work that she can handle on her own to do. With the understanding that she doesn't have to do it as I am her homeschool teacher not my sitters. But if she gets it done that less she has to do when I get out of work. When I get home we start our day. So far this has worked out fine.

We do school work all over actually. On our way to our last field trip Samantha was doing her addition work in the back seat as I drove. She reads out loud to me when we are driving somewhere. That helps squeeze in the extra reading for the day. Getting ready for work in the morning we can get a lesson of history or science in. I often feel that in some ways the flexible way we work it out, we find many ways to enjoy and take advantage of learning in weird and fun ways. We school outside,inside, snuggling on the couch. I have taken her to work and she does her school work there. I find the joy of learning something new in Samantha's eyes amazing especially when she searches it out and wants to learn about what she sees and experiences.

Most days this goes smoothly or somewhat smoothly. Other days I feel like I am a mouse running on a wheel to no where. On those days when I need things to work out right and something comes along to throw a wrench into my plans. Or when Daddy is on school duty and I come home to find out they just began their day of learning thinking they have all the time in the world and we have to leave in 1 hour for a lesson. Those are the days I feel like I am running that wheel to no where. These are the days that I feel I need to simplify my life. To find ways to get rid of the not needed and keep only what is needed to keep things going smoothly. To keep what is important, family life + school life - clutter - the extra = a simplified life. If only it could be that easy.

Have you ever tried to slow down? To stop saying yes to what others need of you? Have you ever just tried to be even for one day or one hour to stop running the race. The sense of peace you get from doing just what needs to be done. To simplify. I have had a few of those days recently and those days have me really reevaluating what is important and what needs to be done and what can be left undone by me. What I can say without a doubt is stealing my peace. Those are the things that need to go in my life.

Thanks to a friend who posted a similar blog post on her own blog it really got me thinking even more about this. Thank you Danielle for putting into words what I have been thinking for a long time.

So in the days and weeks to come I will be simplifying my life. To try and do what matters. Some things to go with be as needed, some right away and others will take time to undo commitments. Some have to wait until the commitment is done.

Now I hope I didn't make homeschooling out to be a bad and stressful thing. It's been an amazing journey so far. I love homeschooling my daughter and pray that I can continue to do this for a long time. Just like anything in life you really need to look at it and decided what is important and what is just taking up space in your life. If Samantha was in school there would still be many thing if not more things to make me feel this way. I think its the trying to fit it all in.... there isn't enough hours in the day to do all that is needed of me.

Fun field trip...

On Friday we went on a fun field trip. For only $5 we got a hayride, the corn maze, a pumkin, food to feed the farm animals and the treat at the end... pumpkin ice cream. I love a great deal. A few weeks ago we went to one with Steve's friend it was so lame! We paid more than that. Got teeny tiny pumpkins that the price was not justified for and a hayride that I thought we would end up having to walk out of the woods becuase the tracker seemed to be on its last leg.

This field trip we went with some awesome friends. All the kids really had a great time.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sea life

Today we went to The Biomes Center. It is New England's only private marine education facility. Samantha got to touch sharks, skates, sea urchins, starfish, hermit crabs and a few other things. She got to watch an octopus be fed frozen crab. It was so much fun. There was many things to do and see there. What a fun learning experience it was. The center gets the creatures from our area waters.... from the Narragansett Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

Touching the Skates and Sharks

Here is one shark performing for us.
She was a little unsure about touching them at first

These funny looking guys look like they are whistling all the time.

This guy looks like he is frowning and he has freaky eyes.

This is called the mermaids purse.... its actually an egg for a skate. If you look closely you can see the baby skate inside it.

This fish is so funny looking!

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Crabby Monster....

What is it about rainy days that brings out the crabby monster in a child? Or maybe it was the full moon tonight. Today Samantha was very crabby. But we still managed to get a lot of work done. The only thing I let slide today was math. She did one math sheet but didn't do the one with the new concept on it. I figured by this point she was crabby and the new stuff wouldn't stick. She had already completed everything else plus extra work.

Today We read the book "Me on the Map" and she did 2 activities to go with it.

This first one I found on this blog.. Teach MaMa learning in the everyday
we created a cute little book to show her world....

Yes we do know where the continents do go on the globe but they just didn't fit right on the earth she cut.

She also did this mini activity found on The Write Handed Teacher where she drew a map of our house and of her bedroom. She did very good on this one. She drew her room how she wishes it would be.... she recently got new curtains, comforter and rug for her room(she had the same ones since we moved her into her bed at 18 months old)and its zebra print. Yes I did allow her the zebra print. But in my defense the curtains are pink and white zebra, the rug is white and purple zebra and her comforter is black, purple and white zebra. So anyway she drew a box around her bedroom so she could design her walls. Yes they are designed to look like zebra stripes in pink and white. Keep dreaming child. I also find it interesting that when she drew herself on the cover she drew herself in her uniform for music class. :)

Today's great find....
A puzzle of the solar system since we have been working on that in science. A game called Silly Sentences. Its also a puzzle and you have a bunch of pieces to put together a sentence. This will be great to practice putting a sentence together.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Music class

Samantha went to her first music class at the public school. She loved it! Samantha was nervous. We both were. We both felt very welcomed. The principal took us to the first grade classroom. Introduced Sam to all the students. They were all so cute rushing to get near her talking to her all at once. It was sweet. She even knew one of the children in class. She is our neighbor. Too funny I didn't realize the little girl was in first grade. I have to say she even looks adorable in her school uniform. This school seems to be very open to homeschoolers. I am very happy with this new experience. I know some homeschooling mom's that were very concerned with this decision. Some were very interested in doing that with their own children. A few are worried that if their child liked this one class they wouldn't want to homeschool anymore. For me I am very comfortable with this. Samantha knows that she is a homeschool child and public school for academics is not an option for us at this time.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

funny things kids say and do....

Today was a good day. Samantha did her work in a very short time. It went very smoothly. She really catches on quickly. She is very excited and nervous about starting music class. She asked me if she didn't like it could she quit after a year. So funny. Today she said to me... Hey Mom my rug has 15 rings so it must be 15 years old. Some times the things she comes up with crack me up.

Here are a few pictures of yesterdays work... yes we did school on Columbus day... lol just the fun stuff. We reread about Columbus. then she made 3 ships the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. She made them out of egg cartons, clay, tooth picks and paper. They came out very cute. She also finished her fall tree. Today was more of a reading and work sheet day.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Music class, spelling, math, phonics and......

Samantha will start music class this coming Wednesday at Tansey School. Samantha is so excited. The school wears uniforms. So I will be buying her one this weekend. I thought they were going to have me fill out all the normal school paperwork. But the principal told me I don't have to. Just show up on Wednesday and she will be all set. I am excited too.

Samantha's spelling work...





Art/ mini works of art

Picture from our study of Autumn and all things that go with Autumn