Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Five In A Row The Night Of The Moonjellys

Our latest work from Five In A Row is the book The Night Of The Moonjellies   

The story is set in Connecticut. A little boy of 8 helps has grandma and family members at their clam shack called MaGras.  Along the way to work one day he picks up something that looks like jelly. Well its a moonjelly.  The grandma takes he after work on a boat to return it to the sea.  The book is a good one to show responsibility of a child.  He had many chores to do through out the day and he always seems so happy to do so.  This story has some real facts in it.  There was a restaurant called MaGras and the family was real. The little boy did help out there in the summer

We started out by visiting the beach and collecting a few items. Samantha collected shells, empty mermaids purse eggs, dried up snail eggs with baby shells in it, a few beach rocks and a shell of some sea creature....

On our second day we talked about the sea life and salt water. How the sea creatures can't live in fresh water they need the salt to live and breath.  We made our own salt water to watch it evaporate and to see what happens.  Sam prediction was that the water will evaporate and come back smaller crystals then it started.  She was so shocked that she was wrong.  Here is our evaporated sea water and the huge crystals it created.  looks a little like snow

Third day... we talked about responsibility of the boy and her own responsibilities,  What words in italics mean, some new vocabulary words and about life in and near the sea..  Samantha also did an art project. The pictures in the book were created using oil pastels.  So Samantha created her own moonjelly picture using chalk pastels. 

Fourth Day... Samantha had to think of an idea for a restaurant, plan and design the menu, set up a table in the restaurant, prepare the food then serve it to a willing customer.  This was so much fun.  She named the restaurant SamAJen.
Her menue, Sam preparing the meal. Her decorations Special board, her willing customer and his bill

The last day.  We read the story again like we do each day. We talked more about the setting. She then tried to make her own moonjellies.  They didn't come out like we thought they should but they are cute... a Moonjelly in a bottle.  
Samantha and I really enjoy doing the Five In A Row. Its fun and you learn so many things from a simple book.  So many fun experiments and crafts.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Funny how

I think its funny how excited I got when some of next years curriculum arrived in the mail.
Funny how I wasn't even thinking of next school year until a friend asked a question about something I have been using this year.
Funny how I then spent days looking over different homeschool curriculum sites trying to make my decission
Funny how I end up with most of the stuff I originally wanted to use.

Funny how my little girl also got excited about her new English book coming in and wanted to start right away.... well after she was done playing on the computer.
Funny how one subject is still giving me issues on what to do.....

So after a couple weeks of decision making here is what out new curriculum is going to be for next year....

Math- Horizons Math 2nd grade
English-Bob Jones University English 2
Science-Bob Jones University Science 2
Geography-Road Trip USA from Confessions of a Homeschooler
History- History Stories for Children
Phonics- Abeka
Health- Horizons Heath 2

We also will continue on our Five In A Row journey. We have had so much fun using this.  Through this she will continue to learn Geography, Art, language arts, living Math concepts, Science, History and Character studies.  We use this as a fun thing to do each day not as our main curriculum like many people do.

So what is the subject that is causing me to question what to do.....  Reading. We are using Abeka's phonics program BUT Samantha has not enjoyed reading their readers. Its like pulling teeth to get her to read them.  I know in life there is many things we have to learn to do even if we don't like them. But at this time I don't think this is one of those lessons.  Right now I want her to keep on loving to read. She reads no problem when its not the Abeka's readers.  So I was thinking of using the Abeka's seat work worksheet pages to keep on the phonics part but to look up a list of books that a 2nd grader should read and have her read those. She loves to read if the book is something that is interesting to her.  I tested her last week and she is reading at a third grade level if that test is correct. I am not to worried about her fluency in reading I am going to focus now more on the comprehension.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Five In A Row- The Story About Ping

Last week we did the Five In A Row work on the book The Story About Ping.
We had a lot of fun doing this book.  She learned about China and the Yangtze River.  About doing the right thing even if there is a consequence for doing so. For History she learned about the different type of boats on the Yangtze River and life on the river back in the 1930's. She learned about using layers of color to create different looks in her art. how to use multiple circles to make her coloring look like water.
 We had homemade Chinese food for supper one night. 
For science we talked about things floating or sinking in water.  
For reading she learned how the author used repetition to get her point across.
For Math she used her double digit addition and learned about carrying over. She added the many family members in Pings family. Ping had a mother, a father, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and 42 cousins.
Its amazing how much you can learn for a simple child's book.

I love using this curriculum along with our normal work. This week has been school vacation week for the public school children. Samantha asked me if we had to do work this week. When I told her yes she asked to only do her Five In A Row work. So I have her doing our new book for the week along with only math work. 
Here are some pictures from our study of The Story About Ping.....

 She made her predictions on what would sink or float...
 Then she dropped the items into the water and recorded her findings.

 Its poetry month so I had her read a poem about ducks and then illustrate the poem. 
She was very creative on this. She had so much fun trying to use many colors to create the color of the water from the Yangtze River. 
She learned how to use circles to make it look like water.  As you can see she loved this story.  On the story sheet she has to rate the book and you can give it up to 5 stars. Well she gave it a 1000 stars!  

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Field trip....

Today Nick took Samantha and I to Mystic Aquarium. It was so much fun.  Nick was impressed with what Sam knew about frogs and tadpoles.  They had a whole display on the Titanic. Something I haven't taught Samantha about yet so we had a crash course on what happened.  She loved touching a stingray.  Then going and seeing all the different creatures.  She was a little to scared to hold the crab.  I love field trips. Nick was funny he kept saying he picked this as our fun day together so it would be educational for Samantha.

A few schools were there on a field trip too. One group looked like they were kindergarteners.  Well just as we passed by then one little girl yelled to the teacher that the little boy on the side of her just kissed her. LOL it was funny hearing the teacher tell the kid to keep his lips to himself.  So glad I don't have to worry about this happening to Sam.

Earth Hour

For the last 3 years Samantha and I have participated in Earth Hour. This year it was held on March 30.  What you do.... you shut off all power sources that you can do safely. You do this for an hour from 8:30-9:30 Samantha loves this.  So we shut everything off. Shut down the computers. Get out our candles and camp light.  We sit around the candles and play games until its over and we send her to bed.  This year they had 135 country's participating in it. Go to Earth Hour and check it out for yourself any maybe participate in this next year.  Here is some pictures of our fun time...

Friday, April 6, 2012

Well I should never have posted how smooth school was going. Yesterday was a challenging day. There were many distractions. First having Nick home even if he spends most of his day sleeping is still a distraction! Then Daddy was home. Do I need to say more on that? I love him dearly but he can be just as much of a frustration as Samantha can be. He can't concentrate with a lot of noise or back ground sounds and its amazing how he thinks she can. I would be explaining something or reading something to her and he would just walk in the room and start talking. Then we also had the verizon repair man at our house. He spent about 2 hours or maybe longer at the house trying to find our problem. First the modem was bad. Then our computer wasn't allowing the new one to connect.

So needless to say work got done but with a lot of distractions, many breaks and a few tears. Thankfully it was another easy day. Not sure why math is all of a sudden so easy but the work has been incredibly easy. But it wont stay like this for long. I looked ahead and she will be learning to add doing carrying over. She has already learned double digits and adding 3 numbers.

Spelling this week has been a little challenging. The words had ea and ee and some of the words she had to really study to remember when to use ee or ea. She aced her test she got a 100! I am so proud of her.

We also did some fun crafts this week. Once they are all done drying and put together I will post pictures.

Even though Samantha does dance class twice a week I feel we need to add in more physical activity. I find with and only child outdoor play is so different then it was with the boys. Its fun when there is a friend around for her to play with and run around with outside. Today Samantha and I went to a friends house and we brought her bike. Well Samantha had a hard time keeping up with her friend in skill. She just doesn't get to use her bike as often. This has to change. I need to get my bike out and ride with her.

Reading this post over I thought how about arrange with a few other homeschooling friends to do a "gym" class once a week or maybe every other week. I will be sending out emails tonight just to get a feel for what others want to do. A few friends have talked about wanting to do this. With the nice weather coming this might work out!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Today was another fun day at the Mathias homeschool! Today went so smooth. Our day started very late. It didn't start until 2 pm..

It started with music class at school. Then we came home and she got right to work.

I somehow misplaced her phonics reader. So I pulled out this book:

She said it was way to easy for her. I love Frog and Toad. This is one book from a list I have of books first graders should read.

I just love her spelling work today. It was one of those awe moments. I usually make up extra spelling since her book only covers the normal spelling words not the 4 extra from the teachers book and I do test her on the extra ones. Here is today's work....
We both read from our history book. Learned about different places and historical items in the US one of them was Boston. she was so excited to know how close we are to it. We read about the Liberty Bell. Here is Samantha's Liberty Bell

I was reminded the other day that this is poetry month. So I am going to start adding in reading poems each day.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Five In A Row

I have talked about the curriculum I use some of the time called Five In A Row. We love doing it. You take a book from the list and you read it every day for a week. Each day you do a different activity from the book you can do as many as you like or as little as you want. I usually try to do a few. Some are very simple some are more involved. When do this its called Rowing. From one book you will learn a varity of things... history, art, poetry, science, math, grammar and so much more. Example... from Madeline we learned about some of our body parts and our appendix. We compaired the heaters in our house to the ones used a long time ago and we actually have the same ones used back in the 1940's, she studied France. From that book for science we learned about plants and how they live. For Art and Math we learned about symmetry.

So this past week we rowed The Glorious Flight... across the channel with Louis Bleriot.

So we always do a Story Element page to all the books we row. Sometimes I let her draw the plot when it will be a lot of writing in that small space. This time I also wrote in the Characters as she told me who they are.
From this book she learned about the first steps in man taking flight, about different types of airplanes. About the parts of a plane. About different types of travel through out time.

For math she learned about Roman numerals and she can write them from 1 to 10.

We did a time line of flight. From 1903- the Wright brothers fly the first plane in NC to 1976 the British and French begin passagner flights for the Concorde that travels faster then the speed of sound. We then flew our own paper airplanes and talked about what kind will fly better.

We read about a fictional person who wanted to fly so bad her glued wings on himself... yes we read the story about the story of Daedalus and Icarus

She also learned about saying sorry for doing something wrong even when its an accident and how the father in this story didn't do so. She also learned about Onomatopoeia's... its using words to make sounds. Samantha's examples of a plane sound zoom, click, boom. From the story clacketa and crump. These are parts of grammar that we would not have learned yet if we didn't do Five in a Row. I am so glad I was able to borrow this from a friend. I am going to purchase other editions of FIAR.

Remember the carrot experiment I told you about? No not the funny potato who didn't want to grow eyes. The carrot we put in the shallow dish of water well its really growing now....
Here is a math sheet I made up after seeing it on a teachers blog which I forget at the moment which one it was. I had her do fractions and measure in inches and centimeters and I just realized I spelled that wrong on her sheet. Opps ...
I have been a little worried about grammar for her. I didn't like what we were doing. It didn't seem to be sticking in her brain. So next year I found a great curriculum that I think will work better. I plan on using Bob Jones English. But for the remainder of First Grade we will continue with the stuff I find on the internet and these wonderful books from the library. A message board I go to once in a while had these listed on a post where a mom with a first grader was worried she wasn't getting enough grammar. Many other mom's recommended these books. They put each part of grammar in a story... Nouns, Verbs, Pronouns, Adjectives etc.... I took out 2 one on verbs and the other on adjectives.