Monday, February 29, 2016

Five in a Row- Mailing May

Mailing May was a real fun row.  

We started the row first reading it then going to the post office for a field trip.  I didn't get any pictures but I wish I did.  It was lots of fun.  We went to a distribution center.  We were shown exactly what happens when you mail a letter or package.  How it gets sorted. What the mail carriers go through each day.  It was interesting.  The tour guide and another carrier told us some funny stories.  I shared with them the story of Mailing May.  They told us about a dog name Owney who traveled the country on a mail train.  Owney story.  The mail carrier recommended this website mail

Once we were home we talked about Geography.  Did a worksheet on Idaho.  

I had my daughter research the American Flag of 1914 when the story takes place in time.

I had a chapter book about Daniel Boone. In the story May comments that she "felt as adventuresome as Daniel Boone"  It was a short chapter book she read it over the weekend.  

We read some books about trains.
Had a discussion about Department stores and life in the 1900's.  She was able to relate to the department store May went to since we go to a quaint general store when we go to New Hampshire.  

I shared with my daughter about stamp collecting. My uncle collects them.  When my sister and I were young we would collect them also.  I had her look up how much a normal stamp cost in 1914 and what it looked like.

I had my daughter write examples of Hyperbole.  I will have to update this when I dig out her sentences and share.  they were funny.  All about our family. 

We also talked about how the author took a real story and added to it.  He didn't know all the details of what happened with May but he had the basic information so he used creative license to add details to the story.  

We did the creative painting project.  to draw with white paint or chalk on black paper make a snowman like in the book.  

For the science part I had my daughter research the Boar Hog.  May compared the Steam engine to a boar hog.  I love having her dig deeper.

Finally we talked about steam power and how it works.  watched a few videos on it.  We tried and experiment we found you make a pinwheel and you use steam to make it move.  We tried we failed. LOL  that's science.  

We did so much more but this was the highlights of our 2 week row.  I highly recommend this book and FIAR Row.   

Saturday, February 6, 2016

mid year change in curriculum.

So we started off with some curriculum we wanted to try.  But some of it wasn't working.

Science-  I started with Oak Meadow for science along with Heart of Dakota science.  Right after school started Samantha started taking a science class at a friends house and she enjoys it.  So I decided to just have her do the science in Five in a Row and read the science readings from HOD at home.  There was nothing wrong with Oak Meadows science.  But I didn't have the teachers guide for the extra information and a lot that was in there Samantha had already done before with FIAR and HOD.

Math- We started with Oak Meadow and it was going great until we hit the division part.  She has done division before but needs more practice on it. I like the approach that Oak Meadow but there isn't enough practice with it.  I needed something that would actually teach her more.  I tried online videos. Nope didn't help. So I searched out what I used long ago when teaching her addition.  Math Mammoth.  I went with their blue series.  It teaches by subject and not the spiral method.  Almost done with the division part and will move forward from there.  I feel like I finally found what works for Samantha.  The Blue Series doesn't use common core and I like that. I don't want to teach her common core unless I have to.  As of now I don't.

Spelling-  I wasn't sure what we were going to use.  Spelling is her weak subject.  We likes Spelling You See last year. So we decided to go with the same method using copy work to teach spelling.

I don't like jumping from curriculum to curriculum, but there are times you need to  switch things up.  To find what works.  

How we use FIAR with an older child

A few years back we found the curriculum Five in a Row.  We loved it.  So I started using it right away.
We had some fun doing them.  Samantha learned a lot. 
Then a year or so ago I felt we weren't doing enough "school" so I ordered a full curriculum.  
As much as we loved it we both missed FIAR.  There is nothing wrong with the curriculum BUT
she had already learned a lot of the information with FIAR.

So we focused more on FIAR.  

Here is what our days are like with FIAR

I come home from work and I have my daughter do math and grammar. Later in the day she will read the living books we are using for history or we read it together.  Depending on how the day is going or if we have an activity to get to when we do the reading.

Then we read the book for FIAR and do the activities from the manual and add in our extras
We take 2 weeks to do a row (thats what its called when using FIAR)

Example of what we do for the row  The Raft 

We usually try to read the book each day even when we do it for 2 weeks.  I sometimes have her read to me.  We find someone reading it on youtube.  There has been a couple rows that actually had a cartoon or movie we found on youtube or amazon to go along with it.  The book Wee Gillis has a short movie I found at the library.

Geography and History
using the manual we talked about Wisconsin. Read up on when it entered the union and that it is the 30th state. We talked about where it got the nickname the Badger State
She made a map of Wisconsin and the Great Lakes. (she loves making maps)
We found Wisconsin on the map.  
This book didn't have much to get for history out of it. So we continued to read some of the living books we read. We were working on Native Americans. So we talked about their lives and how different it is from us now.  

Social Studies: Character Relationshisp
We talked about disappoinment and asked her to tell me why Nicky was disappointed. I asked her to show me in the book where Nicky looked disappointed.  We talked about when she has been disappointed.  We also talked about how we handle ourselves when we are disappointed.  
We then talked about Frustration and Flexibility.  We followed the manual for this.
Next was teachability.  how Nicky a first wouldn't listen to his grandmother but when he got over his feelings he listened to her and things went much better.

Social Studies: This History of Television
This was a fun one.  We read the manual.  Then we looked up pictures of the first tv's .  She talked to her grandmother and what it was like to get their first tv.  I found some old shows on Hulu and Netflix to show Samantha what it was like before color tv.  Talked about how tv shut down at a certain time each night and what the screen looked like.  We talked about how people used radio's before they had tv for their entertainment.  

Social Studies: Chores
We do have Samantha do chores normally but we made up a chore chart so she can do it each day without me telling her what to do.  We talked about how helping out makes it easier for everyone.  We work together as a family.  

Language Arts
*We followed the manual learning about Opening sentences. I then had her create her own opening sentence to a story she might write and then talk about if she thinks her sentence would make others want to continue with her story.
*We talked about  where do stories come from? following the manual.  
*we also followed the manual and talked about Character names.  How grandma was named the River Rat by Nicky and his father and why they call her that.  We talked about how nicknames are given.  
*another topic under Language arts is creative imagining and writing.  We talked about things not told in the story like did Nicky ever go back to visit his grandmother,  Maybe spend another summer with her. or went back when he was older.  It was fun thinking of all the fun he might have had later on.
* vocabulary- when the manual lists vocabulary words I have her look up the definition, write a sentence and then draw a picture for that word.  

Learn to Draw was listed in the manual as Nicky spends the summer exploring and learning to draw all he sees.  I didn't do anything with this as she takes an art class on Thursdays.
Seeing in Art- The author says when you draw something from nature you learn about it.  We talked about this and what it means.  I had her go outside and draw something from nature.  She drew the big tree in our backyard. We took a few nature walks into the woods.  We went on a minivacation to New Hampshire and went on a hike in the mountain. We also had a field trip out to an ice house ruins.  
We talk about the other art subjects from the manual but since she does take art we only touched on them.
Building a raft- We both built a raft out of Popsicle sticks. We then drew animals on it like Nicky did.  We also went out into the woods and let our rafts go.  We did make sure we caught them so we didn't liter in nature.  

THe manual has these topics for science: Zoology- Badger, Muskrat, Botany- conifers and deciduous trees, North woods and Lake wildlife, fishing and ways of seeing underwater,
I had Samantha research the badger and the muskrat and write about it. Do its classification, draw a picture of it
She read in a text book all about the types of trees and types of environments.  
We only talked about types of fishing and what is used to see underwater.
** found some wildkratts episodes with I think the muskrat on netflix to watch**
the science of rivers. We took a nature walk to watch a river.  I found some worksheets to read about rivers of where they start and where they end up.  

Volume 4 has recipes to go along with each row.  We tried out the Honey Cinnamon Cornbread and it was very good that we made it many times since.  
Another recipe is for Burgers. We didn't follow this but made our own.  

I believe Five in a Row can be a very full curriculum even when using it for an older child.  As for things I do add for my child to the row.  
  • Depending on the setting I look for documentaries on the country or state. there is a series on Hulu called Traveling with children.  That one is always fun to watch.
  • research deeper into the animals of the book. Do their classification, Have her write a few paragraphs on what she finds
  • do some kind of craft to go along with the story
  • look deeper into the time period of the book
  • try to find a place to go on a field trip for depending on topics. 
  • Look for youtube videos or readings of the book. I had her make a youtube recording of a book we couldn't find one for.
  • I look for one poem that might go along with the story to have her read during the row.
  • if there is a topic I can us to do a science experiment in it then we do it.
  • I look for chapter books to go along with the rows.  There is a list somewhere on the internet for the first 3 volumes.   
  • I use the FIAR pages that you get free when you sign up for them Oh I am forgetting what they are called.  I also look for any lapbooks free on the internet to use.  Sometimes the act of writing things down helps my daughter to remember.  It also gives a nice keepsake to look through.  I don't do the traditional lapbooks. We put all we do on card stock and put in a binder. 
I pick a few topics each day to do. 

It may sound like a lot but honestly its not.  I don't plan more then the Sunday night before.  I make a list of any needs we might have.  I usually go to the library with Sam to get any books to go along with it on the first day we start the row.   We have fun.  The one time we tried stopping and go with another curriculum she asked almost daily for Five in a Row.  This year we are finishing up all the rows from volume 1-4 and will move onto Beyond.  She is very excited to do this.

I forgot to add we did cave drawings like he said the raft drawings look like. The manual has you looking at cave art so we did and she made her own.

I do find that I have been taking less pictures of our rows.  So I have only a few to share from this row.