Saturday, February 25, 2006

A lesson plan...Part 2!

Welllll, how did this week go?
I had to revise my lesson plan after only 2 days.
We were "scheduled" to do two math lessons each day, which would have us completing the K level books by the end of the year. HOWEVER, because the math is getting into some new concepts, we spent AN HOUR AND A HALF on Monday, JUST doing math!!! Then about the same amount of time on Tuesday, JUST ON MATH!!!! YIKES!!! Then I'm trying to do some reading and some social studies....frankly, it was just too much. Bear was completely bored and both of us were frustrated. She actually said to me at one point, "We used to do fun stuff when we first started school!"
So, on Wednesday, I re-wrote the lesson plan so that we're not "sceduled" to do as much for each day. A little math, a little reading and handwriting, some counting with chocolate chips - we did that on Wednesday and she LOVED, of course! The end of the week was better, less stressful.
We did Show and Tell on Wednesday. Bear chose her rag doll that we got for her at SilverDollar City. She said that she liked it because it was so colorful. Deco chose his "Journey Through the..." (Ocean, Farm, etc.) books and said that he liked them because they were sticky. (!) I guess I need to wipe them off!
Some other fun things we did were the addition with chocolate chips - I should have covered subtraction, too, because there was a lot of that! Bear also really liked it when I got out the pennies and dimes for counting by ten's.
So, we're plugging along!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

A lesson plan....FINALLY!!

Well, I decided that one of the things that was getting me down and making school seem so haphazard was not having any type of lesson plan for the week or even for any given day. I would just sort of fly by the seat of my pants, which meant that some days we'd do all math and nothing else and other days we'd do all reading and nothing else. I realized last week that it had been three days or so and we'd not done anything out of her math curriculum! Also, I've stopped doing any type of structured reading lessons, even though I bought "An Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading", and I've just been having her read simple books that we get from the library. Not that that's bad, I'm just not sure that she's learning any of the logic involved in reading. Does that make sense?
So, today I sat down and worked out a lesson plan for the next two weeks! We'll do math and reading every day and social studies three times a week. I bought a simple social studies book from the local Christian bookstore and she's really enjoyed it so far. I'll do some sort of handwriting activity, probably each day. I think I can tie that into her reading lesson fairly easily. I haven't worried too much about her handwriting because she writes REALLY well, but I want to make sure she can recall letters easily. I've noticed her saying, "How do you make a 'g'?" lately, and I think it's because I've dropped the ball a little on that. She recognizes letters without hesitation when she's reading, she just balks sometimes when she's trying to write them.
I feel much better with my plan in place and now we can all just pray that I'll keep it up!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Ice Cream Factory

On February 10th we went with two other homeschooling families and toured the Blue Bell Ice Cream factory. It was a very interesing tour, although I think it was a bit abbreviated because there were so many younger kids there. In all, we had 10 kids with us, ranging in age from 17 months to 6 years, so it was quite a noisy group! All of the kids thought the best part of the tour was the ice cream that we got to sample at the end.

We made sure to take a picture of all of us in front of the Big Sign!We also took a picture of all of the kids in front of The Wall of Containers which shows all of the flavors that Blue Bell makes!

And then, of course, the BEST PART - SAMPLES!!!! This picture is of Bear and Deco, eating their samples with Emma and Alana.

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Happy Valentine's Day!!
We had our first annual homeschooling Valentine's Day party today! This came about because I was passing all the little Valentine's day cards at Wal Mart and I thought "Awwww, that's one thing that I remember enjoying so much as a kid in school that my kiddos won't get to do!" But, then it occured to me that I know a whole slew of homeschooling families (OK, maybe not a SLEW, but I'm close to two homeschooling families and I know two other families with little kids....) so, I decided to invite them over for a party! I had white paper bags that all the kids decorated with crayons and heart stickers, which they all really enjoyed. I had made Valentine's cookies and punch, and I told the other moms (and the one Grandma!) to bring a snack for the group, if they wanted to, and lunch for their family. So we made the bags and then all the kids passed out their Valentine's, and then we ate LOTS of cookies and I read two Valentine's books while they ate. After they ate their party snacks, everyone went outside to play. It was a FUN party! I asked Deco, "What was your favorite part of the party?" and he responded, "Drinking my punch." which I thought was cute. Reilly gave the same answer when I asked her that question, but I think she said that because she heard me laugh when Deco said it.

In the first pic, Bear is showing me her bag; in the second, The Moms are stuffing the bags (all the kids did some stuffing but we finished it up for them); in the third picture, they're gathered around their snack!

It was a good day!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Vacation!! Yippee!

Ched was on vacation this past week and so we didn't do a lot of "official" school. The great thing is that I can count the trip to the animal sanctuary on the 4th as school, as well as our trip the we took to The City to see their zoo, which is INCREDIBLE! It simply blows our zoo away! The funny thing was that I thought that we could save some money by bringing sandwich stuff and making sandwiches before we went in so we wouldn't have to pay to eat there. So I packed up the meat and mayo and cheese and some chips....and forgot the bread! So we had to go to MickeyD's, which The Kids thought was GREAT, but which didn't save us any money at all! Oh well, live a little! Bear loved seeing the gorillas, which were pretty neat, and she loved the sea otters and the beaver.

The Kids loved all the brass statues that they could climb on, Deco got a little tired and tried to sleep in the wagon, and Ched posed for at least ONE pic by himself! Poor guy, he was actually pretty ill that day, as well as Tuesday and Wednesday, but he was such a trooper!

The Animal Sanctuary - Feb. 4th

A week ago, Saturday, I was as sick as DOG and Ched, The Kids, and my mom went to an animal rescue sanctuary here in town. (Well, actually, it's on the outskirts of town, but who's keeping track anyway?) There were lions, regular tigers, a golden tabby tiger that used to be Mike Tysons, a bear, a cougar, deer, llamas, donkeys, birds, reptiles, wolves, assorted monkeys, and...a liger...yes, I said a liger - half lion, half tiger! Ched said it was over 1,000 pounds!! Most, if not all of these animals were rescued in one way or another, lots of times from people who are idiots

This is Ched and The Kids by the golden tabby tiger,
I believe.

and think that a tiger or a baboon would make a GREAT pet!! The awesome thing is that you can feed the animals! You pay $1 for a frozen chicken leg, stuck it into the end of a pvc pipe, and thread it through the fence - actually, there were two fences about 6 feet apart - and the lion or tiger or liger chomps it off of the end of the pipe. Ched and The Kids were dazzled! Nani (my mom) was a little freaked out, but she had fun all the same.

This is Nani helping Bear feed a lion.

And this is a
close-up of how it looks
to feed a lion!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

One of THOSE days...Feb. 1, 2006

You know how there are some homeschooling days where everything falls into place? The birds sing, the sun shines, there's no whining or complaining, and lessons are done with no frustration?
This was NOT one of those days!!
Things got done, but it wasn't all sunshine and roses. I added some new sight families "-ought", "-ight", and "-ound" and I think it was just too hard for Bear. She kept getting frustrated and, when she gets frustrated, she tends to stop trying. (I guess that's typical for most people!) She was able to read a book called Fall Leaves with minimal help, and she did a page in her Big K Phonics book, but I finally called it quits after about an hour or so because it was getting too frustrating for both of us!
Oh well, better day tomorrow!

I've decided to have a Valentine's Day party!! I was walking past the Valentine's day aisle at Wal Mart and thought, "Awww, that's one of the things that my kids will miss by not being in public school! Class parties!" So I decided to invite two moms with HS'd kids and two other friends who have kids to have a party here! If everyone comes, there will be 12 kids! :o I think I'm going to have them decorate paper bags to collect their valentine's in and have some cookies and punch. I told the other moms that they could bring lunch for their kids and some type of snack for the group if they wanted to.As I type it, it all sounds very Martha Stewart-y, but it's going to probably be very loud and messy!! But fun!