This is a good sign that things are going in the right direction in our homeschooling journey. Today Ken and DJ asked if we could read a chapter in THE LION, THE WITCH , AND THE WARDROBE. It was a sad chapter too. Aslan became a favorite character to them, and I almost think that Ken was silently crying with Lucy and Susan, so sad. We only have three more chapters to read and then on to the next book, which will be A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle. Michelle declares this book her favorite book she read in her elementary years. Speaking of Michelle she has witnessed some unschooling type of learning going on and has really taken to our zoo trip and has done tons of research on the Amur Tiger. They asked me if we can do school tomorrow, I am not sure what they mean, the materials are on the shelf avaliable to them. I guess I just need to let them know it is O.K to still be working even though you know other kids are on break. I think this is what got them thinking they wanted a break anyway.
Michelle passed down some of her science kits later in the day and DJ got busy with this Solar House kit. So far he is doing a great job in following the directions in the manual. I took a couple of pictures to share with you.
There are 23 steps to complete this project. DJ stopped at the ninth step. After completing this project he may be able to answer this question, How does a solar cell generate electricity?
When I first purchased this for Michelle I really wanted a good manual with detailed instructions because I wanted this to be an independent project. This is a great manual, and it has pictures to illustrate for some steps.
I really appreciate how Michelle took care of her kits, there were no many pieces, and DJ and Ken felt like they were getting brand new works.
DJ has had a desire to want to learn to play Chess for a while. He has played it on a computer game and multiple times at the library. With Chess it takes practice to remember the names of the pieces and how they all move this kept him from going to another level when he had the opportunity to play the game again which was not often enough. I was happy to see this version of Chess at Toys R' Us for just $5.00 with a coupon.
DJ is reading the instructions and setting up the board all by himself!
He recruited Michelle to play a game with him.
Now that he is winning he has declared this his favorite game:)
The game pieces have their name and exactly how they are to be moved right on the front.
Now DJ is keeping himself busy by making a "Chess Play Book".
Over the last month I have been looking for resources for my kids that are avaliable for free or affordable. Guess what? Our zoo is free from Dec 23 until March 31!! So I asked the kids if they would like to do some research work at the zoo. Of course they were so thrilled. I got them some sketch books and some pencils. Our first outing was so much fun!
Here are some photos of some animals that were almost selected for research...
The Artic Fox
The Bald Eagle
The selection process was a difficult one for them to make, but they finally decided on an animal that they will research more on, and observe at least once a week.
Michelle selected the Amur Tiger
DJ selected a family of Mandrills
Ken chose the Golden Lion Tamarins
Today was also the first time my children sketched while observing, and I think they did an awesome job.
Ken sketch. I thought it was awesome that she gave this sketch a title. The way she sketched them, the Tamarins' back was to her.
The whole experience was a good one. I hope that this new adventure in our schooling continues to bring excitement.
Our list of items to bring with us next time, is something to snack on, and a thermos of hot choclate. A added bonus of going to the zoo in the winter is you get the whole place to yourself. As DJ put it "scientist really need quiet places sometimes."
Today was day one of our Christmas celebrations during "school". It was so much fun! They helped make a Gingerbread Man today. DJ and Ken was mystified to discover that when it was time to take him out the oven he wasn't there.
This was truly a activity that was for all ages, they were eager beavers to make signs in hopes of finding the Gingerbread Man with the preschoolers.
Michelle understood that I was the one that took him out of the oven, but was still intrigued about exactly where I hid him at. I thought it was age appropiate for her to write the letter to the children from the Gingerbread Man, she did a excellent job. Michelle was also on the search to find where the Gingerbread Man was.
They went around the neighborhood to hunt the Gingerbread Man down.
They were really bummed out when they came back without the Gingerbread Man, until they realized that he was always so close. Ken did the honors of reading the letter the Gingerbread Man wrote.
If you like to see what books Ken and DJ read to the preschoolers that inspired this activity pop over to my other blog The Work Plan and check it out.
They also had fun stuffing their homemade pinatas with candy and finalizing their decorations for our school Christmas party tomorrow.
Just as I anticipated things in the homeschooling front are slowing down, while excitement for the day of Christmas is growing stronger. Today was another half day, which is working out! We were able to go shopping for some new pajamas today. They weren't too thrilled with what was avaliable, looks like we went too late to find some Christmassy ones.
Let me see what did they do today?
They created 3D Christmas trees and wrote three words to describe what Christmas means to them.
Read chapter 13 THE LION,THE WITCH,AND THE WARDROBE where Peter had his first battle. They worked on possessive nouns.
This is what was captured on camera during their independent work period.