Friday, September 28, 2012

Weekly Wrap-Up: Fall Week 4

This week in Math  DJ worked with the Division Charts, and the Long Chains 6/8 . He also completed worksheets to glue into his math journal                               
Ken has been enjoying geometry lessons with the Geometric Sticks material.
Michelle has completed lessons 13-17 in Teaching Textbooks Algebra 1 which covered various operations with negative numbers.

Tons of Language Ats was done Ken and DJ was introduced to All About Spelling this week and have really enjoyed the structure it has brought to them in regards to reading.                                                                         
Ken definitely knows her suffix rules, and for DJ it is becoming something easier to grasp everyday. He had no idea that there was such a rule and when he paid attention while spelling r-u-l-e-i-n-g with the e it was like a light bulb moment. DJ is proud to know that when you add a suffix to rule it is spelled r-u-l-i-n-g.                                                                             
They also reviewed syllable division rules, and started  using a spelling notebook.                                                                        
 They really took to our first introductory experience to sentence analysis. Using pictures they wrote simple sentences and then found the subject and the predicate.

Write Shop continues to be their highlight of the day. DJ is learning how to write a fiction story with humor. Ken is writing a paragraph describing a pet . Michelle is labeling the house in all different languages, we are learning along with her. Michelle has definitely passed our lessons in Latin, it is fun to see her applying her new skills.                                                                  
For their Botany this week they made parts of the roots booklets.
A moment I will remember is when they were collaborating on a self test in History. They were really resourceful and it just made me smile that they were working as a team. Michelle may not be in the picture, but she was doing her part in researching the questions in another room. They requested this test and peer pressured me to give them a due date, I obliged and they stepped up to the task.
It is just awesome to see that our history work has them wanting to dig deeper for answers.                                                                             
Learning the parts of the flag has been a big hit too!!

They continue to learn more about Monet and this week we discussed how colors make us feel during Art time.     
Michelle has been spending quite a bit of time sketching.

For Geography I introduced them to the second Geographic Impressionistic Chart. This chart explains the location of each planet relative to the sun. The chart also included information about each planet.
We completed the second experiment that allowed them to observe closer the same thing that happens to Jupiter bands of color that we can see with the telescope. Jupiter is made up of gases that don't mix so the colors are visible layer by layer.

We substituted zoology for a Nature Walk.
It was by Michelle's request . This week more than once she shared with me how Home schooling is better than school. This is a big improvement in her feelings from a couple of months ago. One step at a time! I think it is helping that she knows that I will allow her to return to traditional schooling if this semester doesn't work out for her.

   The sizes of  mushrooms kept their attention most of the time during our nature walk.      

I am linking this post to What's New hosted by Vibrant Wanderings and Weekly Wrap-Ups Weird,Unsocialized Homeschoolers.                                                               

Box Of I.D.E.As : A Schoolhouse Crew Review


Wow!!  Allow me to cut to the chase here. We. Absolutely. Love. This. Box!! It is filled with so many great Hands on Activities. Never in my life did I think I would enjoy learning about WWII Pearl Harbor. I can remember very clearly my high school teacher writing the words on the board, asking the students to turn to page __. I turned to the page and then I think the bell ranged. I am not sure maybe I was daydreaming or sleeping, One thing is for sure, my teacher needed this Box of I.D.E.As.

The Box of I.D.E.As. has ten modules( and sometimes more) that come with everything you need to teach the particular module. You can add to it if you like, but they can stand alone. The modules are separately packaged and labeled with a quote that may be used for copywork. Each module has a portfolio piece to record your student's progress. Also included in the BOX is a summary test at the end that you may use that is consistent with the practice for SAT/ACT type of exams.There are tons of suggestions and well researched links that help you create extension activities if you desire to do so. The materials can be used in a home school group with children ranging from 9 to 16. Every Module is Hands On. 
I received the World War Two box and I was impressed with the quality of  the materials. I felt that my children were working with souvenirs from the War. I do plan on laminating them later, but after much use the material is still in top notch condition.

The pictures above shows some of the contents of the module Day After the Attack. While working with this module Michelle learned that newspapers were the backbone of the information highway in the 1940's, also that Newspaper reporters prided themselves with sticking to the facts.

The hands on activity pulled Michelle into also learning more about the war.
 Michelle matched the cards with pictures and questions to the newspaper article that provided the information.                                                                        

    After completing the hands on activity she was able to tackle the portfolio piece.

The answers to all of the portfolio pieces and summary test are included in the package, which I used since I was daydreaming when I was suppose to be learning about World War II:)

My Final Thoughts: I love the brilliance behind the Box of I.D,E.As!! There were several games for Michelle to play and she played them with her younger siblings ages 8 and 11. They learned a lot as well by just playing the games with her. There is absolutely no preparation that needs to be done!!  The only additional supplies you need are pencils, pens, and scissors. This material offers independent learning to the child(ren). I was thrilled with all of the extension activity ideas. For example for the module Day After the Attack one of the extension ideas were; For one day carry a memo pad and pencil around recording facts only, then write an objective report the next day of the previous day's events. A major bonus while implementing this was the convenience of the modules being packaged separately, this allowed  learning about World War II to be done anywhere, anytime. I especially liked having something educational based and fun to give to Michelle when she asked me " Do you have anything for me to do because I am bored!". There are so many opportunities for learning experiences to happen in this Box of I.D.E.As.

The cost of the physical box that I received for this review is $79.00, it is also available as a PDF download for $49.00. For all of your students to have their own consumables it is just an additional cost of  $4.00 per student. You can purchase your BOX of I.D.E.As here. There are other topic focuses available like Salt, Quilting, and Laundry. I am seriously looking into purchasing Pigs.

To read what other crew members thought about their Box of I.D.E.As go here
As a member of the Schoolhouse Crew Review I received the physical BOX of I.D.E.As with the topic focus Wold War II  in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

American Symbols

When learning about the elections it is easy to weave in the topic of American Symbols. We reviewed the Pledge of Allegiance and talked about what it means. I found a lovely book at the library that explained the words just right.

After reading the book we did an activity labeling the parts of the flag.

  I then showed them the Parts of the Flag Nomenclature that can be found at The Helpful Garden .
   We also learned about the inside of the White House doing an activity that was easy peasy.

Since they were all fired up and begging for more I reminded them of their White House Lego kit and challenged them to put it together.
 To see other children doing history or geography related activities please pop over to All Things Beautiful  and join in the fun with the History/Geography Meme.  I am also linking this post to Montessori Monday                                                                                                                                     

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Lower Elementary Sentence Analysis: Language Linky

I will be introducing the Introductory Lesson for Sentence Analysis today to Ken and DJ. Why Lower Elementary even though they are 8 and 11? Simply put this is where they are in there grammar stage. I am not overwhelmed by this. In fact I am very accepting and I have developed even a deeper passion for the Montessori Method.  By implementing the Montessori Method into our home school I have been able to identify gaps in my children's learning early. I imagine due to their age they may move quickly through the lessons and they may even drop everything and become absorbed in the lessons which may allow another subject to be put aside, nevertheless this is where we are today.

  I decided to get some help in this area so I purchased the Sentence Analysis  6-9 work from Alison's Montessori, if you click on the link you will be able to see all that comes with the kit.

I was happy to see the pictures that they will be using that will help them that came with the purchase, there are many more included that are not shown in the picture below.
 We will use these pictures to start discussions about what is the action (predicate) taking place and who or what (subject) is performing the action.  Next I will show them how to make simple sentences with the subject and predicate using the pictures. Ken and DJ are good at writing complete sentences and paragraphs, but often when I ask what is the subject or predicate I am met with a blank stare.

This is a very concrete way to introduce the subject and predicate which leads to successful reading analysis and sentence diagramming.

 Stay tuned for more grammar lessons involving this kit from Alison's Montessori. I am so excited that soon I will be able to present with the montessori materials made for the first reading analysis with the prepared sentences.

If you have any language activities past or present please share them below. When linking please link to your exact post so it will be easier for everybody to find your language post. Also please put a link back here in the post so that your readers can also refer to this great language collection.

I am linking this post to Montessori Monday.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Long Bead Chain #6

Today is a different kind of day. Tuesday mornings Michelle and Ken volunteer at the church. I usually have six children who attend the preschool on Tuesdays. This Tuesday seems to be strange but certainly as perfect as it can get. No one came today for various reasons, so it is just DJ and I at home and he is very busy working!! DJ has a new " How to Draw Animals" book and it is going to keep him occupied for awhile. In the meantime I am blogging about his math work he did and then I am heading to the store for some ink, pick up a special lunch, and then we are all together doing lessons in regards to Latin and the Elections this afternoon.

DJ worked with the Long Chain #6 today. This was his choice because he has been doing multiplication equations using various materials to achieve mastery. Today he decided he wanted to skip count by six and not just to 60!  I showed him the Long chain and then he got to work.
         Labeling the chain, while counting by sixes to the number 216.
He requested some worksheets that go along with the short chains that are available from Montessori Print Shop. The worksheets he did ages ago and I was surprised that he still remembered doing them.  

DJ also worked with the Short Six Chain.

 DJ's point of interest in the worksheets was that he would be able to glue some work into his math journal.


Monday, September 24, 2012

We Added In......

This morning we added Spelling into our day. Ken and DJ are great readers but spelling is an entirely different story. Last year I tried and sometimes was successful incorporating spelling activities. If it was a choice activity they didn't repeat the work enough to really improve their spelling skills. They did complete a lot of syllabication work that I observed today was a great pay off for them.

I was surprised by how well they knew how to divide the words by the syllable, but didn't know any syllable division rules in order to divide them. We are using All About Spelling Level 5, and I was happy to find that  Syllable Division Rules was in the review before starting Step 1.

 I first  read them the rules aloud. They then took the paper from me, because they are visual  learners and had to read it themselves. After that I read some words as instructed in the Teacher Manual that they spelled using The Movable Alphabet.                                                                           
 After a few words, I asked them if they would like to label the words with the syllable rules after they broke the word down by syllables.      
   They agreed and had fun while labeling the words.                                                                                  

 Both of them referred to the Division Chart as reference while competing the activity.        
 It is a nice start to learning the rules and trust me I'll  have some additional work choices for them to extend this activity on the shelf.