Sunday, August 27, 2017

Week in Review {Week 5}

The week got off to a strange start because of the solar eclipse. We did schoolwork for only a couple of hours in the morning and then took the rest of the day off. Daddy took half the day off from work so that he could take part in the excitement. We each had a pair of protective eclipse glasses but still kept the children from looking up at the sun too often. We allowed them a quick 5-second look every few minutes as the moon slowly moved over the sun.


I was able to take a few pictures, safely, by putting my glasses over my camera lens. The first picture was taken at about 2 p.m. EST and the second picture was taken at 2:47 p.m. EST, when the eclipse was at it's peak for our area. 


After the solar eclipse, we finished our celebration with an eclipse cake, which was a chocolate fudge cake with chocolate fudge frosting.



Third Grade

Bridget is still doing well in math and wants to move forward at a faster pace. I'm still trying to find a happy balance with the extra math work and trying to get her to finish her other subjects. Bridget is also working on reading more. She finds the oddest times and places to open her book and read. Here she is right after we came home from the grocery store and were still putting things away. She grabbed her book and began reading in front of the pantry. She was in the way, but I suppose I should be happy she picked up a book. 


Kindergarten

George is also a math freak right now. It's all he wants to do. The first few math lessons he completed involved simply counting the objects and circling the correct number. This week, he had to write the number. This is not George's area of strength so it took a little extra time, but he did not complain at all. He was excited to be learning how to write his numbers. I'm hopeful that the brick wall he's put up with learning to read and write has begun to crumble. Bridget was a big help with George this week. When George wanted to continue his school work but I had to begin preparing lunch, I left Bridget in charge. Whenever George needed help, Bridget put her work down and went over to help him by reading the instructions to him and making sure he was writing the correct numbers. I've been calling her my "teaching assistant".

In other subjects, George learned about Pocahontas this week. I'm really enjoying his study of American history. He's also still enjoying handwriting.


Preschool

I kept Liam happy and busy. That counts, right?


Final Note

Next week will begin our sixth week of school, and then we're off for a week!!! We're all very excited.



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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Week in Review {Week 3}

You will have to excuse my later than usual post as we were busy traveling on Friday and Saturday. 

We are half way through our first 6-week term! We were able to get a lot done this week and the children were very excited about going on their first field trip of the year. 

Third Grade

Bridget did well in math this week and took her lesson test on Tuesday, two days ahead of schedule. Instead of writing her daily schedule on her whiteboard, I'm now writing the entire week so that she may get ahead if she wants to. She also completed her handwriting assignments quickly. 

We spent time learning about King James and the establishment of the Jamestown Colony. We read books about Jamestown and about Pocahontas. We went on an overnight field trip at the end of the week to tour Historic Jamestowne and then the recreated Jamestown Settlement. It was a nice finishing touch to the week. I'll be making a separate post on our field trip. 

Kindergarten

George also finished all of his math and handwriting assignments early. I am prepared to move forward at a faster pace if he chooses to. George is doing very well at doing his school work. He gets a lot more breaks than Bridget does because he does not have any independent work (yet) so when I am working one-on-one with Bridget, he gets to go play.

Preschool

I don't think I'll be doing any formal preschool work with Liam until after the first six weeks of school. I wasn't prepared for the school year to begin and will use our first week off from school to finish my lesson plans for the year and to schedule something for him. I feel bad when he has nobody to play with because I have Bridget and George in the school room with me. 


Final Note

Check back later this week for a separate post on our Jamestown field trip!



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Friday, August 4, 2017

Week in Review {Week 2}

It is hard to believe that our second week of school is already over. I didn't take many pictures this week, and we didn't get everything done either (I blame the beautiful weather for luring us outside). Fortunately, the things we did not get done should take no time to complete this coming week. 

Third Grade

Math went much better this week than it did last week. Bridget did all of her worksheets and her test and got everything correct except for a word problem that she didn't read carefully. 


Bridget also enjoys handwriting because it's super easy and requires no instruction form me. She loves having independent work to do. She's done very well about coming into the school room and getting started on independent work. She often times ends up waiting on me. I'm still working on juggling a third grader and a kindergartner. 

History is starting to get interesting again and Bridget completed all of her reading and narrations this week without whining (she is not a fan of having to write sentences or a paragraph). Latin is still one of Bridget's favorites and this week she listened to and sang along with all of the songs. 

Kindergarten

Much like his sister, George loves math and handwriting the most. He's still learning to write lines and circles. In another week, he'll finally start writing letters. It's slow moving for him because he's never taken an interest in reading and writing and is further behind than Bridget was at this age. Numbers, on the other hand, is what interests George. He is flying right through his math worksheets and I'm considering letting him go at his own fast pace rather than the slower pace I scheduled for him. He may get stuck when it is time to write numbers rather than just count and circle the number.

George is gaining independence in homeschool and is so excited to begin in the morning that he comes into the school room still in his pajamas and opens his handwriting or math book to begin. On this particular day, he hadn't even had breakfast yet.


Preschool

We went to the library at the end of the week and I picked up a few fun books for Liam. Most of them were books I remembered from my childhood. His favorite right now is The Carrot Seed. I read it once to him when we got home from the library, then he "read" it to me. Then again. And again. He loves the book so much but I am having to remind him to be gentle with the pages. It's an old copy from the library and the pages were already falling out when we first borrowed it. It is no doubt that this book has been well loved by many children over the years. We may need to get our own copy for our home library.


Final Note

Next week, we are going on our first field trip of the school year. The children are very excited. We'll be exploring Roanoke Island (Fort Raleigh and the Lost Colony) and historic Jamestown. We've been both places already but it's been a couple of years so hopefully it will feel new to them again (especially Liam since he was still in a baby in the stroller at the time).

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Friday, July 28, 2017

Week in Review {Week 1}

We're back! This week we started our new school year with a 3rd grader and a kindergartner. We're starting earlier this year than we have in the past. In the middle of the last school year, I rearranged our school calendar to be 6 weeks on, 1 week off (with a longer break at Christmas), and we also switched from a 5-day to a 4-day week. It was the best thing I've done and so I studied the calendar and got the schedule worked out for the next couple of years and it works perfectly if we start school at the end of July. It did sneak up on me and I wasn't fully prepared, but we went ahead and started anyway.

Third Grade

Bridget had a rough start to the week. She is not used to having to share me during school, but because George is only in kindergarten, his lessons are not done independently like hers can be. We are working with her on being patient, taking turns, and finding something constructive to do while waiting for help (such as moving on to a subject she can do by herself). 

Bridget is studying chemistry this year and this week she learned about atoms. She built a simple model of an atom, complete with protons, neutrons, and electrons. She had fun with the lesson even though parts of it were challenging for her to understand. Learning chemistry is different from learning about animals and volcanoes. 


She is also learning Latin this year and has been using her new words outside of school. Daddy hasn't a clue what she's saying and Bridget said that she and I now have a secret language to communicate in. She is so excited to finally be learning a new language (she's wanted to do this since kindergarten). 

We're also working on world geography this year. It is slow moving because I am making the lessons myself. This week, Bridget is learning about Afghanistan. Tomorrow night for dinner, she'll prepare a meal from the country. 

Kindergarten

I took a lot of pictures of George this week, as it is his very first week of kindergarten. He was all smiles with each lesson and proud of anything he finished. 

This week, George learned about Delaware. I made some worksheets for him and bought flag stickers and star stickers to mark the states capital. He did a little bit of the state each day and will be making a peach pie tomorrow afternoon for dessert (Delaware loves their peach pie!). 



For science, George is also studying chemistry (but only for six weeks). His unit starts with learning about solids and liquids. 


History is another fun subject for George because we get to snuggle on the couch and read books from the library and do fun crafts. He is learning about the Native Americans and will be working on a wampum belt for the next few weeks. Here are our "wampum" beads as we were letting the paint dry. 


Preschool

Admittedly, I didn't do anything special for Liam this week. Once we get a schedule running smoothly for the older two, then I'll know when I have some free time to sit with him and do something fun. Even though he had no structure this week, he did color some of the same things George colored and built houses with the math manipulatives. I also let him sleep in every day and on this particular day, he slept until 9 o'clock! He marched into the school room all bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to sit alongside big brother. 


Final Note

In May, we bought these desks from IKEA that have magnetic whiteboards attached to the backs of the desks. I thought maybe I'd buy the kids some magnets for them to put their artwork on display. However, the night before the first day of school, I thought that perhaps a checklist would be the best use of the whiteboards. The kids love it! They're able to easily see what needs to be done and check off what they've completed. I also started putting an asterisk next to each subject on Bridget's list that she can do independently. This has worked well in keeping her on task and from interrupting George's lessons. 

 

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