Saturday, April 24, 2010

Rainy Day Projects

Today was a dark and stormy day. I mean we tried to go on grocery run this morning and when we were in the store it was like a monsoon hit. We stayed in the Walmart for 2hrs today. But that was fine cause we like our one stop shop experiences anyway. There is something for everyone to look at. Well anyway when we got back home there was nothing to do really since we usually go to park on Saturday afternoons and play till dinner. So my daughter and I decided to make ourselves a little piece of outdoors inside and we created some Tissue Paper Flowers. I know every girl remembers doing this sort of craft when you were young. Whether it was at school or maybe even a summer camp. We had a blast. Hours had past before we even realized it. We played Florist shop, Flower Garden Party, and Wedding(All time Favorite around here). Here is a video I found that used the same method we were to make the tissue flowers in anyone is interested. For those who follow a Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling I think this could definitely be considered a Handicraft

The little ones were not very interested in the Tissue Paper Flowers. Really my one year old would just try and make a snack of it. But they pulled out a few of there "Workboxes" full of large beading and Lacing Cards. My 1yr old enjoyed taking the beads out 1 by 1 and putting them back in 1 by 1. Its amazing what they find entertaining. It is always a joy to see what children do when you turn off the TV. We are not perfect when it comes to TV watching and self control but lately we have been turnining it off more and more. I think in the few short weeks we have been trying it we have grown closer as a family. Its my hope after a while the children won't even ask about it.

Educational Video Website Freebie!

I came across this from one of the parents on a yahoo group. It looks great. It can definitely be a time saver for some parents who spend hours on Youtube looking for suitable viewing materials to go along with there studies.
Its called Watch Know

Here is the video explaining how it works

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Math Woes!!!

So its about that time of year where it seems like all the progress we made and curriculum we plugged through in math is beginning to unravel. I mean its sometimes as if nothing was retained. But I know that is not true its just like with anything else you do systematically every day burnout will eventually set in.

Now I must ask myself what do we do to bring these numbers back to life. At first I was drawing blanks. Then I thought to myself why not just x out the textbook for a while and do some creative stuff. I was thinking maybe we could do some file folder games, card games, computer games, grocery store trips, straight manipulative play, and whatever else I come across. I have been doing some searches for resources and I have even came across a set of living books that are for math. And I found that my local library carries them. I have been on the forums and message boards for homeschoolers lately and it seems that I am not alone in my year end math madness. There have been even dozens of blog post popping up about this same subject. Here are some links to ones I found helpful:

Epi Kardia
Homeschooling in a Bilingual Home
Homeschool Articles
One of the other reasons I feel like we are having difficulty with math is because I don't think our curriculum is a great match for my learner. My daughter is a young first grader and this year we have been using Horizons k from Alpha Omega Publishing. She started mid summer on the 1st book and is now finishing the 2nd book and should be done some time this week. I mean Horizons is a wonderful program and I highly recommend it for early elementary grades but it might not have been as conceptually strong as I needed it to be for my child.

We have been looking into using MathUSee from Steve Demi this next go round. I went on the website and watched the Demistration as they call it and I think its exactly what we need. It uses a See, Say, Do method. Meaning you see the problem with the manipulative's, you verbally express the the problem, then you write the expression. They use lots of word problems as well. I have read tons of reviews this far. Most all who have used it are great fans of the program. I have also read it is a great program for those who follow a Classical style or Charlotte Mason approach which makes it another plus for me. So now lets pray we receive the funds to get the ball rolling.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Curriculum Freebie!

So I was on one of the many networks I frequent and someone posted a link for this free curriculum resource for early elementary grades. I figured I would pass it along to you.
Its called Head of the Class

With the economy effecting most of us these days I know as homeschoolers especially it is causing us to become very creative with curriculum. I mean this past year I think we initially spent $300.00 for 2 students. I mean that is all we had in the budget. I thought that wasn't much till I found out there are some parents who go on less than that and manage just fine. So I am really started to look at things in a different light now. I look at the situation as a character building opportunity for me and for the children. I mean I am so proud of what I was able to accomplish this year. I essential made my own curriculum and lesson plans. It was time consuming and tedious but you know what I am proud of myself for rising to the challenge. It was truly a confidence builder that I could do anything I set my mind to. And you know what it is making this coming year not look so stressful as far as planning. Its also one of the many reasons I have grown to love the Classical Education Method. All you need to do is teach a child how to learn and they will find the knowledge. Its good to have prepackaged curriculum with nice shinny teachers editions but its just as good if not better than to have a bible, library card, Math text, basic school supplies and the great outdoors.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spring is in the Air!

We took a trip to our local organic farm for a class on Spring Gardening recently. It was not only a great learning experience for the children but one for my husband and I also.
You know with everything in full bloom there are lots of opportunities to do Nature Study activities. If you are looking for a listing of farms in your area here is a favorite resource of mine

Pick Your Own

Local Harvest

Also I found some wonderful links to help assit your child in creating there own Nature Journals.

Nature Journal Resources

Donna Young Nature Journal

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