Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Summer Schedule~

With a year round school philosophy,
we are free to go on trips or appts with no concern for school days
plus take a more relaxed approach to our summer work time.

We are beginning our summer schedule with a shorter morning work time
and way more play time~

They even made up their own corn hole game with bean bags and hula hoops~
A great first day back to the new Summer Schedule!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Beach Schooling~

Since we school year round, I wasn't too concerned with getting much done
but I did bring our journals and a few ocean books~

 One of our favorite books was Seashells by the Seashore
and it had this really cool shell card we could take out for shell collecting~

There was always something to look up with all the creatures EK found~

There was a lot of learning going on even with no plan...
and can I just say they were teaching ME. 
(not the other way around :)

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Summer Schedule~ {FIAR: The Bee Tree}

We have two college girls already home for the summer
and it just made sense that we would embrace a summer schedule as well.
Year round school works for our family and children because...
1. we thrive on a schedule
2. allows us time off whenever needed
3. learning never stops anyway!!!

Our summer schedule started this week with a three days (Tues, Wed, & Thurs) on
and two days for free choice learning (well four if you count the weekend).

I am learning I am a rabbit trail kind of homeschooler with a twist of Charlotte Mason and smidge of unschooling as well.
What all that means is I am very likely to take something happening in real life
and twist our learning all the way around it with lots of idea spinoffs...

This week we embraced all things honeybee as a spinoff from our field trip
to Blue Haven Bee Company last week~
It just made sense for us to learn as much about the amazing honeybee as possible
and to do that we read
 We loved reading about honey even in the Bible!
How sweet are Your words to my taste,
Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Psalm 119:103

Two sources I gather ideas from is the FIAR manual and a website Homeschooling Share 
and both suggested we study Michigan since that is where the story takes place.
We did using this 50 States book and then compared to our state of Georgia~
 We LOVED learning the Honeybee is OUR state insect!!!
That called for a honey video, life cycle study, and honey snack of course~
 We finished this day of schooling out on our breezeway and ended up lunching out as well~

The next day we watched our story read via YouTube and also a piece about Polaco as well~
Loved using Google Earth to zoom in on some favorite places near us!

 Our lesson was All About Georgia (unit from my teaching days)
where we traced the outline, labeled famous sites, and discovered landforms~

Today we enjoyed a wonderful math lesson.
I found this hexagon sheet @ Homeschool Share along with color blocks.
I had them cut the hexagons out and glue into their journal~
 I made up a game where they rolled a dice and had to create a hexagon with that number of shapes.
If they had already used an amount, they rolled again until 1-6 was complete.
I was pleasantly surprised how fast they caught on and wanted to play over and over~
 I thought this might go right over the bitty girls' heads but Evie left the room
and came back with one of our Magformers and said, "I found another hexagon!"
Bam! Living her learning!!!~
 Once they had created with real pattern blocks, we used paper ones to glue down~
 The whole reason for this lesson is quite amazing...
God gave honeybees the knowledge to make their cells in the form of a hexaagon~
Isn't God SO amazing!!!!!
Thankful for honeybees and the yummy honey they make!
Week done and that's a wrap.

Painting our Work~

For the past week, Evie hasn't really been excited to learn about honeybees
and it has been a struggle to keep her 'entertained'.
I saw this idea of name painting on IG and both girls LOVED it~
'Others' showed watercolor envy SO we all pulled out our watercolors
and painted whatever we were working on!
After all, Explode the Code can be pretty boring day after day with only
a pencil, crayons, or markers.
Turned into a pretty colorful day!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Strawberries and Honey~

Today I pulled some plant and seeds books and asked EK to choose one.
Of course she chose one about worms~
then we went out to dig up a few~
 Everyone was brave enough to pick one up!

Up next was the Strawberry Patch~
 We had not been in a super long time and was the first for
Rosie, WP, PC, EC, and HM~
 It was so fun to watch them fill up two big baskets~
 The bitty girls ate more than they picked~
 We had also seen a local bee keeper sign and decided to check it out too~
SO wonderful to see real bees working in a hive, taste yummy honey,
and tour their building.
We bought honey, soap, and lip balm, all made right there.
Watch for Blue Haven Bee Company... they are going to go BIG!!!
Such a wonderful day and we are about to learn all we can about those honeybees!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A Day @ the Park~

Today we took school to the park.
We got there, spread our blanket, and read aloud for a little while
and spent the rest of the time~
 Walking and even saw Amy, Addie, & Slate~
 Came home for a picnic lunch, afternoon of swimming,
 and the mosquitoes are SO bad, the bandit had to smoke them out.
We will see if it helps!

From Shapes/Colors to Fractions~

This time of year we love reading all of Eric Carle's beautiful books
especially The Very Hungry Caterpillar for many reasons...
~ beautiful art projects
~ learning about insects
~ repetitive text for young readers, etc...

While reading, we noticed lots of colors and shapes in the illustrations 
so we pulled a couple of other books to read
then made our own books {Like Amelia} to be just like Eric Carle~
Two super cute books Picture Pie and 2 really gave us great ideas
and a jumping off point for working on fractions again.

The books turned out adorable and SJ worked on her book all morning long~
Now all these materials are in the art drawers for free choice whenever they want to make more books.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Learning Areas Around the House~

Learning happens all day all around our house and making them assessable is key.
I also love a tidy house so modeling organization and keeping areas neat is important too.
{Everything has a home so put it back where it lives.}

Here are the areas set up around now with new ones to be changed out at any time.

Reading Basket: Houses our main read alouds and can be used anytime
New DVD Player: Gift from memommy for watching storybooks on DVD
Learning Materials: Caddies of work, Tag books, Stories on tape

Math, Puzzles, and Games: In family room cabinet
Playdough, Kinetic Sand, Salt boxes: Messy is kept in kitchen cabinet
Art Drawers: Dot painters, Smelly markers, paper, paper punches

Center Baskets: One for boys and one for boys
Library Shelves: All of children's books and scrapbooks in one place
School Closet: Everything else we have for learning is kept here

The FAV: IPads, IPods, and OSMO {ALL which have strict time limits}

That's a wrap and hope it helps.
Would love to know areas you have set up around your house...
please share!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Waiting until they are ready~ {Boys}

Boys in general bloom a little later than girls and I have witnessed it over and over through my years teaching in public schools. 

The concern then...
 I had no choice but to push them through the lessons and skills chasing a test looming out there in the future. {always getting ready for the next thing}
I am thankful for the time learning at home affords us when my children need time to bloom on their own time table.

WP came home at 3 and PC at almost 5 putting them far behind boys of their same age having grown up with natural families and no trauma. I didn't let all that keep me from introducing them both to books, letters, numbers, art, music, puzzles, tons of outside time among a million other things.

I will admit I worried over their slow learning and progression compared to the pace of other children and I did want to push them BUT for what? There was no reason to accelerate them. TIME when learning at home is one of the sweetest gifts we are given! 

All that being said, I have used several different methods in teaching the boys letters, numbers, writing, and reading. One of the most effective has been writing in a journal every single day as well as free choice games/centers offered to them. We have worked through A, B, and C books of Explode the Code as well as some emergent readers to learn the first few sight words. 

Really it just comes down to waiting until they are ready...

Last week I pulled out the BOB books and have taken two weeks with the first book... (time is on my side) and guess what? They GET it!!!
They are looking for 'at' hiding in words everywhere!
It has been so wonderful watching it happen~
They love our new white board and I love that it is magnetic.
I ordered magnetic letters with vowels being red and they are learning most words have to have a red letter in it. :)
The first day, I made the words with them and they read then wrote.

The next day, I made them a word family book with the 'at' family words inside~
They read them, built them, and wrote them.
I gave them their new book today and they were all over it!
I'm pretty sure they are READY now!!! PTL!