Sunday, March 30, 2014

Kindergarten, Weeks 31 and 32

     I'm seeing a pattern in these last few weeks of school.  Do you see it?  I have so many things going on at once (not intentionally) that I haven't had the time to sit and write every week.  I'm having to catch up and summarize two weeks instead of one!

     Let's start with Week 31, shall we?  We continued our reading of Dr. Doolittle (LOVE it) and can't wait to finish it.  My husband just told me that there's a movie as well (not the Eddie Murphy one).  I didn't know that.  So, I'm going to see if I can get a hold of a copy and watch it with my Little Toughie.

     Our Bible studies continued into the life of Jesus.  This week we read a lot of the parables that Jesus shared with his disciples and the people, in hopes that they would gain understanding.  My daughter and I had a lot of deep discussions about the parables.  It is during this time that I wish my son were with us instead of at public school.  He's missing out on a more in depth, daily study of the Bible, but that may change!

     Week 31 was also the week of my Little Toughie's birthday.  One of her gifts was a Lego Friends toy which since insisted on putting together by herself.  I have to admit, that I usually don't like the Legos that are put together to create something specific, but I do like the idea of her being able to follow the directions in sequence and the sense of accomplishment she feels when she's done.  I opened it up and laid everything on the floor for her and let her be.  I only had to help her twice and it took her 45 minutes to get it done.

Her finished pieces!

     Week 32 coincided with our break from Classical Conversations, so we took one day "off".  Basically, I used that day to catch up on chores and just play with my daughter.  I completed some tasks from my to-do list, but didn't get to read as much as I had planned.  As you can see, writing up my weekly post was not done either!

     This week also brought us the to the Crucifixion of Jesus.  Now, this lead to even lengthier and deeper conversations with my daughter.  I even shed tears during our discussions (it was hard not too).  I mean, how could I read about what our Savior did for us and not be overwhelmed with the mixed feelings of sadness, gratefulness and love?  My daughter felt compelled to draw a pictures (one with a verse both kids have memorized):

     With that, I bid you a wonderful and blessed week.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Kindergarten, Weeks 29 and 30

     Once again, I find myself having to summarize two weeks of our homeschool experience in one post.  With planning my Little Toughie's birthday party, attending weekly play dates (there is ZERO socialization issues with homeschooling, despite what you may hear) and researching Bible and Language Arts curriculum for both kids for Fall, plus getting our summer plans in order, it's been hectic to say the least.  On top of that, my daughter is going to be in a stage performance of The Wizard of Oz, which requires acting and dance class.  They meet on different days of the week, but take up a chunk of time in our schedule.  Whew!

     In Week 29 we began reading The Story of Dr. Dolittle.  Originally written in 1920 by Hugh Lofting, apparently this particular version is abridged and some parts are cut out.  Nonetheless, we are enjoying this classic and are happy that it's in our curriculum.  I don't think I would have remembered to reach for this book had it not been included.  It's a delightful read and my daughter thinks the personification of the animals is quite amusing.  She told me that she didn't think animals could do a good job of cleaning a house!

     This week we also started a simple addition game using dice.  My daughter uses a path of numbers from 0-20 in her workbook (you can easily have your child draw 21 boxes or circles and write the numbers 0-20 in each) and a pair of dice and a penny (or something just as small).  She rolls one die, moves her piece along the path using that number and leaves it there.  She then rolls again and then moves her piece that number.  Together, she sees the sum of both of those dice.  She picked up on it quickly and began to roll the dice and add without having to count or move the piece.  She was already doing addition work, but this was just a visual tool for her to see the concept in action.

     In Week 30 my daughter discovered the Kids Crossword Puzzle in the Sunday paper.  I'm so glad that she took it upon herself to give it a try and now she wants to do it every weekend.  This helps to reinforce her writing and spelling but also lets her dabble in a little trivia.  Here she is with her first completed puzzle:

     I have to wrap it up because tomorrow is my Little Toughie's birthday and I have so, so much to do!  Have a superb week.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Kindergarten, Weeks 27 and 28

     Oh, yes I did indeed miss posting last week.  I've been busy reviewing different curriculum lessons as well as planning my daughter's (and possibly son's) curriculum.  My days are filled with homeschooling, homework and after school activities, housework and dinner, and my evenings have been filled with pouring over books and resources for curriculum planning.  I want to have it done before the homeschool conventions season begins so that when we go I know exactly what to look for.

     I'm also currently reading The Well-Trained Mind and taking copious notes so that I can plan a curriculum both suitable and challenging for both of my kids.  Last year I read The Core.  The Well-Trained Mind goes into more detail, supplying you with resources and even a sample schedule for each subject.  It does this for you through High School, though right now I'm only focusing on the Grammar Stage (roughly grades 1-4).

     Week 27 brought us to the close of the Olympics.  We didn't do a study on it, however I did have my Little Toughie keep track of the U.S. medal count.  I didn't watch as much of the Winter Olympics as I would have liked.  As I said, I been busy; I even missed to closing ceremonies!  At least I got to explain what they were and my daughter would pay attention whenever we happened upon the Olympics coverage and an update on the medal count.

     We also began reading Ramona and Beezus.  I remember reading Ramona the Pest when I was younger (though I can't remember the story) but it's fun to read books from my youth to my kids.  We also continued our Bible study, making our way through the New Testament and reading about the many sick and crippled that Jesus healed.  I like when in the middle of a reading, my daughter excitedly tells me that she knows the story and begins to narrate it to me.  I know she's paying attention in Sunday school!  We need to move on in our Fruits of the Spirit study, but I'm not sure just which Fruit to pick.  I have to pray on it and ask for guidance!

     Week 28 we covered a bit of sentence structure, beginning with the subject and predicate of a sentence.  Using The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading I followed their lead in creating cards to make wacky sentences.  Using index cards and short simple sentences, like "The tan hog dug in the mud.", I wrote the subject in one color on a set of cards and the predicate in a different color on another set.  I had my daughter mix up each set and make wacky sentences.  So, instead of "The tan hog dug in the mud." she would get, "The hot dog dug in the mud."  I made 20 cards for a total of 10 sentences.  She wants me to add more pronto!  She had a lot of fun creating sentences and would laugh at the silly combinations.  Her reading skills are improving every day and I'm enjoying observing those skills emerge every time she picks up a book.  Our library trips will now require a rolling card instead of a crate!

     That's all for now.  Have a wonderful week!