Sunday, August 30, 2015

Year 3: Exploring Countries and Cultures, Week4

     This week concluded our study of the United States.  Thankfully, the kids weren't bored, considering Cycle 3 was all about the U.S.

     Our U.S. studies also had us researching the differences between deciduous and coniferous forests.  Below they are doing the research together and filling out their sheets.

     To supplement the forest lesson we watched Planet Earth's Seasonal Forests.  The kids loved seeing the animals and insects that lived in their respective areas but I think their favorite part was seeing the change in the deciduous forest from space.  Amazing!

     Last but not least, the kids were challenged to color all the states a different color using only 4 colors and with no bordering states the same color.  Let's just say I'm glad I had an extra blank map.  There's a trick to it, but I let them try to figure it out on their own first.  My son thought he had a good run, coloring the middle section in an alternating pattern, but when he got to the end colors started to border.  My daughter got some of the western states done before saying, "Uh-oh."  Below they are coloring their second chance sheet.

     Next up, Mexico!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Year 3: Exploring Countries and Cultures, Week 3

     There was no world cake to bake this week but we're now focusing on countries of North America.  The United States were up first and thanks to Cycle 3 of Classical Conversations, my kids can name all the states and know their location.  We made a game to see how much of their map they can fill in correctly (using their CC maps).  I set the timer for 5 minutes and they label as much of the U.S. as they can.  My daughter, since she can't spell all of the states correctly yet, uses initials to label hers.

     At the end of the 5 minutes they both had all but a couple of East coast states labeled.  Much better than what I can do!

     We also began reading Kingdom Tales.  Book one (Tales of the Kingdom) is our current read-aloud and we're all enjoying the stories.

     We begin our 4th week tomorrow.  It's going a lot faster (and smoother) than I expected, but I have to say we are all enjoying My Father's World so far.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Year 3: Exploring Countries and Cultures, Week 2

     We love My Father's World.  I mean, what curriculum suggests baking a cake and decorating it with the continents?

     I baked the cake ahead of time and frosted the ocean for them.  They thought I was baking a cake for a potluck at church and that they weren't going to have any.  They were surprised when I told them the real purpose of the cake and that they would indeed, have a small piece (At least it was gluten-free.  I have no idea how it tasted.  I didn't have any).

     To wrap up the week they also made paper dolls to show some of the different countries and cultures we'll be studying this year.  I even purchased People Crayons!

     That's all for now.  Can't wait to see what next week brings!  God bless you and yours.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Year 3: Exploring Countries and Cultures, Week 1

     So, can I just say I hope the rest of our homeschool weeks go as smoothly as this one did?  Thank God for the peaceful, productive week!

     We started with watching a movie titled On The Way to School (it's on Netflix).  It documents four different kids trying to get to school and what they have to endure just to get there.  These kids realize that their education is a privilege and go to great lengths just to make sure they make it.  My kids now know better than to complain about the little chores they have to do before school starts everyday.  There are no lions to contend with!

     We got to dive straight into some wonderful books about maps and mapping, which I thought was cool since the basis of this year's curriculum is Geography.  If you can't read a map, how will you know where you're going?  We also read a few books about different cultures, just to give the kids a preview of the weeks to come and to give them deeper insight into the meaning of John 3:16.

     We even learned a bit about the distortion of flat maps and why they are not quite right.  They got to experiment with that on a tangerine:

     My favorite part so far about this year is their writing lessons.  We're using Institute for Excellence in Writing (better known as IEW) Bible Heroes in preparation for the full course we'll be using in a couple of years.  Both kids loved reading the short story, creating their outlines and writing their rough drafts.  By the end of the week they were ready for me to review their rough draft, make corrections and complete their final draft.  Mind you, we didn't do this all in one day and this week I decided to type it up for them.  We spread each part of the process across the week and they looked forward to it every time, especially since they read their work aloud to The Principal.  Below are pictures of them hard at work with their rough drafts.

     Well, that's one week down and 35 to go!