Day 131

Field trip! The kids went with their dad to the local state park for a Spring Fitness Hike. The kids hiked one of the nature trails with some of the Rangers, stopping periodically to do fitness challenges. They finished the hike with a group “Whip/Nae Nae.”

  
  
  
  
  
  
  

Advertisements

Day 130

“Fun Friday” has not been very fun so far for the kids.  They’ve started using Fridays to play catch-up with the odds and ends that they put off during the week.  I don’t like it because it makes them a bit surly and it eats into time we would otherwise have to make Fridays fun.  Changes are going to need to be made. There are three dental appointments next week, so I’m going to have to plan ahead to figure out how to work them into our schedule while still avoiding what has become “Procrastination Friday.”

N (age 11):

  • Math: N doesn’t have math scheduled for today, but she put off some review problems and parts of the loathsome (to her) linear measurement conversion worksheet. All she wants to do is play at the neighbors’, and all I want her to do is finish her math.
  • Reading: N read a chapter of I am Malala.
  • Bible: N and C reviewed their memory verse and the first five books of the Bible.  I read them the story of Cain and Abel. We talked again about making good choices, and about how we are in control of our own behavior. We talked about God having mercy on Cain even in the midst of punishing him.
  • Science: Nomad Press makes some wonderful science books with very doable experiments and projects.  I use them a lot to supplement our science units. Explore! Rocks and Minerals has a fantastic project for learning about the structure of the earth.  The kids made edible earths out of peanut butter, jelly, and chocolate. We talked about each part of the earth’s structure while the girls constructed their little earth candies.
  • History: More food projects!  We made Greek Pilaf for lunch. While I thought it was fantastic, it was not well-received by the kids. At least they all tasted it. I’ll be making Greek Ekmek when my husband gets back with the ingredients I need. I’m hoping they like it, because it’s a dessert.
  • Geography: N and C filled in their South America and Central America maps from memory.  Then, they filled in all the countries they’ve learned so far on their Middle East maps.
  • Music: N started her next piano lesson.

C (age 9):

  • Reading: C read a chapter of Moby Dick (abridged).
  • Bible: Combined class with N.
  • Science: Combined class with N.  C also continued her research on this week’s spotlighted scientists.
  • History: Combined class with N.
  • Geography: Combined class with N.
  • Music: C learned how to play and write the notation for a C7 chord, and she learned how to play and write the musical notation for a quarter rest. She continued to practice and sing along with “Three Blind Mice,” and to write her own ukulele sheet music.

S (age 6):

  • Math: S and I practiced counting to 100 by 1s and 10s using the 100-number chart. Then, she copied lines, shapes, and designs onto her geoboard. Then, we practiced counting dimes up to 50 cents, and she practiced writing 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50.
  • Reading: S reviewed the letter N with a worksheet from The Measured Mom. We sang the alphabet song together and she pointed out the letter O on our alphabet chart. I read her a poem about an octopus, and she located all the Os in the poem. Next, she colored a picture of the letter O with an octopus wrapped around it. Then, I recited alliterated sentences and she identified the dominant starting sound for each sentence. We finished Charlotte’s Web, so I read her the first chapter of our next book, My Side of the Mountain.
  • Writing: S practiced writing the letter O on a custom worksheet.
  • Bible: S sat in on Bible class with N and C today.

Day 129

We’re starting to get back into the swing of things with Daylight Savings Time.  The new chore schedule is working well, but the kids are still figuring out how to best schedule their list into their daily routine.  The novelty of chores is wearing off, but they’re all very excited about their first payday on Saturday.

N (age 11):

  • Math: N had an assessment today after she finished up her much despised linear measurement conversions worksheet.
  • Spelling: N practiced her words containing the vowel pairs “ea” and “ee,” and the vowel digraph “ea.” I think she’ll be ready for an assessment on Tuesday.  I try to avoid assessments on Mondays because I like them to be able to review the day before the assessment.
  • Writing: N’s friend read her descriptive paper and used it to make a blueprint of our house.  It was pretty close, but the parts where N was apparently unclear made for some pretty funny artistic interpretations.  I love having a community (both physical and online around the country) of homeschoolers who are always willing to help out with school projects.  If the girls are making graphs depicting favorite ice cream flavors, for example, I just post the question on Facebook and we receive dozens of responses within minutes.
  • Reading: N read another chapter of I am Malala.
  • Bible: I read N and C the account of the original sin. We discussed why God put a tree in the middle of the Garden of Eden that He then told them not to eat.  We talked about good and bad choices, and about people’s tendency to blame others rather than taking responsibility.  N and C reviewed this week’s memory verse and the first five books of the Bible.
  • Science: N and C researched and wrote about the lives and scientific contributions of Andrija Mohorovicic, William Gilbert, Henry Cavendish, and Eratosthenes.  They also researched and wrote about when compasses were first used for navigation.
  • Geography: N and C filled in all the countries they already know on their Middle East maps.  Then, they learned about Uzbekistan.
  • Spanish: N continued to work on this week’s workbook activities.
  • Music: The usual.

C (age 9):

  • Math: C had an assessment.  She got a little confused about division problems, but we reviewed them all and I’m assured that she understands the concept. She’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice.  Then, C used coordinates to make a connect-the-dots of sorts on a coordinated plane.  This lesson and assessment concluded third grade math.  She’ll begin fourth grade math on Monday.
  • Spelling: C practiced her words identifying vowels in one- and two-syllable words.  I think she’ll also be ready for an assessment on Tuesday.
  • Writing: C went through the living room and added decorations (pictures, rugs, curtains, etc.) to her list of living room descriptors.
  • Reading: C read another chapter of Moby Dick (abridged).
  • Bible: Combined class with N.
  • Science: Combined class with N.
  • Geography: Combined class with N.
  • Music: C’s ukulele workbook was delivered on Wednesday night, so we started her lessons.  She reviewed the staff, the treble clef, and the 4/4 time signature.  She learned how to write her own ukulele music by drawing the staff with the proper notations and using quarter note slashes. Then, she learned how to play and sing “Three Blind Mice” using the C chord. She’s absolutely thrilled, and I’m happy to see she’s still getting the basics of music theory.

S (age 6): Flashcard Day for S! She practiced her letters and numbers, and read several B.O.B. Books.

 

Day 128

I’m still struggling with Daylight Savings Time. I’m usually up at 7:00 and have breakfast ready for the kids by 8:00 so we can start school at 9:00.  This morning, I didn’t get up until 8:00, so it threw everything off.  We ended up getting started by 9:30, but it was lunch before I knew it!  Ugh. Maybe I’ll be better by next week. Right now, I’m using “Fun Friday” as my motivation for pushing through everything we need to get done this week, because the history project and the science project involve my favorite – FOOD!

Wednesdays have historically been quick for me, as they mostly involve independent work for the kids.

N (age 11):

  • Math: N began with her mental math and more measurement conversions. She despises measurement conversions. The lesson introduced using cross multiplication to see if fractions are equal.  She picked it up quickly and moved on to her lesson review.
  • Spelling: N practiced her words using the vowel pairs “ea” and “ee,” and the vowel digraph “ea.”
  • Writing: N has to send a copy of her descriptive paper to a friend who’s never seen the inside of our house before to see if her friend can draw a floor plan based on her descriptive paper.  She spent today putting the finishing touches on the paper.
  • Reading: N read three more chapters of I am Malala.
  • Bible: After reviewing the memory verse and the first five books of the Bible, I read Genesis 2 to N and C, and we discussed the details of the creation of Adam and Eve.
  • Science: N and C copied definitions of words related to the structure of the earth.
  • History: N and C learned about the power struggles between the Babylonians and the Assyrians, and how that struggle finally came to a stop with the rise of Cyrus. They studied the Persian Empire and the reign of Cyrus. They located the Persian Empire on a map and highlighted the bodies of water and the proximity to Greece. N did additional reading and note-taking on the Persian Empire.
  • Spanish: N did her workbook activities for her lesson.
  • Music: The usual.

C (age 9):

  • Math: C began by practicing her 3 and 8 times tables.  Her lesson introduced her to locating points on a coordinate plane.  After she put up a little resistance to always listing the horizontal coordinate before the vertical one (I explained that I don’t know why it is, it just is), she picked up on the concept.  She completed a worksheet of 100 division problems and a lesson review sheet.
  • Spelling: C practiced her words identifying vowels in one- and two-syllable words.  I’ll review it again with her tomorrow and probably give her an assessment on Monday or Tuesday.
  • Writing: C began researching the layout of our living room in order to write a descriptive paragraph about it.
  • Reading: C read another chapter of Moby Dick(abridged).
  • Bible: Combined class with N.
  • Science: Combined class with N.
  • History: Combined class with N. C didn’t do the supplemental reading and notes.
  • Music: C identified and practiced her three chords on the ukulele.  The lesson book came today in the mail.  I’m excited about it.  It teaches music theory and notation along with the chords in a fun, easy way.  It’s colorful and full of songs that she can sing while she plays the ukulele.  I’m excited to get started on it!

S (age 6):

  • Math: S practiced counting to 100 by 1s and 10s. Then, we played store (which the kids love and I do not love) to practice paying for items up to 10 cents and to practice ordinal positions to the fourth.
  • Reading: S did her usual worksheet from The Measured Mom for review of the letter M. We sang the alphabet song together, and S pointed out the letter N on our alphabet chart. I read her a poem about a nanny goat, and S located all the capital Ns in the poem. She colored a picture of a capital N with some goats. We practiced making compound words together. For example, I said “foot” and she said “ball.” Finally, I read her another chapter of Charlotte’s Web.
  • Writing: S copied the capital letter N on a custom worksheet.
  • Bible: S practiced her abridged memory verse and the first five books of the Bible. I read her Genesis 2 and we discussed it.

Day 127

Does anyone else feel completely thrown off by the time change?  I can’t seem to get things flowing properly now. School is not starting on time or finishing on time now. Dinner keeps being an hour late, and we’re all starving earlier than usual for lunch. I hope I adjust quickly.

N (age 11):

  • Math: After mental math and a worksheet on measurement conversions, N practiced the order of operations. She’s familiar with it, so it really seemed more like a review lesson. She completed a 30-problem lesson review.
  • Spelling: N completed the workbook introduction to her new lesson on vowel pairs “ea” and “ee,” and vowel digraph “ea.”
  • Writing: N typed up a rough draft of her descriptive paper so I can edit it for her to make a final copy.
  • Reading: N read another chapter of I am Malala.
  • Bible: N and C reviewed their memory verse (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and the first five books of the Bible. I read them the story of creation.  We discussed a scientific view of the creation story. We talked about evolution versus young earth creation versus old earth creation. Then, N and C drew illustrations of each day of creation.
  • Science: N and C learned about the physical make-up of the earth (core, crust, mantle), plate tectonics, earthquakes, and volcanoes. I’m very excited about our science project this week that will reinforce the lesson.  I’ll tell you all about it on Friday, along with a curriculum recommendation.
  • Geography: After N and C filled out all the countries they already know on their Middle East maps, they learned about Turkmenistan.  They researched the capitol city, the Black Sand Desert, and the traditional dress of the Turkmeni people.
  • Social Studies: N and C reviewed the first eight amendments.  I taught them the Ninth Amendment, and we discussed some of the rights Americans have that aren’t specifically named in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.
  • Spanish: N reviewed all the vocabulary she has learned so far.  She read a selection in Spanish, translated it into English, and answered Spanish comprehension questions.
  • Music: The usual.

C (age 9):

  • Math: C started with a story problem and a review of the 4, 8, and 9 times tables.  Her lesson was on the order of operations, and she practiced solving problems with and without parentheses. After the lesson, she completed a worksheet of 100 division problems and a lesson review worksheet.
  • Spelling: C practiced her words identifying the correct vowels in one- and two-syllable words. She did pretty well.
  • Writing: C referred to the lists of information she had made and rewrote them in paragraph form, taking care to make them interesting to the reader.
  • Reading: C read half of a long chapter of Moby Dick.
  • Bible: Combined class with N.
  • Science: Combined class with N.
  • Geography: Combined class with N.
  • Social Studies: Combined class with N.
  • Music: C identified and practiced the three chords she learned on the ukulele.

S (age 6):

  • Math: As usual, S and I used the 100-number chart to count to 100 in order to assist in number recognition.  In the lesson, S compared a penny and a dime. We talked about how they were the same and how they were different. S reviewed that a penny was worth 1 cent, and was introduced to the fact that a dime is worth 10 cents.  S began to learn how to count to 100 by 10s.
  • Reading: S reviewed the letter L with the usual worksheet from The Measured Mom. S and I sang the alphabet song together. I had to correct her a couple times when she kept pointing to “L” and calling it “elem.” I reiterated my rationale for forcing her to sing the alphabet song slowly. She located M on the chart.  I read her a poem about mice. She pointed to the Ms in the poem. Then, she colored a picture of the letter M with mice crawling all over it. Next, I showed her pictures and recited a short sentence and a long sentence about each picture.  S told me which sentence was longer, the first or the second sentence. Finally, we read a chapter of Charlotte’s Web.
  • Writing: S did copywork of the capital letter M on a custom worksheet.
  • Bible: S reviewed her abridged memory verse and the first five books of the Bible. I read her the creation story and allowed her to interrupt with any questions.

Day 126

I don’t especially like taking breaks from homeschooling. I thrive on routine, so I feel a little aimless without it. The kids were all sick, though, so it was a good thing that we took the week off.  There were high fevers and ear infections and some vomit and general malaise. We wouldn’t have gotten anything done anyway, but I would’ve spent the entire week stressing about falling behind in my schedule.  So, it all worked out.  And we’ve begun our school week with good attitudes so far.

We also began our chore schedule this week. N and C have been doing their chores without complaint, and C even completed a “Bonus Bucks” chore today. S completed most of her chores, but there were many tears and loud wails of despair the entire time. H (4 years old) did her morning chores and is currently procrastinating. So far, so good. N asked me if the novelty of the chore schedule would wear off.  I told her it would, but assured her that “Saturday Payday” would never lose its excitement.

N (age 11):

    • Math: N began with mental math, which she breezed through until the last problem (2.5 divided by 100), which apparently turned her brain to mush. She recovered and learned about proportions. She’s been doing them for a while, but learned the proper terminology for it today. Applying the proper terms threw her for a bit, but she regrouped and completed her worksheet and lesson review.
    • Spelling: N had an assessment. She second-guessed her spelling on a word and changed it from correct to incorrect spelling at the last minute.  I had her write the correct spelling five times.
    • Writing: I explained the purpose of a conclusion to N, and she wrote a conclusion to her descriptive paper.
    • Reading: N read three chapters of I am Malala today, because the chapters were short and she’s enjoying the story.
    • Bible: New school subject! We try to live our faith daily, but you can’t live what you believe if you don’t know what you believe, right?  So, I’ve started a foundational course on the Bible that was written specifically for homeschoolers by an old college friend of mine. This is a course that’s combined for N and C.  Today, I introduced the weekly memory verse and had N and C draw a picture to show they understood what the verse was talking about. We talked about why it’s important for us to know what we believe. We talked about how the Bible was written and how to find information in the Bible, and they began to memorize the books of the Bible.
    • History: N and C learned about the beginning of the Greek civilization and the beginning of the Olympic Games. They learned about Homer and read the story of Odysseus and the Cyclops. They had previous knowledge about Ancient Greek mythology because of a wonderful book series by Joan Holub called The Goddess Girls. They are fun, easy to read, and perfect for tween girls, and they give a great base to Greek mythology units. I can’t recommend them enough! Anyway, N and C also completed some basic mapwork on Greece. N did additional reading on the Ancient Greeks and took notes.

  • Logic: N learned about hasty generalizations. She gave some examples from her own experience of hasty generalizations.  Then, she identified generalizations and determined from sample size whether they were strong or hasty. She practiced drawing conclusions based on her own experience.
  • Spanish: N watched her next DVD lesson.
  • Music: N did the usual practice.

C (age 9):

  • Math: C practiced her 3, 4, and 9 times tables and did a story problem to start off her math lesson. Her lesson was on ordering fraction units from largest to smallest and from smallest to largest.  We used manipulatives to help her grasp the concept, which she learned quickly. She finished math class by doing a couple division problem worksheets and a lesson review worksheet.
  • Spelling: C completed the workbook introduction to her next lesson, which is on identifying vowel sounds in one- and two-syllable words.
  • Writing: Since it had been a week between lessons, I reviewed organizing relevant information into lists.
  • Reading: C read another chapter of Moby Dick (abridged).
  • Bible: Combined class with N.
  • History: Combined class with N. C didn’t do any of the supplemental reading or notes.
  • Latin: C is continuing with her vocabulary. At this point in Visual Latin, the grammar begins to be more complicated, so I think I’ll switch to our previous Latin curriculum, Prima Latina, and focus on vocabulary for the rest of the year.
  • Music: C asked to stop taking piano lessons.  She finds them very tedious and frustrating. I want her to learn to play piano at least at a basic level, but I also want her to love music.  So, I agreed to let her take a break from piano lessons to instead pursue ukulele. I ordered Alfred’s Kid’s Complete Ukulele Course, and it should arrive sometime this week.  In the meantime, she learned three basic chords (C, G, and D) so that she could have the instant gratification of being able to play some songs. She’ll identify and practice these chords each day for the rest of the week, and then begin her formal lessons next Monday.

S (age 6):

  • Math: S and I counted to 100 together while I pointed out the numbers on our hundred-number chart to reinforce number recognition. Then, S gathered ten non-matching shoes and sorted them according to fastener types (buckles, velcro, shoelaces, or slip-on). After they were sorted, we arranged them on the floor like a bar graph, and S made observations about the shoes.
  • Reading: S reviewed the letter J with a printout from The Measured Mom.  S and I sang the alphabet song together while I pointed at each letter on our alphabet poster.  S located today’s letter, the letter “L,” on the chart.  I read S a short poem about llamas, and S located the capital L’s in the poem.  L colored in a picture of a capital L with a llama peering around it. Next, S and I played a game called “Count the Words.” I said a two- to four-word sentence, and S, using blocks to represent each word, counted how many words were in each sentence. Finally, I read a chapter of Charlotte’s Web to S.
  • Writing: S did copywork of the letter L on a custom worksheet.
  • Bible: I taught a shortened version of today’s lesson to S. She began learning a shortened version of this week’s memory verse and we discussed why it’s important to know what we believe. She began to memorize the books of the Bible.

Keeping House and Homeschooling

I struggle with this.  Big time.  There never seems to be enough time to get everything done, and I have a hard time keeping the kids’ chores straight and consistently enforcing their completion.  So, here on my week off, I’ve decided to come up with a system that makes my job easier and will, hopefully, encourage all of us to consistently work together to keep the house clean. I want everyone to pitch in and take ownership of keeping a presentable house.

It’s very easy to find lists of age-appropriate chores online.  So, I did a little Googling and thought about our specific household needs (with a family of seven, the top chores are laundry and dishes).  Then, I made a weekly list for each child of chores they need to do Monday through Friday for a weekly allowance. Money is often tight in homeschooling households, so the allowance doesn’t have to be monetary. I included a list of chores that kids can do to earn “bonus bucks” as well. The kids need to go through their lists each day, then present the lists to me so I can double-check their work.  Saturday is payday.

N (age 11):

  • Daily chores include making her bed, putting dirty clothes in the hamper, putting away her clean clothes, putting her dishes in the sink after each meal, loading the dishwasher, sweeping the kitchen and living room, cleaning the room she shares with C, and picking up things she has left around the house throughout the day.
  • Weekly chores include, cleaning the upstairs bathroom twice, doing laundry (both hers and C’s) once, vacuuming the upstairs once, and taking out the trash once.
  • “Bonus Bucks” chores include washing windows, mopping the kitchen floor, mowing the lawn, and planning, preparing, and cleaning up after a meal.  I’m also open to suggestions from her on ways to earn “Bonus Bucks.”  She’s quite entrepreneurial, and I want to encourage that.

C (age 9):

  • Daily chores include making her bed, putting dirty clothes in the hamper, putting away her clean clothes, putting her dishes in the sink after each meal, emptying the dishwasher, clearing and wiping the table and kitchen counters, cleaning the room she shares with N, and picking up things she has left around the house throughout the day.
  • Weekly chores include, cleaning the downstairs bathroom twice, doing laundry (both hers and C’s) once, straightening up the living room and vacuuming the throw rug once, and straightening up and cleaning the classroom once.
  • “Bonus Bucks” chores include washing windows, mopping the living room floor, cleaning out the microwave and wiping off the stove, and mopping the classroom floor.  I’m also open to suggestions from her on ways to earn “Bonus Bucks.”  She enjoys housework (except for cleaning her own room), so I’m sure she will find ways to earn a little extra.

S (age 6):

  • Daily chores include making her bed, picking up any non-Barbie/non-dollhouse toys, putting her dirty clothes in the hamper, putting her clean clothes away, sweeping her bedroom, and picking up trash around the house.
  • “Bonus Bucks” are awarded to her for spending the entire night in her own bed and for reviewing her alphabet/number flashcards.  She hates flashcards.

H (age 4):

  • Daily chores include making her bed, picking up Barbie/dollhouse toys, putting her dirty clothes in the hamper, putting her clean clothes away, and putting away her books.
  • “Bonus Bucks” are awarded to her for spending the entire night in her own bed and for picking up her baby brother R’s toys around the house.

We’re going to start the “Chore Checklists” on Monday.  I’ll give a little update the following Saturday to let you know how it went.