For two months, I had been telling the girls about this field trip to some local caves that we were doing with the local homeschool group. I know, for some people, homeschooling seems to mean endless field trips to libraries and dairy farms. I had those illusions, too. The reality is that we go days on end just trying to make it through the stinking math workbook in between changing dirty diapers and the three year old's requests for "just one more Dora, please, ma'am."
Our Kindergarten curriculum really does not do much in the way of math and my daughter is way beyond counting to twenty. So, I have had to get a little creative. In recent weeks, I have introduced fractions and I am amazed at how quickly she has grasped the concept.
All I used was some construction paper and my laminating machine and the pizza shop was in business. You’ll notice we have some “whole” sections which serve as the pizza dough. This also serves as any part of the pizza we wish to eat plain. We have pepperoni pieces which come in halves. Then, we have our veggie fourths and our cheese eighths.
Even my three year old enjoys visiting the pizza shop and placing her order. She has definitely learned which parts represent the pepperoni.
I began with halves and fourths, but those were understood pretty quickly. I have now added eighths and will be adding thirds as well.
What I intended for just a quick visual has turned into a fun learning game that I will certainly be adding to over the next several weeks.
Also, my kids just played with this for twenty minutes while I typed out this post. Score!
Have a great day, y’all!
I would have never thought that one of my favorite subjects would be Science, but it has been SUCH fun. This week we have been studying atoms and molecules. We learned how to make a water molecule and I decided to teach it along with John 7: 37. After all, how can you teach about water and fail to mention the living water?
So, we started off with a discussion of an atom vs. a molecule. We labeled the parts of an atom. We were able to review our previous lesson on plant and animals cells because they, too, contain a nucleus.
I do graphics on construction paper and post them somewhere visible throughout the week. For me, the best place has been our sliding glass doors. I also make another sheet on the computer that the students place in their school workbooks for review throughout the year. You can download the one I made for this lesson here.
Next, each child (even the 3 yr old) made their own water molecule. This was suggested in the curriculum, so I am in no way taking credit for this. You can use colored grapes, marshmallows, etc. We used colored marshmallows that just happened to be in the shape of bunnies. Each child was given two purple marshmallows (Hydrogen) and one pink marshmallow (Oxygen.) Also, some craft sticks to “bond” the atoms together.
Then, just for fun, we put all of our water molecules in a glass and offered daddy some “water” when he came home. We thought we were quite funny. Also, the girls had to explain the “joke” to daddy. So, it served as a great recap for the lesson.
Who knew science could be so much fun? Well, probably all of my past science teachers.
Have a GREAT day!
If anyone is thirsty, he should come to Me and drink! – John 7:37
This is a vlog that I did some time ago on my devotional blog. It was my first, and probably only, vlog. I was having a bad hair day – be kind. And, yes, I have candy in my mouth. I don’t know what I was thinking. Enjoy!
I won’t lie. I find holidays a little stressful. You see, I remember the classroom parties and the special snacks and maybe a movie instead of classwork. I loved the homemade valentines boxes that we would decorate with
love whatever random stickers and such we had at home. By the end of the day, those old shoe boxes were like treasure chests full of little cards with, if we were lucky, a sucker or sticker attached.
So, I worry. It’s just what I do. I promise, I’m sincerely trying to stop. I worry that my girls are missing out on…something. I imagine them, one day, sitting in a therapist’s office bemoaning their classroom party-less childhoods. Last night, I sat right here at this computer. I was searching the internet frantically for something to make today special. I went from blog to blog and, quite honestly, felt worse and worse. I had waited far too long to do some of the things they had planned.
Then it occurred to me. Why am I teaching them at home? The answer is that I want them to know Him. Yes, I want them to be great readers and knowledge seekers. But, more than anything, I want them to know Christ and Him crucified. I want them to know that they have a King who is passionate in His love for them. It’s a message I believe so dearly.
Suddenly, Valentine’s Day was not so stressful. It was just one more day, one more chance to remind them of Christ’s love.
So, yes I baked heart shaped cookies. And we ate them for breakfast. I hung streamers on their doors because that’s just what I do. Ask my husband. It’s this weird obsession I have. Apparently, it is not a special day unless there are streamers hanging in the doorways.
I made them each a special valentine reminding them that they are so very loved. I want to take every chance to remind them where their worth is found because this world will try to teach them something very different.
Then, little love reminders popping up everywhere. The world will whisper in their ears its warped definitions of love. They will watch commercials and think that love is roses and candlelight and warm fuzzies. That may be true sometimes, but it’s also messy and hard and sacrificial. And the one is no less lovely than the other.
That is how Valentine’s Day went in the Newbie’s School O’ Fun. Well, that and the baby finding some leftover chocolate cake and going to town on it. By the time she was caught, there was nothing left but stains on the carpet and an evil grin. Then, in my haste to clean it up, I knocked over a dining room chair and put a hole in the wall of our new-to-us house. I’m still trying to think of some way to hide that beauty before the hubs gets home.
Y’all are loved.
What did The Newbie learn from all of this? Make everyday about Him and don’t sweat the small stuff.
Is it really Thursday? Oh my goodness.Well, we have had some beautiful days here and have done a lot of schooling on the deck. Nothing perks up the spirit like some good ol’ sunshine!
I have read several blog posts about having classroom rules posted somewhere visible to the students. We have not really done this. I guess I figure the girls know the house rules and they apply to our classroom as well. You know, the usual don’t speak when I’m speaking, pick up after yourself, etc. They know how to act and I just haven’t felt the need to post these anywhere.
What we have done, however, is come up with a classroom motto. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am quite the list checker offer. I may have just made up that phrase, but you know what I mean. I like to finish a task and move on to the next. My two oldest girls are the same way. If I put a worksheet in front of them, they will complete it as quickly as possible and be ready to move on to the next one. I’m sure you know what happens. They tend to miss things. A punctuation mark is forgotten here. A misspelled word there. It happens every time.
So, we have two classroom mottoes. (Is it just me or is mottoes a really funny looking word in print?)
It is better to finish well than to finish first.
It never hurts to check your work.
What about you? Any rules and/or mottoes in your classroom?
What did The Newbie learn from all of this? Hurrying can hurt your homeschool mojo. It’s better to chill and take things slowly.
I am a very task oriented person. I love my to-do lists. My favorite app on my smartphone is the one that has all of my household chores on rotation. On Monday, I look at the app and know that I need to vacuum the main living areas and clean the toilets. Check. Done. Moving on. It’s the way my brain works.
Now, that is not a good or a bad thing. It can, however, make the art of homeschooling nothing more than checking boxes and marking grades. That kind of takes the fun and freedom out of it. I’m sure you agree.
A couple days ago, I began reading the writings of Charlotte Mason and it really opened my eyes to what was lacking in the children’s school day. I was not allowing the children time to dream and imagine and observe. Yes, they need to be able to read and do arithmetic. They also need, however, to appreciate God’s creation. They need to laugh at a squirrel as it jumps from limb to limb. They need to pick a tree from the backyard and observe it through out the seasons.
So, I created an observation sheet. I’m sure there are a thousand of them out there. This is mine, however, and you are welcome to download it for yourself. This is how we are using it in our classroom:
- Sit and observe (outside if weather permits or simply looking out of the patio doors)
- Write descriptive words in each block (my kindergartner draws pictures)
- Talk about what each of us saw (yes, I do this with them – it’s fun!)
- My 3rd grader then goes to her desk and writes complete, descriptive sentences about what she observed. This helps her with handwriting, spelling, punctuation, etc.
This is such a relaxing, fun activity to do together. There is no set time in our day for this. Sometimes, the sun is shining bright in the morning and we can’t wait to do it. Other times, I save it for a point in the day when we’re all feeling a little sluggish or just need a change of pace.
Observing creation has become of our favorite subjects.
What did The Newbie learn from all of this? Sometimes, you just need to stop, look around and take in the wonders of His creation.