Sunday, June 19, 2011

Life School Results!

Have you ever noticed that homeschoolers (and afterschoolers, I'm sure) talk differently to their children than other people do? We talk to them about everything; we're always explaining and pointing out new things. Everything is an educational experience. I've noticed it a lot when I spend time with other homeschoolers.
I have never specifically taught fractions to Crumpet. We talk about them all the time though when cooking, sharing pieces of things, etc.
Today, I cut a sandwich into four pieces instead of two for a change. He mentioned that the pieces were squares, and I said "Yes, I made four pieces today." Crumpet said, "You mean four quarters, Mom!" And yesterday we were baking, and he knew how to make half a cup using a whole cup measure.
Apparently, all of my chatter has taught him the concept of fractions without any of the stress of looking at pie pieces on a workbook page.
I love homeschooling!
And, because I have no pictures of a quartered sandwich, here's one of Crumpet learning basic car maintenance...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Curriculum Purchased!

I placed our curriculum order with the charter school yesterday! We should have everything by the end of July. Most of the order was exactly as I expected, and wrote about, here.
However, I did decide against the Saxon Phonics and Spelling, because we will be using All About Spelling. I went with Explode the Code as a last minute decision for phonics. We'll see how it goes. The school wants me to have some kind of phonics program, so now I do. I ordered books 4, 5, and 6, which will hopefully take us through the end of the year.
I ordered Artistic Pursuits Book 1 for art lessons.
I also ordered the early books in the Mind Benders series to start teaching logical thinking.
And I ordered this cute Cultures of the World theme box from Lakeshore Learning to go with our geography lessons. (It is VERY fun to spend someone else's money on curriculum!)
The school gave us a year long pass to the history museum here, which we are very excited about. It's a great museum, but very expensive. Now we can go as often as we like!
And after all that, I still have $800 to spend for the year. Maybe on extracurriculars like swimming if the little man will cooperate. Maybe on more books? We have until December to figure it out.

In the meantime, All About Spelling has arrived, and I expect our science book any day. We'll begin those next week. We are doing some math online. I've created a prehistoric times history unit that we are working through. That way, if we are overwhelmed by the pile of new books at the end of July, we can slow down on work we began in the summer and focus on the new stuff until we adjust.

Yesterday, I bought all of our folders, notebooks, glue, etc because the military store is already having its back to school sale! So, I think we are ready. I'm very excited about the upcoming year. Crumpet is driving me crazy trying to open the new books, toys, computer games, etc that I've pulled together to add to our studies. Here's hoping we are both still excited in a few months!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

More Summer Fun

I've been really nervous about how we will manage to fit in all of the school work required for first grade once the books arrive... We tend to be out and about a lot, we have a few visitors coming this fall, and Crumpet has a very limited attention span. More than 2 or 3 subjects a day will be difficult.
We've been working at doing several subjects a day, just to see how it goes. Right now, it is only fun projects, so there is no whining or complaining involved. Whining and complaining can kill HOURS during a school day around here. So maybe this isn't a realistic test, but this week has been fun, and gone very well.
Reading: We've been reading a lot of early readers. This week, we also (finally) started working through the advanced section of Progressive Phonics.
: Funnix math was giving away their math program last week, so we downloaded it to see what it was like. We are doing a few lessons a day right now, because it's teaching very simple math. Crumpet seems to be enjoying it.
Nature: We went to a class about insects at the Hawaii Nature Center last weekend. This was a great class, and we got to go out to catch grasshoppers, millipedes, worms, and various other creepy crawlies. Despite having some trouble dealing with the group situation, Crumpet asked to go back every week. We are looking forward to future programs at the nature center!
Science: We are still working through the experiments at the Scientific American website. This week, we watched yeast breathe! This was a pretty neat experiment. (There was a good chance that it could have backfired - teaching Crumpet that something he might eat is alive could have meant that he would never eat bread again... We talked about a lack of brain, understanding and sensation though, and so far so good. He did want to keep the yeast as pets though. Hmm.)
We put yeast, sugar and water in a plastic water bottle and capped it with a balloon. Within a few minutes, our yeast started to produce CO2 and we saw bubbles in our liquid.
Within 15 minutes, our balloon was expanding and the bubbles reached the top of the bottle.
Shortly after, the liquid started to fill the balloon. When we removed the balloon, there was a lot of spitting by our yeast pets, and the room smelled like bread!
We also tried out the color changing dots experiment which taught a lesson about camouflage. Or was supposed to teach about camouflage. Crumpet turned it into a completely different lesson. But he did manage to use the hole puncher for the first time. His little hands are getting stronger!
Which leads me to
Arts and Crafts:
As part of their summer reading program, the military library was having crafts and movies all week. Crumpet colored this mask, and I know it's not fabulous. BUT it was the first time I've ever seen him take such care to choose colors (he was very into the pattern of colors on the teeth) and to stay in the lines. Progress on the writing front! Woo hoo!
This week, Crumpet also learned to use a screw driver. We had some extra wood, and he wanted to work with it. He and a friend spent a long time placing and removing screws. (I have a picture, but evil Blogger won't let me upload it without deleting half my post... Uggh) Later in the week, he put his new skill to work and helped me replace batteries in one of his toys.
History: We've started a unit on prehistoric times. I'm just pulling things together from the internet and the library. We are reading, watching DVDs and crafting. AND, there are 2 awesome field trips that we'll be going on in the next month that fit with the topic. Crumpet is all about mammoths right now! When we're done with it all, I'll write a post about the books and movies we used, and talk about the field trips.
Have a great week!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Summer Fun

So many plans, so little accomplished... But we are very busy having fun! We are involved in 3 different summer reading programs so there is a LOT of reading going on here.
We also made our own clay and painted it like Anna did at Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns. Our neighbor friend joined in, and the boys loved the project. Crumpet made a lot of Star Wars ships (lumps of clay), T made a LOT of "snakes" (lumps of clay), and I made a few vaguely recognizable objects. I wish I had more artistic ability... We are STILL painting snakes a few at a time, and will be until fall, I'm sure.
We made homemade bubbles out of water, dish soap, and corn syrup. Then we used various cookie cutters and kitchen utensils to blow bubbles:
We read our most recent Click magazine, which was all about where things come from. We learned about the origins of foods, clothing, etc. And then we made our own butter from heavy cream! We filled a small baby food jar half full with cream and tossed in a marble. Then we shook it (ok, I shook it, but Crumpet was very supportive) for about 15 minutes. Finally, a glob of soft butter formed. We put the butter in a coffee filter and squeezed out the buttermilk.
And then we ate our fresh butter on toast!
Crumpet has been swimming in the neighbor's pool daily, and spending plenty of time playing with friends and being generally silly:
We hope you are having fun too!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Practicing Gratitude: Gifts 576-600

A very good week, indeed:
576: Cheap flights to Hawaii! Tickets for fall are suddenly half price!
577: At least 2, and hopefully 3, good friends will be coming to visit thanks to the cheap flights!
578: One of the visitors who will be coming is the friend whose mother just passed away. I am so grateful that she now has something to look forward to, instead of spending too much time looking back.
579: State Fairs
580: Ferris wheels
581: Deep fried Twinkies!
582: Huge smiles on my little boy while he zips around on amusement park rides
583: Rereading favorite old novels
584: Sesame Street put on a free live show for military kids
585: Smoke detectors
586: Friends with a boat!
587: Four day weekends
588: A strong marriage.
589: A chance to help some newlywed friends having trouble.
590: Cheap summer movies for kids at Regal cinemas
591: Crumpet's new and improved attitude
592: Affordable strawberries
593: A new bed, before our old one completely self-destructed...
594: Summer reading programs
595: A new pregnancy for a dear friend
596: It looks like we may have visiting dogs for most of the summer
597: We finally visited the playground known as "The best playground on Oahu". And it was awesome!
598: A clean floor
599: Fresh zucchini from my garden
600: I finally found a tomato plant and added it to our garden.