Saturday, March 27, 2010

Earth Hour

We just celebrated Earth Hour at our house. It was fun trying to explain the concept and how excited Roo got while we were waiting to shut off the lights. She thought it was the greatest thing ever and was singing and dancing about it for an 1 1/2 before lights off time. We just sat around with candles and talked during the hour. Her Aunt Allison would have been proud. Happy Earth Hour!

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Friday, March 26, 2010

I Received my Singapore Math! Yay! Plus Weekly Reports

I was very excited yesterday when I received my Singapore Math books in the mail. So excited I had to stop myself from switching my curriculum and starting Singapore now:) It's for next year, but it looks like it is going to be such a better fir for us than Saxon is that I want to try it out, but I will wait. When Roo and I looked through it together her first comment was "Ooooo, that looks like fun math!" I couldn't resist taking a picture of it though.


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Phonics and spelling this week were strictly review work. In the Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading we reviewed all of the oo sounds, and in Blend Phonics we reviewed th, tch and wh sounds. Spelling workout was reviewing lessons 6-12 which she was able to complete without much trouble. I have noticed that over the last week her letters and numbers have become neater which is a plus since she doesn't like to practice her handwriting very often.


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Relaxing during phonics

In Math we made progress, and we managed to finish 4 lessons and one review this week. She has gotten better at counting by 2's and naming odd numbers and we introduced counting by 5's this week. The 5's seem to click better and she goes around chanting them. We only learned to count by 5's to 50 but she proceeded and went all the way up to 105 and then she got stuck. Adding one to double facts was another new thing she learned, but it didn't seem to click as well as the 5's;) Dimes and pennies are still the amounts we are using for money, but she has begun to learn about how much it will cost to buy two objects instead of one. It took a lot of examples but I think she managed to figure it out in the end. Since she loves playing store with her cash register and fake money (which is always all over the house, I find fake money stuffed everywhere) I will write up some bills and see if she can figure it out. She'll think it is just playing store, so that will be an easy way to get some more practice in. I was cleaning up some things the other day and had to pull out some old toys in order get something. Big mistake, Roo has decided she would like to play with her old scooting airplane all around the house. This is a picture of her on it while she is  looking at her number board. I am going to have to try to find a good hiding spot for it because it sings and makes noises while you scoot and it drives me nuts.


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For Geography this week all we did was play Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego on the computer. She seems to have absorbed some information though because while playing Barbies she declared they were going to drive to Alaska, then fly to Germany, France and then finish in Norway. We watched the movie Ice age this week and all through she was trying to determine what modern animals evolved from what Ice Age characters. I guess our evolution reading are starting to stick.


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Practicing piano with the MusIQ improv room. 


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School is done for the day and now it's time to play video games. Note the Kiss poster in the background, it ties in well with the story below.

I would like to introduce you to the new member of our family. My husband is a huge Kiss fan and we have a lot of different Kiss paraphernalia around the house. Since I met my husband, one of his top ten dreams was to own a 1978 Kiss pinball machine. This week he saw one listed for sale for a ridiculously low price, in incredible condition and located only 1.5 hours from our house. So after much finance tweaking, he is now the proud owner of a 1978 Kiss pinball machine. Here is a photo, it's a little blurry because it was taken on a camera phone.    


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1978 Kiss Pinball game.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010

Weekly Report

On Monday Roo's tooth that had been very loose last week was now extremely, I think she might swallow it super loose. I said that she was to work at it because I wanted it out by bedtime that day. By the way she carried on you would think I told her that all of her teeth were being pulled out. The problem was quickly solved when daddy came home and asked to look at it;) A quick flick of the finger and it was almost out. All she had to do was poke it with her tongue and voila. When she tells the story to people, it involves her doing it herself and how brave she was......selective memory.




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First toothless smile.

This week in phonics we covered most of the oo sounds. I never really thought about how the oo sound can come from so many different letter combinations, many not involving the letter o at all.  I'm not sure if she totally got it so next week will probably be a review of all the oo sounds again. I am still using the Blend Phonics (for review) and Ordinary Parents Guide combo. It seems to work as well as liven up the lessons a bit. In spelling she finished lesson 12, passed her spelling test and has begun a review of lessons 6-12.
In math this week we worked on drawing line segments, sorting items, tallying numbers for counting objects and skip counting by 5's. The tallying part she isn't totally understanding so we are trying to tally different objects several times a day to build her confidence in them.

Art class is finished for the term so this week she decided she wanted to try drawing things on her sketch pad. On Thursday she wanted to draw the characters from the Arthur books/television show and below is her drawing of D.W. that she drew from me pausing the t.v. so she could copy it.




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Drawing of D.W.

Geography this week was a brief look at Asia, its location on the map, what oceans surround it and what familiar animals live there. It is usually a quick and to the point lesson that can be expanded on if her interest or questions lead us there. She then decided to go take her Mousetrap game and see if she can redesign the trap.




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Mouse Trap overhaul.


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Striking a pose outside the library while trying to scope out the birds in the trees.

We went to the library this morning where we spent about and hour going through books and playing and then we took the bus home. For some reason at our stop Roo didn't want to get off the bus using the back door like we usually do. The problem was, I got off first and was trying to reach in to get her and the door started to close. Me thinking the bus is going to leave with my kid still in it pushed my body against them to keep them open while I yanked her out. But I couldn't get myself out completely with the doors shutting and it closed on my leg. It didn't hurt because there was padding on the door frame, but the bus began to drive away while my leg was in the door. People on the bus shouted for her to stop, but wow, I thought buses has sensors or something like elevator doors do. What if I was a kid or an elderly person, there could have been some serious damage. So after that I didn't really feel like a lot of schooling so I gave her a lesson on bus safety and then we watched the NOVA movie called Becoming Human which is a new 2010 release and was actually quite good. Roo kept forgetting the name Neanderthal and called them Niagara Falls instead. We did read aloud from the book Evolution Revolution by DK  for science/history,





Evolution Revolution


and we ended the day with a world geography computer game. My week started off with our first tooth fairy visit and ended with what could have been a serious accident. We did get a lot of good library books though, and I managed to keep hold of them while the bus was leaving with my leg;)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

Weekly Report

This week started off with an early morning dentist appointment for Roo. A passport photo redo after the dentist, followed by a trip to the library. Roo has her first loose tooth. It is so loose the dentist said it is hanging in the breeze. I can see the adult tooth breaking the skin behind it, but she won't let me try to get it out. So I guess we have to wait.

For phonics this week I decided to try a different approach to change things up a bit. We do our daily lesson from The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading, do review by using Blend Phonics lessons and we do readings from McGuffey's First Eclectic Reader . The variety lessens the monotony and it feels like we are doing less but learning more although we are spending more time on phonics than we did in a single sitting before. We are on lesson 110 in the OPGTR and lesson 12 in the Spelling Workout A. Next week I will start doing a weekly spelling tests with the list words because we have now reached words that are harder for her to spell. This first bit seemed more of a review of words we have been working with and reading often (aside from a few new words).

In math this week we finished 4 lessons and one review using Saxon 1. She learned about dividing objects in half, subtracting half of a number, and graphing the pieces used to cover a design. She caught onto subtracting half of a number quickly and could apply the graphing lesson to the worksheet easily. She really likes the math fact sheets where she gets to be the teacher. They are already completed with a mixture of correct and incorrect answers and she has to mark the sheet and write the correct answer beside the wrong ones. She even asks to do these when it is not school time for some reason.

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The sheets she uses and pretends she is a teacher.


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Today she fell and hurt herself. She declared today would be school in bed day because she couldn't walk.

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The books we used for school in bed day.

In geography this week we did a small overview of South America, it's location, the oceans surrounding it and what types of foresty and animals are located there. We fell off the science/history wagon a bit so I decided before I continue with our pre history studies we would learn about evolution. We read a short picture book called What Mr. Darwin Saw. It was a brief story of how Charles Darwin came to his thoughts of evolution. It was cute, short and easy to read/understand. Next week we are starting a book called Evolving Planet which will allow us to delve deeper into the subject. After we complete this book I will continue with the pre history studies, it should make more sense by that point.

It was our last art class for this semester and she was sad. It starts again in the middle of April though. We were debating putting her in the next age group because her teacher said she would be fine for it.  She is enjoying this class though, so I think what we will do is one more semester with this age group and then we will put her in the next level in September. It is a longer class and at a better time, so it doesn't have any effect on the school day.

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Early morning chocolate cookie before art class.

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After art class, thinking and waiting for the bus.

Finally we have gotten the MusIQ Homeschool piano lessons working. We have officially begun them and she seems to really enjoy it. The lessons are broken down in to 5 sections. First you go through the actual lesson with a cartoon version of Beethoven (I think the composer changes over the different lessons). They explain and walk you through it. Next you go to the practice room Mrs. Melody to go over what was learned, then off to play the reinforcing games. After that you go to the improvisation room where you can try to make your own songs/music using a variety of instrument sounds or you can try to play along with several pieces of music ranging in difficulty. The last portion is going through the written lessons which involve colouring pages, activities and worksheets. This was a easier and cheaper way to do piano lesson for us since she can do this program any time of the day and whenever she wants to.

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MusIQ Homeschool lesson one with Beethoven.

All in all the week went well. I try to incorporate about an hour of DS playing time daily with her eye patched in order to exercise the weaker eye. I just need to find some educational games (for younger kids), so if any of you have an recommendations I would appreciate it.

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DS eye exercises. No complaints from her:)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Friday, March 5, 2010

Weekly Report

What a long day. I almost feel too tired to do this, but I am determined. First off, we didn't do any schooling today because we had to drive to Toronto for Roo's opthamologist appointment. The opthamologist suggested getting her a Nintendo DS to play while patching her eye. As you can guess, she wasn't too upset by that suggestion;)  Then we spent a few hours with a friend up there and left to come home, hoping to miss the traffic. No such luck, we hit the traffic so it was stop and start for a large part of the way and it made me car sick. On the way home we were passing the city where my husband likes to "visit" the music/instrument store there and he asked if he could stop in for a quick minute. We ended up sitting in the car for an hour while he did "business". I didn't want to bring Roo in the store because she has the constant need to try all the instruments and I really wasn't in the mood to chase her around the store the whole time. On the way home, I thought I had reached a point where my head was going to burst. My husband was belting out TNT along with the radio, while Roo thought she needed to talk extra loud over the top of dads singing so she could share her informative lecture on hibernation.......you can imagine the relief I felt when I saw the city limits sign.

This week we focused a lot on phonics review. We went back through a lot of older lessons in The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading as well as we started reading the McGuffey Reader 1 as a change.  I also pulled out the big magnetic letters to do review as well, going over the rules and then getting her to spell them out seems to reinforce them better. I don't have a spot to put the letters up on aside form the fridge which isn't convenient for lessons. So I brought in a cookie sheet, propped it against the white board and we used that. We finished spelling lesson 10 which focused on filling in the blanks and rhyming words. She kept picking words that rhymed, but were not in the list words, so I had to keep explaining that the answer was in the list of words that was in the margin.




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Cookie sheet letter board.

In math we completed 3 lessons and some fact review yesterday. We learned about dividing objects in half, skip counting by twos and we played store with money (dime and pennies). I find that sometimes she gets so into building things with her manipulatives that she loses track of what she is actually supposed to be doing, but I think that adding 2 to facts clicked this week. When we were going through them she looked at me and said "oh, it's like skipping one" and from then on she figured out the plus 2 facts without using any counters.




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Geography is still her favorite subject, although we only do it twice a week. We went over the continents this week,  but focused on North America, what animals live there, and what oceans surround it. Art class was super fun. The kids made super hero costumes and then ran around playing bat tag, and hide and go bat. The capes were made from pillow cases that they drew on with fabric markers, then they made a mask and a necklace/breast plate that had their super hero symbol on it. Roo was Bat Girl as seen below.




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Art class day was the first morning that you could actually feel the spring in the air. although it was still cold, the sun had that little bit of warmth to it that lets you know winter is almost done.




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Spring is in the air!

I finally received my Song School Latin book this week as well. It took awhile, but I am so excited. I almost don't want to wait until next year, but I'm going to. Another book that I can input the lessons into My Year at a Glance schedule I am working on. It's immensely satisfying to see it coming together slowly but surely. I have not completed my About Us page yet like I said I would, but I did begin my books page. On this page I plan on keeping a running list of our read alouds. We just started James and the Giant Peach a few days ago. She seems to be really enjoying this one so far. All in all it was a good but long week. It's supposed to be warm and sunny this weekend, so I hope we can do something fun.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Early wake up call

First it was at 4:30 a.m. and I said NO WAY, go back to sleep. Then she tried again at 5:30 which I conceded to. Usually Roo is the type of sleeper that slips into semi-coma. Nothing wakes her unless she a) has to go to the bathroom or b)  you physically wake her. Even waking her can be a nightmare though because this kid likes...to...sleep. She will go to bed at 8:00 and will sleep until 10-11:00 to next morning if you let her. Not today though, today she decided she would be up before the sun for some obscure reason. It had to be the day that I went to bed late and didn't sleep well to boot. On a positive note school was done by 11:00 (which is rare) and we have the rest of the day for quiet time and read alouds. I may even slip in a I Read, You Read book or a Bob book.
I may not have achieved my promised About Us page on the blog, but I did manage to put up a Contact Me form which is satisfying. I also began my year at a glance plan in excel. I don't have all of my texts yet for next year, but those I do have I will be inputting information daily. It feels good to get stuff planned and actually see some stuff down on paper.
Now, time for lunch.