Well we started back to school this week after a two week Christmas break! Christmas was a bit different this year. Daddy got very sick with an infection in his chin and then I came down with strep throat and an ear infection on Christmas night :-( This kept us from going to our Lucas Christmas celebration. But my parents came up the next weekend and we had a very nice time with them and the kids and I will be going down soon to my parents to complete Christmas with my sister and her family and my grandmother. This has probably been the longest, most drawn out Christmas ever, but oh well! We make the best of it!
But the kids have made a very easy transition back into doing their studies. I think some of it may be due to the fact that I have decided to have soft instrumental music playing while we are doing school. I know it has helped me for sure and kids (especially Aaron) have commented several times about how much they like it! (and in case anyone is interested I use Pandora and have been playing the 'Classical Musical Melody Radio').
If kids are having trouble focusing, or are agitated, or just hyper I am planning on putting them on headphones with pure classical music ('Classical Radio' on Pandora). Aaron was having one of those mornings the other morning so we tried it out on him. This boy LOVES classical music.
Of course, being a homeschool family, some (or a lot) of the Christmas gifts have an 'educational' quality about them and the kids have been loving playing with their new Christmas gifts!
Our family gift was a computerized telescope!! This thing is AWESOME!! It's our own little robot. You type in where you want to go and it moves around until it gets you there! We found more in the first 20 minute session we had out with it than we have found to date! We are looking forward to many stargazing opportunities with this gem!
Seth got a Snap Circuits kit and has been playing with it A BUNCH! He is doing really well following the directions to make so many things such as working sirens and even an AM radio (that surprisingly picks up a BUNCH of stations!) I am looking forward to even bringing this kit to co-op to share with the kids there (Seth has given me permission to do so.)
Aaron got a Smithsonian dinosaur dig kit and he is enjoying being a paleontologist. It is a slow process but he has finally revealed the spine of the dinosaur and excited about excavating the entire thing (oh and he wants the classical music volume turned up while he works on it LOL!)
So Alyssa is showing more and more that she is ready for some "real" school...so I am presently easing her into it by finding a lot of hands-on activities for her (I am already finding that she works best with hands on).
I printed off a bunch of pattern block templates and she is enjoying them.
I printed off the alphabet and had her dot paint it using a q-tip and washable finger paint.
A friend gave me a set of wooden colored shape beads and I have printed off sequencing cards and easy addition cards and she has really enjoyed these! She asked to do this a second day this week!
Here is one of the addition cards. I set out the magnetic numbers and had her put the answer for the total number of beads on the card when she was done.
For a while now I have been making up "letter stories" to help the boys remember phonics rules... today I made up one for Aaron as he was learning the "oi" sound. I was inspired to go ahead and actually put the story on paper with graphics and am planning on going ahead and putting them all on paper and making a Letter Stories book for the kids. Seth even informed me today that he would like the book too - that it would help him "review". :-) I am excited about finally getting this done!!
Here is a screen shot of the one I did today.
The boys reading is going GREAT!! Aaron completed 1st Grade Pathways (that he started Jan 2013) before Christmas so we started 2nd Grade Pathways this week.
Seth will finish his 3rd Grade Pathways the end of January. Instead of trying to move on to 4th grade Pathways I have decided to do a literature study! He is going to read Farmer Boy!! I about fell over when I got the study guide and workbook in and found out that it so closely follows the method of the Pathway readers we have been using!! I like that it will be a challenge for him and will really enrich his vocabulary!!
And I already got the lessons planned out and it will take us right to the end of our "school year"! (Even though I am looking at schooling at least 1/2 of the summer...but that is another discussion for another day)!!!
I think we were meant to do this study because everything about it is fitting right into place!!! This EXCITES me!!! :-)
Well that is it for now!
Until next time,