Friday, October 29, 2010

Weekly Wrap Up 10/25 to 10/29

Me ~ Weapons of Mass Instruction & Pride and Prejudice
La ~ Finished Shiloh, started Shiloh Season
Chris ~ The Creature from Jekyll Island
Morning Read Aloud ~ Finished The Best Worst Halloween Ever, started The Silver Chair

Around the House ~
No extra projects to speak of this week. I feel like I don’t know where my time is going. I have two sewing projects I need to start. Time to revamp our schedule. Why does everything in the universe tends towards chaos. I wish I could just stay organized once I get organized!

Out & About Learning ~
Firefly Corps was rescheduled until this coming Monday due to illness, so I’ll write about that next week. This week was swimming at our weekly homeschool class.

Study Time ~
This week’s study time got off to a very relaxed start. We woke up to snow on Monday morning. I did not have the heart to keep her inside! The neighbor kids came over by noon & they stayed outside sledding & jumping on a snowy trampoline all day! Before the kids came over La made a town in the front yard she named Crystalville. She outlined walkways and buildings just like the kids in Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran.
La in her Crystalville house. The circle in the center is a fire pit.
Main St., Crystalville

La had another baking lesson. This time chocolate chip cookies.

La wrote some thank you notes to her Nani & Kitty Grandma for sending her a small Halloween package.

Last time I wrote about La being inspired to learn her math facts. She still is, but I almost killed it! As soon as she said this I came on too strong with a traditional approach using worksheets & flash cards. After all, that’s how I learned my math facts.  Well it backed fired right in my face. She hated it and felt pressured.  I should have known better! This approach has never worked with her!  So I took a deep breath & regrouped.  A reader named Cherie (Thanks Cherie!) posted a great link to a math card game. She loves this approach & is quickly getting all the addition facts down. I am also playing factor games with her to help her see the relationship between addition & subtraction.  Now things are smooth sailing again!

Afternoons ~
More playing on the snow & reading. This weekend we are taking care of my friend’s 3 daughters ages 4, 6 & 8. It’s going to be very fun! We’ll be trick or treating, going to a Harvest Carnival & swimming with pumpkins at the pool!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Magic of Life of Fred

I must share about the magic Life of Fred has done in our home. La has never been a huge math fan. I am a big believer in Inspire not Require, so this summer I started to look at why this was so. There were a few reasons. First of all, I had not shown her how important math is to daily life. Second, I was not really doing any math as an example. I was not working out math problems or calling attention to when I needed to use math in my daily life. So I started two things. 
  • Calling attention to when & why I need to use math in my daily life.
  • I bought a copy of Life of Fred: Fractions and started doing it on my own during study time.
This is Fred © Stanley F. Schmidt
Well, she was intrigued with the book immediately.  I read it aloud to her and I would do the questions at the end of each chapter. It wasn't long before she was asking me to read her the questions and show her how to figure out the answer. I learned that La was very good at figuring out how to do the problems. She knew when to multiply or subtract, but she could not do the higher operations such as double digit multiplication or long division. This interest continued and lead to her asking to do Life of Fred & writing out all the answers to the problems as we did them together.

Well, yesterday we finished chapter 9 and I experienced a small miracle.  She asked me if I would help her learn what she needs to know so we could continue together. She also asked me if I would wait for her to continue Life of Fred! Of course I will! She needs to thoroughly learn all her math facts, long division and multiplying with double digit numbers. I am so excited because she is now self-motivated to do the work it takes to get up to speed with Life of Fred. I am hoping her motivation will last. I plan on making it fun using games & contests. I will keep you updated.

Does anyone have any good resources for homemade & online games for getting down your math facts?

Thanks for writing this awesome series Dr. Schimdt! Fred has opened a whole new world of math and fun for us!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Weekly Wrap Up 10/18 to 10/22

Me ~ Weapons of Mass Instruction & Pride and Prejudice
La ~ Finished Percy Jackson Series- The Lightening Thief & Started Shiloh
Chris ~ The Creature from Jekyll Island
Morning Read Aloud ~ Finished The Horse  & His Boy, Started The Best Worst Halloween Ever
Evening Read Aloud ~ Finished Gulliver's Travels

Around the House ~
No extra projects to speak of this week. I did however set fire to some tortilla chips in the oven. That was fun. ;-) Luckily nothing else caught on fire. I kept the oven door shut & the fire just burned itself out. It was my first kitchen fire.

Out & About Learning ~
This week we had our regular Homeschool class at the Aquatic center. They did team building games.
We had our monthly art class at the Kimball Art Center. We studied this very unique artist,Devorah Sperber, who recreates masterpieces like DaVinci’s Last Supper out of hanging rows of spools of thread. To top that off she creates them upside down and then you look through a small crystal globe and they appear right side up. It was amazing and gave me an opportunity to talk about hoe our eyes work.

Study Time ~
This week was a great study week! Here are some highlights.
  • La finished 2 project on India. One about Henna & another about the Hindi Language
  • We caught & studied a yellow jacket in a bug jar.
  • worked on spelling, cursive, latin, math
  • I have been doing Life of Fred: Fractions. La loves to do this with me. The stories are very entertaining & she can do some of the problems. Even if she cannot do the arithmetic (like long division), she can tell me how to figure out the problem (e.g. you need to multiply the hours times 60 minutes). We are on Chapter 10 & it is getting too hard for her. So she asked me to stop doing Life of Fred on my own and help her learn all she needs to know so she can finish the Fractions with me. Now that is the art of inspiring!!!
  • I found out that La understand negative numbers & can add and subtract them!

Afternoons ~
Nothing to note out of the ordinary this week. The weather has been great so lots of outside time with the neighbor kids.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

TJEd Blog Roll

Leadership education is really tough. It is a blood, sweat & tears kind of life. As far as homeschooling goes, I think it is the toughest & most rewarding way of doing things. There is no how to. You must struggle through the principles and work out for your family how to implement them.  This is why I so enjoy reading the blogs of other Mom's working out their own journey. So, if you are a TJEd family and would like to share your blog with me & others, join the Blog Hop below & add it to your blog.  Let's stand together in supporting & inspiring each other!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Life Skills - Baking

Today La had her first ever real baking lesson. She has baked along side me many times, but this time it was all her.  I sat by and coached. She did all the mixing, measuring, kneading, and shaping. I did help with timing, checking for doneness & bringing her back to rereading the directions so she knew what to do next. La will graduate from Baking Life Skills when she can bake 10 items on her own. Oh, and the crescent rolls came out very nicely!  We will be having them with dinner tonight. Looks like my experimenting with yeast baking the last few weeks has really rubbed off on her.  Ah, the rewards of inspire not require. :-) 

This photo was taken by La.  It looks like it is from a cookbook!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Weekly Wrap Up 10/11 to 10/15

What we are reading ~
Me ~ Weapons of Mass Instruction
La ~ Percy Jackson Series- The Lightening Thief 
Chris ~ The Creature from Jekyll Island
Morning Read Aloud ~ The Horse  & His Boy
Evening Read Aloud ~ Gulliver's Travels

Around the House ~
After not having internet access on my computer for about 10 days I finally got it back up and running again! Everything else was pretty normal household-wise this week.

Out & About ~
We has our first Firefly Corps meting about India this week. La did her presentation about Indian Payal or anklets & then the girls all made their own complete with little bells. Sorry I don't have any pic's. They came out all blurry with my phone camera. During the meeting other girls presented on geography, contributions & Ghandi. La skipped weekly homeschool class this Wednesday to stay home and play with the neighbor kids.

Our Study Time ~
We continued with the regulars of spelling, Latin & math. La says Latin is getting boring and she doesn't want to do it anymore. I tell her that is fine with me, but every time I get the book out she is right there doing it with me! Other highlights of the week ~
  • online jigsaw puzzles
  • started cursive practice
  • read some about Columbus
  • catching salamanders
The cursive writing was a surprise to me. La just said one day during spelling that she wanted to learn cursive so she could write faster.  I reminded her that she had a cursive work book she could use. That seemed to kill her interest. The next morning I suggest I write a sentence from one of her favorite books in cursive & she could copy it. She loved that idea. Now she is spending a few minutes a day trying to write out this one sentence perfectly. She said when she can write it well she will start with another sentence.  It's amazing how kids will find an interesting way to learn something when they want to learn it. That is the essence of Simple not Complex.

I had my first book club meeting this week. It was so much fun. Seven fun ladies came over & we discussed The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne. It was a lively discussion! I can't wait until next month!

Afternoons ~
Outside catching salamanders! Need I say more?

Next week we have art class at the Kimball Art Center. That is always wonderful!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Weekly Wrap Up 10/4 to 10/8

What we are reading ~
Me ~ Weapons of Mass Instruction
La ~ Percy Jackson Series- The Lightening Thief & Finished Brewster's Courage
Chris ~ The Creature from Jekyll Island
Morning Read Aloud ~ The Horse  & His Boy
Evening Read Aloud ~ Gulliver's Travels

Around the House ~ 
This week I made my grandmother's sticky buns! Making these made me miss her. She passed away about a year and a half ago. before that she suffered from Alzheimer's Disease for many years. I do wish I had asked her to show me how to make these when I could have!

Out & About Learning ~
We had homes school class at the South Summit Aquatic & Fitness center as usual. I don't think I have been including that in my wrap-ups. It was Playground Games this week. Always a very fun & social time!
Friday we went to the Bug Brigade at the Utah Museum pf Natural History. Out study of microorganisms has led to an interest in bugs. So off we went! La held a few bugs & had a confrontation with a praying mantis. 

Study Time ~
We decided to not make a lot of plans this week and let study time flow. We still accomplished so much! 
  • La made a Lunch Menu with prices & we used it at lunch time to practice counting money, making change, etc...
  • La planned her project for India to be done at the next Firefly Corps meeting.
  • Continued with Latin & Spelling
  • Learned about the Tower of Hanoi puzzle & played it. Tough logic puzzle!
  • La got curious about where yeast comes from & what it is. No doubt due to my recent fascination with baking. We looked it up which lead to thre days of learning about microorganisms.
  • We watched videos about amoebas & cell division. La made a model of a cell out out of Ziploc bag, water, a marble (nucleus), pencil cushion (contractile vacuole) & an eraser (food vacuole). 
  • sketched some insects. Do you know what makes an arachnid different from other insects? We do!
Afternoons ~ 
We either continued studies or La played outside. She has been catching newts. They look like small black & green salamanders & we have lots of them. La & the neighbor kids love them!

Next week we have Firefly Corps Meeting on Tuesday. Should be fun!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

3 Onesie Dresses

3 dresses for a one year olds birthday.  The tutu is a separate piece from the onsie. The purple is my favorite!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Weekly Wrap Up 10.1.10

What we are reading ~
Me ~ Weapons of Mass Instruction
La ~ Percy Jackson Series- The Lightening Thief & Brewster's Courage
Chris ~ The Creature from Jekyll Island
Morning Read Aloud ~ Finished Voyage of the Dawn Treader & Started The Horse  & His Boy
Evening Read Aloud ~ Chris started reading Gulliver's Travels to us.

Around the House ~ This week I made bread for the first time! it came out really good. I might make my grandmother's sticky buns next week.

I also started & am still trying to finish some onsie dresses for a birthday gift. Our pastor's granddaughter is having her first birthday party on Sunday. I will post pictures of these when I get them done.
Out & About Learning ~ Firefly Corps Meeting was Monday. We learned a lot about Greek Gods & made a Greek time line. It was fun. friday was our our Greek fieldtrip to the Olympic Cauldron Park & lunch at Yanni's Greek Express. Yum!

Study Time ~
A few less lessons this week & more organic learning. I let 2 days slip by without official study time. Mind you a lot of other learning was done, but do want to get back to 5 days a week of scheduled study time. The day just goes much smoother when we do this.
  • Latin 2 days
  • Sequential Spelling 2 days
  • Math lesson and practice. I was pleasantly surprised that La understand place value of to one trillion. She is always surprising me with what she knows.
  • La on her own
    • geoboards, hook & latch, lots of reading, practiced her tin whistle
  • In Momschool I  covered the following
    • Peloponnesian Wars 
    • Odysseus & the Cyclops
    • Looked up the species of some trees on our hike
Afternoons ~ We either continued studies or La played outside. She has been collecting and chopping acorns. I love to see her spend a few hours outside everyday. Chores & errands also ate up a few afternoons this week.

See you next Friday!
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