Added Subjects

Jan
2015
17

posted by on Schooling Resource, Update

I had mentioned that we’d added some “fun” subjects during our winter holiday break.  I thought I’d discuss what it was my daughter decided to study.

We picked up Art of Argument, the Teacher’s Edition.  I did not grab the student book -just the Teacher’s Edition because she and I would be sitting together and reading and discussing it together.  Didn’t want to make it a heavy writing subject for her.

I had family and friends wonder why I was teaching her how to argue better.  That we were, essentially, going to regret it!  ha!  Well, I say more power to my daughter!

Setting aside the jokes, I absolutely love this book and my daughter really has been enjoying this as well!

In addition to this book, I have also added a bit of Philosophy introduction.  Instead of finding a book to teach this, I decided to do my own research and print some notes and papers to go over with her.  We talked about Socrates, Plato, Descartes, and several others.  We even discussed, at length, about the Socratic Method and came across quite a gem that you, too, can download for free!

We’ve really been enjoying this subject and have decided that even though we’re back to our old routine, we will be continuing Art of Argument together.

Another added extra is You Decide! Applying the Bill of Rights to Real Cases.  For this I did get both the student book and the teacher’s instruction guide.  At first I only grabbed the student book but I fast realized that I would be doing an awful lot of looking up and researching things without the guide.  So yah, I highly recommend the guide!

With this added subject, we did not and are still not writing the answers down.  We discuss the cases together and have a nice conversation on how we feel about the case and what she thinks about the outcome, etc.  It’s really a neat subject to add and I feel that the way we’re doing it is really allowing her to enjoy the subject!  I didn’t think she’d take to it but she loves this and has insisted we continue even after our winter holiday break is over.  So yup, this has been added to the rotation of subjects we do each day!

As for my two five year olds -we’re still not very structured here, however we are doing a lot more “school-y” stuff.  We do practice reading daily.  We do a lot of logic games which they find enjoyable.  I also lay out a bunch of paper, tape, glue, scissors, sequins, etc. on the table and let them go to town with it!  They get to practice their cutting skills and fine motor skills, etc.  They just have an absolute blast!

I try (keyword here is try) to do math and science 5 days a week.  One of the twins loves science and is always asking for more more and more!  I pulled out my first grade (eeek!) science book that I used with my oldest and have started reading it to her.  We stop to do experiments when possible.  It’s fun!  Her twin sister listens in most of the time and is slowly getting pulled into it by her sister.

For math, I downloaded a free trial K-1st grade app that the girls really are enjoying.  So much so that they begged I unlock the other levels and I have done so.  They have picked up the basic concepts of addition and subtraction after I sat with each of them and explained how to play the game.  They beg to play the game now almost daily!

So basically, with the young’uns I am trying to follow their interest and letting them be kids!  I realize the older they get, we’ll need to buckle down just a wee bit but for now, let them play, create, do math and science if it pleases them!

All in all, I think we’re doing just fine :)

Happy 2015!

Jan
2015
12

posted by on Update

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season!!   For us it had been an absolute whirlwind filled with busy activities and lots of family time.  As much fun as it was, I am glad it’s all over and we can get back to our old routine!

We do school throughout Summer and it paid off for my oldest -she got quite a lot of time off between Thanksgiving and New Years Day.  We did a few subjects here and there, but it was subjects she thoroughly enjoyed and looked forward to doing.  More on that later!

For now, I would like to reveal to you what we finally ended up doing with all of our posters!  We had a big blank wall and dear hubby really didn’t want a bunch of holes in our newly fixed and freshly painted wall so we took our time trying to figure out how to display our large posters.

My biggest issue was having SO MANY posters to display and not enough wall space!  What I wanted was a way to easily rotate posters as they were needed.  So, for example, if I were working on the table of elements, I wanted to display that poster and remove the earth science poster that was not currently needed.  See?  Easily changeable as needed without adding a ton of holes on the wall due to different sized posters.

Hubby and I came up with a few ideas and we dismissed them after much going back and forth.  We thought of velcro, of strips of magnet like the valance idea we had.  But none were quite right.

In the end, we decided to go with thin magnetic panels called MagPanels.  They come in all kinds of neat options (like rounded corners, several color options, customized size, etc. – NOTE: if you order through them, try to get smaller pieces to put together to save on shipping!!  You do not want to pay freight prices!)

We absolutely postitutely love love our MagPanels!

MagPanels in bone white and square corners

For magnets, we ended up purchasing some neodymium magnets and glued them to simple glass gems (can be found at any craft store!).  I picked mine up at WalMart for very cheap.  We tried Super Glue and Gorilla Glue but maaan those magnets are strong and whenever I went to readjust a magnet, the glass gem popped off the magnet!  In the end, we got some cement adhesive and that has seemed to bond really well without coming off.

The magnets are so strong, that when the kids run down the hall I know the posters won’t fall off!  Which is why I highly recommend using neodymium magnets!

Our school room has undergone several tweaks since its reveal.   We ended up needing more bookshelves for, well, books!  And our school room is now also our legos room!  Due to the way we organized the space, we now have a great open area that works really well for the girls to spread out and build and create their lego creations!

Here’s how the room looks now:

Note the plastic tubs under the Solar System! Legos are stored there.

Hubby hacked two bookcases to make one double wide one to fit the space!

I’ll be posting more about what we’ve all been doing school-wise in another post!  For now, I wish you all a very wonderful 2015!!  And I am looking forward to sharing more on our homeschooling journey with you through 2015 :)

Still here!

Oct
2014
14

posted by on Random Photos, Update

I know, I know… bad me.  Haven’t posted in such a long time.  I assure you, I’m still here and still homeschooling :)

We’ve been busy with the usual schooling, homeschool activities, co-op, field trips and events.  Fun stuff!

Some photos of what we’ve been up to :)

little ones at ballet

 

Rainforest Habitat - Elemental Science Logic Stage Biology

big kids roller skating/blading event get-together

Jackson Pollock painting at co-op - less messy style!

Science experiment at co-op - Fun colors!

Mythology - Co-op

 

posted by on Review, Schooling Resource

My five year olds are really getting the whole addition and subtraction concept.  We’re constantly talking about math concepts!

I overheard a conversation my twins were having.  Twin A “I have four pieces of fishie crackers and I eat one all up!  How many do I have now?”  And Twin B responds with “Three!”

So see?  They get it!  I bet the fact that we’ve been playing a lot with our math game, or playing with our cuisenaire rods has tremendously helped them grasp these concepts!

When asked to review a new, to me, concept math book, I was happy to do so because anything that would help and enhance their math learning experience would be awesome in my book!

The Verbal Math Lesson books are geared towards 5 year olds and go up all the way to 10 year olds!  No pencil or paper is required!  You heard right.  All of this is done verbally with your kids!

So I started with book 1 which is geared towards 5-7 year olds.  The first few pages were super easy for my girls to grasp!  We flew through it and we found it to be a very relaxing approach.  See, my girls are still learning and even struggling with their writing.  We practice a lot, but they don’t like writing much.  I don’t want to push them to write and so unfortunately, we’ve had to put our Singapore Kindergarten book on the back burner for now.  I didn’t want to be the one entering all their math answers.  I really want them to do it and they were getting rather frustrated with not being able to write certain numbers.  So, enter The Verbal Math Lesson!

What is so neat about this book is that even though my girls don’t like writing their numbers, they can still learn math and continue to expand their mathematical knowledge!

All you need to do is sit down with your kids -in a relaxed, non-stressful setting- and just read from the book.  An example would be, “We had 2 pictures on the wall and put up no new pictures.  How many pictures are on the wall?”

Introducing the concept of zero was a LOT of fun for them!

learning who is first, which is second, who is "before" who, who is "behind" who, etc.

After a lesson, they’d pull out their number foams and dolls and would show me visually the concepts they’d learned!  And this was without prompting from me!

It was just awesome hearing them randomly say things, like at the dinner table, how I ate the last bite and now I have zero food on my plate!  It was obviously clicking with them!

I highly recommend these books if your child is reluctant to write and gets exasperated with worksheets!  Visit The Verbal Math Lesson for more information!

 

The company sent me The Verbal Math Lessons books to review.  All of the opinions expressed here are my own.