Thursday, October 27, 2011

Swamp final project


The final project for Cyan’s swamp unit was a diorama of the swamp.  She spent hours on it and it looks amazing! 


I asked her about each part of the background and the she explained each bit with perfect clarity… at one point she even grabbed a reference book to show me the Mangrove tree “knees” during a flood.  It has been a great study! 


I am hoping that sometime soon we will get back to Nisqually Wildlife Refuge to see the changes that have happened over the last 6 wks since we started this unit, but for now, I am really happy she got so much out of it.  Smile

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hh is for Harvest Leaves and Horses… and Moose??

Box #1: Pages for the Alphabet Notebook for Hh!


Box #2: The same books that were in the box yesterday.  We only got to read one… so the second one was today!


We collected leaves from our yard and photocopied them to make a page similar to the one in the book:


They even got labeled:


And we had a little fun along the way:


Box #4 was Get Ready for the Code book.  This lesson in on the letter Mm, so it is kind of like we are still doing two lessons at once.


Box #5 was wipe off ABC handwriting worksheets.  Idea from here.  He did Bb, Hh, and Mm today.


Box #6 was a sheet of color wonder paper with pens!  He made “A Man” which looks more like a potato with legs, but it’s stinkin’ cute!


Box #7 was the current issue of ‘Big Backyard’.  And I kinda ran with the Mm thing today as well so we read two articles on Moose! 


Box #8 was Beginning Sounds Bingo.  This is borrowed from a friend and it is a really neat game!  Logan loved it!


Box # 8 Hh is for Horse lacing card.


Box # 9 was strips with our names on them to match to clothes pins with the same letters.  It is really great letter recognition work!


Box #10 was to assemble all our Hh work into our notebook.  We won’t be officially done until tomorrow, but I want to do Hh is for Halloween and have a bunch of things centered around that instead!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hh is for Harvest!

Box #1 was some math worksheets to do with mom.  Our current focus in Math is the numbers 6-10.  He has the others down really well now.  Smile



Box #2 was Get Ready for the Code and he is now starting to get the format of the book.  The pages go faster and easier and his handwriting is getting better all the time!


Box #3: I used this as a timed number recognition tool today.  I held up a card and he said what it was as fast as he could (he could count if he needed to).  I made the third round the “Lightening Round” and he got a Skittle for each number he got correct on the first guess (he got 7 skittles out of 10).


Box #4 was a handwriting activity.


Box #5 was a Montessori Practical Life activity with lacing, velcro, and buttoning.


Box #6 was my beloved Ecojournals.  We took a little walk outside and collected leaves for an activity tomorrow.


Box #7 was an Eye Spy jar I made for him years ago.  But this time I made drawn little cards of objects to find in it.


Box #8: Favorite activity of today!  We made our own Dot-to-Dots!  I wrote the numbers 1 - 10 on stickers and he placed them on a piece of paper.  Then he and I followed the numbers to make a picture.  These were the masterpieces we came up with!


Box #9 was a letter matching activity with our names.


Box #10 was a Fall Harvest book and going out and gathering the very last of our summer tomatoes!


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Swamp field trips


Cyan’s wetland study is coming to a close.  This biome is so diverse it’s amazing!  You can have a wetland with alligators, or a wetland with tigers, or a wetland with flamingos.  It just depends on where you are. 

Most of the larger wetland areas we have around us are deltas that are generally brackish water (or a mix of salt and fresh).  The one we studied specifically for her wetlands unit was Nisqually River Basin.  At the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge sight it runs into the sound about 5 miles from the drive/walking areas.  There are several trails that you can walk in most seasons (right now the ones farther out are closed due to hunting) and you will see TONS of birds of all kinds.  Geese and other water fowl, herons and other waders, and tons of tiny birds are all abundant right now.  In the Spring you can watch as a great horned owl hatches her young and they fledge from a tree right above the short loop trail.  They will even let you rent binoculars for the occasion!  It has been a really wonderful study and I am sad to see it go.
Our last biome of this unit is the desert.  None around us so that will be interesting.  I plan on getting lots of library videos for her to watch for that one.  Winking smile
It’s great to be a homeschooler!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Workboxes for the older child

Cyan - who is currently 10 - also uses the workboxes just like Logan and just like Logan, they have been very successful with helping her be more independent with her work.  I wanted to show an example of a typical day.  Her’s is a bit different due to the fact that I use an actual box curriculum and I have to break it up into workbox sized pieces.  But the concept is the same.


Cyan is working in the Science Curriculum Habitats & Homes from Winter’s Promise.  This is how her workboxes look most days:

Box #1: Decorate with mom (same day as Logan got that in his first box.)


Box #2: Explode the Code book 6.  She does one lesson per session. 


Box #3: An observation page from her curriculum.  It requires her to find information in the unit reading and write it down under the questions.  Because this requires quite a bit of work, I only put one sheet in the box along with a clip board and anything she would need to complete the work.


Box #4: One Small Square: Swamp.  One of her reading books for her curriculum.  She reads 3 - 4 heavy word pages each day.


Box #5: A logic worksheet.  This one is from “Think-a-Minutes”.


Box #6: Zoobooks: Ducks, Geese & Swans.  She reads this and does the activities in the small book.


Box #7: More required reading for her curriculum.  It tells which pages to read with which lessons.


Box #8: A recipe to make.  Today it was gingerbread cake.  Smile


Box #9: Take a look at flamingoes!  His is an information page that goes with one or two worksheets.  This is all directly out of the curriculum.  I copy it so I can keep it for my other children.  I also put her finished pages into her Animal Science Notebook. 


Box #10: A division review worksheet.  This is easy to her now, but I have her do as many as she can in 10 minutes. 


Box #11: Write a letter.  Today she wrote to her friend Abbie who is at her grandmas for 10 days while her mama goes to meet her newest niece.


Box #12: Math 4 from Teaching Textbooks.  She does two lessons per day right now.  As it gets harder she will slow down to one, but this early in the year it is review and she can move super quick.


And that’s one day!  We get a ton done in a short amount of time with the workbox system.  She usually is done with all of this work in 3 - 4 hours and is able to have time for creative pursuits (of which she has MANY).  Today she made a house for her Littlest Pet Shop animals out of cardboard, complete with a fence, pumpkins, and a street lamp.  She gets to be a kid most of the day and still gets a ton of learning done.  I consider her having free time to be amazingly important so if the day seems to be long or she stops enjoying school then I adjust, but this is what works for now.

Other things I add on a regular basis:

Knitting work

Art supplies

Coloring books (Usually from Dover)

Wet on wet painting supplies

Blank postcards & coloring supplies


Logic puzzles

Needle felting supplies

Cursive writing practice

Copywork: Prayers, poems, or quotes

My camera to take pictures of a field trip

field trip notes and pictures to write about


current interest activity

post it with a webpage like BrainPop or National Geographic Kids