Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Field Trip - Kennedy Creek Chum Salmon Run


The trip there was incredibly beautiful!  From the second we got off the freeway we were in these beautiful wooded roads with their full fall colors showing.  It was amazingly lovely.  And luckily, I was the passenger so I was able to have him slow down and take some shots of the drive.


The path around the creek was lovely as well.









We got there just as another homeschool group was leaving. We were about to head down on our own when the trail guide (Katie) told us she’d take us to where the salmon were jumping right now.


Luke wanted to be down and on his own for everything.  He was so curious about the water that he accidently dropped one of his boots in the river!  I almost fell in getting it out!


_MG_0405-001It was crazy cute to watch him though.  Smile



I am so glad we went!  It’s the second in a long line of field trips that we are going to be taking this school year.  I am excited about what the kids will be learning on our many trips.



Thursday, October 18, 2012

Waldorf math for the youngest

I have been gearing up for math with Logan.  He is ready for the concept introduction, but I wanted to do it in a super gentle, fun way so he doesn’t feel like math is drudgery like so many of us adults.  Enter the Waldorf math Gnomes.  These little guys were the same ones I used when teaching colors two years ago and they have been played with quite a bit since.  I used them, (along with a rainbow mat), to help Cyan with place value as well.  They have been wonderful members of our learning family and I am proud to say, they have now come out to teach Logan the four main operations in mathematics! 



Some of these poems were inspired by others online (none are exactly the same) and some are made up by me, but each has a lesson in the story.  For this unit, we use floral gems as manipulatives and each little gnome is present for their specific operation.  The idea being that connecting a concept with a story is the best way to keep that concept clear in your mind.  Especially for young children.



Divide is my favorite:





Good King Equals is a character made up to help with the idea of things on either side of the = sign being equal, regardless of what they look like.  2+2 = 4 and so on. 



The stories that go along with these characters can be found in this wonderful curriculum (free) from Serendipity.  And although I do use quite a bit of this story when teaching beginning math, I am not opposed to worksheets and basic kindergarten math when doing this.  I think it all goes into the same box in the brain and it all helps when doing real world math problems!  And that’s what it is all about!  These little guys do make it super fun for Logan and easy to understand the four main operations in math.

More inspiration came from here:

King Equals poem

Drawing inspiration

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Moon and the Oreos that go with it

During this last full moon we had a big fat moon unit study.  I tried to take decent pictures but since most of our work that was picture worthy was done outside at night you can imagine how that went.  I did get a couple pictures of the full moon… but even with a tripod and a timer you get this:


Or this:


Pretty… but not looking like this:


However, we spent the next three days happily studying the moon in all her glory!


These were all the books we had from the library.  The one on the top labeled simply “MOON” was one of the best for fun facts and cool pictures!  Did you know there was such a thing as a ‘moonbow’?  I didn’t either!  But the shot in this book of the moons light reflecting off some mist near the horizon certainly looks like a rainbow and is clearly from the moons light!  How neat is that!?!

After this we talked about the different shapes of the moons light and what each portion was called.  They learned this well and fast… cuz I used Oreos!!



Thank you Pinterest!


After that we watched a video and had ‘eclipse toast’.


This video was amazing!  Simply done, so Logan could really understand it, this video explains all kinds of facts about the moon and it’s rotation as well as facts about what we see when we look at the moon.

After that, we switched gears to perspective of the human eye.  We talked about how when the moon is low it seems SO much bigger but if you look through a TP tube (which we did when looking at the full moon) you could see that it isn’t any bigger than it is in the center of the dark sky… there is just something to measure against.

Then we moved on to drawing with depth perception.

We are working through Commander Mark’s Draw Squad and the kids LOVE it!  If you have never seen this, it’s super duper old.  The dude has a mullet and everything… but he is just a great character and he is good at explaining things like foreshortening and depth perception with easy, kid friendly language.  Plus, he draws cartoons.  What could be better than that?




Our moon study was super fun… but we are moving on to photosynthesis!