Homeschool Discoveries

Sharing a few things I've discovered along the way…

Collage Friday: Simple Machines, Math Success, and a trip to the Zoo April 5, 2013

Filed under: Weekly Highlights — kirstenjoyhill @ 9:51 pm

Things finally seemed more spring-like this week here in Minnesota!  After a nice Easter weekend as a family, Tony left for a trip for most of the week — then he took after afternoon off on Friday after returning home so we could take a whole-family field trip to the MN Zoo!

Here are a few highlights from our week:


1.-2. Simple Machines:  We started a unit on Simple Machines for science.   There are a couple lessons from BFSU Vol. 2 on this topic I meant to look at…but meanwhile, the kids have been busy with library books on the topic and creating their own simple machines (like inclined planes, levers, and pulleys).

3.  Also science-related:  Miss M has taken a real interest in backyard birds, especially robins.  Here the kids are watching a video I found for them about baby robins.  They loved the cute baby birds that seemed always hungry with mouths open wide.  🙂

Not pictured is anything about our new history unit — we started studying the Civil War this week!

4.  Mr E is mostly ready for his turn at “Expert Day” next Thursday at co-op.  He selected, printed, cut and glued pictures on his board.  We also worked together on his 3 minute presentation, and he practiced it for Grandma and for friends.

5.  In Spelling/Phonics this week, Mr. E completed 5 lessons of Logic of English foundations.  He’s up to lesson 90 already!  He liked a list of words early in the week that he turned into two silly sentences: “Mothers have apple seeds.  Birds have buckets.”  (I think mother, apple, seed, bird and bucket were the five words on the list).  Meanwhile Miss M finished lesson 31 of LOE Essentials.

6-7.  Math can sometimes be a struggle for Miss M.  We experience more frustration with math than with any other subject.   We made a few small tweaks this week that I felt really made a big difference for her:  We tried to do math most days earlier in the school day than we have in the past, we put classical music on in the background, a few days I photocopied a section of the teacher’s manual (with answers then blacked out on her copy) for her to “read along” with me, and I was able to identify the fact that one thing that was frustrating her on Thursday was a lack of space for long multiplication problems, so on Friday I taped up a large sheet of paper to do the work on!  I think we “officially” did 3 or 4 lessons of RightStart D this week.  But I am super pleased that Miss M went at the beginning of the week having no idea how to do two digit by two digit multiplication, and by Friday told me it was “easy peasy lemon squeezy”  (a favorite expression of hers).

Mr. E worked on Roman Numerals this week in RightStart C, as well as playing a few games!  Games played this week by Miss M and/or Mr. E included Rows and Columns, Corners, Speed, and a four-digit subtraction game (that I have already forgotten the name of) that proved to be way more fun than I thought it would be!

8.  Most weeks lately we’ve headed to the Gymnastics studio for open gym, but this week we went to an open gym/indoor play area on Monday afternoon (we needed to be out of the house for a bit while some work was being done).  J was thrilled that he could play here too (he’s not old enough to play at the gymnastics open gym.  We also took a trip to Trader Joe’s afterwards as we were quite close by.  We bought some treats and fun food items.  “Cookie Butter” might be one of the tastiest foods ever invented!

9.  Most of our snow has finally melted! Grandma Karen came for a few hours on Thursday, and the kids enjoyed doing sidewalk chalk with Grandma.

Minnesota Zoo Outing:

We enjoyed our trip to the Zoo this afternoon, though the temperature started dropping quickly after we arrived, and by the time we were walking from the “farm” area back to the main buildings, it was snowing!  We weren’t really prepared for the sudden change in the weather, but had fun anyway.


Just for fun…here are some of my favorite pics of  Mr. J, our 17 month old from this week.  Toddlers are such a riot!


I’m linking up with Collage Friday, The Weekly Wrap-Up, and Homeschool Review!

Homegrown Learners

2 Responses to “Collage Friday: Simple Machines, Math Success, and a trip to the Zoo”

  1. marykprather Says:

    I love the toddler collage — I miss having one in the house because they are so very entertaining!

    Thanks (as always) for linking. I appreciate you!

  2. Janis Cox Says:

    Thanks for dropping by He Cares for Us. Most Saturdays I will be posting kids’ activities. I hope you drop back again.
    Janis Cox Author of Tadeo Turtle

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