Homeschool Discoveries

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

Collage Friday – Enjoying our New School Room February 3, 2012

Filed under: Weekly Highlights — kirstenjoyhill @ 10:18 pm
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This week feels like it went by in a bit of a blur.  I was pretty distracted by organizational projects around the house — our school room project was finished by late Sunday night, but the boys’ room still needed organization, piles of items remained in the dining/living room to put away (mostly in rooms other than the school room), and I had a mountain of items to donate.  We had outings on three out of five days (usually once or twice is my max these days with both a baby and a not-very-well-potty-trained toddler), and some members of the family with a bit of a cold…which also thew off the rhythm of the week. Yet somehow, we still managed to get most of our school agenda for the week accomplished.  We really enjoyed doing school in our newly organized room!

Here are a few highlights:

1. Miss M found cursive to be more of a struggle than usual last week, and didn’t finish last week’s verse from “A Reason for Handwriting C” until Monday.  But she was so proud of it when she was done! This week she worked very diligently and finished all five “days” of this week’s lesson in only three school days.

2. Grandma Karen visited on Monday, which is always a treat! After a shortened morning of school, the kids worked together with Grandma to build an entire duplo zoo, among other things.

3. We’re so happy to have our newly re-organized school room, and one big benefit to the new arrangement is better access to our bookshelves! Here Miss M is taking a break from her regular school work with a picture book she rediscovered on our shelves (Mirette on the High Wire).

4. I got out our Lakeshore Learning “cars” themed math box for the boys. I had a nice time doing some counting and matching with Mr. K, and Mr. E had fun with it too.  Then they scattered all the cars out over the rug and the cars had some kind of a battle with the lego guys.  🙂

5.  Mr E. wanted to “draw rectangles too”  just like his big sister was doing in her Right Start math lessons.  So, he traced the 1 inch math squares. 🙂  We had a nice discussion squares being a special type of rectangle.

6.  Miss M completed five Right Start C lessons again this week! While the drawing lessons were not quite as much of a breeze as last week, Miss M persevered through the challenging points of using the drawing tools (and the tricky business of using the 1 inch squares for making a rectangle of a certain perimeter) to get each day’s lesson done.  I think she has inherited some of her daddy’s visual-spacial abilities that I don’t have! I don’t think I would have done well with these types of lessons at her age!

7.  A game of sequence turned into a lesson in patience and bearing with one’s younger sibling.  The object of the game is to get four chips in a row…you may notice there are multiple spots in the picture with four green chips.  Mr K really wanted to play, but didn’t quite “get” that he couldn’t put his chips any where he pleased.  Mr E and Miss M did an admirable job of humoring him while still playing the game by the rules themselves…until Mr. K started taking their chips off the board.  When I told Mr K that this wasn’t kind behavior melt-down ensued and Mr K needed to take a few minutes to rest with mommy.  Then Mr E. got a good reminder about being a good sport even when you lose.  Board games sure are character building!

8. We are finally back at it with our “Family Science Nights” with lessons from Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding (BFSU).  This week’s lesson was on gravity.  Which will hit the ground first, a flat piece of paper or a ball? How about a paper airplane or a ball? Why? And what does air resistance and gravity have to do with it? That was our discussion this week.

9. And finally…happy Three Months Old to baby J!

I’m linking up with Collage Friday @ Homegrown Learners and the Weekly Wrap Up @ Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers!



Collage Friday: Back to School! January 13, 2012

Filed under: Weekly Highlights — kirstenjoyhill @ 11:15 pm
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Collage Friday 2012-01-13

Collage Friday 2012-01-13

We resumed our regular school schedule this week after a three week Christmas break.  Here’s a few highlights from our week:

1. Grandma Karen visited one day this week.  Here she is reading “Little Man in the Map” to all the kids.   Miss M will participate in a Geography Challenge at our homeschool co-op in May, and the challenge for the 2nd graders is to memorize the location of all the US states.   Miss M wanted lots of prep time, so we started this week!  We’ll be using this book as well as a few iPad apps (and standard blank paper maps) for learning and practice all semester.

2. Mr. E and Mr. K relaxing on the couch with a bit of music on a shared MP3 player today.  Sometimes music is the best thing to soothe the savage beast…or stir crazy little boys as the case may be!

3. Mr. K is potty training.  He’s our “class clown” so it makes life interesting.  He is just as likely to do as pictured (or jump in the empty bath tub, or run right past the potty into the next room) as he is to execute the act of pottying appropriately.  We still have lots of work to do in this department, so I am planning on just as many interruptions to our school day next week as potty training continues!

4. At our homeschool co-op,our assembly time speaker was a “history player” from the Minnesota Historical Society portaying Maud Hart Lovelace.  In this picture, Miss M is dancing with “Maud” to the music of a record playing on a Victrolla.   “Maud” talked about her life story, and how life has changed since the turn of the century — a very fun presentation

5. It’s not uncommon for Mr. E and Mr. K to have some time to play games on the iPad during our school day.  I set Baby J down on the couch next to them for a moment, and he quickly leaned in next to Erik to see what was going on.  So cute!

6.  Here’s Miss M hard at work on her RightStart Math level C lesson.  We completed three lessons this week.  This included spending a fair amount of time reviewing subtraction strategies on Monday and Tuesday that may have gotten a little rusty over break.

7. This was perhaps the top highlight of the week — 50 degree weather on Monday and Tuesday.  In January! In Minnesota!  The kids were asking why we had no bubbles or chalk or jump ropes handy (Hmmm…maybe because it is really still winter?), so I was kind enough to dig some out from the basement.  Reality returned on Thursday and Friday with some more seasonably cold temps.  But this is still a very warm winter by Minnesota standards — I don’t think it has gotten below zero yet.

I’m linking up this week with:


Collage Friday @ Homegrown Learners and with the Weekly Wrap Up @Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers