Saturday, September 24, 2011

Week 2

We've survived, & even enjoyed, week #2. I'm not sure if Capt. N noticed a difference, but I feel this week was better than last week. I'm guessing a lot of that is simply because I learned from the first week that I was trying to cram too much in a day & I rescheduled the 2nd week a bit. I still feel like we have a very full day, but I wouldn't feel right cutting anything else. And, I still didn't make as much time to spend with my younger two as I would have liked, so this week I'm literally going to add it to the schedule. Actually having to schedule time to spend with my kids is not something I'm proud or happy to be doing, but the way we've been doing it isn't working. So, I will change up the schedule once again to make sure none of my kids are feeling left out. Hopefully within the next couple weeks we'll have a good rhythm down.

Pics from the Week:

Math ~
We're using Saxon Math. Since I've never homeschooled before I have nothing to compare it to, but so far I like it. Each lesson has a lot of little pieces, but that's good for Capt N's ansy-ness. It's set up to teach one lesson a day. But because of my schedule on Tuesday's & Thursday's I don't teach math on those days. I teach two lessons on both Monday & Wednesday & he does the worksheets for those two lessons the next day. Friday's we do one lesson. On the days I teach he writes the date on a calendar in his meeting book, then he checks the temperature & records it. Each lesson day he also does clock work, coin counting, number sentences, patterns & a problem of the day. Then we move on to learning the new lesson & sometimes he is to practice with flashcards or do a timed test. Then we work on the front side of the worksheets together. The next day he finishes the back side of the worksheets independently.

His calendar. He fills in the date & the temperature.

The cute little thermometer he checks.

These cubes represent the benefit of homeschooling. In our science studies we've been coming across numbers with decimals. He was a bit confused by them, so we did a quick lesson on decimals. I wrote 5.0, 5.1, 5.2,.... 6.0 on the white board, then used the cubes to explain my point. Each row of cubes equaled one whole number. I explained that a number such as 5.6 is more than 5.0, but less than 6.0. The cubes were great for this. Then I wrote a few other numbers on the board & had him figure out the right amount of cubes. He loved this & it seemed to come easily for him. He may not know all there is to know about decimals, but I love that we were able to take a couple minutes and discuss them.

Spelling ~
Spelling is definitely not Capt. N's strong suit. Last week he only got 8 out of 12 correct on his test. So I changed things a bit to make sure he practiced his words more this week. But, he still only got 8 out of 12 correct this week. I think some weeks I'm going to take a different approach. The worksheets are set up to learn a new group of 12 words each week. Well, I really want to keep working on the words he missed the previous week. So, I think sometimes I will stick to the spelling words & worksheets, but some weeks I will do review weeks. I honestly don't know that he spelled the words any better on Friday than he did on Tuesday. The other thing I would like to try is making up my own spelling words that are significant to what we are working on in other subjects. Maybe if he has a connection to the words he will remember them better. Next week I'm going to give him the 7 continents & the 4 oceans as spelling words since we are studying them in Social Studies.

He is studying plural nouns in Language Arts & his spelling words were also plurals. This activity helped enforce both subjects. I wrote words (including his spelling words) on index cards. His job was to add "s" or "es" to the end of each word. He aced this.

He wrote the spelling words on these yellow laminated cards. Then we took the cards into the garage to play hopscotch with them.

Mr. T played hopscotch as well. His words were sight words. The boys threw their game piece then hopped to the end & back. To move to the next position, they had to spell their word correctly.

When Capt. N couldn't spell it easily out loud, I asked him to try writing it.

The weird thing I noticed was that 3 out of the 4 words he missed on his test were words he was spelling correctly the rest of the week - including the word heroes. On his test he added an h between the o & the e. I would like to figure out what thought process made him think an h goes there.

Here is where I struggle. How much is too much fun when we are supposed to be working? A big part of what I want Capt. N to get out of this year is that it is fun to learn. But..... being crazy in the garage is not exactly what I meant. Both boys did a great job with their words, but the game took 3x as long as it should have because they were being so silly. I finally drew a box on the ground and told them they had to stand there when it wasn't his turn. But, should I have let them be as silly as they wanted since they were spelling their words too?

Science ~
Since Capt. N is being taught at home this year I want to take advantage of that & do as many hands-on things as we can. We continued our weather topic this week.

Last week we tried a tornado in a bottle experiment that was just short of a flop. This weeks try went much better & it was so simple. We poured soda in a clear container & stirred hard. Waa-laa a tornado.

This looks rather boring, but amazingly it worked perfectly. It was an experiment to measure the air pressure. We were able to make sure it was accurate by comparing it to our home weather station. When the weather station said the air pressure went down, so did the straw. Yay! A successful experiment & a fun way to learn about air pressure.

His weather lapbook is coming along nicely & he's mentioned multiple times how much he likes it.

 Here's to another good week!

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