Friday, October 31, 2014

Week Four ~ MORE Read Alouds

So it appears all I took pictures of this week was the books we read but that is okay because I've journaled other activities in our homeschool diary and I will report everything in my end of term review!

And just for fun... a couple of pictures of Munchkin reading and writing!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Week Three ~ Read Alouds

We have more or less abandoned our Letter of the Week Program.
I'm hoping we will finish it over the summer.
Time will tell - but right now Monster is showing no interest and I am not going to fight him.
He is learning A LOT in LOTS of different ways and that is all that matters.

Week three saw us doing LOTS of reading aloud.
We have a HUGE collection of library books at the moment so we are working our way through those... some of them correlate with our studies... others don't... but life is all about learning even if it doesn't fit within a timeline or a schedule!

 Above is our selection of books that we worked our way through this week. Along with these we continued to read our chapter book about Cockatoo Island that we started in week one.  Obviously the Africa books are chosen deliberately to go with our unit study, but the other books are purely interest based choices, primarily chosen by Monkey.

The Munchkin asked to do some gluing one day so I decided to cut up some coloured paper which I placed in a bowl and gave to him along with his glue stick and the piece of white paper.  I glued one piece of paper on to show him what to do and then walked away to finish what I was doing.  Later he brought me his finished masterpiece and I was stunned... it is definitely going in his notebook of special work for the year!

 Monster and I spent an evening working on his puzzle together and we made a LOT of progress... but as with all our other work sessions, he placed many more pieces than I did.

We finished off the week with "Friday Fun Day" which focused on Science and Technology.  After his spelling test Monster enjoyed a science experiment where we added vinegar to warmed up milk... which was supposed to turn the milk to plastic!  I'm not sure if the curdled mound we got was what was supposed to happen (perhaps the milk was too warm) but Monster seemed interested in the reaction just the same.

Finally our Lego Challenge for this week was  to build a catapult and use it to shoot a ping pong ball.  Monster built the device and then Munchkin got in on the action when it came time to test it.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Week Two ~ Rain, Hail and an Unexpected Trip to the Dentist

Our second week of school didn't turn out quite how I hoped, or planned!
Therefore, I have hardly any photos of our structured learning time.
On Thursday I had to take Monster to the dentist to explore why it looked like another tooth was coming in above one of his permanent front teeth.  Turns out it is a fragment of his baby tooth and it will be pulled on 6th Nov if it doesn't come out on its own (sort of like a splinter). So that threw our week totally out of whack!

 We started the week with a CRAZY storm... torrential rain, some hail, wind, and then a GORGEOUS sunset to finish it off!

 Munchkin enjoyed watching Monkey look for lion stickers for his letter "L" page!

 Monkey enjoyed playing with the marbles and the wooden track toy!

We had a late night visitor - and when hubby tried to put him outside he ran behind the bookshelf seen in this photo and it took us two days of waiting for him to reappear and let us put him outside! Thankfully he is only a Huntsman and not dangerous!

Munchkin is LOVING his puzzles!!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Week One ~ Short Week, Light Load

The first week of the term was a short one due to a public holiday on Monday so I decided to take a different approach and stay away from our workbooks for the week!

Monster said he wanted to learn all about Africa this term...
Specifically he wants to learn how to identify all the countries on the map.

 I found a really great website that allows you to choose a country and make a REALLY large map... so I printed out Africa on 9 sheets of paper, blacked out the areas of Europe that were showing, and laminated them.

We've also found a GREAT website that quizzes him on the names of the countries using a level system.  You start with the tutorial that gives you the names as you click the countries.  After that you move to Level One which highlights 6-8 countries by region and verbally quizzes you.  So the program might say "Ethiopia" and Monster has to click on the right country.  From there you progress to Level Two where it verbally quizzes you but without highlighting the regions.  Level three is the map of Africa with the outlines of the countries and you have to place the right countries in the right place like a puzzle.  Finally level four is the map without the outlines of the countries and you have to place them where you think they belong!  Monster is REALLY enjoying the challenge of this website and is very self-directed in his use of it.

 Our read alouds for the first few days of the term... a book about the colonization of Africa (really interesting and SO full of information) and a book about the orphanage and girls reform school that was on Cockatoo Island in the late 1800s.  
When we finish the book we will take a field trip to the Island and enjoy some educational tours.

 Next year I will have two official students as Monkey will register in July so I am putting plans in place now that should help me.  I will expect Monster and Monkey to take turns working with (playing with) Munchkin thus allowing me some one-on-one learning and instructional time with each of them.  For now we are practicing with things like puzzles and games.

 The slow cooker is my best friend during school terms.
This was a French Onion meatball recipe that didn't turn out quite as I hoped but at least the boys seemed to like it!

For maths we abandoned the workbooks and stuck with logic problems and tangrams.
Both boys enjoyed the selection of activities I had for them.

 There was MUCH excitement in the house about the full lunar eclipse.  Sadly the weather was horrible that night and too cloudy to enjoy the full event.  I snapped this photo as the eclipse was ending at 11pm when the clouds FINALLY cleared!  I had intended to let Monster stay up late and watch it but it wasn't meant to be.

 Some Galahs were enjoying a feast in the neighbour's yard which meant a pause in our "school day" to observe them and enjoy them!

 Some more math puzzles.

 Free Lego play for Munchkin while his big brothers enjoyed a Lego Challenge...

Build a bridge strong enough to support a cup full of coins!