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!

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