Friday, February 6, 2015

Week Two ~ OH What a Week!!

The first week back to school after the long summer break is always hard, and this year was no exception.  With two "official" students and one precocious near 3 year old, it was a challenge but I'm learning quickly what works and what doesn't and we'll improve week by week!

Our learning started the weekend before our first full week of school with hubby finding this baby Praying Mantis in the backyard.  Monster named him Mike and we had grand plans of feeding him and watching him grow.  But food was too expensive and difficult to source and therefore we planned to release him back to the wild.  Sadly, we lost track of time through the week and completely forgot about Mike and when we noticed him again midway through the week, he had died!  I feel like an insect murderer!

As if the Praying Mantis wasn't exciting enough, next we discovered baby fish in the fish tank. Again hubby came to the rescue, scooping the babies out and setting them up in their own home in a smaller fish tank.  We are having much more success with these little guys and when they are bigger we have plans to sell them!

 This is Munchkin's bookshelf set up for him this week.

 I enlisted some help from daddy with Munchkin while I gave the big boys their maths pre-tests! Together they built a Lincoln Logs house.

Then Munchkin enjoyed some time on the floor with Monkey looking at books together.

 He also enjoyed some threading at the table...

 My BIG mistake this week was giving Monster too much maths too early in the week.
I decided to give them the end of term maths test as a pre-test on Monday.  Monkey got 100% on his Year 1 term test and Monster got nearly 100% on his tests as well.  However, Monster wants to fast track his maths a bit this year as he has previously been a bit bored so we are working through the Yr 4 math textbook and the Yr 5 math textbook simultaneously and therefore I decided to give him BOTH end of term tests!  BAD idea!!  But we didn't realize just how bad an idea it was until we were too far in to just stop!  So we soldiered on and finished!

 A morning snack and some read aloud...
I have discovered that a good time to read to them (as in they will be quiet) is while they are eating!!  So if I don't also need to eat I will read!

 Our read aloud selection for snack time: a GREAT science information book, our daily Bible chapters (we read three chapters a day and we are currently reading Acts), and a lovely Usborne edition of Aesop's Fables which the boys are LOVING!  I read two fables a day and so far they always beg for more.

 Our subscription to Reading Eggs is good through the end of May so Monkey is continuing to work through that.  He also enjoys a free online reading program called "Teach Your Monster to Read" so he generally splits his time between the two programs - both of which are phonics based.

 Just before bed most nights Monster and I would work together on our puzzle.

There was MUCH Lego building to be done... and YES despite not yet being three years old, the Munchkin is capable of building with the small Legos and we can trust him not to put them in his mouth anymore as well!

The IEW writing curriculum is working well so far! I'm convinced already that it is worth every single cent we spent on it!  Monster is doing his writing without fuss now and that is HUGE!!

 Munchkin has several books that are his favourites at the moment... this week these were the winners and he wanted them read over and over and over again!!

 More life cycle excitement as we discovered another HUGE pile of eggs in the main fish tank! Sadly either the parents, or some of the other fish, ate the eggs so no more baby fish for awhile!!

 Our science and geography/history read alouds.

 We have this wonderful construction game/toy called Wedgits which the boys LOVE!
These three photos are the creations Monkey did using his imagination.

 And the puzzle is finished!!

A simple matching game for Munchkin... I also set it up as a memory style game for him but that was too advanced still!

Both boys did well on their selected maths pages later in the week... Monkey chose to do all the pages on one-half while Monster has decided he just wants to start on the first page and work in order through his books... so he had some addition and multiplication to work on.  It strained his brain a little bit so I think working ahead was a good choice for him.

Monkey also seems to grasp maths concepts quite quickly and easily so I have plans to work him through two years of maths this year as well... so he did pages in both the Yr 1 textbook and the Yr 2 textbook.  He says his goal is to catch up with Monster... we shall see! ;-)

While the big boys worked on their maths... Munchkin played with the counting dinosaurs at the table.  I wasn't well prepared with activities for him this week so that is one area I MUST work on for the future!

All in all it was a good week with many learning experiences for ALL of us (me included)!
I look forward to the weeks ahead and LOTS of fun learning with my boys!

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