Monday, September 4, 2017

Our First Day, 2017/18.

Last week I spent some time organizing our school books, and letting the kids pick readers and play with their journals. Today we jumped into our first real day of routine. It's always a bit of a balancing act but went well. I am getting a feel for what this year looks like and I think it will be a growth year (last year being a restorative and resting one). Here are some visuals of our day!

 First of all, you have to get the littlest sibling working on something, right? They love to be included and feel like they are doing something similar. Math blocks are a special thing that is allowed out during school time and Finn loves creating with them. Roads are the fave thing right now. 
I tried hard to find some bible curriculum for some time and I picked up some various books. This year I wanted to give the kids more choice so that they are excited and take initiative in what they are learning. I found this coloring bible at Chapters recently for Keiran. He can read and color the whole entire bible essentially, even the cover. I love that there is a visual aspect to his learning each story.
 This is the book that Aiden picked for bible. I love that he has to use his bible to look up the verses and then doodle his thoughts about it. I am seeing and hoping for tons of growth in the kids' knowledge of scripture this year, as the older two especially are more thoughtful about things and maturing.
 Gemma's book is similar. She can doodle and color, and also look up her verses. I am adding these to their morning English routine.
Mom's planner has a weekly bible plan and fighter verse and this was the one written in so we read this together this morning too. 

Language Arts
 Aiden chose this for his first reader. I had so much fun at the homeschool convention picking up all sorts of reading subjects, knowing my kids interests and preferences. Aiden loves the WW2 stuff.
Aiden's "Grammar and Punctuation Six," Evan Moor workbook.

 My house read-aholic, Gemma, has already finished her first book and is on to the second. Here is her first picks for readers.
Gemma did a little write-up after her first book. I did not help her correct it as it was on her own initiative. I still need to photocopy some graphic organizers for the kids to fill out when they are reading, but she got ahead of me, haha. Love her enthusiasm.  
Gemma's "A Reason for Spelling, Level D" wordlist. 

 My good friend had the idea to encourage Keiran's reading with an audio book. It is so great to discuss ideas and challenges with other homeschool moms. He wanted a funny book and I found this at Chapters. So far so good. It also frees me up from sitting with him as this is a busy time of the school morn with lots of instruction at different times. He has also picked some readers that we will balance him and mom reading together. His confidence is coming!
 Keiran's "Skill Sharpeners, Spell and Write 3," by Evan Moor. He did awesome at this.
Keiran was brave this morn with his journal and didn't want mom's help at all. This is a perfect example of how and why we do journaling. I let the kids create and write whatever they want and keep it to just a couple of corrections. They usually copy around two words which helps them build spelling skills and this time around Keiran got some review phonics lessons too.

I ended up changing my mind when I picked up our science curriculum this year. They didn't have my intended pick and when I saw this I remembered that Keiran has been saying he wants to be an underwater animal rescuer. What better way to engage his already big love for science? It is a nice change from our usual science picks.

Also, this science comes with a Junior Notebooking Journal. This was Gemma's activity that she was working on (Keiran had the same). And....
 Aiden has a regular notebooking journal that requires more older thought from him. It was our first taste of the curriculum today. Mom read a lot of text, and the kids worked on their journals at the same time as they listened to a ton of information. Today's lesson was about nekton, benthos, and plankton; or the types of aquatic animals.
We kept it to those three subjects today and got our regular day sorted out into routine. More to come this week.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Just for Fun, Finn!

Finny is a trooper and is always around as we journey through learning. He watches preschool cartoons, colors, builds with math blocks, stacks geometric shapes, build roads or train tracks, has coffee store dates with mom, etc...

Finn has learned to ride a bike this season, painted a birdhouse too, and is often seen dusting or sweeping, sorta, alongside his homeschooling siblings. He is learning too! And, his birdhouse turned out amazing- he even painted the inside!



A Day in the Life of Keiran

We have discovered that Keiran is a tactile learner, and this differs from his older brother and sister. We have had to veer off course from our previous books and dive into some new programs for him and it seems to be working well. This boy excels at science and math, and can figure out how any single thing works mechanically. He is the one who retains information well too. Here are some samples of the resources he is currently working through....

Morning Work:
Language Arts
 Keiran switched to a program called Reading Eggs and it is his cup of tea. He was having a lot of anxiety when doing daily readings and so this has replaced that for now. He has excelled in this program and worked himself through lesson 90. It is hard to take pictures as when he answers they pop off the screen, but hopefully this is a show of the words he is working with and the ability he has now. He has also been journaling and working through Explode the Code 4. He is building words and recognizing syllables. 

Keiran is working though Math-U-See Alpha. He is excellent at math. He too watches his instructional video on Mondays and works through his workbook the rest of the week, often using the color coded math blocks.

Social Studies
Keiran is learning about Canada's provinces alongside his brother and sister. Mom reads about each province, the geography of the land, the industries, and the symbols. Keiran takes part in coloring each symbol and learning about the meaning of them too. He fills in his information as copywork.

Keiran has finished off a year long study, experiments and observations included, on plants. He recently learned about moss, algae, and fungi; the last unit about unusual plants. His final experiment was growing mold on bread/a bagel. He made a hypothesis, spread some spit and germs on certain bagels (gross I know), and then left them for a week in specific places to see what would occur. Here is the evidence of what happened.


Career Education
Keiran has been learning about daily life, such as preparing a meal and doing chores. He, along with his brother and sister, work on a chore list everyday (except Sunday) and take initiative to pick and complete a chore of their choosing and ability. These chores have been previously taught and the list is made depending on what mom needs accomplished, such as vacuuming upstairs or downstairs, laundry folding, emptying and filling the dishwasher, sweeping the kitchen, window washing, garbage (which includes emptying the garbage, recycling, and compost), bathroom garbage, cleaning the bathroom counter and mirror, or washing the kitchen chairs. There are many chores to pick from during the week but the usual ones are dishes, laundry, garbages.  
Arts Education
Keiran made a panda planter out of clay at 4Cats Art Studio this term. He also painted a bird house for the front tree. I love how each child in the family painted one and they turned out so differently to match with their personalities.
Physical and Health Education
Keiran blew us away at the last part of his swim lessons. He was a little unsure to begin with and I think has very perfectionist tendencies, and then one class he dove under and kept going! It was a breakthrough and his fear left. I am sure it had something to do with praying about this on the way to swim lessons. Keiran also participated in Soccer Quest soccer, and TCC gymnastics this year.
At home he is biking, skateboarding, and jumping rope.

A Day in the Life of Gemma

My sweet girl has grown so much this year academically, as well as other areas, and is such a well rounded learner. Here are some samples that make up our weeks....

Our Morning Subjects:
Language Arts
Gemma is daily reading for our school time and multiple other times of day. She has been reading "The Imagination Station; Trouble on the Orphan Train" in the morning, and "James and the Giant Peach" at bedtime. She is also reading through the Owl and Chickadee magazines that she receives in the mail. Here is one of her recent grammar and spelling tests. She has grown leaps and bounds this year in her spelling capability. 
Gemma has been working through Math-U-See Beta. She watches the instruction video on Mondays and then works through her workbook the rest of the week, usually doing two sections at a time. We move on when we have a grasp on the current concept- usually weekly. Gem had some trouble with remembering which number goes up top when one is carrying/regrouping but is doing very well otherwise. She likes math.


Our rotating afternoon subjects:
Social Studies
Gemma is learning so much about Canada, it's symbols and their meanings, the geography of each province, as well as industries province by province. She listens as mom reads about each province and then digs in her symbols book or on the internet to find what each symbols means, and then fills in her worksheet. We have only made it to New Brunswick but will plan on carrying on to learn in full the rest of the provinces during this next while. These  Dona Ward resources and text, "Geography Province to Province" are so rich in visuals, stories, and information!

Gemma has been learning about plants, alongside her brothers. We had so much fun with this this year as we opened up plants (like our aloe), dug for roots, dissected flowers, and experimented with chlorophyll, and with plants and flowers from around our home to boot! This last while we finished off our "God's Design for Life; The World of Plants" text, learning about algae, mosses, and mold. Did you know that algae produce more than half of the oxygen in all of the world!!
Below is some of our reading, as well as a moldy experiment. Gemma and her brothers had a hypothesis about these bagels:
-sealed in fridge--> would go longer without mold
-touched and in the bathroom--> bad mold
-touched in the cupboard--> gross mold fast
-untouched in the cupboard--> don't think it will mold, maybe eventually
The results are interesting....


Other subjects carried out through the week and in the afternoons:
Career Education
Gemma is our expert laundry folder. She can fold three-four laundry baskets worth no problem now. She is such a blessing in that she does this cheerfully. Everyday she picks and writes her name on the chore list next to one-two larger chores such as this (little ones such as clear you plate from the table, etc are just routine), and completes and then checks off her box.
Arts Education
Recently Gemma created a clay panda planter at 4Cats art studio. We have not picked in up from being fired in the kiln yet. She also painted this bird house for our front tree. The neighbors have shared that they and their guests are loving these decorations.
Physical and Health Education
Gemma has participated in soccer, gymnastics, and swim lessons this year for extra-curricular classes. At home she never passes up the chance to play soccer, throw around a baseball, scooter, skateboard, practice jumping rope, hike, or bike. She has been going on special hiking dates with her date throughout the Lac Du Bois grasslands. Here is the swim badge she earned this term.