Thursday, February 2, 2017

Homeschool Week 22: We're Blowing Through The School Year

Something about typing out the heading for this post made me gasp when I realized that we only have 14 weeks of school left in this year.  That doesn't seem like a lot of time and gave me just a little bit of anxiety.  It also made me a little sad to realize that in just a little over three months I'll have a second grader!!!  How can that even be?  My heart is having a hard time letting my boys grow up! A really hard time indeed.

So far we have not had any major issues come up that have gotten us off track.  I have a fear of getting behind so I work hard to keep us going.  I feel like organization is a big factor to being successful in homeschool.  If I'm organized and prepared our days go much smoother and we can get so much more work done.  I think I might over organize just to keep myself sane.  ha

This week in Bible we covered the stories of The First Miracle and The Paralytic Man is Healed (where the friends carried him to Jesus and lowered him through the roof).  We learned a new song "There Were Twelve Disciples".  Our doctrinal drill was on assurance.

In Language Ben learned the letter "L".  His memory verse for the week was Isaiah 45:22 "Look unto Me, and be ye saved."  We start each lesson with a few phonics songs and end with a phonics game.

letter matching on his phonics mat

he really enjoyed making this lion craft

learning about things that start with letter L

he made a lamb puppet from our Abeka Art book

Cruz began the week with a language assessment test.  He did very well on it which made me proud.  Our language arts curriculum gives assessment tests regularly to make sure the kids are on target.  This helps me know what his strengths and weaknesses are as we go forward.  It is a great help to me!  His new lessons focused on reading and writing numbers 1-10 and the colors.  His vocabulary and reading had him focusing on words that end in ay (day, may,pay), y=i (cry, try, my), and gy, gi, and ge (giant, gem).  His grammar lesson covered classification of persons and things (ex. mom, boat, man, flag). 

We end each lesson with a phonics game.   This particular day we were playing Roll A Word using letter dice to make words.  This is a fun game and great for review.

Cruz's math lessons were on subtraction.  His problems focused on -0 and -1.  When he finishes his worksheets he does some online math drills at the Math U See website for review. 

number writing practice

Ben is learning to write numbers 0-14 and counting to 50.  He is also learning to skip count by 10's, 5's, and 2's.   The skip counting is not a part of his lessons but he hears his brother do it and wants to learn also. 

Counting on our number chart.  We are only focusing on 1-50 but he likes to go all the way to 100.

number writing practice

Our History lessons were fun.  We learned about Francis Scott Key and the Star Spangled Banner.  We sing that song often at the beginning of our school days so I enjoyed teaching them the history behind it.  We learned a lot about the flag- what the colors mean, how many stars and stripes, and the different flags over the years.  We learned how to respect the flag like saluting it and not letting it touch the ground.  We learned what it means when the flag is flying full mast and at half mast.  We also reviewed the Pledge of Allegiance. 

Our activity was making a watercolor flag.  The instructions had them drawing stars on their white paper with a white crayon.  They fussed and did not understand the point of it until they painted over it with the blue paint and saw how the stars popped out.  That fascinated them.

painting an American flag

"I can see the stars now!"

We learned about two States this week- Iowa and Wisconsin.

Our Science lesson was on wind.  Our experiment was called "Blow Wind Blow".  We gathered several items to test (a feather, rubber bands, leaves, tissue paper, grass) and first went outside to see if the wind would blow them.  It wasn't very windy that day so they didn't blow very well.  We then tested everything again inside using a fan.  We first used a small fan and then a larger one to see the difference in the wind speed and how it made the objects move. 

letting a feather blow in the wind

testing our objects with a small fan

testing our tissue paper and rubber bands

Testing our objects using a large fan.  They ended up testing a lot of different things on this fan just for fun.  They were amazed at some of the things the wind could move.

Many weeks our curriculum uses this book as a resource.  It gives internet links to videos and other experiments to watch.  This week it focused on weather and storms, particularly winds like from a storm or hurricane.  The boys enjoyed learning about how hurricane winds were strong enough to blow down houses and buildings.

I hardly ever take photos of our Health lessons so I often forget about it when I am blogging.  After the Christmas break we began a study called "My Safety".  So far we have had lessons on our safety at home, safety away from home, and safety on the street.  In our lesson on safety away from home Cruz began to learn David's cell phone number in case of an emergency.  After the second day of teaching him the numbers he asked me "mama, is anybody going to understand me if I tell this to them?"  I didn't realize that I was teaching him in English and not Spanish. We then switched gears and I began to teach him the numbers in Spanish.  Silly me!  I am glad my child is thinking clearly on days when I am not.   ha

Journal entry #1:  What is your favorite animal?  Cruz wrote about tigers.  He said "Tigers are my favorite because... they are very big and eat a lot.  I love (tigers).  Tigers can jump through a big circle with fire!!  They have stripes."  He drew a circus tiger jumping through the ring of fire. 

Journal entry #2:  My favorite smell is...  Cruz wrote "My favorite smell is my moms perfume.  It smells like flowers.  The smell comes from purple flowers."  Yes, that made me smile!

Lastly, here I am on a recent afternoon organizing our lesson plans and getting things ready for the upcoming weeks.  I usually only plan out a few weeks at a time in case something comes up and I need to make changes.  It can take me a few hours at a time to get everything ready.  It is a lot of work, planning, and organizing.  David is always good to take the boys off so I can work on school with a clear mind.  That helps me so much!  A lot of my time and energy these days goes into homeschooling my boys.  I work really hard to make their education fun and engaging.  I hope they are storing away some fond memories of our school days because I know I am.  What an amazing task I have been given to be able to teach my boys.  Being able to pour the Word of God into them every day is something I treasure.  This is such a short season in their lives and I am glad that I don't have to miss a minute of it.

One tired, exhausted, often strung out, not always patient and kind, coffee craving homeschool mom with a heart overflowing with joy.

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