Saturday, May 28, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up

 Week 2 with our new schedule. So far so good. We've hit a couple snags but nothing that can't be fixed.

Monday - We started a new book today, Fact or Opinion, Cause and Effect. The first section has to do with understanding wording so you know whether something is a fact or an opinion and how to figure out if it is actually a fact. The first page we did dealt with how to verify a fact. Brianna, being a child of this day and age, said google it. *sigh* Rule of the day was NO GOOGLE. Also learning to be specific. The first one was about a specific French scientist who made lots of medical discoveries. Brianna wanted to look up discoveries. When I showed how that would never work she went to French scientists. Well that's a little closer, but I'm sure there's still LOTS of those. It took an amazingly long time to figure out that she should look up the exact scientist to find out the facts about him.

We went back to the beginning of our spelling program, Spell by Color. 5 lessons in, she couldn't remember older rules. And since she was still spelling words covered by the beginning of the program wrong, she obviously wasn't retaining them. Thankfully we were only 5 weeks in!

Olivia likes to "help" Brianna with her schoolwork
Tuesday - We started back into her big curriculum book to finish up the English section. She's done pretty well in this level of English, so I don't see it being a problem to fly through it.

She does have a problem with skimming reading comprehension stories though. I mean, if it's a book that she's picked out and wants to read, she can tell you in great detail what everything's about. So I KNOW the reading comprehension is there. If anything she's well above the 3rd grade level. However, it's an important life skill to be able to pick out details of boring stuff (ya know, reading the fine print of contracts, ect...)

Wednesday - Brianna just loved today. For science we identified different types of leaves. We went around the neigbourhood and gathered all the different kinds we could find. Then divided them between palmate, pinnate and needle types. Brianna sketched and labeled each one. A couple we had to look up because we weren't sure. Once we were done we prepped them to be pressed so we can keep them.

Thursday - Today was a no school day cause we put the garden in! Well, I did most of it, but Brianna helped weed and designed signs (we'll be making smaller and laminated ones later, but she couldn't wait!)

Friday - Brianna saved 3 of her 4 math sheets today. This is one of the problems I warned her would come up with our new schedule if she left all her unliked stuff til Friday. Math Meltdown!!!! After about 6 hours, we got the 90 minutes of work done. *sigh*

Clay fun!

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Bare Hand and Foot Gardening

Welcome to my bare foot and hand gardening! I hate both shoes and gloves so this is the only way to go!
It took a while to get clean lol
The flower bed, before
The veggie garden, before (yes we still have spring perennials in)
The veggies all set up where they'll be planted
Brianna's handprint plate with her favorite colored flowers
Veggie garden, after
Flower bed, after
 I am soooo excited for my garden this year! Since we expanded the garden some we had room to add zucchini and spinach this year. And I discovered that zucchini doesn't take up as much room as I always thought it did. I can't wait for things to grow! Especially the lettuce. It'll start being ready to pick around the same time as the green onions (also known as scallions, I believe) and radishes are ready... can you say salad?!

So in total we have:
2 new perennials
2 flats of annuals
3 potato plants
2 rows green onions
2 rows radishes
4 cucumber
1 zucchini
3 rows carrots
2 rows peas
1 row lettuce
1 row spinach
1 jalapeno
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
6 green peppers
2 cherry tomatoes
6 beef steak tomatoes


Check out other garden updates at The Homeschool Village

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Brianna's First Job!

My sister hired Brianna to deliver her Avon brochures to potential new customers. Brianna is *beyond* thrilled! And the best part is, she doesn't even know she's gonna get paid. She's just over the moon to drop books in people's mailboxes lol

I think it's great too since it's really hard for an 8 yr old to even volunteer let alone get a paying job. She's a real good helper so I'm glad she'll be seeing something from it. Plus! This homeschool teacher can sneak some geography and math into it LOL

Wilderness Wednesday

For once, we've had fairly decent weather! I dare say, it even got hot on Monday!

Brianna was super excited to find this triple fused dandelion!

Three separate heads! (Pardon the bodies in the background, everyone wanted to check it out!)

What my husband calls a Mud Duck. Not sure if that's the real name though

The ducklings have hatched!

Papa duck
Science/Nature Study... our science lesson today included identifying leaves. These are the ones we found around our neighbourhood!

And we're pressing them so we can keep them as a memento
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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up

This week we started a new schedule so it took a little more effort to keep track. We're about to go into week 2 with it, it's working out so far!

Monday - She started her new French book today. This book is meant for an English child who goes to an all English school, learning French. Brianna was in Immersion (half her schooling) in PS since she was 4. This book is Grade 4. Brianna complains it's too easy. Unfortunately, there's no such thing as a workbook for Immersion kids. So I told her, sure, we may zoom through this book, but thankfully the series goes up to Gr. 8 and does get harder.

We also started our Canadian Census unit. There'll be a separate blog post for that.

Tuesday - Today Brianna chose to have a LOT of school work, but she got it all done! We worked on some soil worksheets, read about the Arctic Lowland region, did more French, a reading comprehension chapter, all of her spelling work for the week and more Census work.

Wednesday - Today was all about science. She finished her science book of the year (we still have a fun experiment book to play with over the summer that reinforces a lot of what was in her workbook) and did her final test. She got 76%. Not enough mastery IMO so we'll be working on plant parts and magnets over the summer too and do a mini review.

Thursday - Today she worked on various math worksheets, time, money, turning written numbers into regular numbers, ect...

Friday - All she had to do today (since she got most of her work done on Mon and Tues), was the final part of her Census unit! Nice short day. We'll see how week 2 goes now!

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Tot School - Week 2

Our focus for the week:
- Letter B
- Number 2
- Color Blue
- Square Shape
Olivia is 22 mths 
Very concentrated on her coloring!

She was super excited when I brought out these Discovery Toys Bugs. She was even able to pick out a yellow one when asked!

Being silly while counting blocks. She's trying very hard to say the numbers while we're counting and gets a great thrill out of holding my finger and making it move to each block while we're counting.

She wasn't too sure about the 3 piece puzzle. She kept just picking them all up.

She's a big fan of the color yellow.

This time she was pointing out each block herself while I counted them!

She was really into this sticker letter page. I think it's meant for those dot painters, but she loves the stickers and actually did pretty darn good!

Some gross motor work. She lets got of the ball above her head sometimes causing the ball to go behind her, but for the most part it's thrown forward.

More gross motor. She did pretty well zooming the dump truck around the driveway for a good 5 minutes. Even bent over like this, she only tripped twice. (Pardon the crappy lawn, we're in the middle of landscaping right now)

She likes to get up close and personal to her work!

She's really enjoying these lacing cards. She does keep looking for her apple one though lol

Gross motor - This is quite a steep sand hill. She didn't make it to the top, but she made it almost half way up, a lot farther than I thought she would!

Coloring with outside crayons (sidewalk chalk). She was a little weirded out by the side of them compared to her crayons.

Coloring her name

Purple! (She insists these are like her Mr. Wormy from the Baby Einstein videos lol)

I got my printables from:
Confessions of a Homeschooler
Printer Projects
Daycare Resource 

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Roasted Carrots with Garlic and Thyme

Found this awesome recipe through a fellow homeschooling blogger and HAD to make it! OMG it was sooooo yummy! I don't know the calorie count for my diet, but I bet it's better than the roasted potatoes I normally make! I forgot the thyme and used dill instead but it was still great.

2 lbs. baby carrots (or regular carrots, cut into chunks; baby carrots were cheaper at my store)
2 tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
10ish little garlic cloves, unpeeled
generous tsp. dried thyme

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Put the carrots in a 13x9 casserole and toss with oil and season with salt and pepper.  Stick the garlic here and there in the pan.  Sprinkle with thyme.  Add 2 tbsp. water and cover tightly with foil.  Bake under they are as tender as you like, 25-45 minutes.  Check them a couple times to make sure they aren't drying out.  Uncover for the last 5-10 minutes so they can brown a bit, if you want.

Our Current Curriculum - May 2011

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We school year round and don't really follow grades. We started Nov 15th 2010 in roughly the 3rd grade and will go until whenever of whatever year. In most subjects Brianna is in Gr. 3, however, her grade levels go from Gr. 1 to Gr. 5. We are working on a mastery basis so she moves on as she can and stays on certain things longer. 

French is at a grade 1 level simply because there is no such thing as French Immersion workbooks. Workbooks are either meant for French children continuing their education in French (Brianna's in the Gr. 1 level) or English children learning French (where Brianna's in the Gr 4/5 level). Since 98% of French workbooks are meant for French children, I base her in the Gr. 1 level.

So, since we don't have set grades or set school years, I figure every 4-6 mths I'll post what we are currently working on. We are currently mostly not using traditional HS items, but regular workbooks you can buy at the bookstore/teacher stores. Most subjects are supplemented by printed worksheets from various sites and of course, library books.

See my last curriculum post from January. 

Spelling: We are using the Spell by Color program on top of me keeping track of words she's spelled wrong (spelling is not "important" in the rest of her work as long as she is trying to spell the best she can) and she copies, alphabetizes, puts into sentences and draws pictures of her words and we do spelling tests (she insists, I'd be happy with just working on her spelling words as above).

History: We're on a bit of a break from History at the moment, but will be finishing up the History portion of the Complete Canadian Curriculum Grade 3 over the next little while. We're also working our way through the Little House books.

Geography: We're working our way through Canadian Geography & Mapping Skills. This is a basic overview of Canadian Geography. Once we're done this book we'll be using the internet and library resources and going more in depth with each province and territory. We're also finishing up with the Geography portion of Complete Canadian Curriculum Grade 3.

Math: Because we went back to Gr. 1 in math with Brianna to see how far back she was, we didn't come close to finishing the items mentioned in my January curriculum post. About a month after writing that, we went all the way back to the beginning of Gr. 1. She flew through that and we are currently working our way through Gr. 2 where we have found the most missing "building blocks" in math. 

Right now we're using Grade 2 Math Ahead, and for small daily work, Math Skills, Second Grade Activities and printed worksheets. We should be done 2nd grade by the end of July and will be moving back to the Gr. 3 stuff listed in the January post.

English: Daily we're using a Skill Builders - Grammar book, learning/practicing cursive writing with Evan Moor's Daily Handwriting Practice and a Daily Editing book. For reading comprehension we're using a Learn on the Go book. Before summer is over though, we'll be finishing up the English portion of the Complete Canadian Curriculum Grade 3 and English Ahead.

Science: Science is a big jumble of a little of this, a little of that, as I'm sure it'll always be! We just finished the Science portion of Complete Canadian Curriculum Grade 3 and are working our way slowly through Science Investigations, but we're doing more *out* of the text books than *in* them. We'll also be doing a Butterfly Unit Study/Lapbook.

French: We just started back up in French after taking a break for a few weeks. French is a frustrating subject for us because I don't speak/read/write French and when Brianna gets stuck there's no one to help her. Google Translate helps, but it can turn a 10 minute lesson into more than an hour to type up all the translations. 

We've switched from the all French book we were using to the bilingual books made for English children learning French. However, these are meant for children in an all English school who will do minimal French. Right now we're using French Smart Grade 4 and Brianna's complaining it's way too easy. I agree. Even *I* know most of the French in it. I feel we'll be quickly moving to the French Smart Grade 5 book.

Art/Music: So learning the recorder hasn't happened yet. I have found a proper set that includes all the finger charts and music for it, just got to get around to ordering it. Over the next few months we'll be working on a little basic sewing and these great origami sets I found, Pet Shop Origami and Springtime Origami.

Phys Ed/Health: Brianna is currently training for a local kids triathlon. Right now this involves just getting into shape. We have a 3km (1.86m) route that we're walking. This will turn into being the bike route for the triathlon. There's also a .5km (0.31m) route for running. And finally a 50 meter (54.7 yards) swim. 

In Health we're working our way through Canadian Health Activities with emphasis on Nutrition.

Computer: Still touching on typing skills. We haven't done much lately though. We're using Garfield's Typing Pals and blogging for tools.

Life Skills: Our focus is still on kitchen safety/cooking and penpalling. She can now make her own scrambled eggs and can cook a variety of foods in the microwave. Penpalling, she's been lacking in. I feel bad for her poor penpals! Must sit on her an make her respond! 

Also, today I completed our planning through the rest of "Grade 3". While she's still behind in math, as of October, she'll be in Gr. 4 or above in everything else! I'm very happy that's she's only a month "behind".

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wilderness Wednesday

We've had another week of rain :( We did at least get *some* nature studying in, just not as much as I'd like!

Brianna can't stop talking about how *beautiful* the tulips are!

As usual, our bleeding heart is exploding

Our current garden. We've added all the top soil needed to level it out with the height of the new walkway. Soon we get to start planting!

A new addition to our yard, a pear tree! Now we've been told that it won't bear fruit cause it doesn't have a 2nd tree to cross pollinate with, but we don't care, it's a new tree!

This *bright* white moth was found on our window screen.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New Schedule - Day 2

Another surprising day! Brianna chose to do much more work than I had planned for her. She did 2 parts to her Census unit, all of her spelling practice, Spell by Color *and* spelling test, her next few pages in French, Geography, and 2 pages of math word problems.

So far we are both very happy with this new schedule. I just hope it continues to work out this well!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Trying a New Schedule

I've been seeing other doing this lately and figured I'd give it a try. Normally I have Brianna's work all written down in my planner, specific to what she'll do each day. Usually I've got at least 3-4 weeks planned ahead. I decided to offer to type out all her work for a whole week and she can chose what to do when. Give her a bit of control. I explained to her several times in different ways that she still has to complete ALL of the work and if she skips over all the stuff she doesn't particularly like, she'll be stuck with all of that at the end of the week.

On the schedule above I forgot to add in her daily sheets (grammar, math word problems and handwriting practice), so now her sheet is 2 sheets with bigger font.

She's pretty excited about this new schedule. She actually chose to do all of her daily grammar work AND 2 chapters of math on top of the work she already did today. At this rate she'll have all her school work done by Wednesday!

I really hope this works out to stop her from protesting the "un-liked" work, since she gets to choose when she does it. She's very much a routine-loving child, so I don't know if this will have enough structure for her. I may have to figure out a way for her to at least have *something* to do school-wise everyday if she *were* to actually finish all her work by Wednesday.

*fingers crossed*

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tot School - Week 1

Our focus for the week:
- Letter A
- Number 1
- Color Red
- Circle Shape
Olivia is almost 22 mths

Olivia is super happy with starting "school" work. Especially when I have her doing school at the same time as Brianna. We're generally doing Tot School with her in the morning, but we've been known to set her up with a coloring page or a lacing card just whenever she wants it.

Daddy helping with school. She's very much interested in US coloring more so than her doing it, but that's ok, we'll work on more HER coloring as we go.

Coloring her circles page. More interested in filling in the circles than trying to copy them.

She just loves these apple cards. One of her favorite words is apple, so even once we're done this week and onto a new theme, I know we'll be using the apple stuff from this week still.

Counting her animals. 
Very serious about her work here!

We don't have dot markers (though I've been looking for them locally!) so we used stickers instead.

Some made it to the page, but then she started sticking them on her hand and yelling for more lol

She loves the lacing cards! I'm not sure if it's just cause there's an apple or not, but I was quite surprised on how much she did with the lacing. Not done in the "proper" way, but I was surprised she had the fine motor to do it at all!

Coloring her number page. I may make our own with less numbers that are larger in size. We're just beginning numbers and counting right now, so I don't think she needs pages that go all the way to 20 yet. Just need to find that outline font!

And coloring the newly available for download shape pictures. It just so happened that the circle one also ties in with our A/apple theme for the week!

I got my printables from:
Confessions of a Homeschooler
Printer Projects
Daycare Resource

Linking up with 1+1+1=1's Tot School